In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve put together a few tips for all the moms out there using social media. As a member of Vital’s “Team Mom,” I understand that it’s sometimes hard to know whether you’re connecting with people in an effective and appropriate manner from inside the baby bubble. I cringe at the implication (or even blatant statement) that women become irrelevant or uncool once they give birth, and sometimes I fear we aren’t doing ourselves any favors. So whether you’re a SAHM or you head into the office during the week, keep these pointers in mind before posting that picture of Johnny’s latest “milestone.”
1. Keep Your Passions
You used to have hobbies, remember? Understandably, the first months of your baby’s life will consume every one of your waking hours and many of your (previously) non-waking hours. After the haze has lifted, try reconnecting with people on the topics that brought you together in the first place. Maybe you’re not going to concerts as often as you used to (or ever), but you can ask for new music recommendations or share playlists – once you finally get around to creating that Spotify account.
2. Read STFU, Parents and Take Notes
This blog is so popular for a reason: it’s true. You might not agree that everything posted here is over-sharing, and while you will likely be offended by the generalized insults hurled at “breeders” and “mombies” by some commenters, I still believe it’s an excellent guide for what new parents should refrain from posting. Oh, and it’s insanely entertaining.
3. Know Your Audience
I’ve found that I tend to use different social networks for different purposes. I like Twitter for sharing design resources and bantering with my coworkers. On Instagram, I’ve connected with other moms with similar interests, so I tend to share more pictures of my daughter there. Don’t forget to take advantage of built-in filters to tailor your posts. Let’s say that Grandma just joined Facebook and has an insatiable appetite for hearing about how little Alexis is (most likely) a genius. Spare the rest of your friends by creating a Facebook friends list that includes only the most tolerant family members. You’ll undoubtedly want to use Pinterest to plan the nursery décor or next year’s party theme, but try to keep your boards organized into kid-friendly and kid-free so your fans can decide which boards they’d like to follow.
4. Don’t Forget Your Childless Friends
Your friends have not changed, you have. They still have the same boss to complain about, they still take vacation photos to share with you, and they still want you to ask how they’re doing. I’ve also heard that they don’t want to be pressured into having kids of their own. So stop recruiting for #teammom and start dishing on last night’s #teenmom.
5. Find Other Proud Mamas
I’m not suggesting for a second that you should hide your Stroller Brigade status from the Internet. I get that it’s a life-altering, yet terrifying responsibility and that comparing stories with other moms can alleviate some of those fears. One of my favorite places to lurk is the BabyCenter Community forum. This is where you can really get into the nitty gritty of parenting and discuss all those topics you’ve been stressing about, like, how many ounces of sweet potatoes is too many for your 9-month-old. (Hint: when they start turning Vital orange).
As I’ve made my journey into motherhood, I’ve watched some of my favorite design bloggers make the same transition and found great new reads along the way. Here are a few designers & moms to check out while you enjoy your breakfast in bed this Sunday:
Happy Mother’s Day!