4 Ways an Online Community of Moms has Saved My Sanity
To prepare for motherhood, I read a book that told me everything there was to possibly know about how to be a mom, how to care for my baby, and how to stay in a constant state of maternal bliss. I was 100% prepared.
Are you laughing? You should be. I’m 100% joking.
There’s no All-Inclusive Instruction Manual for Moms. So like most new mommas I googled all day, every day. I found loads of information but was never sure if I could actually trust it. Thankfully, during a postpartum check-up, my midwife suggested that I join a parenting group on Facebook. It was one specifically for moms in the San Antonio area. Since then I’ve become a Facebook group junkie. I’ve joined one for breastfeeding, one for “crunchy” moms, and another for “every mom”.
Here are 4 reasons I love this online community:
1. No Judgment Zone
We all have those questions that we’re afraid to ask our friends for fear of judgment. I’ve battled postpartum anxiety, and I thought I was a bad mom when I struggled with my emotions. Why did I think this? Other new moms I know seemed to be in newborn heaven. But after just a few weeks of joining my online mom community, I saw multiple posts from moms who asked how to cope with postpartum depression and anxiety. Other moms who had experienced the same things came to their rescue with “me too’s” and plenty of tips and encouragement. It was a blessing to have a place to discuss the parts of motherhood that tend to make us feel isolated.
2. 24/7 access to been-there-done-that, tried-and-true advice from real mommas
Not the same as Web MD advice. I posted a question a couple months ago about my bedtime struggle with my then 4 month old. I described in detail her bedtime routine and specific issues we were having. Multiple moms commented that they had this exact same struggle with their little ones. Other moms chimed in with some bedtime “tactics” that I could try. These were helpful, but it was also just helpful to know that other babies had the same crazy bedtime habits as mine! These comments from complete strangers were comforting to me, which reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5: we can (and should) comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. I firmly believe God allows us to go through certain things so that we are equipped to help others in the same situation.
3. Give Advice!
You may have that pearl of wisdom that some out-of-her-mind momma out there needs to hear. When I returned to work from maternity leave, I had to figure out the logistics of pumping on a field trip. I also had to navigate the difficult task of taking a baby on a long car drive. After these experiences, I was able to give some advice to a mom asking for help in a similar situation. It felt so good to be able to pass along my own life experience!
4. No Question is Too Small or Silly
When I visit my pediatrician, I have a full list of questions. Some are more serious. Some are… less serious. (“Does she have too much earwax?”) As I’m sitting in front of this very busy person, I often lose my nerve to ask some of the less pressing questions. Thankfully, other moms get that we sometimes worry about the small things and need reassurance.
This platform allows you to become part of a community of moms (“MOM-munity” anyone?) who are either in the same season of life or have truly “been there” and “done that.” You get a sense of solidarity. I have come to love and admire my online MOM-munity. We will probably never meet, but they have joined me in my walk through motherhood, and I’m so incredibly thankful for the company.
P.S. We started a new Facebook group, Women Who Love Jesus, and we’d love to have you join us in sharing prayer requests, asking questions about all areas of life and encouraging one another! Click HERE to request to join. - XO, Ruth Schwenk
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