Connecting with other parents online

Being a mum is a challenge, particularly with the array of conflicting parenting rules that can leave mums questioning whether they’re doing it all right. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as a new mother, or as a mum of more than one child. Mental health and well-being suffers simultaneously, as mothers continue to feel more alone at home, sometimes without support.

It’s nice to discover that more mums are embracing the internet though to connect with other parents who are similarly experiencing the same rollercoaster of emotions. Not only can you chat to other mums or dads about the challenges of parenthood, but you can also create meeting groups to stay social – in, or outside of the house.

Facebook is a useful tool to stay in contact with other mums- but there’s not a heap of groups available to join, unless you specifically know the admin. gatherX is a good choice for mums who want to connect with other like-minded people, or just for a chat about what motherhood entails. The groups that discuss things like breastfeeding in public, or mental health issues after giving birth, allow mothers or pregnant women to discuss something they’re personally experiencing. It’s also an excuse to vent if they’re feeling flustered or overwhelmed by the intensity that motherhood can bring.

While chatting to a few ladies in the group about breastfeeding in public, it was awesome to see so many women defend something that’s been criticized for a long time now. We talked about the pros of breastfeeding in public and why it shouldn’t be an issue as it’s only natural. It was refreshing to talk about these things with parents, as Facebook discussions can get heated, and many times unwelcome comments from strangers can make things awkward.

Another great thing about creating groups like this is because it also invites the opposite sex to read more about motherhood directly – helping them to understand what they’re going through. This is beneficial to both the male and female users of the group, as personal relationships can grow and develop at the same time.

A few other things I think that mums can benefit from –

  • Hear other people’s stories with their pregnancy
  • Discuss health concerns that arise during pregnancy
  • Build on their social skills
  • Make long term friends with other mums
  • Eliminate feelings of isolation and loneliess

After talking about these hot topics, I moved onto another group about ADHD, which discussed whether it’s real or fabricated. A few mums described their child’s ADHD and explained how it works, which I think opens dialogue about the condition – while allowing parents to share their concerns with others who also have kids with ADHD or know of someone who does.

As a parent, it can feel like a lonely road. But luckily there are ways to connect with others around the world, even if it’s just for a simple conversation.