Friends keep asking me - why are you on twitter? what is it? what's the point? So here's my answer.
1. You can chat to mums all over the world in the middle of the night.
Sitting outside your child’s door willing them to sleep? Worrying about your kids coming home late? Feeding your baby in the dark? Whatever you’re doing, another mum on twitter will be doing the same, smartphone in hand.
Failing that, why not have a chat with wide-awake mums on the other side of the earth instead - at least they'll make sense.
To give you a flavour, some of my fave international twitter mums are @yummymummyclub and @phdinparenting in Canada, @seemummyjuggle in Pleasantville(!), @Rachelsrantings in Rio, @rosedeniz in Turkey, @womensweb in India, and @MummyinProvence in...
2. You can find support when being a mum gets hard.
A great example is #ppd and #ppdchat – searching for this hashtag or adding it to your tweets is a brilliant way to find other mums struggling with difficult feelings after birth.
You could try #twitterbabyclub to talk to other mums with babies. Or follow @MumpreneurUK for help juggling motherhood and business. Or just try a search for whatever challenge you’re facing, be it loss, feeding problems, autism, cystic fibrosis, anything you can think of – someone else will be going through the same experience and you will be able to find them on twitter.
3. When you haven’t slept, twitter mums will pass you a steaming cup of coffee.
4. You can be anonymous.
If you’re too shy or too tired, you can hide. It doesn’t matter if you are still in your dressing gown and you haven’t brushed your teeth.
You can stalk people and follow conversations and no one will know you’re a serial stalker until you are brave enough to join in – so, for example, you could just read tweets and blogs from other people talking about #ppd if you aren’t ready to share your own experience yet.
5. You can find the answer to almost any question you have about being a mum.
Instead of trawling through search engine lists of anonymous articles and websites, a quick tweet out for advice will bring you links and ideas from people you trust. Providing you with some much-needed help on that impossible journey to be a better mum.
6. You can give a stranger a hug.
Sometimes someone will share a sad moment on twitter and you can reach out. That feels important, and good. Alternatively, you can encourage other people to eat chocolate, alleviating your own chocolate guilt in 140 characters.
7. When you most need it, someone else will give you a hug or make you laugh.
When I’m feeling grumpy and exhausted and downright sick of being a mum, someone on twitter is guaranteed to make me laugh (I’m thinking of you @MilkChic @MinistryofMum @HannahLMSmith @emmavtate this week…)
8. You can find out what’s really going on in the world.
Mums care about more than our own front rooms (though the state of them can be quite entertaining). We want to know the truth so we can share it with our kids, and together help to make the world a better place.
Be it #Kony2012, #Syria or the #nhs, you can learn about the latest developments straight away, and see how you can help.
9. You can go to twitter parties. (How about ours on April 4th 8-9pm GMT?)
Twitter parties are an allotted time when lots of over-excited people can talk at once on twitter – for mums, it's a bit like that first time you go out without the kids. Dress up, dress down, drink or eat cake, it's your call. You don't need to pay for a babysitter or leave the house.
Naturally, we're over-excited to be hosting our very first twitter party on Wednesday April 4th 2012 from 8-9pm BST. We'd love you to join us to chat to other mums all over the world and win yourself a prize from @frugi, @picaloulou or @poppytreffry, three fabulous companies run by amazing mums in Cornwall.
The very luckiest amongst you will even win an award fashioned from plasticine and an old tuna can, made by me. If that isn’t a reason to join twitter, I don’t know what is.
10. You can become a twitter hippy.
The more you get into twitter, the more amazing inspiring mums you meet. (I'm thinking of you right now @sevencherubs and @kindovermatter). You discover that mums all over the world are facing the same questions. We are all struggling to make sense of our role. We are loving it. We are hating it. We are trying, and failing, and trying again. We are sharing our biggest fears and our greatest successes. We are laughing and we are crying. On this difficult, wonderful, exhausting, stimulating journey of motherhood, us mums are everywhere, and we are all in it together.
Which may be a bit twitter hippy, but it makes me twitter happy.
If you're already on twitter, I'm sure you know many other reasons why twitter is brilliant for mums (how about the crafting advice from people like @RedTedArt and politically influential networks like @mumsnet for starters...) Please do comment below and share your top twitter tips.
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