By CATHERINE YIğIT
We don’t meet up for coffee or playdates. In fact, on my infrequent visits to Ireland I’ve only met a few mothers from the village I turn to for parenting concerns. Instead, we’re tied together by a link to Ireland and an internet connection.
In the last six years we’ve supported each other through relationship problems, illnesses, multiple pregnancies and births, several miscarriages, three weddings, one stillbirth and a marriage breakup. We come from a range of backgrounds and educational levels; all work, some outside the home and some as full-time mothers. Plus, we share the extra bond of having children born in the same month of the same year.
In spite of their being far away, they are as important to me as anyone I meet in daily life. These women listen when I feel like complaining, offer advice when I need it and share their experiences freely so I can learn. I trust them.
These MagicMums allow me to parent by the standards I grew up with, leaving me free from local Turkish concerns.
Bare feet causing flu. Cold drafts leading to pneumonia. They don’t worry about my children’s weight or hover over them while they eat. Should I give baby honey as my in-laws suggest? Not until they are over a year old, the village says. Why does the child cry so much at night? The in-laws say ‘nazar’, someone has cast the evil eye and we must pin a glass charm on the baby’s clothes, say prayers and blow away the spirits. The village suggests altering the child’s feeding pattern to see if digestion problems could be the cause, a less romantic solution but definitely more practical.
Do you have a virtual network? What are its special advantages?
Catherine Yiğit is a native of Dublin, Ireland and writes from Çanakkale, northwestern Turkey where she lives with her Turkish husband and two children.