Facebook gets a lot of bad rap. It’s a time sucker, they say, and screen time is no substitute for face time. “Liking” a status doesn’t mean we have talked. Social media is a poor substitute for social life, yadda yadda.
I feel the danger of Facebook. I know it is easier to sometimes watch my screen refresh than to watch my kids build towers. Handsfree Mama is quick to point out how social media is making me a worse Mom.
But on most days, with a little responsibility and care taken not to spend too much time on there, I think I’m a better Mom because I’m on Facebook. Not because of Facebook per se, but because online I belong to a community of encouraging, funny, wise friends – who commiserate, advise, cheer and laugh me through this journey.
I spend most of my day in the presence of three small kids, with no adults around. Facebook gives me another adult to share moments of eye-rolling hilarity:
See those ‘likes’ and ‘comments’? They made this stay-at-home mama feel she was in the company of friends. I enjoyed my daughters’ wisecrack more for having laughed with others.
On the days when I fail my attempts to scale Laundry Mountain, Facebook allows me to relish the silliness of my vocation:
On days when we’re quarantined by strep throat and I’m at my wits’s end, Facebook funnels the voice of my resourceful Pinteresty friends right into my kitchen, brimming with great ideas and encouraging words:
My FB community saved that day. And the day after it. And the day after that: with creative ideas and prayers for health and words of encouragement – they send reinforcements of the very best kind.
Facebook has been a lifeline to stay in touch with people I love. It allows me to share proud mommy moments with my family abroad. It has been the means for finding last minute baby-sitters, new homes for less-loved toys and clothes, a reference for a new pediatrician.
In a world where I seldom get to talk to friends for long enough to find out what they’re reading and thinking, Facebook is a medium where friends post articles that keep me afloat as a Mommy: things that remind me we’re not alone, pieces with tips on colicky babies, posts that remind me that breastfeeding needs to be encouraged.
In an insular world where the immediate needs of my children often eclipse the urgent needs of justice, broader-minded friends on FB post links to articles that remind me to pray, to think, to give, to show mercy.
I believe I am a better Mommy because of the community of wise and wonderful people whose presence online is a representation of their presence in my life. Their thoughts, links, comments and prayers shape and encourage me in the long days of parenting.
Being a Mom can be lonely work. I sometimes need to be heard. I sometimes need to listen. Facebook brings a listening ear and words of perspective, council, reflection and humor from every corner of my world right into my living room – and I’m thankful for the “village”. We help each other keep things in perspective.
A wise man once said that there was a time for every activity under heaven. A time to gather sticks, and a time to scatter them. A time to mourn and to dance.
I think when it comes to Mommying, for me there’s a time for both: a time to switch off the screens and look my children in the eye and snuggle and read books and play baseball. But there’s also time for that community of friends whose company and counsel is virtually indispensible. And yes, pun intended.
Three cheers for the sisterhood.
Three cheers for sharing life.
And three cheers for Facebook, if you ask me.
This post is day 25 of my 31 Days of Belonging writing challenge – another crazy community of bloggers I electively BELONG to For a complete list of posts (with my favorites marked), click here.