I love social media/baby forums and the like, I love that I can ask a question about parenting, books, recipes or films I’d like to see and people who I have never met before will take timeout of their day to answer me or help me out. It makes me smile at least once a day reading the random conversations between people on my twitter timeline (you know who you are) and I don’t know how I would have coped as a first time mother without ..babycenter…BUT and this is a big but there is a very negative side to some of these parenting websites which I have to admit I didn’t really notice prior to becoming a parent. Some mums (and dads) are bitches..self righteous.. patronising bitches. Luckily for me I havent been on the wrong end of one these so called ‘helpful’ mummy rants but even from an outsiders perspective its downright NASTY.
I registered for most of the baby related forums/sites when I found out I was pregnant and they are for the most part fabulous however when reading an at times desperate plea for help or just someone relating a baby related problem they are having there will always be at least one very helpful (spell bitch) mum who can’t wait to tell someone that they are doing it wrong.. Or even that they are a bad parent. Why? Why do women (and men) do this to each other? Parenting is sooo hard, why do we make it harder. Why do we tell someone who has been up all night long with a sobbing child that it is their fault?
Posts that seem to get the most haters are ones from people who use store bought babyfood, who don’t breastfeed or ones who do the whole Gina Ford routine.. I just don’t get it. Unless you know every aspect of a persons life you can’t judge the way they parent. Maybe they don’t feel confident in cooking babyfood or choose to spend their time cuddling their child instead..maybe there is a very good underlying reason why they can’t breastfeed and maybe doing a set routine is what works for them. We are all very different but it doesn’t mean we aren’t all trying our very best to be the best parents we can be. For the record haters I cook my own food but I will use store bought if I need to, I breastfed for nearly 6 months ( and cried a bit when I had to stop) it was ridiculously hard at times especially at the beginning so I can see why some people choose not to, I have a slight routine but not Ginas (although I’m not against it) I do what works for me, my OH and our child.
Equally as frustrating for me is when I read a blog or tweet from someone who is genuinely being caring and giving great, honest advice who then get vicious comments giving a sly dig or questioning their ability to write the said post as they only have 1 child or they don’t breast feed or they (shock horror) went back to work after 6 weeks..
One particular instance comes to mind and I really hope the writer doesn’t mind me mentioning this is when a person whose blog & tweets I read religiously as she writes excellent recipes, talks about her baby problems and gives in my opinion fab advice for how to organise home life with a baby not so long ago wrote a post about “how to make dinner every night” – it was a great very simple post, she explained how she manages to make home made dinner every night and told of her shortcuts etc etc. There were many positive comments but nestled in there were those women again accusing her of wait for it…first-time-mom-of-an-infant myopia! Yep that’s right apparently if it’s your first child you don’t really have a right to offer up very helpful advice to other parents.. They also said that once her child was walking etc she wouldnt be able to do all of the things she does now which may or may not be the case but why rain on someone’s parade.. I was so angry when I read this post but well done on the author for not deleting the comments.
Twitter doesn’t seem to be so bad but maybe it’s just that I’m choosy who I follow.. I know that I myself don’t often post on any of the baby sites as I worry sometimes about the responses I would get. It’s like the school playground at times and I was never the big hard girl pushing people around.
Rant over. Please feel free to comment and share.