I recently got really excited with the idea of joining a local Moms Community Forum. The excitement was mainly caused by two reasons: I would have the chance to meet new moms close to my area and (maybe) find a good “tribe” of moms to connect with, get together, share similar experiences/anecdotes and have a good time and secondly, because I would have the chance to (hopefully) do some good networking that would help me out with my “newborn” blog.
I have to admit that I was kind of nervous when I was signing up for the forum since meeting other moms scares me a bit. Lately all the moms that I’ve seen in the City have this aureola of perfection around them, yelling to the world “Hey! I have all the ducks in a row and I know exactly what it is to be a mom!”… On the other hand, I’m nothing that resembles a “perfect mom” and I’m basically afraid that I would do or say something that will embarrassed me for life when I meet them. Anyhow, I still know that finding a good group of moms is the answer and it is something that I have been craving for quite some time now so I guess it was the right time to dive into the Moms community in Calgary.
So I joined the group, waited for the moderator to authorized me and once I got the approval I introduced myself, started reading and got ready to contribute to the different threads. However, all the excitement went down the toilet with one of the first posts that I read. There was this one lady (a newbie just like me) that was asking for advice about sleep training for her 4 months old daughter and she mentioned that she was letting her cry but it wasn’t working… OMG! you should have seen the first response to the thread. This veteran mom in the community responded with a full-page long post scolding her for letting her poor baby daughter cry since she was only 4 months old. It was a very harsh response and I thought about how this newbie mom may have felt after reading the comment.
I totally get where this veteran mom was coming from since I also disagree with the “letting cry” approach (specially in babies younger than 6 months) but YOU DON’T JUDGE AND SCOLD SOMEONE LIKE THAT. There are plenty of parenting styles out there and we have to be respectful with all of them. If you disagree with the approach and you want to give your opinion (since the newbie mom was asking for advice), you can provide some guidance in a nice and respectful way. For us first-time-moms guidance is always appreciated since we are learning as we go but DO NOT PATRONIZE US and never ever judge us for our parenting style.
A mom community forum should be a “safe” place where we could voice our concerns and questions and get support or advice from other moms out there without feeling judged.
Now you may understand why meeting other moms is a bit scary for first-time-mothers like me. Motherhood is already tough enough so feeling judged is not something that you want to add on top of everything.
By the way, I got into the community today and, out of curiosity, checked if the newbie mom had posted any other comments after the scolding episode and, as I was expecting, she has not. Thank you veteran mom! You have scared away a first-time-mom that would have made a good use of the mom community resources! I personally will continue using the mom community forum but I can tell you that I no longer feel that I can openly share my thoughts and concerns as I felt before reading that post…
Have you ever feel judge because of your parenting style? Share your experience or anecdotes in the comments section below!