Mommy’s Corner is a weekly series exploring our journey in becoming parents, our love for our ShuGar baby, and general topics related to mommyhood.
Mommy world is a funny place – you can find your squad of mommies and discover immense support on all sorts of parenting-related questions or you can find yourself caught up in a whirlwind of judgement and gossip-mongering like no other. I’ve experienced both – more the former than the later. Add Facebook to this mix and you’ve got a whole other set of behaviors and codes you should avoid if you want to make/keep any mommy friends. Of course, you can choose to ignore these suggestions (confession: I haven’t always taken my own advice), but if you want to be drama-free you might want to steer away from creating or getting involved in the following Facebook mommy group posts:
1. The “Should I Vaccinate” Post
This type of post is very “2016” because many more households are avoiding vaccinations because of concerns of toxicity and adverse effects to chemicals found in the vaccines. I am so-not about to open this can of worms on this blog, nor will I ever do so in a Facebook mommy group. As soon as you post this type of question, mommies from all over the globe will respond reprimanding you for thinking such a thing or you will hear from others who applaud you for even considering this type of question. Sooner than you think, it can get very personal and touchy and, frankly, downright rude. This type of post can guarantee the admin of the group will eventually close this thread.
2. The “Is This Your Nanny” Post
In this day and age, many mommies work outside the home, whether by choice or necessity. Because of this, nannies abound in many households because there is no other choice for some mommies. You can find a spectrum of quality when in comes to nannies and every parent has to do her due diligence to find the perfect nanny for her baby.
Read the daily posts of any random Facebook mommy group and you will inevitably find a post with a picture attached asking the group if this particular individual is your nanny. The motivation, regardless if explicitly stated or not, is that this Facebook mommy is serving as a nanny watchdog to some undesirable behavior, and sometime even abuse, of a baby in a public place. I empathize with this post as I would definitely want to know if my baby was being mistreated. However, what gets mommies all riled up, many times, is the assumption that the caretaker is the actual nanny versus the parent. We live in a world (thankfully) that accepts mixed marriages and adoptions as normal (I myself married outside my ethnic group). Yet, this can cause the outside world to think your own child isn’t actually yours because of the color of your skin compared to that of your baby. If you want to receive over 100+ comments on your post, just go ahead and ask this question. Note, the comments may not always be positive and you may offend some mommies who are in an interracial marriage or who have adopted their children.
3. The “Screen Time is Bad” Post
I confess: I made this mistake in the first months of me becoming a mommy. I posted an article, which I thought was reputable, claiming that screen time (TV, ipads, computers, cell phones) was extremely harmful to the development of a young child’s brain. Wowza! I had no idea that a bunch of mommies would critique me for sharing what they felt was such a slanted, not-evidence-based enough article on how they should be raising their kids. I later understood that screen time is a very personal parenting decision; many parents do it for a variety of reasons. One of the main motivators and one that I myself can relate to is needing a break from the daily struggles of parenting. Screen time can give you those fleeting 10 minutes you need to brush your teeth and have your coffee hot for a change. Regardless of the reason for using screen time, most mommies hate when other mommies get on their high horse and act all high and mighty. I stand corrected on this one and have never shared anything related to this topic subsequently.
4. The “My Husband is an @s#hole” Post
I secretly enjoy reading these posts, although I find them problematic. I am sucker for juicy details! Having a baby is tough on a marriage. I get it. I am living it now. However, airing out your dirty laundry in a Facebook group with a bunch of strangers is downright tacky. I empathize with needing to vent and find support, but it just comes off as putting your partner on blast when he is not there to defend himself. Plus, you never know if one of your partner’s friends is in this same group and will report what you said to him. Why take the chance? That said, my favorite of these type of posts is how some mommies take vengeance on their cheating husbands! To all the men out there: Beware of a mommy’s scorn!
5. The “Is This a Healthy Meal” Post
There are a bunch of Facebook mommy groups whose focus is purely about feeding your babies and everything else that comes with that, from the best sippy cups to dinners you can whip up for your family under 30 minutes. As a mother to an almost two-year old, the whole feeding thing is one of the daily stressors I have to deal with. It is absolutely frustrating when you’ve slayed in the kitchen for hours to cook him the perfect meal and all he does is take one look at it and says, “Done!” without even tasting it! Ugh.
Preparing for your meals requires you to have a tough skin – posting in a Facebook Mommy group about your meal plan leaves a wide range of criticism directed at your parenting choices. Maybe you thought you did a great job and were posting for moral support. Imagine a mommy then scolding you for not choosing organic carrots or for only giving your baby almond milk. It can lead to self-doubts and a whole other set of insecurities that you really don’t need to welcome in your life. Feeding a picky eater is enough of a challenge – just own your parenting choices and rest assured that you are trying your best at the hardest and most rewarding job in the world.
6. The “Look How Cute My Naked Child Is” Post
I feel bad for our children – before they can even own a smart phone and open a Facebook account, they’ve already had a social media presence without their consent for at least a decade if not more. Again, this is another touchy subject that I don’t care to debate in this forum, but I did want to warn about posting naked pictures of your child, whether s/he is a newborn or a 5-year old. Many mommies will be incredibly offended for you if you expose your child, even if it is just to show how proud you are that she went potty for first time on her own. Some mommies will bring up the possibility of pedophiles potentially being able to use this iamge; other mommies simply do not want to see a naked child in their newsfeed. I tend to err on the side of more privacy for ShuGar Boy as much as I can in this digital age. Regardless of your stance, you may just want to keep those adorable naked photos on your phone for a variety of reasons.
There are many other codes of conduct I could warn you about, like “To circumcise or not t0 circumcise posts” or the controversial post about who actually works harder “Stay at home mamas vs. work away from home mamas” or my personal TMI one “I need medical advice about this rash on my baby’s ____ pictured here,” but these are the Top 6 I feel can lead you to a whole lot of trouble. Of course, rules are meant to be broken so go right away and do “you,” mommy! Just remember – you’ve been warned!
One final note: I am a member of a Mommy Facebook group with babies who were born in the same month as ShuGar Boy. These mommies in this group are incredible – they have provided me with so much invaluable support ranging from what toys are age-appropriate to my struggles with my weight loss. It is so reassuring to know that a mother from Wisconsin is also finding the same challenges as me. I am so grateful to belong to this Facebook mommy group. I advise all mommies to be selective on which groups you are a member of and be grateful when you find your Facebook Mommy Squad.
What types of posts have you noticed create drama in Facebook mommy groups? Are there any uplifting and supportive mommy groups you recommend on Facebook?