Your Kids or Your Computer: Who Do You Spend More Time With?

Suzanne Murray


moms addicted to the internet

How much time do you spend
on your computer?

When my baby first became aware of my computer, she tried to touch the screen and hit all the keys. Now whenever I'm on it, she tries to close it (I have a laptop). I think she's trying to tell me something. I don't feel like I'm on it all that much, but I do check my e-mail several times a day. And my work e-mail. And my Facebook account. And CafeMom. I think I do it so I don't feel so lonely. Days spent home alone with a baby can be long and I crave some adult interaction. Still, I wonder, could I have a problem? According to experts, new moms are at risk of addiction to the Internet. Here's why.

1. We're trying to fill a void. That void is isolation—the tangible isolation of being home alone with a demanding newborn and the mental isolation of diving into uncharted waters as new parents.

2. We're looking for interaction. According to a poll, more than twice the number of moms choose the computer over books or television during their babies' naps.

3. We can be a different person online. In the real world, being a mom is all-consuming, but online, you can be your pre-mom self, you can flirt, you can have a sexy avatar.

4. We can get a lot done. Online you can pay bills, order diapers, shop, upload baby photos, figure out what the weird goop in your baby's eye is, and more.

Spending time on the computer isn't really a problem if it keeps you from doing laundry. But if it keeps you from spending time with your baby, it might be. If you think you're hooked, keep a journal of how often you go online for a week. Then assess what you're missing out on when you do it—sleep, family time, work.

Do you spend "too much time" online? Does it keep you away from your baby?

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