08 Jul, 2011
Guest post: Social media for parents, by Lara Wellman
Posted by andrea tomkins in: Guest postings
We’re rounding out GUEST POST WEEK here at the Fishbowl with Lara Wellman, from, well, from all over the place. (You will see what I mean soon enough. She’s one busy lady. Thank you Lara!)
I have three kids under five, including a set of two year old twins. That means a number of things including:
- the last two years have been the most insane of my life
- my life is hectic and constantly kid oriented
- I need other parents to commiserate with who also have young children
- it isn’t easy for me to get up and go with three young kids
- I’m extraordinarily lucky and my kids are awesome
- social media has been my lifeline
Being online has meant that I have access to other parents day or night when I need advice, support, understanding and friends. There are lots of ways to connect into that world and I highly recommend it, especially to new moms who are home for that year of maternity leave. Here are a few suggestions (in order of importance).
This is where I first connected to other moms and it’s a great place to go to read about how other parents are coping, to feel understood, and the find ideas for things to do.
I co-founded a blog called Kids in the Capital here in Ottawa with another Ottawa blogger (Capital Mom) so that parents would have a place to come together specifically to share ideas on what works. Check it out and then go and check out all of the blogs of the people who contribute. If you’re wanting to jump into the world of blogging you can guest post for Kids in the Capital or start your own!
Clearly you all know how great blogs are though - you’re on one of the best Ottawa/parenting ones right now! :)
Twitter is a place where there is always someone to talk to. For parenting in particular it is a place to go to find other parents who will understand where you’re coming from -day or NIGHT.
I found my tribe on Twitter, but I will say up front it isn’t always the easiest place to jump in to right off the bat. I’ve written a series of tutorials on Kids in the Capital about twitter and if you join come and find me (@larawellman) and of course @missfish. We’ll be happy to make you feel welcome!
Tumblr is a great way for people to blog when they aren’t sure that they have a lot to say (here’s a more detailed post I wrote about it). You can easily post a photo from your phone, a cute video or your kids, photos to share the grandparents or a funny thing the kids said without feeling committed to writing a full out blog. You can also follow other people’s tumblr pages or publish your tumblr posts to your Facebook or Twitter.
Instagram is an iPhone app so I’m afraid if you don’t have an iPhone you’re out of luck on this one. This app allows you to take fun photos and apply funky filters to them. You can then share them with your Instagram friends (really, there are so many places to have friends now!) and/or share your photos to your Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr pages. It’s an easy way to take fun photos of the kids no matter where you are without needing a separate camera. I personally find the photos I take with Instagram look better than the ones I take with the regular camera setting on my phone. (I wrote a longer post about it on Kids in the Capital.)
Pinterest is just eye candy really. It’s a place where you can virtually “pin” things you see on the internet that you like. When I first heard about it I didn’t think it would be something I would be interested in. And then I tried it…
Because you can see other people’s pins it is a great place to find all kinds of ideas. If you’re looking for fun ideas for things the kids will eat, for a dinner party, to decorate the kids’ rooms, the playroom, for craft ideas, for well… anything. It can be a time killer but it’s a great place to find great ideas. Like with all these new social media platforms you can connect with your friends so you can see each other’s pins. Who needs to get together in real life anymore?! :)
Pinterest is by invitation only right now but everyone who is on Pinterest gets lots of daily invites. If you’d like to be invited leave a comment and I’d be happy to invite you!
The real world
The very best part of social media as a parent for me has been not only the online connections I’ve grown, but the real life friends I’ve made. We have playdates, we have mom nights out, we put together conferences! It’s an amazing place so come and join us - it’s fun!
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