When I started having kids, I honestly had no idea how much my life was going to change. I went from living a fancy-free life living in Manhattan with just myself and husband to look after to living in the suburbs with a life full of strollers, diaper bags and car seats. I was about to quit the job I loved due to raging hormones and enter into a world joining a group of women in a playgroup who talked about nothing other than cutting our babies’ nails and nap time. I was never a mom who loved playground banter.
I spent the next few years struggling to find my place in the world but eventually found women at my children’s pre-school that I could relate to on a deeper level. Most of them had returned to work and I began to realize very quickly that my place in the world wasn’t at home. So, I went back to work and my world started to fall into place again.
I didn’t love that job but it didn’t matter. I was tapping into sides of me that had gone dormant at home, that had vanished during those painful conversations at playgroup. There were conversations that I wanted to have, so I wouldn’t feel completely alone in finding motherhood a complete and utter challenge.
And along came Twitter.
It came along a bit late in the game for me, as I started tweeting in September 2009. My kids were already 4 and 6 and I’d already undergone a few years of post-partum depression. At the time, I don’t think I knew was it was and it would have been helpful to have the support I’ve found on Twitter. Nonetheless, as soon as I embraced the medium, it became a place filled with the type of conversation I had craved for the past few years. If one of my children was having a meltdown, which very few people where I live seem to do (their kids are all perfect), the incoming tweets about others who could relate were reassuring. If I needed to vent about about a meltdown occurring while on vacation, I’d get instant messages reminding me that I’m not the only one these things happen to. Best of all, I could talk about the films I loved, the books I was reading, what was going on in the world.
As a mother, you can feel very alone in the world. It’s a lot of responsibility and there’s a lot to remember and keep track of – doctor’s appointments, school supplies, play dates, etc. On Twitter, I can talk about all of this or I don’t have to. I can speak to the side of me who just wants to be who I’ve always been – a girl into culture, identity, religion, sociology and the news. It’s therapeutic to speak as myself, not as a mom, but as Holly Rosen Fink.
Twitter enables to me share, discover and identify, and for these reasons, Twitter has changed my life. To many, that’s down right quacky, but the many I have met via Twitter, it’s a universal feeling.
However, there are times when I have to remember that the whole Twitterverse is reading my tweets and some things are better left in the private zone. It is completely possible to over share on Twitter, and I don’t want to be one that does. I admit that I do sometimes delete tweets with TMI but when I do tweet about something that merits reaction and I get one, I am grateful. Heck, I even love when my tweets are retweeted or just briefly mentioned. It can be therapeutic and stimulating at the same time.
To know that I’m not alone in the world. That I want more as a mom and that are others out there who feel the same way. That is what Twitter has given me.
How about you – are you on Twitter? Do you find it to be therapeutic?