I was recently in a Facebook group created by ladies in the town in which we were living called Crunchy Mamas. I was excited to join this group to ask questions, get suggestions, and have local support from ladies near me that had the same ideas and values as I did. I quickly found, however, that many of the mothers involved in the site, especially the ones running it, had strong opinions about raising children…and if you didn’t agree with these opinions, you were either criticized, talked down to, or kicked out of the group. The very young mother who had started the group clearly has much pride for it and likes to keep close control over everything posted. When a mother asked a question about something that may have caused friction, this girl was quick to remind every one that she had the power to remove anyone from the group if she wasn’t happy with their response.
Apart from the politics of the site, what was most disappointing to me was the fact that the group of mothers that I had been so eager to join for support were in fact the most unsupportive and disrespectful group of parents I could have imagined. I know that certain parenting methods can be somewhat controversial, but I had never actually experienced people’s brutal opinions until this Facebook group.
In my mind, how other parents choose to raise their children is of no concern to me. My husband and I, before we were even pregnant with our first child, discussed the important values and beliefs that we felt were vital in the bringing up of our children. We wanted to make sure that we were each on the same page and had each other’s back for the important aspects of creating a decent human. Unfortunately, conversations like these don’t always take place. I truly believe that is why there has been such a rise in divorces after children and single parents.
This is the post that I added to the Crunchy Mamas page that got me kicked off:
Some of us use disposables. Some of us use cloth. Some of us even use both.
Some of us use formula. Some of us breastfeed. Some of us use covers. Some of us are fine letting it all hang out!
Some of us babywear. Some of us don’t. Some of us love Ergo. Some of us love Tula. Some of us don’t care in the least!
Some of us are sticklers about weight restrictions on carseats. Some of us rear face for two years. Some of us do not.
Some of us have preemies. Some of us have 10 lb newborns.
Some of us are all natural. Others not so much.
Some of us prefer washing with one detergent. Some have a different preference.
I hope we all remember that we’re each on our own journey. My methods may be different than yours, my neighbors, or the strangers I’ve never met down the street…but I certainly don’t think they’re better than any others. I do what I feel is best for me, my situation, and my family.
I was excited to join this group for support so that I could ask my fellow mamas questions about certain things, and perhaps even be able to answer some questions myself for other mamas.
I hope we all know and continue to remember that though you may feel strongly about something, doesn’t make other opinions wrong.
There is so much hate and negativity floating around, I’d hate for it to end up in a great group of mamas all of whom have the same goal: to do the best they can on their journey.
Because I had seen so much negativity posted in other people’s questions and comments, I decided to write that post to encourage everybody and hopefully give a simple, kind reminder that we’re all on the same mission despite the different routes we take.
Those kind words were somehow twisted and I was kicked out of the group by the girl that loves control. What upsets me about this is that I know that there are mothers in the group that had the same desires and eagerness to just have support from women doing the same thing that they are doing. The girl in charge is barely out of her teenage years and already pregnant with her second. I know that her anger issues and control issues have to do with her own journey and life, but I hope that these other 300 or so women in this Facebook group aren’t deterred. I hope they don’t give up on one another. I hope they aren’t convinced that there is “one right way” and if they don’t do it they are wrong.
What matters to me is love. If you love your child(ren), you’re doing it right. Because love does conquer all. And there is never going to be one way to do things that every parent agrees on. It depends on so many factors and the best you can do is what you feel in your heart is right. That is how I am raising my children. I do what I feel is right in my heart and with nothing but love for them. I know as they get older, and especially when they approach their teenage years, I am going to be challenged in ways I can’t even imagine yet, but when that time comes, my husband and I hope to get through it with nothing but love for them, each other, and our family as a whole.
I wish the best for that young girl that loves control. I hope her children are taken care of and smothered with love constantly, because as long as they are happy, healthy, and loved, it doesn’t matter which methods are used to bring them up. It doesn’t matter one way or another which laundry detergent was used. Or which brand of diapers were used. Or which brand of carriers was used.
Keep your head’s up, mamas. When it doubt, remember that we’re all doing the same thing. Surviving. Trying. Failing. Succeeding. Loving. And doing the best we can!