The Tool That Finally Liberated Women.
by Leslie Morgan Steiner
When baby number one arrived 13 years ago, I had no email account or Internet connection. My Fortune 100 company used an internal company network – employees were forbidden to use computers to communicate with anyone or conduct any research outside the corporate ‘net. This seems like cave-woman days in terms of technology. In retrospect the restrictions lasted a nanosecond with no harm done.
But the worst tech restrictions in my new-mom life were the ones I didn’t know about: other moms were off-limits to me and everyone else, along with chat rooms, pregnancy tracking sites, online shopping services, and pediatric advice that could have vastly improved my life as a new mom. While breastfeeding in the middle of the night, I couldn’t Google “boob rotation” or “freezing breast milk” or “what’s Mylacon for anyway?” During the day was no better. I pumped at work, picked up my baby from daycare, and went grocery shopping with a screaming hungry infant at 7 pm. Buying Christmas presents or diapers or replacing a lipstick or keeping an appointment with a hair stylist or therapist became close to impossible. Simple errands suddenly gave me nightmares.
Our beloved new baby had hit my life like a tiny, devastating earthquake. Suddenly I could not DO anything. Simply because a helpless, squalling, adorable baby had to come with me everywhere. I was all alone as a new mom. (My husband was often nearby, of course, but we all know how much comfort that provided, since he was as clueless as I.)
No more. My next pregnancy took place on the other side of the digital divide. For babies two and three, I had the Internet. Which meant I had access to millions of other new moms. I could ask them for advice, comfort, camaraderie, at any time of day or night. I had hundreds of new friends, some of whom I’d never met. I set up weekly online grocery shopping. Online everything shopping. Motherhood became a whole lot closer to bliss.