Online communities step in to connect pregnant women and moms when “mainstream” culture turns the other way.
How is it that the most isolating time to be alive might also be the best time ever to make friends?
This deep ambivalence of everyday online experience is one of the funniest things about the internet – ha-ha funny and otherwise.
Yes, you may have been banned from the holidays last year by your own grandmother for being unvaccinated, but the group chat full of edgelords and ladies you wouldn’t even recognize IRL knows your innermost feelings about your parent’s divorce. Which space is more real?
It’s a head check that reverberates especially hard for people entering pivotal moments in their lives, when the lifescript uttered by everyone you know falls short of making sense, let alone fostering excellence.
And no moment is more pivotal than becoming a parent – a mother, in my case. While the “mainstream” culture continues to deny the reality of life in the womb, the sacredness of life outside of it, and the vital role of motherhood at the center of all of that, increasingly more microcommunities of frustrated and lonely pregnant women and moms seek friendship and solace where they can’t find it in their waking world.
So I too recently discovered an online community of women, one devoted to reviving, dignifying, and understanding matrescence. It begins with a book: Made For This, which connects this uniquely female physical experience to a unique spiritual reality, ultimately fostering a more positive attitude toward motherhood and childbirth in the reader. The Made for This Birth App and Album offers thirteen original tracks containing over three hours of prayer, meditations, Scripture, and affirmations, “specifically designed to offer confidence, overcome fear, and prepare women for an empowering and supernatural birth with God.” Most importantly, they offer a directory of friendly and aligned doctors and midwives, searchable by area, through which women can bring the reality they had to go searching for back into their real lives.
This is the internet done right. And while it can never substitute for flesh and blood society, or the friendships you can touch, hear, smell with your own senses, there’s no denying that, in our time, those best prepared to link arms with us are often a digital distance away. Much as in real life, trust makes all the difference when it comes to your online companions and compatriots.