As a new parent I can confirm that a newborn baby basically ends your adult social life, at least for a while, unless you’re one of the crazy people who insists that they are still going to do everything they did before they procreated (I’m looking at you, marathon moms pushing strollers on the 10K).
However it doesn’t have to be a totally socially isolating experience: that’s the idea behind Parenthoods, a new mobile social network launched by Y Combinator, which allows users to find other parents at a similar child-rearing stage in their immediate locale (get it, Parent-hoods?).
While childless yuppies tend to be totes intolerant of tots -- “OMG who brings a kid to a public park? Seriously” -- presumably there will be less social friction between parents with kids of roughly the same age. Maybe. And even if you’re too tired or vomit-covered to socialize face-to-face, it’s still a good forum for asking advice, sharing tips, buying and selling clothes, toys, and other baby-related products, and generally commiserating.
TechCrunch reports that the company was founded by two women (which is itself something of an oddity in painfully male Silicon Valley): Siobhan Quinn, formerly of Foursquare and Google, and Jeni Axline, formerly of Say Media. Axline tells TechCrunch the app was inspired by her own encounter with parenthood: “Being home alone all day, you kind of want to pull your hair out.” Yep.
In addition to the usual social mode, Parenthoods cleverly offers an anonymous mode. Thus parents who have an embarrassing “stupid” question -- the sort you would never be caught dead asking on, say, a mommy blog where everyone is ready to pounce on you and judge judge judge your horrible mothering/fathering skills -- you can ask it safely, and anonymously, on Parenthoods. People might still judge you, but at least they don’t know who you are, making it less likely you’ll get a visit from Child Protective Services for feeding your offspring gluten or whatever.