In the fall, we asked four Vancouver moms to debate the ins and outs of the cuddle vs. cry-it-out debate. In the summer, we asked another group of moms to weigh in on the bored vs. busy discussion. This month, we’re turning our attention to socializing. How do you make time for your friends, or meet new ones? Is it okay to bring your baby to a bar? Do you post photos of your kids on social media? How do you find community?
Michaela Garstin, owner and designer of www.annefrenchclothing.com and editor of The Squamish Chief, mom of one (2)
Alexandra T. Greenhill, physician CEO of www.myBestHelper.com, mom of three (13, 11 and 6)
Paulina Cameron, regional director BC and Yukon at Futurpreneur Canada and co-founder of www.ywib.ca, mom of one (8 months)
From left to right: Michaela, Alexandria, Paulina.
Struggling to find time to socialize? Is it okay to bring your baby to a bar?
Michaela: I had my daughter before any of my friends had children and often the only way I could socialize was by going to a busy, loud restaurant. She was fine! I didn’t take her to a bar at night but, let’s put it this way, she’s been to Las Vegas five times and she’s not even two years old yet.
Alexandra: We took our first born everywhere, except for bars. Loud music combined with dark and crowded venues are not a great place for a baby. But, then what do you do with two, and then three kids in tow? It becomes logistically challenging to bring all three along to most things, so we had to use sitters or find other parents to swap care with.
Paulina: Definitely bring a baby to a bar! We’ve loved having our little one join and the experience is much more fun and enriched with a baby to play with.
How do you find community as a mom? How do you find your ‘village,’ or make other mom friends?
Michaela: I work a lot and my only close friend who has a kid lives far away, so I usually connect with moms through Facebook. I’m part of several gentle parenting groups and it’s great to chat with moms who have a similar parenting style.
Alexandra: Without my mom villages (yes, plural), I wouldn’t survive! I find it useful and fun to be in touch with the moms of my kid’s friends and classmates. Then there is support I wouldn’t have if it were not for technology. The Facebook groups for doctor moms and business moms, and also the moms of the neighbourhoods we hang out in, these are networks of moms I don’t even know in person, yet I trust their advice, appreciate their virtual support and spend time just hanging around what feels like a virtual kitchen.
Paulina: I am lucky in that I have a few close friends that had babies around the same time. Local Facebook mama groups have been great for connecting with other moms in the area. Summer was wonderful because everyone from the neighbourhood would gather at the playground in the afternoons.
Do you post photos of your kids on social media? Do you have any self-imposed rules such as posting but not showing faces, not revealing their real names, etc.?
Michaela: I post photos of my daughter on Facebook and on my private Instagram account; but I try to not upload anything that could embarrass her in the future. I try to think—would I like it if my mom posted the same photo of me when I was growing up?
Paulina: We do, though my husband would probably be a lot stricter about this than I am. The perspective I try to guide my posts by are: to ask myself how would by babe feel reading it as a teenager.
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