Why boys should not be allowed on Mommy Forums …..

I read an extract from a Mommalicious’ Mom’s Blog post this week.

To cut a very long story short, a journalist, Kevin Lancaster, had some less than generous things to say about Moms and their use of forums to assist them with baby health support.

{I personally quite like Kevin’s writing, but right now that might go down like a lead balloon on the Mommy community, so I best keep that comment to myself. Here is a recently written articles and I do tend to agree with his outlook on things parenthood related …. to a degree.}

I do not know Kevin Lancaster {Sunday Tribune Article} personally, so I am not going to comment on him, and what his short comings or strengths are in terms of parenting skills.

I am a registered user of Mommalicious’ Forum, but to be honest it never resonated with me.  I found it (at the time) less user-friendly than the Moomie Forum, so I forgot my user name and password and did not use the forum.

I have not been there in a very long time, and glancing at it now it is clear it has undergone several revamps and looks like a very funky place to be.  It enjoys a large, active and clearly enthusiastic community of moms who blog there, participate in the forums, and guest writers.

Again, I am not commenting on how good {or bad} Mommalicious is.

If you have never had a young baby, I do not think I can explain to you what a lonely time of your life it is.

It is probably the loneliest and bleakest time in your life.  Of course you cannot actually tell people that it is a bit crap.  You will need to tell everyone how wonderful motherhood/parenting is, unless you want to risk being voted off the island.

You think you are prepared for a baby – you have 9 months and change to get used to the idea.

You have people cheering you on – people throwing you baby showers, people wishing you well on Facebook, and books that show your baby’s size in relation to fruit.

You have friends offering to help where ever they can.  You have your husband/boyfriend/sperm donor talking about how “we” are pregnant.

It is possible to get drunk on the headiness of it all.

Having a baby (furnished from your loins or via alternate methods) is one of the loneliest (and most terrifying) experiences you will ever be lucky enough to enjoy.

You are suddenly responsible for this little being.  No matter how many books you have read {and I read a ton}, and how many children you have had {I have three} it is still an alarming/scary/frightening and intensely lonely experience.  You are constantly wondering what the hell to do and whether Medi Clinic has a returns policy.

Everyone appears so helpful and offering {usually useless} advise, but no one really seems to understand you or be listening to you.

Enter, from Stage Right, Forums.

You get to meet dozens/hundreds of moms who are going through almost exactly what you are.  They are scared, they may know more, some may know less, some are just total nutters.  But you get to speak to these women and they commiserate with you, and when needed cheer you on and they are there to lean on, and ask for advise.

You can talk about poo, about sex, about outings to the zoo, anything goes.  Somewhere in this new scary landscape you will find a few souls who you just click with.  Your days spent child rearing and nights crying in the bathroom will suddenly appear less scary.

You have found forum friends who you can talk to.

But ….. forums are not reality.  The information you are being given is advise that though given with the best intention is not gospel, or should be taken as medical advise.  I think that any user of a forum knows this — or I hope they do.  We all ask stupid questions, and we all need a wise mom to tell us what to do.  We also get imbeciles imparting old wives’ tales and questionable suggestions.

Forums have replaced villages to raise children.

If a mom ran to a doctor for every niggle that worried her, she would be there 8 times a day at a minimum.  Often a mom is over-reacting, and needs a sound board of sanity.  She can either pick up her phone and contact 6 of her friends or she can take the issue to a forum.  Same result.

I do think that Mr. Lancaster was being a bit flippant with his comment, but I also understood the point he was making.

Forums are where you raise an issue, test the waters with the responses, and once everyone has had their 10 cents worth you make a final decision as to what is best for you, your baby and your family.  Is there anywhere else in polite society where you can talk about the colour of your child’s faeces with such reckless abandon?

No.  Bless Forums and all those moms who give of their time, sanity and broadband to assist other moms.

I felt it was unfair for Mr Lancaster to “attack” Mommalicious, but again my guess is the colour or quantity of a child’s shit is not high on his list of things to worry about in his day.  And all the luckier he is for it.

If any of the moms on Mommalicious or Pampers or Moomie or all the other forums out there, tried to explain to the men in their lives why they feel so passionate about the forums, most men would not understand.  They would not get the allure and how you cannot understand the support and real friendship that develops in these forums.

And you know, they don’t have to.

Men sit and watch sport games together and then listen to two hours running discussion about the game, after the game.  This to them seems like a legitimate way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Woman?  Not so much.

Mommalicious, take it on the chin and move on.  And thank goodness, again for Mommy Forums!