Mothers’ Day is Sunday, May 13…. Employee assistance professionals dealing with clients’ Internet addictions may be particularly interested in this post!

Moms are the new Internet junkies! According to Parenting magazine, many young mothers are addicted to blogs, message boards, and virtual-world sites like Second Life. In the most extreme cases, addicts don’t bathe, neglect their children, and use drugs to help them stay up later for more Internet time.

Certainly, not everyone’s problem is bad enough to need professional help, but if you’ve noticed you’re missing out on time with your child, or laundry isn’t getting done, you might be susceptible to the addictions of the Web. Here are some reasons why the Internet is so appealing to new moms:

Moms are alone most of the day. They’re desperate for someone to talk to, so they find an online community. Addiction fills a void, whether it’s emotional, physical, or spiritual. For a lot of new moms, the void is being home alone with a demanding newborn. They turn to the online world to feel like they’re not alone, and then it becomes an escape to turn to whenever they feel stressed or bored.

Moms are looking for ways to express themselves. After having a child, a lot of women feel they’ve given up their identity. Looking up old friends on Facebook or buying retro music online can remind them of who they used to be. On virtual-world sites like Second Life, moms can even create online images of themselves and become anyone they want to be – a popular cheerleader, leather-wearing motorcycle chick, and so on.

Recommendations: Keep an online journal to track when you go online. If you can determine the triggers that make you seek cyber-refuge, you can come up with alternate activities, like taking your kids for a walk. Another tip: Make weekly appointments to get out of the house. This will help make your real life the place you want to be.

Sources: Coleen Moore, Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, John Tesh: Intelligence for Your Life (