Thursday, April 16, 2009

Every Mom’s Social Networking Utility

Most of us live through our twenties surrounded by friends and family. Many of us even choose this time of our lives to settle into city centers where we brush elbows with strangers each and every day. As we grow, we choose our truest friends to keep in touch with, we often move away from family, and we select a mate to share the rest of our lives. Then, as the song goes, comes a baby in a baby carriage. From one of many in the crowd to isolation with an infant, and without the euphemistic instruction manual.
Humans are social animals defined by civilizations. We thrive in social situations and falter when left alone. Luckily, we are raising children in a highly digitized age when advice and companionship is never more than a few clicks of the keyboard away. Not all social networking utilities are created equal though. Certain tools available lend themselves better to moms in particular situations:

  1. For Stay at Home Moms: Facebook is a great way to share information about yourself and your family with a group of “friends”. Because your profile is not public, moms can feel safe to share information about themselves and pictures of their family. Friends can leave comments, chat, or send directed messages to one another.
  2. For Work at Home Moms: Twitter provides a venue to share a constant stream of information and ideas. Twitter is great for moms with small business and blogs who are trying to create a brand image. Twitter is also a great networking forum to contact potential clients and like-minded businesses.
  3. For Moms Working outside the Home: LinkedIn provides a professional forum to stay connected and informed about your industry and your contacts. LinkedIn is also used by recruiters and job seekers. Who isn’t always looking for a better opportunity?

Motherhood doesn’t need to be isolating. Do you use social networking for any particular purpose? What do you like about the tool that you’ve chosen?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shortcuts for Busy Moms

As a busy working mom, I have developed some…behaviors that may seem a little obsessive compulsive to some. I would rather call them my daily coping mechanisms though. Quick shortcuts, these coping mechanisms help to ease my efforts each day as I juggle home, work, and family responsibilities.

  1. When loading the dishwasher, I designate each compartment for a particular type of silverware. This makes unloading easier as an entire handful of silverware can go directly into the silverware drawer already separated.
  2. My work clothes are hung in my closet all facing the same direction and organized according to length of their sleeve or skirt. This makes it easier for me to assess my wardrobe options each morning according to the weather forecast.
  3. I charge my cell phone every night on the same charger whether it needs it or not. Without this routine I would be left searching for my cell phone each morning and inevitably stranded someplace with a dead battery.

Crazy – maybe. But these easy shortcuts leave me feeling a bit more organized and a bit more accomplished as I move through my daily routine.
What coping mechanisms or shortcuts do you have to manage the day to day tasks of a working mom?

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State College, PA