I love social media.
Born in 1980 I only just make it into the ‘Generation X’ category so didn’t grow up with social media and mobile phones – I was 26 when Facebook become popular in the UK, with Twitter & Instagram following a few years later (yes, I’m old).
Initially, social media was just a fun way to pass time and tag your mates in embarrassing photos after a drunken night out, but since becoming pregnant in 2011 it is so much more than just a pastime for me. Aside from being something that I get paid to do for work, social media has been an amazing resource of information, and at times a sanity saver since becoming a mummy.
Here are my 5 reasons all parents should use social media…
When you’re pregnant or have a new baby there are all sorts of weird and (not-so)wonderful parenting questions that you desperately need answers to. Some of them far too intimate or embarrassing to ask your friends about. Asking Google is, of course, great and you get lots of answers from the “experts”. However, asking the same question on Twitter gets honest answers from real mums and definitely makes you feel a lot more normal!
Making new friends
It might sound a bit like online dating for mums, but if you regularly talk to other mums on social media you will make new friends. Some of these will live in other countries, but others may live down the road and you can meet up with the kids. When Little H was 3 months old we attended a “Bournemouth Tweetup” with some lovely local mums, all of who we still speak to regularly and have met up with lots over the last 4 years. You will all share experiences as your children reach the same milestones and you’ll watch their kids grow up through Facebook updates and Instagram photos. Most of these online friends will know more about your life and your children than your ‘real’ friends, and will probably be more interested!
If you have a good network of fellow mummies then you are guaranteed to receive sympathetic comments if you’re feeling a bit down or stressed out. If you post a photo of a tantruming toddler, an emotional post about your child starting school or a status update that you’re breaking open the wine as soon as the kids are in bed, you will immediately receive a ton of responses from people who feel exactly the same. Very rarely do you get any judgmental comments – unlike some real-life friends or family on Facebook!
There are so many different products to buy when you have a baby and it doesn’t stop as they get older. Website reviews are great but it’s always much better to have a friend recommend something that they have found invaluable. When I was pregnant I asked Twitter which was the best baby monitor and was inundated with replies. The majority recommended exactly the same product which we bought as figured that many mums couldn’t be wrong (and they weren’t!).
Whether confined to the sofa with swollen ankles or trapped under a sleeping baby, having social media in the palm of your hand is sometimes a great way to pass the time and not feel so alone when everyone else you know is at work. You can catch up with your mummy friends, read blog posts and share your own updates, which has got to be better than watching Loose Women.
There are plenty more reasons why social media has been an important part of being a mummy, but the above should be enough to get you using it more if you aren’t already!
In my experience, Instagram and Twitter are the best social networks if you want to talk to other mums, mainly because you can say what you like without worrying what your family or work colleagues on Facebook think of you. If you don’t currently use social media to chat to other parents but would like to, feel free to follow me and I can recommend some fab mums & dads for you to start chatting to.