The first time I joined a mom Facebook group I thought it was great. Here was a solid online community of mothers helping other mothers. Over time, as I followed the feeds and kept up with the new posts, I found myself getting annoyed with the group.
I stuck with the group because I wanted to know exactly why I hated it so much. Over time, certain patterns started to emerge and, while some of these reasons are mere annoyances, others cause me to have genuine concerns for some mothers.
Mom Facebook groups, I realized, tended to be a crutch for mothers who either didn’t really want to deal with motherhood issues or didn’t want to (or have the courage or personal strength to) come up with their own solutions to parenting challenges.
Granted, mom Facebook groups have their merit in the realm of social media and can be beneficial in certain situations. However, overall, I find them really annoying.
Reasons Why I Hate Mom Facebook Groups:
1. They Invalidate Mothering Instincts
It seems that many moms, instead of assessing a situation and formulating their own solution, immediately run to a mom Facebook group to seek advice.
Basically, mothers post to these groups instead of making parenting choices themselves.
“My 18 month old son has a high fever. Should I take him to the hospital?”
If you’re asking then the answer is probably: Yes.
I know that if I sat down and sought Facebook advice for every aspect of parenting that I doubted, I wouldn’t have time to be a parent.
Soon after giving birth to my daughter, a good friend offered this sage advice:
“If you don’t drop them or sit on them, you’re doing great.”
I live by that.
2. Moms Seek Medical Advice Instead of Seeing a Doctor
I know of a local mom Facebook group in my area that had to put a stop to mothers posting pictures of their children’s rashes and other visible physical ailments.
The advice from the administrator was clear: Take your kid to a doctor.
It’s not just the little ones that mothers are seeking an online diagnosis for – often they post their own ailments (especially during pregnancy) in search of medical advice.
If you’re throwing up 24 times a day during your third trimester of pregnancy, you should probably head to a doctor or an OB-GYN in lieu of posting it to Facebook.
I should disclaim here that I am Canadian, so our healthcare is free. I can understand those with privatized healthcare looking for advice before heading to a hospital.
Still, if you have any concerns for your own health or the health of a child, you should speak to a professional.
3. Moms Ask Questions That Can Be Easily Googled
“What should I buy my two year old son for Christmas? I have no ideas!”
It’s amazing what a simple Google search can do. For instance, this very statement yielded about 265,000,000 results (in 1.12 seconds).
Superficial questions, or questions seeking basic information, can easily be Googled.
We’re moms. We’re busy. We don’t have time to do the Googling for other moms.
4. “Okay, mamas, let’s talk [enter topic here].”
Every time a post starts with this statement, all I can picture is some tacky infomercial tempting me to purchase some cheesy product.
Just ask the question. If moms are afraid of their post getting skipped because people won’t take the time to read to see what the issue is, simply introduce your concern in the opening sentence:
“Hey, I have a question about [issue].”
For some reason, introducing a post with “Let’s talk -” seems pushy and impersonal.
5. Moms Display Their Faults to Gain Pity and Attention
“Am I the only mom who forgot to leave money from the Tooth Fairy? Hahahaha! Face Palm Emoji.”
No, probably not. Is there even a question here?
I don’t think the moms posting things like this are looking for other moms to jump up and down and shout, “Yes! I’m a terrible parent, too!”
I mean, moms are not perfect and we don’t need any more added pressure to perform than we already have. We feel bad enough without it, thank you.
I think these moms are simply looking for pity or for someone to console them and convince them that they are not a horrid parent.
Perhaps they are trying to displace their mom guilt or trying to make light of their mom fails.
Either way, it drives me nuts.
6. “Pic for attention!”
This is annoying, but at least they’re being honest.
Legitimate Ways Mom Facebook Groups Are Helpful
Mom Facebook groups are not without their positive aspects and usefulness. This is probably why, despite how much they annoy me, I stick around in these groups.
Kudos to the moms who seek or post the following:
- Personal recommendations. Mom Facebook groups can be a great way to get personal recommendations based on personal experience regarding products, services, doctors, daycares, programs, etc.
- Social support. They are also a great place to go if you are a lonely and isolated mom (who isn’t?) in search of mom friends or play dates.
- Sharing mom-relevant information. There’s no better source of information than other moms when it comes to exciting social events or important recalls on child-related products.
- Finding local products and deals. Fellow moms tend to have an eye for a good deal or know exactly where to find everything in your area. If your store has stopped carrying your favorite shampoo or coffee whitener, another mom will know where to find it.
- Seeking emotional advice. You can’t Google how it feels to be a mom, so a mom group is the perfect place validate your emotions. Otherwise, depression can so easily creep up on you if you feel like your emotions are unjustified or wrong.
Complacent Mothering and the Loss of Mom-Confidence
My main concern with mom Facebook groups is that mothers are becoming so complacent in their mothering skills that they rely too heavily on social media to solve their problems.
They are losing mom-confidence.
If you’re one of those moms that utilize mom Facebook groups in this way, I still think your posts are annoying.
But I also think you are stronger than you know.