Don’t get me started on the ‘Mummy wars’ being a woman is hard and being a Mum/Mama/Mother/Mom is ever harder (I have no scientific evidence to support this, other than there seems to be a correlation between my caffefine intake and the number of children I have). Any way it makes me so sad to see posts where other Mums are judging each other. Over the past seven years since I joined this awesome club parenthood, I have been a part of many different parenting groups. Both online and IRL (in real life, haha).
I have experienced the judgemental stares, the ‘helpful’ advice where you are told you are doing it all wrong. I have even been a part of a Facebook group, where people were secretly taking photos of others mums and posting them and commenting on how bad a parent they were. Now I want to state that this was not the purpose of the group, it was meant to be a place to offer support and advice, but it appeared that it was fine to ‘slag’ people off that weren’t actually in the group. I left the group, I couldn’t stay as I felt if the only way they/we could build ourselves up was to tear someone down (someone who wasn’t even there to defend their actions) then it wasn’t a group I wanted to be a part of.
The only way to avoid this is to become a hermit, to stay inside all day, never got to any groups and don’t partake in any social media websites. Yeah, like that is ever going to happen. Every now and again if you are lucky, you find a jewel of a group. I am a part of a group like that. We met on a pregnancy and parenting forum, Baby and bump, we were part of a group for women who were due in September, October and Novemeber 2011, there were 100’s of us, far to many to form any kind of real connections. There was an off shoot group which was smaller which some of us joined, some of us became really close and we formed a Facebook group and around 15 of us finally made a What’sapp group. At the time you couldn’t have a group that big. We emailed what’s app and explained out plight and they allowed bigger groups, woohoo!
We all met online over four years ago on that Bnb site. We now have 8 members of our group, with 5 that are active almost daily, Kerri, Katie and I are the ones who chat most frequently. It’s nice to know that you aren’t alone. Right from the start our group has been through so much. Between us all we’ve had more babies, miscarriages, family breakdowns, multiple house and job changes, health complications, marriage, money issues, you name it and one of us has probably been through it, one of us even had triplets. We’ve laughed, cried and shown each other photos we wouldn’t dare share with anyone else. We have had whatapp parties which involved us getting quite drunk and one of us vomiting, I shall mention no names. We have shared so much of our lives together. Some of us have even been lucky enough to have met in real life. We would love to do a big meet up, we are spread all across the UK and some in America too.
These women who I have never met, who I may never meet. Have shared some of my biggest moments over the past four and a bit years. They have been some of the first people I have turned to in my darkest times. When I have felt completely overwhelmed with Motherhood, sometimes even life itself. We share a special bond that is hard to put into words. If you are part of a group like this, then you will understand exactly what I mean. What I love is how diverse we are, some of us are married, some not, some breastfed, some didn’t, some have done traditional weaning, some have done baby led weaning, some have used cloth nappies, some have baby worn, some have co slept, others have never had a night away from their child, others have had whole weeks apart. The best thing is we do our darndest not to judge, but instead to support. If we do not agree with what someone is doing then we state our point and offer to discuss it more and if it doesn’t work out (we have had members leave) we generally decide to respect each others parenting choices. We are at a point where we know that we are going to have different opinions and make different decisions. The best bit is we have realised that is Ok. We have decided to support eachother. All of these girls have a special place in my heart. They are currently helping motivate me to get on top of my housework and they encourage me every day, they share their tips, listen to me moan and they big me up when I finish something I wanted to do.
These ladies will never replace a few special ladies I have in my life (you know who you are). These ladies fulfil a different role and I thank them for it, they are the ones I message when I am worried about my babies breathing and complaining when I can not get their temperatures down, they almost know as much about my life as I do and I theirs. I think it’s wonderful what we have. I also think it’s so refreshing to hear nice stories about the internet that doesn’t involve trolling or shaming people. I know facebook and Instgram have some wonderful friendships forged and maintained in them, but for us whatsapp is what has really made the difference. So Kerri, Katie, Amber, Zoe and the others who pop in and out. Thank you, for being such a huge part of my life and thank you for sharing your lives with me. I look forward to many more years of friendship. Thank God for smart phones.
Thank you for reading