Mummy forums. Personally, I find them horrifying. Like the Daily Mail online comments section, but scarier.
When you throw a question out to a bunch of sleep-deprived/shell-shocked/in-need-of-adult-conversation hormonal ladies, what sort of responses do you expect to get? And yes, I do think that us mummies can provide each other with helpful advice and support, but I also think we can confuse one another with conflicting advice and viewpoints. I guess this is why I would choose to look at medical professional sites for health advice, ‘proper’ parenting websites for weaning/naps/milk etc advice and personal mummy blogs for inspiration/comfort. I would never ask a bunch of mummies in a chat room about whether or not I can give Audrey x amount of calpol or if it was weird that she was doing so-and-so.
And NEVER go there to discuss immunisations. Yikes.
The problem is, I am a member of more than one mummy group on Facebook and various things clutter my feed… Ted says; “Just leave the group or hide the posts” and of course he’s right, I should do that… But I can’t help keeping them so I can judge/get annoyed/laugh/and sometimes (rarely) get some useful advice.
I spend a lot of time saying “Don’t these women have friends?!” Or “Haven’t they heard of Google?!?” But I guess the truth is, no, some of them don’t have friends they can ask and yes, they probably could Google it, but then they wouldn’t have an interaction with other mummies and maybe they desperately need that.
I’ve been hugely lucky in that I have several friends from school who paved the way and had kids a few years ahead of me. So we got loads of clothes, a cot and things we’d never even heard of (bumbo!). Then we did NCT and met a great group of people and shared an amazing experience together. Plus Tallulah from NCT did all the reading so I didn’t have to! Then I had some semi-blind dates with friends of friends with babies. Then there’s the local T21 group, who organise pre-school meet-ups so Audrey can meet other babies with DS close to her age (or more importantly, I can meet their mummies). There were plenty of people to sit and drink coffee with (decaf whilst breastfeeding of course!) and dissect the nap routine and symptoms of this and that and developmental stuff…
But what if you didn’t have that? I can’t begrudge these women their only outlet for baby queries and support, can I? Even if they don’t know the difference between “mummy’s” and “mummies”? Even if they ask questions that could easily be answered by a quick Google or a glance at an instruction manual? Even if they start a discussion about grooming pubic hair??
I give in. If it riles me too much, I’ll block… But for now just listen out for me muttering, “F*¥#ing Google it!”.