Monday , 21 June 2021

JELSCHEN: Social media is the parent’s go-to

But bored moms can be sharks online, I tell you.

Social media plays a vast role in helping new mothers.

Adweek.com has stated “90 per cent of [parents] find social media helpful.” Many of the moms these days turn to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or even mommy blogs for tips to make them a “better parent.”

Now, I don’t quite consider myself a new mom with a 3 year old and a 6 year old under my wing, but I still find that six years later, social media plays a big part in my parenting, as though I was a new mom.

I find myself looking up online about my children’s rashes, or “Why does my 3-year-old still drool?” If I do not find an answer on my favorite mommy blog, Bumps and Babies, I jump to one of my favorite Facebook mom groups.

This can be difficult on us, though. You do not always come across another parent that has the same views as you, so it can be hard to take advice, or when you do–with a grain of salt.

In six years, I have found that those Facebook groups can be a central area for nonconstructive criticism and cyberbullying.

Numerous times, I have either been attacked for small things, or I have noticed other moms in the same predicament.

Bored moms can be sharks, I tell you. 

There have been many times on social media that I have run into trouble. There was one Facebook group where I had asked about circumcision healing.

Circumcision is a very touchy topic on these platforms because of course, everybody has an opinion on your child’s genitalia (I had already had the procedure done for my son), so I had posted about the healing process and asked if there were certain things I should look out for, stuff the doctor may not have told me, it set off all the moms that disagreed with mine and my partners choice as parents.

There was one lady, let’s call her Betty, that even went as far as to message me and tell me that I was a terrible parent and I tortured my son (who by the way, didn’t even cry and slept through the procedure). Seriously, back off Betty.

There are still many benefits of social media parenting. When you are staying at home with your child(ren) day in and day out, you need an outlet: somewhere to express our frustrations with other moms because let’s get real here…sometimes dads don’t understand the struggles.

It may even be the other way around, where a dad is taking care of his kids all by himself and juggling a job, so they look for somewhere to go to. It is always nice to surround yourself with possible, like-minded people.

I would like to think that the first place we would go for advice would be to our own mothers. This is not always the case.

For me, my biological mother would be the last place I would go (like, not even if we were the last people on earth). My adopted mother did not raise babies, but she will be where I go when my children hit the pre-teen years and on. I do have a wonderful mother in-law and sister in-law to help, but everything is always changing.

We all strive to be excellent in everything we do, and parenting can be difficult. I struggle daily with finding the right balance in my life, to juggle everything in my path.

A parent can never be right in everything, but that is okay. We do have places we can go for good advice. I believe social media will always be here for us as parents, and it is becoming more of a norm every day.

A last note to all of you beautiful mothers (or fathers) who use social media as a place for advice, do not let a social comment from a keyboard warrior bring you down.

Social media for mom advice can be a harrowing place, but some of us are still here to uplift you and give you the advice you are looking for. Stay strong and keep striving to be excellent.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.