If you have a child and have ever used the internet (first time? Welcome!) there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled across a parenting forum. Message boards filled with questions and answers about child rearing (please note: ‘answers’ may also come in the form of criticism, judgement, opinion and extremely unhelpful, not even remotely related ‘advice’) .
I’m a bit of a lurker. I don’t post questions and I don’t dish out answers. But God I love reading them. Don’t you? Occasionally helpful, usually hilarious and downright fascinating. Honestly, the shit people post online….
If you’ve never ventured, let me give you an idea of the online mums you’ll find.
JERRY SPRINGER MUM
Baby daddy left as soon as I told him I was pregnant and my new partner keeps cheating on me because he says he doesn’t want to be a father. He stole money from me last night to go to a strip joint. I needed that money to pay for solicitors…. What should I do?
Jerry Springer mum comes to air her dirty laundry. Including her funky, crusty undies. It’s ALL hanging out. JS mum posts always include a very confusing trail of partners, relatives and court proceedings and you’re always left wondering what her actual question is.
Chatroom etiquette demands these questions be answered with a chorus of “You’re worth more than that!!” and other girl power type responses #nojudgement
My sister in law feeds her baby PRE PACKAGED POUCHES OF FOOD!!!! Should I say something? I mean, she’s so lazy! How hard is it to whip up a home cooked meal every night? I can’t bear to think of all the additives and preservatives in that stuff. No wonder her six month old cries every few hours. I will NEVER feed my child anything with a barcode.
P.S she also has the TV on when her baby is in the same room. I can’t even cope with the negligence. It’s so wrong
Sancti-mummy is flawless.
Everyone hates her #judgement
TMI LOL! I’ve had a lot of discharge today… Do you think this is my mucus plug? See photo attached…
The TMI (Too Much Information) Mum believes that placing TMI in front of her question immediately excuses her from general social rules around what’s appropriate to discuss with strangers and what’s not. Bodily functions are her stock in trade.
True story: I’m a member of a large mother’s group on Facebook and recently a woman posted a photo exactly like this, asking people if they could see a second line – on her freshly peed on pregnancy test. Couldn’t even wait to stand and pull her knickers up.
SUPER MUM (according to her)
OMG I just don’t know where I find the time to fit in my 40 hour work week, plus all the home-made meals I make for the neighbourhood and the novel I’m writing and the new baby clothes line I’m launching this week. Phew, being a mum is tough! But I did find time to host baby Timpany’s first music class! She’s so gifted! #blessed #bestmumever
Super mum has SO much on her plate, including these freshly baked gluten-free banana and chia muffins she just made. Her posts are generally just a way for her to humble-brag about all the amazing things she’s achieved this week while you were bitching about cutting fingernails every five minutes and wondering if it’s ok to feed your child baked beans three nights in a row.
These attention seekers usually get very little response because everyone’s too busy rolling their eyes and chanting If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all…. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all…. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all….#bitetongue
THE CHOICE REPORT MUM
What stroller are you all getting? I’ve been reading the choice report on prams and it says….
Choice Report Mum knows every recalled baby product going back to the early 1990s. She knows the danger involved in every baby product you foolishly bought. She can cite references for every child that has died as a result of that baby wipe warmer you have. She can also let you know about the studies that prove that baby carrier you’re using will give your child a curved spine.
She will make you realise you have no freaking idea what you’re doing (and you’re raising Quasimodo).
THE DIAGNOSE MY CHILD MUMS
My DD came up with this strange rash this morning…. Should I be worried? (see picture attached)
See this photo of my child’s head? He fell into a wall. He was unconscious for a minute or two. Do you think I should take him to a doctor?
Some parents like to use chatrooms instead of doctors rooms. Frequently in possession of photographic evidence, they list symptoms and point to marks, spots, welts etc. and ask for everyone’s opinion on what affliction their poor child has come down with.
The question is nearly always met with a chorus of “TAKE YOUR CHILD TO THE DOCTOR FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, WE ARE NOT QUALIFIED!”
And yet the medical questions keep coming….
OMG Please help! My baby vomited after having a breastfeed today! What does that mean?
