Finding “mom friends” is one of the most challenging and valuable parts of self-care when it comes to being a parent. As an introvert, the thought of “mom dating” to branch out to find my mom friends sends shivers down my spine. As a woman and as an adult, I know I need a circle of close confidants I can trust or turn to for advice or share the silly minutia of being a mom.
My parents live a few hours from Atlanta in Greenville, South Carolina. My in-laws live in Boise, Idaho. I have a brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Austin, Texas. My husband’s sister, her husband and their son live in Vermillion, South Dakota. Our family is geographically dispersed. Neither my husband nor I are Atlanta natives.
In fact, since my husband and I have been together, we’ve lived in Savannah, Columbus, GA, San Antonio, TX, ITP Atlanta and now, OTP Atlanta. We are quite used to (and efficient) packing up our house and our lives and preparing ourselves to make new friends each time we moved. Our tenure as a military family taught us the skill of not becoming emotionally attached to living in any specific geographical location.
For me at least, one important constant amongst all of the moves and the new faces and the family being mostly plane rides away has been (as my husband refers to them), my “internet mom friends.”
I belong to several “mom groups” on Facebook and Instagram that have truly been one of my most valued parenting resources when I don’t know where to turn to for parenting help. My internet mom friends are the people I can look to for advice about pregnancy, labor and delivery, c-section recovery, sleep training, diaper rashes, and toddler temper tantrums.
My internet mom friends have been there and done that. Weird rash on my kid? Someone knows what it is. Breastfeeding issue? Someone has an amazing home remedy. Emotional meltdown from utter exhaustion? Someone in my mom group is always there to lend an ear to hear me complain.
I often hear from other stay at home moms that life at home with babies can be quite lonely and isolating. I honestly don’t ever feel that disconnect because of social media. Someone else is always awake and willing to lend an ear.
Being a mom in the age of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat is a unique generational experience. For better or for worse, social media has changed the social landscape of today and the foreseeable future. Social media, for all of its flaws, has given me a tribe of moms I wouldn’t trade for the world.