I must confess, I find social media sort of baffling. I don’t understand why people (myself included) spend time and energy crafting a not-quite-accurate persona for themselves and broadcasting it to the world multiple times a day in pursuit of “likes” and “shares,” comments and “retweets.” Moms, I think, are among the worst offenders. Our personas tend to be sort of saccharine versions of our actually gritty everyday lives. All smiling babies and grass glistening with dew. I’m such a good mom!! we all seem to be screaming at each other. It’s exhausting.
I try not to look at Facebook too much anymore (you can read my article about why not by clicking here). Or, at least, I’ve stopped trying to use it to connect with other moms. Which is too bad, really, since connecting with other moms (both in person and online) is such an important part of staying sane, which I’m mostly in favor of. Which is why I was so excited to learn about a new app called Mom.Life.
Mom.Life calls itself “the app for modern moms,” and hopes to help moms connect with each other without all the posturing, preening, and judgment. I downloaded it immediately. At first, though, I was fairly overwhelmed. The app offers a lot of different features and, at first glance, I couldn’t quite figure out which ones I wanted to use, or how to find posts from moms who were relevant to me. Luckily, I got the inside scoop.
Charong Chow is the head of community and partnerships at Mom.Life. I spoke to her about the app and all its many features. Mom.Life, Chow told me, is a place where “you can be authentic and real, you don’t have to pretend, you don’t have to have the perfect Instagram photo.” Sounds perfect! But how does it actually work?
Here’s the deal: upon completing an initial registration process, you are immediately contacted by a “customer success agent,” a real person who can help you get started. Next, you should go to the “newsfeed” where you can see posts from other Mom.Life members who are sharing their honest, real thoughts and questions about motherhood. Chow calls it “Facebook for moms.”
Additionally, the app features “channels” for specific topics such as emotional support, relationships, and health and fitness. Once moms have been using the app for a while, they can create a “favorites feed” that shows them posts from moms they follow within all the different channels in one place.
The app also features “Mombassadors,” experienced moms whose role is to offer support and advice. According to Chow, the Mombassadors help Mom.Life members find their “like-minded tribe” by leading support groups on topics such as potty training and exercise, and bringing together moms with similar philosophies.
Okay, so that’s the part that’s kind of like Facebook. But the app also has mini apps like feeding trackers, pregnancy trackers, and week-by-week baby development calendars that can be accessed without leaving Mom.Life. And moms can also access top parenting sites and blogs directly from the app. As Chow explains, it’s supposed to be a one-stop-shop for moms. Which is why I was so overwhelmed. There’s a ton of stuff going on in this app.
Once my anxiety over all the options was relieved a bit, I went back to the app to take another look. And, actually, now that I know what the app has to offer, it’s all very easy to find and navigate. And the best part: Mom.Life has a strict no “mom shaming” policy, with live moderators who monitor for rude, judgmental comments and posts.
It’s a little odd to scroll through a newsfeed full of photos and comments from people I don’t know at all. But kind of fascinating too. Since the app’s members are from all over the country and all walks of life, I don’t necessarily relate to all the posts and comments. But I’ve noticed that, a lot of the time, I relate much more to these kinds of posts about motherhood than I do to the ones about how wonderful everything is and hashtag bliss. And that’s saying something.
“This is a place where you’re not only revealing your thoughts about motherhood, you’re always talking about the real ups and downs and being authentic and asking questions and documenting this whole amazing journey,” says Chow. That’s something I can get behind.
What about you? Would you use this app? Tell us in the comments!