How Social Media Actually Helps Parents

So you finally get the baby down for a nap. You’ve got spit up on your shirt and you smell a little like rotten milk but you’ve been fantasizing about that warm cup of Hazelnut coffee you’ve wanted to make yourself since 7:30 this morning; you’ll sacrifice your scent for that delicious mug of happiness. 

All you want to do is drink that coffee, in silence, and scroll through social media, guilt free. 

This is what nap time is for after all! The housework can wait! The internet NEEDS me! 

Despite all the condemnation and judgements that can happen when people have the shield of anonymity to safely hide behind online, the internet can be a wealth of knowledge and support for parents. 

We all know about the Facebook groups. There’s a Facebook group or page for every kind of parent. Every parent from free-range-anti-vax-crunchy-hippy moms to religious-zealot-bubble-wrap-sanctimommies, right through to I’m-just-trying-to-not-lose-my-mind parents. There’s a place on Facebook for us all. We can find kindred parents and remind ourselves we are not alone. If we can’t find a group that fits us, we’ll just make one. It’s that easy. 

Outside the high walls of Facebook though, is a big world wide Web just waiting for us to delve deeper into it.  

I’ve found myself enjoying Instagram for more than just posting pictures of my food. Since having my daughter I’ve taken up insta-photography. I’m pro with a filter and a collage app. The plethora of hashtags have led me to some amazing Canadian home businesses like Wisemom, a home based business from Alberta specializing in the greatest teethers my daughter has ever used. Not only did I find a cool product, but another Canadian mom just doing her thing. 

I also stumbled across a few formula feeding mommies. Moms, who like me, had to formula feed for one reason or another and think that #fedisbest and we should #dontjudgejustfeed . We don’t care how you feed your baby, as long as you do. It’s wonderful to scroll through my instagram feed and see happy moms and babies in the same boat as my baby and I. It’s a nice sense of community. 

Sometimes though, I need to escape the warm fuzzy feels of Instagram and Facebook. For this, I found Twitter.  Twitter parents are about as real as it gets. We make quick jokes about the real craziness parents go through and continue on with our days. I’ve never encountered Twitter drama. 

There are most certainly days I would just fall to pieces if it wasn’t for the quick witted parents of Twitter reminding me that poop is funny and kids say the darndest things. Trending hashtags like #momlife, #momblogger and #momcult have lead me to some really funny, smart and awesome parents. Even a few funny as hell dads happen across my feed now and again. Twitter keeps me inspired and constantly reminds me that parenting without a sense of humour is like riding the Titanic without a lifeboat. You’ll just sink.

I’ve found blogs and pinterest boards, message boards and forums. The internet is often dark and full of spoilers, but the one thing it never lacks is information. In a world where doctors even suggest you try “Googling it,” the internet is where we all come back to. Most of us keep it in our pockets. A little free WiFi or a good data plan and information and support is right at our finger tips.

 Like any tools, the internet is only as good as it’s user. So spread your virtual wings a little. Step away from Facebook, and see what else is out there for you! You might be surprised what kind of solidarity you may find. 

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