How I Became a Model Friend and Family Member
Updated: Jan 20, 2020
I’m secure enough to admit it: I will never be awarded the prize for “Most Dialed-In” or “Most Proactive” when it comes to my friendships and family relationships. Not because I don’t care – I really do love my people – but because I often get overwhelmed just managing my day-to-day life, business, relationship, and fur baby. This shortcoming of mine has become more and more glaring as the people in my social network have been getting married and having children. With everyone spread out across the country, I can barely keep track of the new last names many of my friends have recently taken on, much less the names of their kids. I can’t bear to ask another friend about their “little one” because I can’t think of the baby’s name on the spot.
It shouldn’t be this difficult. Shame on me, right? Maybe, but the birth of my cousin’s baby two months ago helped me understand that I’m probably not the only one struggling to keep tabs on my growing social network.
I knew the baby’s due date (only because I could easily refer to the text message my cousin sent me weeks prior) and I anxiously awaited notification during the days leading up to it. My cousin and his wife live back in my home state while I’m half a country away, so I assumed an email or text would be coming my way shortly after the immediate family was alerted. Days went by and no notification arrived, meanwhile I was increasingly worried that something bad had happened. Finally, I reached out to my parents only to learn that a family email had gone out, but I’d been forgotten. I was elated for the new, healthy addition to our family, but also hurt that I’d been overlooked. That is, until I realized I could empathize with my cousin: We have a big family, people live all over, and he did his best to alert his giant social network.
Not long after little Jack came into the world, the blessing that is Sproutly showed up on my radar. When I had a full tank of patience and several minutes to spare, I’d gotten adept at locating the names of my friends’ children by scouring Facebook or Instagram. But this was cumbersome and finding more detailed information (birthdays, due dates, genders, shower dates, ages) proved difficult. Once Sproutly entered the scene with those exact pieces of information available with three taps of my phone, staying connected and involved became infinitely easier. At a work event, I stealthily and rapidly found the name of my colleague’s three-month-old in the time it took for her to greet another colleague who had entered our conversation. I’ve been able to stay on top of birthdays, for my friends, their partners, and their little ones. I even managed to buy gifts in time for all five (five!) of my close friends’ babies who turned one recently, thanks to alerts from Sproutly about the families I "favorited".
Now, my routine is to pull up Sproutly on the regular to make sure I’m always aware of what’s going on with my friends’ growing families. I send gifts on time, know kids’ names and ages when I see my friends at parties, and stay connected even with those who live far away. As a bonus, I’m excited about using a whole new dimension of Sproutly when it’s my turn to add to the next generation.