Monday, May 12, 2008

The virtual mom

The year was 1999. We had six children, and had just moved from Texas to New York state. We had recently acquired internet and were now, for better or for worse, connected to the world wide web. It was all so fascinating: all those websites with information on anything that might interest anyone. And search engines made finding all that information so much easier than using the card catalog at the library. Before I knew it, I was hooked.

I collected and printed all sorts of things, organizing that information into categories: activities for preschoolers, recipes, things to do as a family, gardening ideas, how to care for and then butcher all sorts of farm animals, how to tan hides, etc.

E-mailing was exciting. I could keep in constant touch with all the friends I ever left behind during our many moves from state to state (and later from country to country). No more waiting for the regular mail to come.

Then I discovered forums. What fun! Talking to total strangers about anything and everything. Now I was addicted.

I heard about women who were becoming virtual moms and neglecting their homes. Tom and I even counseled with a couple whose marriage eventually fell apart because the wife was online so much. I thought, those people are crazy to throw away their real lives for a virtual dreamworld.

Can anybody spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E?

All that seems ridiculous to me now. All those ideas? I actually used a very tiny fraction of them. E-mailing is almost as bad as snail mail, for all the replies I actually get. And forums became so much boring gossip.

I am free now. I'm free because God convicted me of sin in this matter, and made me see that my real, flesh and blood family is my priority--and not a drudgery, either, but a great, wonderful blessing. I'm free because I told Tom about my struggles and he very kindly disconnected the internet for me for several months to help me get past my addiction.

And now I must get off my computer. I've gone past my allotted time. We're ready for Bible time and breakfast, then we'll do some quick straightening up, make the beds, and go outside. We're hosting a picnic for Victoria Day next week, and we've got some yard work to do. Also, my garden is calling me. I want to start planting this week.

So if I'm not on here for a while, picture me outside with my children and wish me a happy spring.

1 comment:

zorg said...

just to tell you, i was really happy when you stopped being on the computer so much. now i just need to stop being on so much myself...