If you are on social media, you have likely dipped your toes in a mom group or two. And if you haven’t, you have undoubtedly heard about them from someone who says they are a lifesaver. Or someone else who tells you to run away as fast as possible. At first, mom groups seem harmless. You see a Facebook group for moms in your city and think, “That sounds like fun.” Sometimes, they can be. Mom groups are fantastic for discovering things in your town, or to hear about food and toy recalls, or where to find the best garage sales. This is all great information, but you better watch what you post. Some mama bears can be vicious.
Mom Groups Can Mean Public Shaming
There are entire TikTok accounts dedicated to the world of mom groups, and some of the things you see posted are pretty accurate. You have undoubtedly seen a mom post an innocent picture of her child in their car seat, and if the chest clip is a millimeter off, she will be positively roasted in the comments. Is car seat safety important? Yes, 1 million percent. We must ensure that our children are fitted in their seats properly. But is it okay to call someone an unfit parent if they make a small mistake? No, it’s not.
Mom groups are also not the place to turn for medical advice. And it’s not just the big things like vaccines or whether to breast or formula feed; this should be a rule across the board. Again, in these groups, you will find moms who received their medical degrees watching Grey’s Anatomy and feel they can diagnose their child with many illnesses by looking at an out-of-focus cellphone picture.
Even if it is an innocent pic of what a mom might think is hand, foot, and mouth disease, or maybe asking if their child’s cheeks look flushed, the mommy MDs go wild. Some will lead the poor mom into a frenzy, telling her to call 911 immediately; others will suggest just waiting it out, which could also be dangerous. But the best thing to do is leave it to the experts and call your child’s doctor.
Not for Hot-Button Topics
While you’re at it, stay away from hot-topic issues in mom groups unless you want to see the absolute worst in people. Politics, religion, and education get people emotional and cause fights. Is it worth it to get into an argument, often with a total stranger, online? No, probably not. Plus, it’s always important to remember that the internet is forever, and keyboard warriors can be crazy. You never know when saying something controversial in a mom group could come back to haunt you.
There is an entire underbelly of women who make it a point to hurt others. Sadly, some of those mean girls you grew up with became mean women. They tend to use the same bullying tactics in mom groups. There is the kind who passively aggressively gives their opinion. Then, some moms are patronizing and talk down to other women because they have some superiority complex. It is awful, but many women would pull each other down rather than lift one another up.
Mom Groups Can Be Hugely Helpful
Are there good things about mom groups? Absolutely! This is particularly true if they are very specific groups where you are most likely to find other women with similar interests. I have a son who was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD when he was younger, and at the time, I felt utterly lost. I was navigating a new world of behaviors, therapies, and medications. He was my first child, and I wanted to make all the right choices. A friend steered me into some support groups on Facebook. And honestly, it was life-changing for me. I learned from other parents and felt a sense of camaraderie with people who are experiencing the same things that I am. That doesn’t always come from groups with thousands of people.
We need to be better as women, specifically moms, at treating one another with kindness and giving grace. No one wants to be judged. We all want to be heard and understood. Do we all make mistakes? Of course. But do we deserve to be humiliated by women unfairly judging us in a mom group? No, not at all. And we also don’t need to treat others that way either. You can’t get a person’s life story from a quick comment on Facebook. We all have stories, and no one’s life is easy. No matter how great it looks, everyone has struggles, and we all should respect that. Keep your mean thoughts to yourself in mom groups.
If you enter a mom group, proceed with caution, and remember you don’t know who all these women are, and they may be pretty harsh. Save the important stuff for your real mom friends who love and care about you, no matter what.