When I sit down to write about social media my mind immediately jumps to negative things. Cyber bullying, 0 privacy, how screen time affects sleep, anti-social behavior…..but this time I wanted to explore the positives and, more specifically, the positive affect it’s had on me as a mother.
There are hundreds of articles and opinions on how social media doesn’t actually connect us but disconnects us from the real world. In this Psychology Today article: The Social Media Disconnect the author discusses how social media doesn’t save us from isolation but can lead to isolation.
As a new mom, living in the country without any neighbors, craving a village to help me with motherhood, I found the exact opposite to be true.
(Baby #3 – photo courtesy of Blessed Touch Photography)
Before kids making friends just happened naturally. I didn’t have a ton of friends, but I also didn’t have a problem meeting new people either. I had the time to invest in getting to know people, feeling them out and slowly creating that bond that would eventually become friendship. When I became a mom for the first time, I didn’t have the time to slowly form friendships. I felt overwhelmed and awkward at playgroups. I wanted to make friends to hang out with on my maternity leave but the dynamics had changed and suddenly I didn’t know the rules anymore. I was lonely.
When my son was seven months old, someone I had met at a wedding invited me to a Positive Birth meeting for women who wanted to talk about positive birthing experiences. I was pregnant with #2 and the timing was perfect.
I showed up at the meeting not really sure of what to expect. I think I figured I could just hide in the back and blend in, not really saying much and just listen and learn. Instead what I found was a small group of women from all sorts of backgrounds who parented in all sorts of ways coming together to share their birth experiences and knowledge. Not only was there a monthly in-person meeting, but also online communities that discussed birth, positive parenting, breastfeeding, women empowerment and all the things I felt drawn to, but didn’t have any real life examples to follow. Over the course of two pregnancies these women taught me how to empower myself during pregnancy, birth and parenthood to listen to my body, my children and to trust my intuition.
(My VBAC baby thanks to the knowledge I gained from the Positive Birth group)
When baby #3 was on the horizon I did something I never thought I would do. I joined an online community for women in Canada who were having babies in March of 2017. It was on a whim and I didn’t really think I’d still be a part of it almost two years later. After all, we were talking about over a hundred hormone laden women behind keyboards. If I’m honest, I fully expected an online mommy-wars within months. Instead this group of women supported, nurtured, comforted and celebrated one another. We all have very different beliefs and philosophy’s on parenting and yet in this group we have had respectful discussions on circumcision, vaccination and abortion. We came together with love and support when one mom’s baby was born sleeping. We raised money for another mom who’s husband left her and her three children when her baby was only months old. We continue to support each other through the trials and tribulations of raising a toddler. With over a hundred women in this group across the country (and some now internationally) there is always bound to be someone online to chat with when you are in need.
I still don’t have time to invest in friendship like I did pre-kids, but I find that being connected to these women through the online group has given me a new way to alleviate the loneliness when it comes.
I don’t feel disconnected at all. I found my village.
Mom’s are connecting online like never before, here’s one women’s story: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-k8E
How one mom found her village online #onlinevillage: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-k8E