Friday, June 22, 2012

Stressed New Mom? Try Blogging

We all know that new moms have tons and tons of free time, right? (hey folks, my tongue is firmly in cheek!) Okay, new moms may feel stressed and overwhelmed, particularly as our society has become more fragmented, with families and friends often miles away, if not in another country altogether. The sense of community that used to help so many new moms over the generations may not be there anymore, but there is a new type of community that may be able to take its place. It's found on the Internet and it is, believe it or not, blogging.

Email and Skyping with friends and family is a great way to stay in touch, but blogging - the modern form of journaling - can be an effective way to get out thoughts and feelings, and promote discussion among others, contributing to that sense of community.

This topic was interesting enough to catch the eye of researchers from Brigham Young University who surveyed 157 new mothers about their media use and their well-being. After assessing the survey responses, the researchers found that there was a significant correlation between a strong connection to family and friends, and increased feelings of social support. When this happened, there was higher marital satisfaction and less parenting stress reported. Interestingly, using social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc) was neither helpful or not helpful.

The moms were asked to rate their feelings on scales that corresponded to the various items, which included how much time was spent on different activities, such as sleeping, childcare, housework, and computer usage. The totalled amounts showed that women spent the most of time on childcare (9 hours per day) and sleep (7 hours per day) and the third most time-consuming activity? That was using the Internet, which weighed in at about 3 hours per day.

According to a press release describing the study findings, "The researchers found that 61 percent of the mothers surveyed wrote their own blogs and 76 percent read blogs. Eight-nine percent of the mothers who wrote their own blogs did so to 'document personal experiences or share them with others,' and 86 percent wanted to stay in touch with family and friends through the blog."

What do you think? If you're a new mom, do you blog or participate in other blogs? If you're an older mom, do you wish you had this type of outlet when your children were younger?

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