Many of you may not know it but there is a secret underworld of mummy forums. The first rule of the mummy forum is you don’t talk about what happens in the mummy forum. They are private pages especially for mums to ask advice and what not. I was initiated and added to one a few years ago after being that annoying new mum that kept posting random questions on my personal profile for help on how not to break my child. Now I am four years in and consider myself a bit of an expert on the mummy forum, a mummy forum guru. For all the new mums out there that haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet you can thank me later for my tips on…
HOW TO SURVIVE THE MUMMY FORUMS:
Topics to avoid-
1. Vaccinations. WARNING!!! You do not talk about vaccinating your child or your opinion on any types of shots, even talking about the flu vac is not safe!! You will be trolled.
2. Circumcision. Big NO!! Who would have thought a tiny bit of excess skin could get a mummy slammed so hard. Terms like “genital mutilation” get thrown around willy nilly (see what I did there).
3. Breast-feeding vs Formula. Watch out! “Breast is best” and “formula is poison” are a few things you can expect to read in that post. Personally I have never heard of any child being poisoned from formula and the only breasts that are the best are mine, according to my husband.
4. Push presents. This one I learnt the hard way. I stupidly asked for advice on what to suggest my husband buys me as a push present and I got trolled so badly I lost faith and ended up in the deactivation of my Facebook account for a few months. I’m all for charity and those that know me know that I do my bit, but apparently no-one deserves something nice for pushing a melon out of their vagina and we should give everything to charity. I’m sorry, if we are talking figures, I went public, which saved at least $3k so my husband wanting to gift me something for a few thousand dollars still puts us ahead of all those that go private. I think they bloody jinxed me because I still haven’t gotten anything.
5. Caesarean vs Vaginal Birth. This one I don’t get. I mean how can you mummy shame someone who does whatever is possible to get their child out alive? I have no words.
6. Crying it out vs rocking. I mean who gives a shit right? You do what works.I would ride a penny farthing around the house with a tutu on if that’s what got my child to sleep. Lastly there is….
7. Naughty corner vs talking to your child. Hey, some people even smack their children, how about we all unite to stop that instead of picking on each other? In my day we got smacked, and we love and feared our parents and behaved. Not saying it’s right but I think they didn’t know any other way. Imagine how different your parenting style would be if you didn’t have the internet, mothers groups and maternal health care nurse appointments.
There are all these snooty mums up there on their high horses rubbing natural crystal sticks on their pits, eating organic fruit and vegetables and baby wearing whilst breastfeeding on the toilet then wiping their self entitled golden asses with recycled toilet paper (ok i’ve done all of those, apart from the toilet paper, that’s just weird). What gives any mother the right to think they are better than anyone? There are different parenting styles and techniques all over the world and I’m sure some mum in the mountains of Tibet would see us parent and piss herself laughing while she baby wears making your expensive, ethically made rug for your child’s nursery.
I tried very hard to remain neutral on the points I made above because not only do I think everybody needs to practise more of minding their own business but probably more because of the fact that I DONT EVEN CARE! Drink coffee while you’re pregnant, then have a cesarean to give birth to your child that you will then formula feed while you baby wear and then co-sleep with at night. Women are our own worst enemy and it’s really sad to see that so many times there is so much hate in the comments exchanged.
I have figured out a way of getting around the trolling. I defuse the situation with a funny comment and then shit my pants waiting to see if I have successfully made people laugh or whether I have just diverted the firing squad to my direction. Then I secretly inbox the mum that was being attacked to ask if she is ok because when it happened to me I was really touched by the kindness of strangers that cared enough to reach out and see if I was ok. For instance in a circumcision debate I recently read, I made a comment about having had my son done by a certain doctor but that I wasn’t sure as to whether or not we would use the same doc for my daughter. Phew, they got it, I was in the clear, crisis averted.
So, keep it light. Google what you can and leave the serious questions to your friends and family, not the keyboard warriors behind their screens in the mummy forums. In all honesty I love one group in particular. They encouraged me to begin my blogging journey. Maybe so I could stop posting stupid things or making stupid comments in their group now that I think of it. I have even made some “friends” from that group, some I probably chat to more often than my real friends. There are heaps I now know by name and we’ve got each others backs if need be. It’s a tough enough world out there mummas, without having to battle each other too.
How did this get so serious? I swear when I started writing I was going down the funny route. Oh well. Thanks for reading, please don’t troll me. Love you all. -Zoe