I stopped keeping track of the number of mommy groups that I keep on Facebook.
I have at least 10 for cloth diapers, two for breastfeeding, a number of general pages, and shops for kids’ clothes, toys and books. I have gotten used to receiving messages from strangers whose sentences begin with “sis,” “ma” and “mommy.”
These groups became my lifeline when I was breastfeeding. Why is my baby not latching? What is the normal color of baby poop? Is it safe to take mefenamic acid? It has been a source of information when we were giving cloth diapers a try. Which is the best detergent, Tide or Calla? What are the thirstiest fabrics—microfiber, hemp, charcoal?
It’s not like I can’t find the information I needed online. There are numerous blogs and sites dedicated to parenthood that we could access. However, I like joining mommy groups because there is a sense of belonging.
We are an exclusive group of women who are tired, sometimes clueless but always want the best for our children. These are groups where we get a hundred likes and congratulations instead of eye rolls when we share news about our now potty trained child.
I never thought that having a space to post things like that could be so important. Or that getting affirmation from fellow mothers could be so uplifting. Phrases like “you are doing a good job” and “you are a good mom” can go a long way.
Groups are not always a happy place. I’ve read a lot of mean comments in response to innocent questions. They often come from women who have set ideas on what is right for children. Also, it is easy to take offense when when it comes to your child.
There are no hard and fast rules on posting online. But it is best to remember to be kind. This could be challenging when you are on the brink of losing it yourself and then read someone asking for the nth time if it’s okay to get your hair rebonded and breastfeed (it totally is).
The trick is remembering that behind the annoying inquirer is another sleepless mom struggling to find answers quickly. The support group that you can find online will never be the same as the one that you share with your friends IRL. But it is a support group you can depend on whenever you feel uncertain or lost.