I joined them originally because it was super-annoying to constantly read Facebook updates from my friends when all they talked about was their babies. Particularly eye-roll-inducing were the statuses about morning sickness or poop or naps or rashes.
When I became pregnant, I sought out several online groups for:
- support and ...
- a safe place to post about morning sickness or poop or naps or rashes, thereby ...
- keeping my regular Facebook feed free of the super-annoying baby statuses I had come to hate.
Then came the drama. The judging. The bullying. The she-said-this-about-you. The confessions. I spoke up once or twice on some threads, then started just scrolling along, trying to ignore the nonsense, and stick to honest questions about my baby.
But lately I've found myself wanting to catch up on the story lines, the drama, the moles, the shocking revelations and plot twists. I've decided that, despite having met a lot of really nice and helpful women, I just don't have time for negativity anymore. And I've got Netflix if I want to catch up on Melrose Place for a healthy dose of drama. (Does Netflix have MP? Is that a totally outdated reference?)
I don't have a therapist (yet), but I'm pretty sure if I did, s/he would tell me to leave the groups.
So with a swift click of a button, I am gone. If I am ever to get pregnant again (still TBD), I will not be joining a "Due in September" or whatever group.
Here are some bits of wisdom I've learned from my time in moms' groups:
|Focusing on positive moments like|
this one, rather than online drama --
however riveting that drama may be.
- Don't talk religion, politics, or vaccinations.
- There is always a troll.
- Whatever main group you join will eventually split up into several small ones, often many times over.
- If you say something about another momma -- even if said momma is not in the group or has blocked you -- it will get back to her.
- There are a lot of genuinely wonderful women in them.
- You don't need to stay in the groups to maintain contact with the nice ones
- For every adorable photo you post of your baby, someone will comment on how dirty your house is or how his socks don't match or how he's too young to be having cereal.
- Sometimes other people point out safety issues that you didn't know about and actually really appreciate.
- Sometimes they don't point them out so nicely.
and the biggest lesson, by far...
Just because you have babies the same age doesn't mean you actually have anything in common.
That said, I'm staying in the local Moms' groups.* I mean, I don't want to clutter your Facebook feed with poop statuses.
And wasn't the whole point of seeking out other moms to talk about motherhood and our babies? Time to focus on the wee boy a little more. Enjoy some cute pics, won't you?
*Speaking of local moms' Facebook groups, here is a terrific article about Shannon Stone. I owe a lot of my sanity to her and her work.