Friday, June 15, 2012

What Online Mom Groups Have Taught Me

I joined one of those online mom group forum thingies (yes, that's the technical term) a few days ago, and I've been addicted.

Courtesy of
As a quick plug, I joined Cafe Mom.

When I joined, I jumped in headfirst (like I do with everything). I immediately joined 5 groups or so, did intro posts, answered posts that I could, asked questions, completely immersed myself in that website. Most of the groups have a 'do not share outside of the group' policy, but I figure this post does not break that rule because 1) I'm not naming the groups or members individually, and 2) I'm not giving details about what has occurred in such groups.

With the mini-disclaimer out of the way, now I can get into the Tatted Mom stuff.

What Online Mom Groups Have Taught Me:

  1. I'm a Mommy genius. Okay, okay, let's back that down a little. Maybe not a genius, but I realized that I could answer 85% of the questions other moms asked. Did I do it? Nope. But, I could have. I'm not saying I have all the answers to Mommy questions out there, but it took joining an online mom forum for me to realize that I'm a pretty knowledgeable mom. Maybe it's because my kids are older, so I've been through all of the baby/toddler/young kids stuff, or maybe it's just because I joined easy groups. (I'm thinking it's the latter.) I of course didn't join any groups for moms of teenagers, because then I would have been outside of my realm of knowledge. For the groups I joined, I sit back and feel great about how far I've come as a mom, and how I actually do have info to help other moms.
  2. I'm not a trifling bitch. That one needs explanation, huh? I joined a bitchy moms group. Why? Because they asked me, and I couldn't resist. Man, those women are bitches. I mean, for no reason they are bitchy. I'm not sure if it's a show for the group, or these women are like this in real life, but it's ridiculous. For example, a newbie introduced herself (thank goodness it wasn't me) with a few sentences, and the first reply to come through was, 'Why in the f*ck do we care?' Whoa, what? That was uncalled for. I haven't left that group yet, but I haven't answered a single question or introduced myself in it, either. I'm scared. The more they post, the closer I get to leaving, anyway. There are times to be bitchy, and times to refrain, and while I understand I joined a bitchy moms group, jumping on a newbie for introducing herself is the wrong kind of bitch.
  3. I'm naive. One of the first strings I jumped into was about a woman who is pregnant with triplets and wanted to know about losing the weight after she gave birth and the stress of being in the military, because she was going to join after her kids were born. I wasn't the only one to jump in with, 'You're having triplets, don't join the military', so it's good to know I'm not the only naive one, but come to find out it was a fake post, and it happens all the time. The 'seasoned' moms on the site could spot it immediately, and even showed us newbies what to look for in the fake posts. Good to know, but it doesn't mean I didn't feel stupid for having given the question a serious answer. Now I pick and choose which questions to answer.
  4. You can't argue with stupid people. I understand that statement is a little harsh, and by 'stupid' I mean people that can only see things their way. There are moms on there who will make a statement that is generalized, sometimes offensive, and just plain uneducated, and whoever calls them out on it, they proceed to get into a huge argument, with their only back up being 'it's my opinion'. Yes, we understand it's your opinion, but if your opinion is that the sky is green and grass is made of fluffy marshmallow goo, then your opinion is wrong. And, be careful of making generalized statements that can be deemed offensive, because you never know who is in the group. In my SAHM group, someone made an anti-military statement. Guess what? There are military moms in that group too, and the women jumped all over the person who made the statement. So, be mindful of your audience if you don't want a debate on your hands.
  5. Prepare to be a gardener. What? Tatted Mom's talking about gardening in a mom group post? She's finally lost it. Everyone has opinions and advice, and the whole purpose of online mom groups is to share those opinions and advice with those who ask for it. So, if you ask a question, be prepared to have to weed through the ridiculous answers to get to a few good ones (gardener... weed... get it? I kill myself sometimes). And, if you answer a question, don't be offended if it doesn't get any replies, or 'likes'. I gave this well thought out answer to a question the other day, and the person who asked the question liked everyone's 3 word answers around my reply, but didn't like mine. Whatever, right? She obviously was too lazy to read mine, or doesn't know a great answer when she's given it.
So, there you go. So far, my experience on Cafe Mom has been amazing. If nothing else, I enjoy reading everyone else's posts. I'm not as gung-ho about answering as I was when I first joined, but if I see something that no one else has answered the way I would have answered, I'll throw in my 2 cents.

Or my $1.53 worth. All depends on how much of a debate I feel like getting into. The bitchy mom's group? None. Those women scare me, and would probably rip me to shreds. The woman who made an anti-military remark in a SAHM group? I was the first to tell her she was disrespectful. Then she told everyone her hubby, father, brothers, extended family members, were all military. I let the other ladies take over after she admitted to that; I had said what I needed to say, and had people backing up my original statement. Time to move on to the next post.

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  1. When I was on sparkpeople, I had joined tons of groups (Divorce and Single Parents were two of my faves) but I remember one kind of similar to the Bitches one. It scared me too. But it did pull me in. One time I did open my mouth and got into a GIGANTIC debate with some loser over if women encourage a RAPE. Just plain ignorance. WTF-I was SCREAMING....LOL Oh no, I absolutely do not want a bunch of readers commenting back on this will kick me out, k? LOL


    1. It has gotten crazy on my site. I even had a post removed last night by admins, but I argued to get it reinstated. Some people just don't think before they type...

      Or, as my reinstated post declared, they hide behind the 'anonymous' button, which pisses me off. If you have something disrespectful to say, then say it. Don't hide.

      Sheesh, lol.

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  3. I am writing a book about how moms treat one another online. I have a chapter dedicated to mom forums. Would you be OK with my quoting you from this post? Please email me at to let me know. I can use your name and reference your blog or share your descriptions of the environment anonymously.

    Thanks! And feel free to check out The Mom Pledge, where we work to create a more positive online environment for moms...

    Thank you!