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Parenting With Social Media

Elsie is our third child. She just turned 1, and I can't count how many times my husband and I have looked at each other over the past year and laughed because we have no idea what we're doing. Or so it seems to us. Elsie isn't even a tiny bit like either of her brothers. And we also hadn't done the baby gig for fours years before her arrival. It's amazing to me that we had forgotten how things go, but we had.

So it's possible my husband has been known to say, "I don't know, ask Twitter," and I've maybe said, "I'm going to ask Facebook."

My dad, Grandpa Bapa Mike, rolls his eyes when he hears us say these things, and then we all laugh. We're talking about Twitter and Facebook like they're people. But the thing is, many of the actual people behind Mr. Twitter and Mrs. Facebook are truly our friends, and they're happy to give us our forgotten information.

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Many of them are mothers and fathers with babies of all different ages, or they have better memories than ours. Almost every time, we've gotten our questions answered within moments, my iPhone chirping away with responses.

Times: They have changed. Bapa Mike can remember not even having a phone, and one day our kids will gasp and wonder how he survived. We live in a day when answers and help come easy, and as parents, we can find pretty much any and all information we need at our fingertips.

In our brand new parenting days when our first son was born, I wasn't on Twitter or Facebook. I called my friends and my sister when I had baby questions, and if they weren't home, I waited.

Sometimes I looked something up online, but not often. In many ways, things felt less urgent and more peaceful. But then again, I didn't get to vent often enough about how sleep-deprived and un-showered I was. A mother needs a lot of support and many sounding boards.

If I had gotten my sister or my friends on the phone as many times as I actually needed (or wanted) to, sooner or later they would have gotten very, very tired of me.

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Today, as a mother of three, eight years in, I (obviously) embrace the digital age not only because I need it, but because it is a reality of life right now.

And yet, I still seek face-to-face and phone time with the people I love because it matters to me. I can jump in with the masses, asking Mr. Twitter and Mrs. Facebook to answer our new baby questions anytime, and I blog all my truths about motherhood and life. In doing so, I find not only information, but friendships that buoy me in big and small ways every day. Then, when I get together with friends and family, we have some extras to talk about: Mr. and Mrs. Social Media.

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