Social Media Offers Parental Support

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According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, “Mothers face many common issues in the early days following birth. Isolation, fear or insecurity about infant care, breastfeeding, where to go for help, role adjustment, fatigue, coping with siblings or partners, body image, nutrition, and the need for peer support – all must be dealt with.” {Note: these issues do not dissapear as a child grows older… these issues … re-surface… evolve …explode…throughout the growing years}

How are Moms “dealing” with these issues? Where are they finding support? The answer I found is: online, through social media. Play dates and playgrounds have traditionally been the meeting place for parents to connect. However, many moms worldwide are turning to social media for support, camaraderie, and connection. Using social media tools, parents can connect — via their desktops and devices — during nap time, lunch breaks, or whilst waiting at the doctor’s office. Social media provides portals to communities whenever, wherever.

The Power of Social Media

Julie Cole

(@juliecole), co-founder of Mabel’s Labels, said it well when she blogged; “Even on those days when we can’t escape the four walls of our homes and those walls are seemingly closing in on us, we can hop on our computers and find a community of support. For those few moments, we have a break from the loud monotony of raising our children. Mamas now blog and read blogs. We connect on Facebook. If at 3:00 am I am wondering why my toddler has green poops, I will post it on a mama message board. By 4:00 am I will likely have several responses, including some that simply reach out to say they hear my concerns.”

To moms and dads alike, social media creates authentic threads of communication. Also, the perfect marriage of information, engagement, and support.

Dads face a greater isolation when they become the main care-provider of a child. Despite the fact that paternity leave is commonplace, there are still only small numbers of stay-at-home-dads. Many turn to social media as a tool to find support for their unique experience. Similarly, parents with specific interests – like autism, writing, foodies, etc… can find peers, job opportunities, mentorship, advice, and more.

Through blogs, vlogs and social networks, parents can share experience – they can also build experience. Social media bridges professional and personal lives. It shares expertise and tips. It builds influencer experience. It allows for networking for a work-from-home business. It builds a brand. It is word-of-mouth. It creates opportunities for new business and employment opportunities. It creates recognition, loyalty and following.

Blogger, mother and communications specialist, Eden Spodek (@EdenSpodek) says “I’ve spent most of my career focusing on communications and the interactive space. Social media was a natural extension of my work. However, it has helped me find the type of job that makes me happy so I can be a better role model for my children by doing work that I’m passionate about. Watching me blog has also helped my younger son become more interested in online writing – he’s dabbled with blogging himself. It also has equipped me so that I can be in step with my children online and I’m not afraid or in the dark about what they’re doing there.”

When moms on twitter were asked what social media means to their life as a mom, they responded (quotes in 140 characters):

  • Apart from my small circle of family that I see often, social media makes it easy to connect with friends and meet new amazing people. (@amotherworld)
  • Social Media connects me to other parents, writers and educators who I’d never know otherwise. It’s networking nationally. (@imaginationsoup)
  • Social Media is a lifeline to other mothers that Stay-at-Home Moms may not have otherwise. That connection for me, has been life changing. (@BOREDmommy)
  • As a mom I use social media to keep current on events and trends (@momtrends)
  • Twitter/blogs – means to me – Conversation, validation, interaction and (hopefully) syndication. (@kathybuckworth)

Social media, can also be, uncomplicated communication for Moms. You can have a quiet day of listening & lurking or a louder day of reveling & ranting. You can ask questions, research brands and recommend service.

Social media makes social connectivity efficient and easy. Through every status update, hashtag and publish click parents are creating community. Friends and followers alike. They are valuable threads which tie real people – in real time – together. The virtual world is the new ‘hood to connect parents.

Words to Know:

Social Media: Can consist of blogs (popular platforms include Blogger, WordPress and Typepad], microblogging (Twitter), social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn). multi-media (Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram), and video sharing (YouTube) to name a few.

Blogging: A personal journal published on the Internet that may or may not include the use of photos and video along with text.

Vlog: Video blogging (vlogging) is a form of blogging using video versus text.

Hashtag: A way of categorizing keywords or topics in a tweet prefaced by a # symbol. Clicking on a hashtag brings up all related tweets in that category or keyword. Get in-the-know about new music with #musicmondays. Learn with #bestadvice. Find new people to follow on #followfriday.

Day or night, nap or play date, work in or outside the home…parents can discuss timely topics and share with comrades.

Editor’s Note: EverythingMom believes in lifting moms up, giving them courage and confidence in who they are. We know we’re not the only women out there feeling this passion to support and nurture. Occasionally we share stories, ideas and inspiration from other moms who share the same ideals we have. Thanks to Caroline for this guest post on the role social media is playing in offering parents support where and when they need it.

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1 thought on “Social Media Offers Parental Support”

  1. You nailed it Caroline. I didn’t even own a computer when I was home on mat leave with my first child. Now, home with my second, I have SEVERAL computers and really appreciate being to reach out to “friends” across the web. Amazing.

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