Before I became a mama, Facebook was a place I went once in a while when I had a few spare minutes—which was not very often.
The ads, the political opinions, the oodles of baby pictures. It was fun to check in once in a while, but it wasn't something I spent much time thinking about.
And then I got pregnant.
My parents and in-laws lived indifferent cities, so I would log on occasionally to post a one-off photo of my growing bump. I would spend a few minutes scrolling through my newsfeed and realize Facebook had become something more.
Customized ads for baby products I have been pricing elsewhere? Yes, please.
Political banter to make my future child's world a better place? Yes, please.
Posts from friends navigating their pregnancy and parenthood and advice on how to prepare for this whole “being a mom" thing? Yes, please.
And slowly I realized that in our modern world, it not only takes a village—it takes a Facebook village.
Like many parents, when my son was born, I was faced with a decision to enter one of two camps.
Do I post pictures of my little babe on Facebook—or not?
Should it be baby's choice when they are older? Should we keep photos private for safety reasons? Will it annoy friends to see too many baby pictures?
My husband and I decided to compromise by creating a page just for our son. Our friends could opt in by “friending" him and we would (mostly) have control over who sees his page.
With family living all over the U.S., we thought it would be the best way to keep everyone informed of our goings on.
Of all the things I could thank Facebook for, keeping my family connected in spite of the thousands of miles between us is by far the biggest. Sincerely, thank you.
Little by little, I found myself spending more time on Facebook.
Babies hit milestones so quickly! By the time my little one was 8 months old, he was rolling over, sitting up, eating solids, babbling, crawling, and thinking about cruising.
Naturally, I was glowing with pride from my little sprout's many accomplishments. I'm sure you can relate, mama.
I couldn't think of a better way to express my joy and excitement than by sharing these momentous milestones with friends and family over social media.
As it turns out, I wasn't alone.
A 2015 study of 8,300 parents from eight countries found that, on average, parents spend 1.3x more time on mobile Facebook than users without children.
(When I read this, I nodded my head and pictured those many, many hours I spent breastfeeding my son, scrolling through my Facebook feed on my phone—which only requires one hand, you know.)
And we Millennial mamas don't just use our phones for posting adorable baby selfies, either. We are 30% more likely than our parents to use mobile devices to make informed purchases, as well. It's true. “Equipped with their mobile devices, parents can get opinions, price comparisons, and reviews before they make purchasing decisions."
Now that my son is two-years-old, I have gleaned a bit of insight as to why Facebook is truly one of my besties these days.
I recently moved to Sweden with my family and feel further away from my loved ones than ever before. I am a full-time ma ma who works from home and my days are pretty crammed. (Again, I know I'm not alone. The same 2015 study found that 39% of parents are time-crunched.)
Together, this makes for a pretty stressful day—I'm sure I am preaching to the choir, mama.
Taking a few minutes to post photos from my day with my little sweetheart gives me a chance to reflect on the highlights of my day.
We may have a natural tendency to remember the worst parts of our day, but sharing the best moments of my day with friends and family helps me to cement those memories in my mind.
It might even help me forget about the 57 blueberries spilled all over the floor, the temper tantrum about the “wrong kind" of ice cream, or the daily poopslosion.
Thanks to Facebook, I have a chance to share the most beautiful parts of motherhood—with others and with myself. I can even scroll through posts from the past two years to see the many ways in which my child and I have grown.
Facebook, you are the Millennial mama's modern-day baby book. I am so grateful that my son and I will be able to look back and see how he has changed my life for the better in so many ways.
And for that—you get a like ? and a love ❤ from me.