Christmas jumpers you’ll want to wear year-round, not just for one night
Christmas jumpers you’ll want to wear year-round, not just for one night

Sarah Finnan

WIN a Christmas party hamper from BIC
WIN a Christmas party hamper from BIC

IMAGE

An event stylist’s guide to the books she pulls out for festive entertaining inspiration
An event stylist’s guide to the books she pulls out for festive entertaining inspiration

Lauren Heskin

IMAGE staffers on the essentials that make their Christmas
IMAGE staffers on the essentials that make their Christmas

Holly O'Neill

December 07: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
December 07: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds

Sarah Finnan

Social Pictures: Glitz and glamour from the second Black and Irish Gala Awards
Social Pictures: Glitz and glamour from the second Black and Irish Gala Awards

Sarah Gill

How to approach the Santa reveal for suspicious minds (without losing the Christmas magic)
How to approach the Santa reveal for suspicious minds (without losing the Christmas magic)

Amanda Cassidy

Irish gifts under €30 for everyone on your list
Irish gifts under €30 for everyone on your list

Holly O'Neill

Ask the Doctor: ‘The thought of surgery under general anaesthetic terrifies me — How safe are they?’
Ask the Doctor: ‘The thought of surgery under general anaesthetic terrifies me — How safe...

Sarah Gill

The delicate balance of buying a Christmas gift for your mother-in-law
The delicate balance of buying a Christmas gift for your mother-in-law

IMAGE

Image / Editorial

Can Facebook Make You a Better Mum?


By IMAGE
17th Apr 2015
Can Facebook Make You a Better Mum?

Mother with child

About two months before my daughter was born, I upgraded my smartphone. My previous brick was on its last legs and I wanted to have a decent camera handy in case she came out particularly cute (which she did, so it was all worthwhile). I had no idea that it was about to become one of my most vital parenting tools.

Not many people talk about how lonely and isolating it is to spend all day alone with a tiny baby. Once the excitement passes, and the visitors fade away, it was just me and her, for hours on end. And although adorable, babies don’t talk back. My phone became a lifeline. I used the Babycenter app to educate myself on all the basics and Twitter kept me entertained and connected to the wider world, especially during those long night feeds when I sat quietly in the dark for hours. But above all, it was Facebook that became my best friend.

Babies are the marmite of social media. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to post every milestone online because, well, apart from our immediate family, NO1CURR. And not many of my friends have kids, although I genuinely love seeing pics from the ones who do. Maybe I’m in the minority, because a new mum in Australia made the news this week when she received a salty anonymous letter from a group of her Facebook pals, so tired of her ?running commentary? and baby posts, that they put their feelings on paper. ?We can’t wait for you to get back to work – maybe you won’t have time to be on Facebook quite so much,? they wrote. Obviously too incensed (or dim) to locate the Unfollow button.

For me, it was Facebook’s Groups feature that changed the game; it allowed me to find my tribe. There are groups, local and global, dedicated to every area of parenting from breastfeeding to car seat safety, sleep tips to couponing. Whenever I found myself alone and worried about something, often in the wee hours, my phone brought a whole support group straight to me. Whether it was wondering if you can still nurse when your nipples are so shredded they’re actually bleeding (you can) to the best laundry detergent for my cloth nappies (Persil is fine), no question went unanswered, no cry for help unheard. Being a new mum is scary, but less so when you can lean on women who’ve been there, done that, and recently too. The empathy and wealth of information available is just invaluable.

Most parenting groups are closed, and you’ll have to send a request to join, but admission is virtually guaranteed. Once you’re in, double-check to ensure what you post isn’t visible on your own wall. And even if you have no real life friends in the group, remember that Ireland is a small place so think twice before sharing sensitive information. Once you join the conversation, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.

By Sarah Breen