As a working mother of two going on three, I find myself relying more and more on technology and social media to research and purchase items for my family. Gone are the days of strolling through Target or Babies ‘R Us to pick the right laundry detergent or swing for my new baby. I now do more and more shopping online from my smartphone in the comfort of my living room. It’s not only more convenient than loading my kids into the car and spending the limited “free” time I have shopping, but I like looking at the reviews and feedback from other mothers online, as that seems far more valuable to me than relying on a store associate’s expertise.
I have a membership with Amazon Mom and purchase the majority of my diapers there, both for the convenience and the ability to buy larger boxes than I typically find in stores. I also use Amazon to research new products for my kids, like my toddler’s recent move to a booster seat. It seems that no matter what I am looking for there is always someone online who has researched and purchased the same product and was willing to share their experiences to make it easier for other moms to do the same.
When I do shop in stores I often use a bar code scanner app on my smartphone to determine if I can get the same product elsewhere for less money. It makes it easy to not only research prices and availability, but also to save products to a list in my phone for easy access in the future. I have traded in paper grocery lists for an electronic version on my phone that I always have with me. I can now avoid trying to maneuver the cart while prying my list and pen away from my infant, who always thinks they’ll make great teething toys.
There are lots of great phone apps out there for new moms. With my first pregnancy my husband and I looked forward to our weekly BabyCenter emails that tracked the progress of our developing baby and gave us tips on what we should be doing or may be feeling. Now I use the BabyCenter app that does the same thing. I love seeing the update each week. I tend to use apps like this a lot more now than with my first pregnancy, where I relied more on books—both because I don’t have the time to read a book nowadays and there are now so many new electronic resources at my fingertips.
The most important resource to me always has been and always will be other moms and moms-to-be who have gone through what I am going through. I look to their advice and product recommendations on Facebook, Amazon, and brands’ sites. My mom friends are always sharing the latest deal they got on LivingSocial or telling fellow moms about the right baby formula they finally found after testing five others. Luckily, today, there are a lot more avenues for sharing to help us fellow moms navigate the complex path of motherhood. After all, no one knows the joys and frustrations of being a mom like another mom!