Within a week of being a new mom, a message in my Facebook inbox appeared from an old friend. "I hope you don't mind that I added you to a mom group I'm a part of. All of the women are so supportive and loving. It's a really great community." (Sometimes I look back at this and cry from laughing so hard.)
Mind? No, certainly not! I was new to the game. Oh yes, it's a game. I'll teach you. I mean surviving Mommy Facebook Groups, not the kid. The kid isn't a game, unless you count barking like a dog to get your baby to bark like a dog. Anyway, I didn't know a lick about keeping a baby alive. This sounded ah-mazing.
I was so green then, it's kind of adorable now how naive I was. Like a fresh doe frolicking in the meadows of flowers, completely unaware that I was being hunted from just yonder the hills. What was just past those hills you ask? Cranky, bitchy, tired, hormonal women who thought their main purpose on this earth was to tell you that if you aren't raising your child the way they raise theirs, well you might as well just off the kid. And they all unite to be miserable together in Mommy Facebook Groups! I feel like, in the early days of Mom Groups there must have been an initiation where you swear an oath saying you complain about your life at least 27 times a week.
Alas. A post asking for advice on baby bottles popped up in my newsfeed. Perfect! I registered for only one kind, got a zillion of them, and my baby was over them after a few days. This would be so helpful!! The comment chain started out innocently enough. Some moms chimed in suggesting Doc Brown or Tommee Tippee. Some women suggested different nipples for the bottle (standard versus slow flow versus faucet drip). Ok, I made that last one up, but seriously, what did women do when there was only one type of bottle? We have it so easy. You'd think that'd make us less stressed.
Then a mom wrote in: "How old is your baby?" Ahem. If you're new to the game, you wouldn't think twice about this question. Perhaps you'd even think how nice of this woman to take an interest in the baby. Silly, sweet you. Us seasoned moms... we know better. The poster replied: "3 months."
You know where this is going, right? "Why does your baby need a bottle at 3 months? Are you not breastfeeding? There could be nipple confusion if you try giving them a bottle and you should be breastfeeding for at least a year."
Shooooot me already with your holier than thou, chastising as fuck questions and judgment. CHRIST. Is it your business if this woman is breastfeeding or, if she did, for how long she breastfed? NO. NO IT IS NOT. She asked about bottles. She didn't ask you to come bitchslap her in the face with your boobs full of IQ laced breast milk. For real. (If you've been around long enough, you've heard the common "breast is best" brag that babies who are breast fed have higher IQ's than babies who received formula). Formula baby here. It's totally miraculous that I can put together a sentence isn't it? It's like I somehow defied all the odds. And I swear to baby Jesus, enough with this nipple confusion bullshit. Stop scaring moms. Ok, that was a rant, but it needed to be said!
Comment after comment poured in.
"Sometimes the milk supply just dries up and you have to supplement," one gal chimed in. Oh honey, I wish I could have warned you... don't ever say "supplement" in a mommy group. Blood hath been shed over such crimes.
"You shouldn't need to supplement. Your body knows what your baby needs and your baby knows how to get what she needs from you." Oh, thank God. Finally, a woman who knows my jugs and my baby better than me! Maybe she can let me know when I'm ovulating next.
"Well I'm just saying blah blah blah recommends breastfeeding for 2 years. Why wouldn't you provide the best for your baby?"
LADIES STOP BEING ASSHOLES. You can breastfeed your children until they can tie their shoelaces if that's what you really want to do. Yeah, I'm totally gonna judge you quietly in my head because that's weird and creepy, but I'm not going to be an asshole to you. I'm gonna let you do you. You want kids hanging off your boobs in the park while I day drink mimosas and lattes, cool. But do us all a favor and pull the stick out of your ass that forced you to lecture another mom who didn't do it your way. There are other options if you want to take something up the ass.
And see, you'd think this might be like a one-time thread. All groups have a few resident bitches, right? But no. It happens all the time. It is actually the only predictable thing in my life right now. I may not be able to predict that my baby will wake up at 3 AM having shit herself all the way up her back, but I can sure as shit predict that if I come across a post with a picture of a bottle, some hussy is gonna have a say about it.
Let's take last week for example. A mom friend of my liked a post from a woman who has quadruplets and it popped up on my page. This mom's Facebook page has close to 70k followers. She posted a photo of her baby napping on her husband's belly. Aw, sweet moment right? Most of us probably have one of those photos lying around if Dad is in the picture. But in this particular photo, you could see a bottle of an opaque liquid. It could have been formula. It could have been breastmilk. I could have gone on with my life never having known.
But not these moms following her. I didn't have to scroll far for the first comment: "Is that breastmilk?! If so, I'm even more impressed by you!" I'm sure the mother of FOUR BABIES is totally worried about impressing you. Thanks for sharing! I mean I know she's totally going to high five herself because some woman who probably doesn't have QUADRUPLETS is letting her know, she's even more impressed with her. I mean, if it was formula, yawn. Definitely yawn. Can confirm, as a mother of one, I'd totally be unimpressed if it was *only* formula. I'm actually only impressed if she could breastfeed all four kids at once. Only then will she get my accolades!!
Can we all just stop this madness? I'm gonna need to write a study guide of safe topics for mom groups. Wait, that's silly. There aren't any. For now, the only cure is to marinate yourself in coconut oil. It's apparently the cure for everything. And it should come in handy for removing the stick out of your arse.