It's no secret that social media, for as addicted as we all are to it, gets hated on pretty seriously, on a pretty consistent basis. And while there's no denying that social media makes new moms feel bad about themselves, social media can also be an extremely helpful tool for new mothers, too.
Being active on social media means, for better or worse, you're constantly connected to people. You're able to dip into a pool of learned wisdom and earned knowledge whenever you need, which can be a life raft for a new mom who might, at times, feel like she's drowning in an experience that is foreign and overwhelming. When a mom posts about the realities of motherhood, you don't feel bad about that pile of dishes in your sink or the frustration you're feeling. If you feel like you're alone or you're unsure of what to do, all you have to do is post a status update with a question to your mom friends, and boom: answers everywhere.
Of course, everyone's experience with pregnancy, labor, delivery, and motherhood is different, but in the midst of those differences is a connection that social media can enhance and/or foster. We may not be going through the exact same thing at the exact same time, but that doesn't mean that we can't share our stories and feel like we're part of a community that is supportive, inclusive, and healthy.
Here are just a few ways that social media can be so good for new mothers, because when the Internet isn't being the worst, it's kind of the best.
It Connects You To Your Friends
Once you have a baby (especially directly after, when your body is healing and you're adjusting to your new life as a mom), it can be difficult to stay in touch with your friends. Even a quick get-together becomes taxing, and in all honesty, you'd rather sleep than have a catch-up session.
Social media, on the other hand, allows you to stay connected with your friends without having to put forth a whole lot of effort. They still know what is going on in your life, you still know what is going on in theirs, and you can talk quickly via messages or posted comments while you're breastfeeding or rocking your new babe. Thank you, Zuckerberg.
It Helps You Feel Like Part Of A Community
Even though there are millions of mothers out there, becoming a mother can make you feel ostracized from society. With social media, you can start to feel like you're part of a loving, caring community without stepping outside your door (that is, as soon as you find your flock and the parents who you feel most connected to, which is a whole search itself).
You Can Easily Reach Out For Advice
Social media makes it so easy to ask fellow mothers a question, and receive quick (and thoughtful!) advice. Whether it's a private message to a trusted friend or a quick status update that leaves room for multiple points of view from multiple people, a ton of wealth and knowledge is literally at your fingertips.
Because What Else Are You Going To Do During A 2 A.M. Feeding
Late-night feedings are the most boring thing in the world. You can barely keep your eyes open and everyone else in your house is probably (maybe) still sleeping. If you're going to pass the time, it might as well be scrolling through newsfeeds and seeing what your single, baby-less friends are up to. I honestly don't know what moms did while feeding their babies (or pumping; dear god, pumping) before smart phones were a thing.
It Helps You To Not Feel Alone
Motherhood, while a universally shared experience, can feel lonely. Because every woman is different, every woman experiences motherhood differently. This can make a new mom feel like she is on an island all alone. Seeing other mothers post about their experiences, helps new moms to know that they aren't experiencing motherhood all by their lonesome. We might not go through the exact same stages of parenthood, but we can find some common ground in our varied points of view.
Online Mom Groups Are Awesome
If you can find an online mother group that is supportive and inclusive, you've hit social media gold. While some mommy groups can be condescending and judgmental, there are so many social media groups that can give you support, understanding, helpful information and shame-free reign to share the things you wouldn't normally feel comfortable sharing.
Relatives Can See Pictures Of Your Babe
If you have multiple family members living far away, this is probably the best aspect of having active social media accounts. Instead of sending letters or emailing gigantic batches of pictures, you can make a quick post, tag family members if you want, and those who wouldn't otherwise be able to see your kid grow and learn, can feel like they're a constant part of your new babe's life.
Because Google Is Scary
I don't know about you, but I would rather ask someone on Facebook about this weird thing my kid is doing instead of looking it up on Google. If I ask WebMD or some other online search engine, I will go down the endless spiral of fear and anxiety, which only ends with the Internet telling me my kid is dying and that it's my fault because of some last-minute choice I made while I was pregnant.
You Can Focus On Something Else Besides Your Kid
Right after you have a baby, it's difficult to remember that there is a whole wide world out there that doesn't revolve around sleep schedules and feeding times. Social media gives you that much-needed break, where you can focus on, like, anything else. Whether it's a cat meme or an hilarious gif or a five-minute video of celebrities lip syncing, or even just pictures of a friend's vacation, you can escape to another place where diapers don't rule your entire existence.
It Can Help You Look And Feel Your Best
Say what you will about selfies, but a well-executed social media snap can make you feel beautiful and yes, that is something you deserve to feel on a regular basis. So, if you were finally able to shower and you feel like a million dollars, take a selfie, post that bad boy and let the likes and comments wash over you like the majestic being you are.
It Gives You The Ability To Look Back And Reminisce
Social media is essentially an online documentation of our lives and, when you have a kid, your kid's life too. You're able to look back and see your baby bump, the moment your kid entered the world, cute picture of their newborn faces, and video of them crawling for the very first time. We're able to see all the changes our kids — and ourselves — go through, and that is a pretty incredible thing.