I think it’s about time that I reveal my deepest, darkest secret.
I am a PIM. And proud of it, dammit.
No, it’s not some horrible disease. This is a group of friends that I made four years ago when I was a new mom, freshly back at work and totally freaked out about what the hell I was doing. I mean, they send you home from the hospital with this little needy creature and no instruction manual whatsoever…I remember riding home in the car that day and looking over at Joey and saying, “I can’t believe they just let us walk out of there with him like that…they’ll let just anybody take a baby home, won’t they?”
When I was pregnant with Monkey Man a friend of mine told me about the website Babycenter, which has all kinds of advice on pregnancy, birth, and children. I really wasn’t much of an internet hound at that time, but when I was home one weekend I decided to check it out. One of the bulletin boards called Dealing with the In-Laws caught my eye because at the time you could definitely say that my relationship with Joey’s parents was less than stellar. I started posting on that board and found it a good place to vent my frustrations and get advice. Not to mention the fact that it is a real eye-opener to find out that there are a lot of people out there that have it a whole lot worse than I thought I did at the time. Like the one woman whose mother-in-law tried to kill her and kidnap her daughter. Yep, I was feeling pretty good about things after reading that.
When I gave birth to Monkey Man and my return to work was imminent, one of the moms on the In-Law board recommended that I check out the Working Moms board on Babycenter. I did, was instantly welcomed, and became hooked. Eventually, we split off into a private board of over 60 members and I would say probably 20 – 30 of the ladies are regular participants. A husband of one of the members started calling us PIM’s – Psycho Internet Moms. I mean, what normal person makes friends over the internet other than a bunch of psycho nut cases?
Well, we did. I honestly can say that it has brought such a great dimension into my life…we come from all over the country (and the world!) with different backgrounds and beliefs, and they have taught me to be more open-minded about things outside of my own narrow little world. We are able to discuss religion, politics, sex, and pretty much anything with respect for each others’ opinions.
We have had happy times – births, marriages, new jobs, quitting to stay at home, new homes….and we’ve had sad times as well – deaths, divorce, health issues, job problems, and so on. The one constant is that I think each one of us knows that we have each others’ backs, and even if someone hasn’t been online in a while, they can come to the board asking for support and we will all be there 110%.
The PIMs are my little secret because most people that find out about how we all met either have one of two reactions - they either think it's the coolest thing they've ever heard of, or they look at you like you are a total nutcase. And even I was skeptical at first when we all decided to have our first reunion in Chicago...who was to say that these were actual legitimate working moms, and not some fat guy named Hairy Phil who was sitting at home naked posting on the internet as a working mom and getting off on all of our discussions about breast pumps?
I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of the moms in real life over the past four years. Not a single one of them resembled a fat, hairy naked guy. And hopefully, one day, all of us will eventually meet. This is one amazing group of ladies. I couldn’t have made it through a lot of the last four years without their friendship.
Tomorrow night I fly to Boston to meet up with some of the other PIM’s for our fourth reunion. Four years…it’s so hard to believe that now most of our kids are almost getting ready to go to school…anyhow, it will be great to see everyone and even the ladies who aren't able to come this year will be there in spirit.
Thanks, PIMs…from one Psycho Internet Mom to another, I appreciate each and every one of you and your friendship.