There are a ridiculous number of apps for parents out there and let's be honest, a lot of them suck. A quick search in the App Store for parents/newborns/children brings up more than 10,000 choices! Who on earth has time to figure out which ones are worth downloading, especially if they aren't free? I am super picky about what goes on my phone, so trust me when I saw you should add Parenthoods to your mobile mix right away!
When I heard about Parenthoods, a new app created by two San Francisco women, I downloaded it and was hooked almost instantly. Parenthoods, part of the 2014 Summer 2014 Y Combinator class, is a social network for parents. Super simple and very effective. One of my tech pet peeves is when an app tries to do too many things and ends up failing at some or all of them. Parenthoods wisely avoids this trap—there's the feed, a newly added event listing, and notifications when people respond to your posts or comment on those you've also chimed in on. There's no learning curve here, which I appreciate so much as a parent with a million other things on my mind.
What you'll find is a thriving community of area parents talking about the same struggles and joys as everyone else. Parenthoods has a simple interface that makes it easy to join in on conversations already happening or start new ones—once logged in users see posts and comment or add a new post and change the subject entirely. Because the app started here the great majority of users are in SF, so its great to talk to other parents who know just what it means to complain about rude people on MUNI.
I enjoy the idea of having a space separate from the other social networks like Facebook and Twitter to talk JUST to other mamas and papas. While all my Facebook friends won't care, the folks on Parenthoods appreciate hearing the best times to visit the San Francisco Zoo to avoid crowds at the playground (its weekday afternoons). And there is plenty of general parenting knowledge shared, so even if you don't live in the area you can absolutely still benefit. If you're moving to San Francisco its a great way to get a glimpse of life with kids here.
Spending so much time with Mia makes me long for adult conversation, and while this isn't in person, having a place to share a quick thought/vent/suggestion with like-minded grownups is super important, and Parenthoods provides that. If you're really cranky a recent update added anonymous posting in case you need to get something off your chest secretly. Founders Jeni and Siobhan are working to expand the app to other areas, and we locals are lucky to have access to such a great free app right now!