5 Things I Know About Online Friends | Guest Blog

In this day and age our relationships look a little different than they used to. Our circle is wider, more extensive, and we no longer have to rely on only our jobs and local hangouts to meet people and strike up friendships. A lot of us are meeting our partners online, so why would our friendships be any different?

Never underestimate the power of online friends!

I am no stranger to online friendships. For the past several years, most of my closest friends have lived in my computer! It can be hard at times, but I consider myself a bit of an expert at this point. So here are 5 things I know about online friends:

1. They're just as real as face-to-face friendships.

Sometimes people can make you feel like your online friendships aren’t as legitimate as face-to-face ones. But they are! Remember, that’s not just a computer you’re talking to, there’s a real person behind that profile. And isn’t the most legitimate type of friend one that makes you feel supported and loved, no matter where they live?

2. There are tons of different ways to communicate with online friends.

IMG_1998You have a plethora of options with which to communicate, depending on your personality and preferences. Do you like to Facebook chat while you’re feeding the baby? Maybe you like seeing their face, so Skype or Google hangouts are more your style. Or if talking on the phone with little ones is a challenge, the voice message feature can be the best of both worlds. You can post funny stuff on their Timeline. And have you seen the new Snapchat filters today?!

 

3. Your online friends don't care if you're a hot mess today.

You can talk to them without a bra. Or in only a bra. Or with your hair a mess. Whatever, your online friends don’t care! They’re just happy to hear from you. You never feel like you have to impress them.

4. Online friends are there whenever you need them.

Even if they aren’t always online, having their profile readily available at all times makes it really feel like they are always there. When you’re up feeding the baby again, you can send your BFF a message because you know she’ll see it soon. And sometimes you might abuse this just slightly by treating your messages like your own personal journal... but it’s all good, because you know they’ve got your back.

5. Any time spent face-to-face with your online friends is the sweetest time ever.

On the rare occasion that you do get see your online friends face-to-face, it’s the best. They are SO happy to see you, because it’s been months or even years since you last hung out. Online friends know how to cherish time together because it’s so rare. They never take you for granted and you always part looking forward to the next time you can hang out!

We all need friends and support people in our lives. That need is even greater as mothers. We need people we can complain to, laugh with, cry with, love, and be loved by. They say it takes a village - it’s okay if your village is a virtual one.

Authored by: Brooke Duke, owner of Expecting Baby Doula Services. Brooke is a doula in Ames, Iowa. Check her out at www.expectingbabydoula.com.

 

Postpartum GO!

Pokemon GO is sweeping the nation, and many of us are reliving our childhoods, channeling our inner nerds, and enjoying the chance to catch 'em all in the real world. We also couldn't help but notice that Pokemon GO has a lot in common with postpartum doulas! Introducing: Postpartum GO!

Pokemon Go

When you're a mom playing Postpartum GO, you aren't catching Pokemon. You're catching the day to day tasks of parenthood. Diapering, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, nap time, playtime, bedtime, bath time, meals, laundry, dishes, showers, actually putting the clean clothes away, etc. You throw your Pokeball and catch those tasks, checking them off the list until it's time to do it all over again. Sometimes you miss, and that's okay too. It's all part of learning how to play the game.

Sometimes, you feel like your life with a newborn is full of nothing but Pidgeys, Rattatas, and Zubats. You wish you could catch some new Pokemon already! Lucky for you, your postpartum doula is your Great Ball or Master Ball. With her help, you can catch bigger Pokemon and take on more tasks.

Maybe you're feeling confident about newborn care but struggling with keeping up with household tasks, or maybe its the other way around. Adjusting to a new baby while recovering from birth can feel overwhelming at times, and your postpartum doula is there to take the stress out of the game. While you relax and enjoy bonding with your baby, your doula can help keep your house running AND is there to answer all of your baby questions, bounce ideas off of, and be another grownup who understands and isn't there to judge or give her opinion. She helps you level up at this newborn gig, and it's not even considered cheating!

In the game of Postpartum GO, gym battles are the challenges you overcome in early parenthood. Sleepless nights, teething, colicky babies, figuring out exactly how long it takes you to go somewhere, ever-changing, routines. Each stage brings a new challenge. Your postpartum doula is your Potions and Revives.

pokemon goYour postpartum doula is there to help you revive after a long "battle" so that you are refreshed and ready for the next one. Babies are fun and adorable, but they deplete your energy reserves fast if you aren't careful. Your doula is there to help you balance things out. She'll make you a special Potion called a Home-Cooked Meal or a Warm Cup of Coffee. She'll mind the baby so you can take a nap and Revive. She can even come and give you the Lucky Egg of a Full Night of Sleep. You can wake up to clean dishes, folded laundry, breakfast, and all the energy you need to catch the day's tasks. Talk about feeling like you've Leveled Up!

At some point, you'll want to venture out with your baby and try out new Poke Stops and visit some Gyms.

If you're unsure about outings with your baby, your postpartum doula can help you prepare. What do I need to pack in a diaper bag? How long will it take? Where will I nurse my baby in public? What if there isn't a changing table? Each Poke Stop will have different considerations, and your experienced doula can help you think it through, and she'll even go with you if you want! She can also help you get connected to new moms and start experiencing the magic that is a Play Date. Like a Gym, Play Dates allow you to interact with other moms, find your tribe, and build community. They help you feel less alone. If you're pregnant or a new mom in Memphis, you can join our "gym" on Facebook! Who knows, maybe you'll bump into a stranger and leave with a friend.

Nobody starts as an expert in game of Postpartum GO, but with time, patience, and the help of your postpartum doula, you'll be a master in no time! Let us help you catch 'em all.