What Motherhood and Social Media Have in Common

What do social media and motherhood have in common?  I learned the hard way this year. You can never stop – not for a minute, not for day, and certainly not for more than a year.

On the motherhood front – I’m almost an empty nester.  That does not imply the end of motherhood.  It does imply the ongoing state of long-distance motherhood. The rule of thumb is if your child doesn’t call (or instant message, or email), good times are being had by all.  You may want to check in  just for giggles, but no news really is good news.

If your phone is ringing with tweets, messages, video chat requests, or even a call, something is awry.  It can be as small as the need for more vitamins, or as large as what to do in the midst of the ongoing bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh campus. This last one is all too real at the moment. More to come on this when we feel on safer ground.

On the social media front – I now have more blogs, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ accountsthan ever before.  To stay vibrant, they all need care and feeding.  I took almost two years off to attend to my real life, and they all went to hell and a hand basket.  Bringing them back up to health is not easy.  I brought in a professional.

When you’re a harried mother, they tell you to get a babysitter and go out for the night.  I did the same as a harried blogger.  I hired a social sitter (and will be happy to send along the recommendation) and went out to dinner with my husband.

Remembering passwords, user names, logins etc. is similar to trying to keep my children’s friends names straight.  It was easy enough in first grade (or when all I did was Facebook), but by high school it was increasingly difficult, and college is almost impossible. Without a face, how does one remember who’s who?

So, I’m recommitted to straightening out my digital life. I’ve found my real life is now too entwined with my digital life for me to ignore either. Finding time for myself now includes finding time for blogging, tweeting, Facebook posts and the list goes on. Pinterest, like all last born children of large families, suffers the most. I just can’t spend the time nurturing it. At least not until I get the older ones on more solid ground.

Meanwhile, the real kids are really OK. I’m proud to report that I was on LinkedIn and Pinterest first although both have now dabbled in tweets, blogs and are Facebook pros. As they say, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.