As a self-professed parenting nerd, I spend a lot of time in Facebook mom groups. I love reading about real-life problems and the creative ways people solve them, and I get valuable tips on everything from the best playground snacks to how to handle grocery-store meltdowns — all from actual caregivers deep in the trenches.
When you spend this much time in online communities, you start to notice patterns: not just in the questions, but in the people answering them. Whether you’re in a touchy-feely Attachment Parenting group, a married-to-theory Montessori group, or an “I-Don’t-Care-As-Long-As-I-Have-Wine” group of parents just trying to laugh their way through, you’re bound to recognize these 5 Kinds of Moms You Meet in Online Parenting Communities:
This mom is 100% sure you’re going to kill (or at least maim) your offspring, and she has no qualms about telling you so. You gave your kid grape juice? She’ll have you know it probably contains arsenic… and really, any sugar before the age of 5 is a recipe for diabetes. Want to buy a baby jumper? She’ll point you toward a half-dozen studies showing how bad they are for gross motor development, then toss some product recalls into the bargain. And don’t even get her started on sleep training…
Though she’s generally all gloom-and-doom, this downer of a mom can actually come in handy sometimes. Hit her up for car seat recommendations and links to infant CPR classes, or ask which fire ladder she recommends for your fourth-floor walkup. But if she starts going off on screen-time, sugar, or plastic toys, it’s time to slowly put down your phone and back away.
The Mom Who Can’t Google
When do babies start teething? How many hours of sleep does a six-year-old need? Is this a heat rash or measles? Naturally, parenting comes with a ton of questions, but this mom takes it to the extreme by treating your venting-and-advice community as her very own personal public library, Google, and WebMD rolled into one.
Because parents love to feel helpful, you’ll likely see responses to her easily-answered questions in the hundreds. So unless she’s a personal friend there’s no need to chime in. Just keep scrolling until you get to one of those really fun posts about the strangest place your children have ever peed.
She finished having kids sometime around the Carter administration, but that won’t keep her from chiming in with her well-meaning (but laughably outdated) parenting advice. Never mind what the last forty years of research has proven: she’s always there to remind you that her kids traveled without car seats, slept on their tummies, and gnawed lead paint and turned out just fine.
When it comes to handling this mom-of-the-past, you can comment with a simple (and non-judgmental) “isn’t it crazy how times have changed?” After all, the advice she’s giving was probably cutting-edge back when feathered bangs were all the rage. Better yet, grab some popcorn and let the Sancti-Mom have at her. Now there’s an Internet battle you don’t want to miss.
The Mom Who Does It Better
Your kid pooped in the potty? Hers has been using the toilet for months. Feeling proud that you packed an actual vegetable for your preschooler’s lunch? She’ll tell you all about her sugar-free zucchini muffin recipe — and the kiddie cookbook she’s planning to write.
In all Social Media-dom, there’s no mom more irksome than the one who constantly one-ups you. To her, parenting is a competition, and she Must Win Or Else. Count on her to jump into a thread about kids’ worst moments to proudly proclaim her little angel has never once bitten a baby or gone to daycare with spaghetti in her underwear, or to reply to your “lol nuking hotdogs for dinner again” post with an Insta-worthy snapshot of her precious one’s meal of hand-foraged wild rice and turkey she shot and feathered herself. When she’s not online pissing in everyone else’s Cheerios, you can find the Mom Who Does it Better showing off her inversions in a beginner yoga class or alone in a dark room, sobbing over her own inadequacies.
The “Me Too!” Mom
She can’t answer your questions, but she knows exactly what you’re going through and can totally sympathize… except instead of toilet training it was night weaning, and her kids are 3-month-old twins instead of tweens who are three years apart, and her problem happened at home instead of in middle school, and wait is she even responding to the right thread right now?
What kinds of moms have you encountered in parenting groups? Tell us all about it in the comments!
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