Eighteen months ago I found out I was going to be a mother, somewhere between then and just before my son was born, nine months ago, I joined a mommy support group online. A friend of mine that I grew up with suggested that I do so. At first I was very hesitant because (unfortunately) I know how women can be. Anywho, I joined the group and silently watched for a few days until I realized how great this could be. I was learning things I didn’t know I had questions to!
This group was really wonderful, it was full of women that loved talking about babies, breastfeeding, life, etc., and best of all loved helping one another. The one thing that really drew me to the group was the diversity of the women. Some believed in vaccinations while others did not, some believed in co-sleeping while others thought it was a horrific idea. Some exclusively breast-fed while others couldn’t. One thing that all these women had in common was they supported one another.
The one thing they/we all had in common was, they/we are all mothers!
There was a very unfortunate turn in the group recently that turned me off so bad that it caused me to leave. These women that once supported one another now became bullies, not all of them, but most of them. If one women didn’t like the other woman’s post they formed a pack and started attacking. At least this is how I felt when I read some of the posts and responses.
In one instance, I posted a question re: nine month sleep regression and tips and tricks to help my baby sleep better at night. One woman went as far as to tell me that I don’t feed my child enough and that not only should I be concerned but my doctor should be. I wasn’t mad, maybe I should’ve been, but I was hurt. The one thing I know for sure is I love my child, I take care of my child, and I feed my child enough. His thighs don’t lie, ha. Rather than getting defensive like I wanted to, I blocked the girl. Although she was gone the feeling that she left inside me wasn’t. A week later something very similar happened to another one of the women in the group and it rubbed me the wrong way.
Why were these women that were once so great now so awful?
Instead of sticking around to try to figure it out, I left. I didn’t announce myself or as they would call it “flouncing”. I do miss some of the women, I do miss some of the topics, I do miss that warm & fuzzy feeling of support – but what I don’t miss is the negativity.
Parents need each other’s support. Not a single one of us parent the same as the next, but the one thing that we all have in common is we love our children and we are parents. We need to know from each other that we are all doing a great job!
Tell your friends that they are doing a great job even if the way they parent isn’t the way you do. Shaming other parents is awful. It will never be okay, and there will never be a reason for it so be nice, love each other, and support each other.