By Katerina Manoff
For better or for worse, Facebook is many a stressed-out mommy's escape. We log on during naptime or a walk in the park, while breastfeeding or waiting in the school pick-up line. Browsing Facebook as a mom looks very different from browsing Facebook pre-baby. Inevitably, when we become parents, our Facebook experience, much like every other aspect of our lives, morphs until it becomes almost unrecognizable. We meet and friend other moms, old classmates start having kids, and, before we know it, our news feed is filled with photos of babies and afternoon snack recipes. Here's a handy guide to the moms you'll encounter on your next Facebook break.
1. The MLM Hustler
Rodan & Fields. Jamberry. Usborne Books. Your Facebook friend has thrown her hat into the multilevel marketing ring, and she wants to shout it from the rooftops...and, just maybe, get you to buy a few products or sign up to join her consultant team. These days, using personal social media accounts for promotion is a standard MLM technique, and consultants often post ads daily, or even multiple times a day. You don't mind it...until you get to the 232nd cheery post about how amazing fill-in-the-blank product is, lose your patience, and block every MLM vendor in your friend list.
2. The #Blessed Mom
Her kids are smiling and well-behaved and can usually be found cavorting adorably in matching outfits. Her husband is handsome and involved. Her house is clean and her home-cooked meals look like something out of The Food Network. If she works, she'll be sure to share photos of her in a power suit rocking her career. Each of her captions and status updates is optimistic and cheery. #Blessed is her favorite hashtag. Sometimes you dream of being her; sometimes, you want to smack her.
3. The Debbie Downer
Why is Facebook such a place of extremes? One minute, you're rolling your eyes at internet perfection, and the next, you're cringing at an emotional tale of woe with a side of TMI. This mom can often be found typing up lengthy, punctuation-optional rants about rude strangers, ridiculous lines at the grocery stores, or making vague and bitter comments like "I guess now I know who my real friends are."
4. The Nonstop Poster
This morning, her baby ate some Cheerios. Later in the day, they stopped by the playground, then met up with a friend, and finally, ran to Target for some errands. How do you know all this? She's posted photos of each mundane moment, of course--with filters, emojis and careful captions to boot. Some days your newsfeed seems to consist of nothing but her posts. You have to wonder how she finds time to actually get things done in between her careful documentation of each day.
5. The Content Curator
This mom occasionally posts about her own life, but her Facebook activity mainly consists of a steady flow of viral content--videos, best-of lists, quizzes, memes and recipes. You enjoy her animated gif of those adorable quintuplets and the link to toddler travel tips...but you probably could have survived without knowing which Disney princess she was in a past life.
6. The Social Activist
This mom's Facebook feed is her own personal soapbox, from which she wages a nonstop one-woman crusade for or against her controversial issues of choice. Some social activists' opinions are perfectly rational; others are more likely to quote a pseudo-doctor who thinks chocolate cures cancer. Regardless, after one too many of her posts, you find yourself desperately scrolling down to look for some nice, noncontroversial baby pictures.
7. The International Mom of Mystery
Her profile picture is several years old, and timeline is bare. If you've just met and you were hoping to use Facebook to figure out if you two will click, you're out of luck. If you've known her for a while, you're used to getting all of her life updates via text or in person. In fact, when she actually makes a social media post, you have to suppress the urge to call her up and ask whether her account's been hacked. Why does she even bother with Facebook? Simple: how else would she keep up with everyone else's news?
8. The Mom Who Isn't on Facebook
Okay, so you won't actually see this mom on your newsfeed. This rare mommy species has forsworn Facebook for reasons philosophical or technological. You admire her resolve and independent spirit, but get slightly annoyed when she's constantly texting you to get Facebook event details or asking questions that have been answered in detail in the local mommy Facebook group.
9. The Facebook Hero
This mom's feed is a highlight of your Facebook breaks. She posts regularly but not too often, sharing high points and the occasional cute everyday moment. Her posts are mostly positive, with a dose of reality thrown in here and there when a child gets sick or a busy day spins out of control. Once in a while, she shares a video or article, which you nearly always click on because they're interesting and relevant. She has mastered the art of Facebook. Now if only all of your friends could follow suit!
Image credit: Fotolia/dglimages
This piece was originally published by Katerina Manoff on Mommy Nearest. Katerina Manoff is an education consultant, mom, and recent transplant to Houston from NYC. She runs Houston New Moms, a free directory of Houston resources for parents of babies and toddlers. You can also follow her on Facebook.