A while ago I stumbled on Cafe mom – an iVillage like website for moms (I think I actually saw someone on the Today show promoting it). I decided to give it a whirl and created a username so I could sign in and check out some of the message boards. I thought I might even post, share this here blog and actually get some advice. Ha!
What I actually found are a bunch of crazy rambling judgey weirdos*. Dude, no, seriously. It works kind of like facebook but with most of the interaction happening on the message boards. People have these ‘signatures’ that they can leave on the end of their posts and replies. Some are just one of those cute Lilypie ticker things saying how pregnant they are or how old their baby is, but some people feel the need to have some sort of collage of pictures of them with their husbands and kids and it will say, in fancy glitter text something to the effect of “Wife of Joe Schmo and loving mom to so and so”. Sometimes they also feel the need to tell their life story. No Joke! These people literally post PARAGRAPHS with their views on everything from Crying it out (or, in message board speak CIO – seriously everything has an abbreviation like that), to delaying solids to their baby’s poop or their views on abortion. Some even add non-mom related thing like they support the Iraq war. I’m not kidding! In a freaking signature that appears EVERY TIME you post or respond to someone in a message board. Not like, on their profile page or anything. Like you need to know this information in order to read their response.
Also, the advice people give and the blatant disregard for facts people seem to have- mostly in the BFing group (see what I did there?) is pure insanity. Like, this woman wrote a post and she was obviously having a lot of problems feeding her baby and was considering supplementing with formula. She wrote something like “well my baby isn’t gaining weight and I figured supplementing with formula would help and after all formula never killed anyone LOL” and people freaked the fuck out in response to her. Someone actually wrote “Yes, formula has killed babies – even in this country and it has been linked to other problems like childhood obesity and even cancer.” Uh, okay lady. I just hope this poor woman who was having the issue and considered supplementing got some advice from some real life rational people.
There’s also this woman who is a lactation ‘counselor’ by hobby (not a certified lactation consultant) and consistently responds to people posts with gems of wisdom like “Your Dr. is WRONG I would find a new one” or “IGNORE the growth charts you baby is doing just fine” or “Find a NEW lactation consultant this one obviously doesn’t know what she’s talking about”. I mean really lady? Are you going to be that irresponsible by posting this shit to someone who is already probably distraught over the troubles they are having. You’re probably just making it worse by telling them that their trusted medical professional is wrong and they should find a new one. I just hope the women who are seeking out advice know to take what these people post with a big grain of salt.
I thought I might actually be able to use this to connect with other moms and get some legitimate advice but so far not so much. I even joined a Brooklyn moms group but most of the posts are people selling their used baby gear or promoting their over-priced granola mommy classes/ services. Kind of like the Sunset Park parents yahoo group I joined, although this one IS a little more useful and some posts actually are about the things I am looking for like activities for moms and kids and community info.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with sharing (or over sharing as in the case of some of the posts on this here blog) things on the internet. I mean, I have internet ‘friends’ that i made posting as a commenter on Jezebel and other blogs. I know that this here blog is ‘out there’ and anyone can come and read my rambling posts about baby poop and bouncy chairs but I do not feel the need to overrun message boards with my own brand of crazy I guess. Also: how do these moms have time for all these posts? I started writing this last night and have been interrupted about 50 times and even had to throw in the towel and go to bed last night before I go finish this, not to mention the dishes, laundry, etc. I can barely read or comment on any of my favorite blogs anymore let alone jump onto a message board to tell like 5 different people that their Dr’s are wrong and their baby will get fat and possibly die if they even bring a container of formula into their house.
*please note I am not writing off EVERYONE on Cafe mom as crazy judgey and weird, but seriously? go read it for yourselves. Mostly the breastfeeding group but kind of everywhere.