As anyone who’s ever mustered the courage to post a question on a message board knows, moms can be judgmental and downright mean. Over time, I have met some amazingly supportive moms. But there can also be a nasty side to mothers online.
Whether it’s a controversy over SAHM vs. WOHM, or the benefits of breastfeeding vs. the evils of formula, there’s always a brouhaha brewing on the boards. Here’s a heads-up, so you know just who you’re dealing with, and how to avoid becoming part of the problem.
The militant mom
This warrior has strong opinions about all parenting options and isn’t afraid to tell you you’re doing everything wrong. If you’re confronted with this army of one, don’t even bother trying to prove your point—she’s probably read millions of articles and collected skewed statistics to back up her position. Disagree with her at your own risk, because you’re in for a battle to the death.
The cheerleader mom
This perky little number was everyone’s best friend in high school and at her college sorority and can’t contain her pep. She’s usually the one cheering you on and offering helpful, “You go, mom!,” chants. Thank your lucky stars that there are people like her. All her relentless positivity may be grating and corny at times, but it sure as hell beats the alternative.
The know-it-all mom
Whether it’s a foolproof way to calm your baby or the new high chair no one should live without, this mom has a warehouse of advice and she’s not afraid to unload it on you. While dealing with this mom can be overwhelming, the upside is that she’s done all the research so you don’t have to.
The babe-in-the-woods mom
Usually a first-time mom, she has no idea what she is walking into. Her all-too-innocent question about day care or formula feeding is about to get her embroiled in the fight of her life. If you encounter this type of mom, try to give her your support and understanding. And if a pack of vicious hyena-moms attacks, come to her rescue.
The troll mom
Always stirring up controversy, the troll mom goes for shock value. Her only goal is to get the mommy masses all riled up, and she’s a pro. Most of the time, she doesn’t even believe her own ridiculous platitudes— like “people who don’t use nanny-cams are just asking for it,” and “breast feeding is for tree-huggers”—she just wants to stir up drama. Whether you think she’s seeking attention or straight up trouble-making, don’t bother analyzing her. Just avoid her like the flu.
Keep in mind, not all boards are rife with Gossip Girl-type antics. Many moms can be a great source of advice, support, and inspiration. So if you find yourself frustrated and angry, remember that there are plenty of boards on the web and move on. And if someone gives you a hard time, don’t give in to temptation. Instead, take it as a sign that you should just turn off your computer and go enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Have you come across any of these moms online? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
— Elina Furman