I know what you are thinking, Mommy groups on Facebook are great! They are a good spot where mom’s can talk about different things and bounce idea’s off of other mom’s or parents so that they are able to see different solutions and how to care for your little one. especially if you are a first time parents and have not many resources at hand they can be a good spot to find out what may be troubling your young child.
that being said, they are not always as great as you may think that they are. Sometimes, well a lot of the time they are filled with a bunch of not so nice things. which is natural due to the fact that there are many things that parents may or may not know about their kids. There is a lot of sarcasm at times, myself included.
Mommy groups on Facebook are toxic a lot of the times. They are filled with parents who sit home all day or have a lot of time on their hands and they keep posting or commenting on different things. They sometimes even belittle people in the process. An example of this is whenever someone mentions feeding. As a formula feeding parent I know and see this pretty regularly in the groups that I am in. A parent automatically assume that the other person posing the question is breastfeeding. This is just another example of how as a society we need to normalize formula feeding again (which I wrote about and you can read about it on my blog here!).
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Another way that I would not recommend is that if you do decide to join, make sure you turn off notifications or even hide posts until you physically open the group yourself. When you are looking at your feeds and you see this being posted it can be extremely addicting to keep up to date on what parents are talking about and getting the “in” on things. I found myself being consumed by what everyone was posting even if the same things were being posted every single day multiple times.
That also leads me to another aspect, I find that the groups are unaware or maybe don’t care to, search the group for different questions. The repetition alone on asking questions can be exhausting to keep track of. Popular topics that people talk about are a) breast feeding b) how their child slept perfectly but now doesn’t (Not researching sleep regressions, or sleep training just assuming they sleep trained once and baby is good to go which is not the case) and then you have the ever popular (at least where I life for the local group) c) should I take my baby XX or should I go to the emerge or walk in? The questions that get asked daily are actually mind numbing and a simple search of the group would provide all of the answers needed.
One of the big things is judgement (also guilty). There is so much judgement when it comes to these groups that if you are light heated i would suggest not even getting involved in them. There is very triggering posts in there also that some people have no idea how to handle and will attack other people for having an opinion. Case in point, I posted a hot topic about how I dont think accepting random breast milk from strangers should be allowed. I was genuinely trying to see how people could come to that conclusion and while my intentions were kind and after the rash posts of people supporting this practice (Which is highly unsafe and damaging to a baby potentially which I also wrote about here) people grouped up and told me I was wrong when I was trying to see how someone could give their child something that have no idea but the word of a stranger on how it is good.
Another hard part of these groups is whether or not they are directly meaning to do this they can make you feel like you’re doing too much or too little of something. For example, a lot of people post about these different approaches to things or certain styles maybe “gentle” parenting. To the point if you even mention you have raised your voice they will come at you and make you feel like you are not doing the best you can even if different styles do in fact work (shocking I know). I know for me, there are posts where people talk about getting a crap ton of sensory toys or even those special (expensive) black and white toys to help their babies and their kid is nearly 3 months old. Or people posting how they feel like a bad parent for not entertaining their child 24/7 either. Even if not directly pointed at you, they are filled with things that can make you feel like you are not up to the society standard of what a parent should be.
Another thing that I have noticed is a lot of people just like any other social media group, talk a lot of talk when behind a computer screen. A lot of the times I find people are not as genuine as they would be had you met them some where else naturally instead of this group. I find people are fake and that they will a lot of times tell you what you want to hear. One thing I noticed is that I find myself being too blunt and not sugar coating things which can obviously not be helpful to people who want to hear a very specific answer to their questions.
Just like anything there are some benefits. It should be seen as a resource on maybe if you need help or something you can look at it. Though they are typically filled with drama it is really best to avoid them if you can or even try to limit how much you spend browsing the pages also because that can be a tricky part in itself too!