If you’re a mom (or a dad) on Facebook, chances are, you’re part of one. These groups of seemingly put-together, all-knowing, been there done that, types of parents can be really daunting. In this modern world where everyone has an intimate view into your life and your parenting choices — like… On a blog — being judged feels like a constant pressure.
These mom groups can be difficult to maneuver when you’re figuring out where you belong. And frankly, some of them are not going to be a good fit for you, maybe even downright BAD for you. But if you keep looking for your niche to fall into, mom groups can become your best asset as a growing parent. It’s okay to ditch the others. Maybe even good.
As a member of many (too many?) mom groups, and creator of my own group, I know how quickly things can turn from seemingly innocent discussion to WWIII, because mama bears will attack. But I can say with complete and total honesty, I would be an entirely different parent if I hadn’t joined the Facebook group scene. I was introduced to cloth diapering, home births and intactivism via various local mom groups. I met some of my good friends in them, and reconnected with some people I knew in school but hadn’t really known. I found guidance, I gave advice, and I struggled alongside other parents who had similar lifestyles.
I found out just how much it can mean to have a virtual stranger say “I’ve been there” and really understand in a way that the real figures in my life just couldn’t. I rallied behind moms like me when they needed someone to understand.
In the isolated world of parenting, I found a place where I could be real, instead of putting on a brave face for the “outsiders” that I occasionally saw in my real life. The amount of weight that lifts when you no longer have to respond with a smile & a “we’re fine” is life changing in such a small, but huge, way.
When you find a group where you can be a flawed and struggling parent, and still be seen as strong and amazing, you’ll know you’ve found a good place.
You’ll know when you find yourself wanting to tell these people all your joys and all your pains. You’ll know when you feel safe telling someone you’re failing today. It’ll be a turning point in your journey as a parent. Because in a way, you’ll be stronger and better for having found them & they’ll be better for having received you into their world.
If you’re a parent, and you haven’t found that group, I urge you to keep trying. They don’t need to be local. They don’t need to be perfect. They just need to be there when it sometimes feels like no one else will.