30 Days of Thanks: Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg will be so pleased: today the thing I am most thankful for is

When Facebook came to my college (back in the day when it was only for college students), it took me a while to warm to the idea.  When they added Twitter-like statuses, it took months before I posted a single one, and then I updated it barely once per week (remember how they all used to start with “is…”?).  I’m not sure when or how it happened, but one day I realized that it might actually be worthwhile to update my status more regularly, and so I started to do so.  I’m still not into accepting strangers as friends, but I eventually started to lighten up a little and now accept friend requests from people I knew once but haven’t spoken to in years.  And though I fought it for a long time, letting the friend request fester in my inbox, I am now friends with my mom.  And my dad, and my step-dad and step-mom, and aunts and uncles, and in-laws and all kinds of other family members.

Thinking about the role Facebook has played in my life is interesting.  As a college student it was a way to waste time occasionally, but not much of anything else.  As a newly married person, moving half way across the country, it became a tool for staying in touch with friends.  As a new parent, before I really started blogging, it became a tool for sharing the joy that is Nora with our friends and family.Now that I blog, I don’t upload many pictures or videos to Facebook anymore, but I do still post little quips about our days and moments.  Last week, I was thankful for Facebook when I scrolled back through a year and a half of status updates to find dates for her baby book (that I hadn’t updated since moving here).  They were all there, thank goodness.

Even more than recording history, now that I am a work-at-home mom, I find Facebook to be an invaluable tool for maintaining my sanity through quick check-ins with my friends across the globe.  Suburban isolation of the stay-at-home mom  is pretty much a thing of the past in this virtual world of social media and blogs.  I always laugh when I read online comments from working moms about how they wouldn’t be able to stand not having adult conversation all day  if they were to stay at home — between play groups, the blogs I read and comment on, email, and Facebook I feel plenty socialized.  But Facebook does more than that: it provides an instant well of advice and information from people I trust, and that is why I’m thankful for Facebook today.

Yesterday, I was fretting over Nora’s slightly belated two-year check-up during which the doctor told me she needed to eat more food.  The doctor wasn’t overly concerned about, but did note, that the percentile Nora falls into for height and weight has been steadily deceasing.  At two years (nearly) two months, Nora weighs just over 23 lbs and is a smidgen above 32 inches tall, putting her in the 9th percentile.  She still has a growth curve going, but it’s very clearly her own and not really on track with the charts.  In all other ways, Nora is the picture of health and her language and mental development is perfect (if not better than perfect!).  To my eye, she doesn’t seem any smaller than any of her little friends on-island, so I wasn’t really concerned about the fact that she’s still wearing 18-24 month clothing at two.

The doctor, however, suggested that we need to be offering more snacks and trying to get her to drink 24oz of whole cow’s milk every day.I was sort of upset about this.  First, because I like to think I do an excellent job of feeding much more than adequate healthy meals, and, second, no one likes the implication that they are not offering food enough.  On top of that, I was a more than a little nervous about how, short of inserting a g-tube, I could possibly get more calories into her.  Nora is a good eater.  She mostly eats everything we offer (except onions, we let her pick those out).  And I always make a point of putting more food on her plate than I think she’ll eat.  As for cow’s milk, she only just accepted her first glass the day before her second birthday, after refusing for the year prior.  Now she’ll ask for it, usually with cinnamon sprinkled on top, but 4-8oz is pretty much the daily maximum she’s interested in.

I left the doctor’s office worried, mystified about how I could possibly get extra calories into Nora without resorting to junky carbs or sugar, and more than a little skeptical about her actual need for fattening up.  Despite that, I figured I would give it a go and discovered, yes, Nora will eat an afternoon snack…but then she will refuse dinner.  Not the direction I really want to go in.  So what’s a mama to do?

Enter Facebook.  Last night, I posted the whole long story on Facebook, asking what people thought.  Within five minutes, I had my first reply, from an early high school friend (and the mom of two girls) that I reconnected with on Facebook, who now lives on the west coast.  By the time I went to bed 90 minutes later, I had comments from nine more people.  This morning when I checked Facebook, there were more.  Comments came from all across the country, from people I knew in high school and college, coworkers from when I was still working full-time and moms I’ve met here on island.  Without Facebook, I never would have been able to pose a question as quickly and easily to as many people of as many different backgrounds as I did yesterday.  Facebook has completely changed the face of mom’s groups and I am so thankful for that.

On Facebook, I am able to draw from the knowledge of my amazing friends and family members, including child birth educators, doulas, lactation counselors, an OB-GYN, and moms and dads, all of whom I know and respect.   I’m not limited to my geographic area or by the price of a long distance phone call.  It’s amazing, and an invaluable parenting tool.

Today, I’m thankful for Facebook, I’m thankful for everyone who took time to calm my worries, and I’m thankful that after reading such wonderful, reassuring comments, I again know my gut instinct is right.Nora is doing just fine.  I’m not starving my child.  And, no, I don’t need to trick/cajole, her into drinking 24oz of milk every day.

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  1. Cow’s Milk And Our Family — Au Coeur

    […] long ago, you may remember, we had Nora’s two year check up and the doctor suggested we try to get her to drink 24oz […]

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