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How Facebook Helps Me Stress Less as a Parent

facebook_logo“My baby WILL NOT sleep, I’m exhausted.”

“Seriously, does my kid think I’m the fricken’ maid?”

“What? ANOTHER snow day? My kids are driving me crazy!”

Calgon take me away …”

These may not be exact quotes from my Facebook feed but I have seen variations on these themes over and over again throughout the years. Facebook has become a place to not just share potty-training accomplishments and sweet drawings from your preschooler, but also a place to vent and commiserate with those most likely to understand. And this, this is a good thing.

Psychcentral.com notes that, “new research on stress coping mechanisms suggests it is beneficial to share your feelings with someone who is having a similar emotional reaction to the same scenario.” As parents in these modern days, we are lucky to have a community at the ready. We often have the same feelings about the same situations — be it big or small — and while we may not get to spend as much offline time as we’d like with other parents, we do have 24-hour access to our network of peers via social media.

This particular study that Psychcentral highlights focuses on stress in the workplace. “For instance, when you’re putting together an important presentation or working on a high-stakes project, these are situations that can be threatening, and you may experience heightened stress,” says Sarah Townsend, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study. “But talking with a colleague who shares your emotional state can help decrease this stress.”

But this is not just work-related, as these examples can be applied to us at-home moms as well. When I’m having “one of those days,” venting to a fellow parent can be not just cathartic, but reassuring. I am not one big “mom fail” for forgetting to pack my daughter’s lunch … again. My child’s mind won’t turn to mush from watching TV all day; and I am not the worst parent in the world for not buying my daughter another American Girl doll. Knowing that other parents are wrestling with these same (or similar) issues makes everything feel like it’s going to be alright.

It does take a village, after all. And not just offline, but online as well.

Do you find that you are less stressed by bonding with other parents online?

 

Photo Source: Facebook

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