Bless her socks, this one needs a stiff-drink. If only she wasn’t convinced that just sniffing alcohol would taint her breast milk and give her child fetal alcohol syndrome. This poor mum is in knots about everything.
Everyone loves the panicker because she makes all our worries seem a bit normal. You are required to respond with something along the lines of “that’s perfectly normal”. Unhelpful responses include things like “Yeah, I’d be worried too” because you’d just break her.
THE OFF-TOPICKER (The OT)
Sorry if this is OT but my mother in law is SUCH a cow!
Comes to parenting forum to seek relationship advice or to bitch about their mother in law. Frequently the most popular post because everyone needs a good bitch session now and then.
Which online mum are you? Did I miss any? Do you lurk like me?
Are you following The Thud on Facebook? You should be!
My ten week old baby had closed his beautiful blue eyes approximately three times in his entire life. I wasn’t just tired, I was WIRED. My brain was breaking the sound barrier as it hurtled around my skull. I felt like I was on fast forward and a bit tweaky as I arrived early for our second mothers group session at the local health clinic.
I couldn’t get into the classroom because the nurses were having a staff meeting, so I waited outside, hugging my wide-eyed baby and mentally reviewing everything I’d read about baby sleep in the last couple of months (I never stopped reading). I thought about all the questions I was going to ask the nurse when the session started. I kicked myself for not bringing a notebook.
It has happened. At some point during the past 19 months, I drank the Kool Aid. I walked straight into that Friendship circle, held hands with the sisters and said goodbye to my old life. The Motherhood has claimed me.
When I first fell pregnant, I remember thinking I’d be such a cool mum. Not like all those other sad women who let themselves go and talk about their kids non-stop. I’d keep on top of current affairs and still go out drinking and still wear gorgeous things. I thought I’d be exactly the same person (yeah, ok, shut up. You thought exactly the same thing).
I was wrong.
I am weak. I’m a follower. I’m a proper mum and I don’t want to go back. Tell my family this is where I want to be….
I was catching up with a girlfriend who’s 36 weeks pregnant when we bumped into a friend of hers. A friend we shall call Fran.
“Oh my God, look at you!” squawked Fran.
“I know,” said my friend, with the wearied sigh of a woman who feels 13 months pregnant. She patted her bump.
“WOW,” gasped Fran, “I can’t believe how big you are!”
How BIG you are. HOW BIG. YOU ARE.
I just fell down the stairs. Hard. Can you break your arse? Pretty confident my bum bone is shattered.
My foot slipped on the edge of the step and down I went. Despite the almighty crash and the searing pain in my behind, I didn’t make a squeak. All I could think was “Oh god, don’t wake up, don’t wake up.”
Because I’d just put my child down for a nap and nothing, not even a shard of arse bone piercing my glute could bring me to wake him.
Thud is what mums euphemistically call ‘not a great sleeper’ which is code for ‘my eyes burn with an exhaustion so fierce I can taste colours.’
Tsk, kids these days. Amiright!? They’re either hopped up on Ritalin, stealing shit from your purse or having tween sex to the sweet, sweet sounds of One Direction…. Where did we go wrong?
I’ll tell you where, and it’s not us parents. No mum, your child isn’t a thankless little turd because you didn’t breastfeed him as a baby. Your sweet daughter didn’t turn into a trampy hoe because you spent too much time at work. Your adorable bub didn’t morph into a dickhead stoner because you didn’t do enough crafts together.
On behalf of parents everywhere, I’m shirking the responsibility. I say NO to mummy and daddy issues. It’s got nothing to do with us.
Ladies and gents…. It’s the books. Kids books. From the minute we start reading to our tiny babies, we are teaching them how to be rude, ungrateful, self-centred shits.
Here are the top offenders….
I’ve heard a brand new mum say the following three sentences, in quick succession, without the slightest hint of irony:
“I never knew a love like this existed.”
“I feel like I was born to be a mother.”
“I feel like I might burst with happiness.”
I started to look under her hospital bed for booze.
When she started to tell me how “wonderful” she felt after pushing a sizeable infant out of her vagina just 24-hours earlier, my teeth actually started to cut through my tongue. A giggle bubbled through the blood in my mouth. The kind of crazed giggle that comes when you’re not sure if you want to laugh, cry or throw punches.