They say it takes a whole village to raise a child.
For many modern mamas, the village exists online rather than in real life.
It’s not easy to find your tribe in the real world.
But there are plenty of Facebook parenting groups that offer friendship, support and gif-based humour.
You can join groups that match your ethos: gentle parenting groups, vegan parenting groups, local parenting groups. It’s a way to help you find online mamas you wish you knew in real life.
10 Mamas You’ll Find In A Facebook Parenting Group
Women in these online groups do amazing things for other mothers.
They support one other through sleepless nights, health scares and toddler tantrums. They pass down clothes and toys to each other, making the financial strain of motherhood a little less daunting.
One group in the UK even paid for one member’s IVF treatment, so she could try for another baby (read more here).
Make no mistake, these women are the queens you need in your corner. Real friendships can be born in online parenting groups.
The situation is not always perfect, though. No matter how caring, supportive and fun your group is, there are bound to be a few individuals who will drive you up the wall.
Here are 10 mamas you’re likely to find in every Facebook parenting group:
#1: The Humble Bragger
Is there anything more infuriating than a humble brag? Probably not.
Facebook groups can be mixed bags. For example, not everybody will be in the same financial situation. Some groups have people who have lots of money and also those who have very little to their name.
Obviously, the world would be a much happier place if resources were shared fairly and there was no such thing as poverty, but none of us expects a Facebook parenting group to change that. So differences in financial situation are ok. At least, until somebody starts humble bragging about money.
Here are some examples of humble brags:
“Oh God, just got our heating bill for the winter. I had NO IDEA it would be so expensive to heat a nine bedroom house!”
“OMG. Hubby is such a cutie. Look at the new car he just surprised me with!”
“Struggling to decide which outfit goes best with my new designer shoes. Which do you think?”
The humble bragger wants you all to know how well she’s doing in life. She feeds off compliments and admiration and is surprisingly needy. She is unable to go more than a few weeks without posting a humble brag.
#2: The Sancti-Mama
This mother is the absolute worst. She seems to be physically unable to scroll past posts; instead, she comments on every single one.
She doesn’t say nice, supportive or helpful things, either. She just wants you all to know how much better she is than the rest of you. She is, in her eyes at least, the perfect mother.
She has never made a mistake – and she never will. She is a self-confirmed expert in every area of parenting and she probably has a mantelpiece full of homemade awards for her parenting skills. She is most likely to post comments like:
“Wow, I can’t believe you feed these to your kids! Don’t you look at the ingredients before handing food over to your child? They’re full of additives and sugars. TBH, I’m surprised they haven’t been banned”.
“Your baby is pretty young to leave with someone, don’t you think? No offence, but I’m not going to leave my child with anybody for a long time. I guess I just love spending time with my baby, and I’d be so worried leaving her with anyone else. What if she cried and I wasn’t there? What if she got hurt? What if something terrible happened? Lol, guess I’m just a worrier. Have fun at the cinema”.
“Is he watching TV in that photo? Such a shame. We have a ‘no TV’ rule and it’s working beautifully. My kids love reading, playing and painting with organic, non-toxic animal faeces. #justsaying”.
This mama has an opinion about everything and you can be certain, no matter what you post, you’ve done something she thinks is wrong.
#3: The MLM-Mama
This mama was desperate to find a way to earn money from home and so she ended up working for a multi-level marketing company.
So now she sells something. It might be candles, vitamin tablets or skincare. Whatever it is, you don’t need it but she will not stop posting about it. Every day, she seems to post some kind of ‘amazing offer’ that never really sounds all that amazing.
She suggests her products are the solution to every problem anyone in the group mentions. Nappy rash? The lotion she sells is perfect for that. Three-week-old not sleeping through the night? You probably need a new candle. Perineum hurts after giving birth? Have you tried one of these knock-off designer perfumes?
The admins will eventually ban ‘all marketing and sales posts in the group’ – even though she’s the only one who ever posts them. Then she’ll move on to direct messaging.
Every time you change your profile picture, she’ll message you saying you look gorgeous and would you model her products for her. Of course she’d be happy to give you a discount of 5% in return for your services. Er, no thanks.
#4: The Rage Mama
This mama only ever posts when she’s angry. She never starts a thread to say she’s had a great day, or she’s really happy at work, or her partner is a total babe. She is the total opposite of the humble bragger; this mama only lets you in on the miserable bits of her existence.
All you know about her life is that she might have anger problems and that her partner is a total douchebag. Oh, and if you tell her she should leave him, she will not react well. In fact, she’ll totally ignore you. At least for a few weeks, until she flies into another rage – again – and wants the Internet to tell her she’s in the right.
#5: The Lurker
This mama never posts. You see her name in the group, but you don’t recognise her profile picture because she doesn’t interact. You assume she isn’t active on Facebook or she’s forgotten all about the group.
You’re wrong. She’s there, reading all of your posts, and getting to know all the intricate details of the group members. She knows you all like the back of her hand, but you know nothing about her.
She ‘likes’ the occasional post but never shares anything about herself. And then one day she posts a photo of the new baby you didn’t even know she was pregnant with.
#6: The BFF You Wish You Knew IRL
In every group, you will find a mama you wish went to your local babygroup. She has the same sense of humour as yours, she parents in a similar way, and she watches the same TV shows you do. You feel like you’ve known her for years.
You always message her to tell her your good news, to make her laugh with tales of your misfortune, and to ask her advice. She lives in your phone but you feel like you know her better than most of the people you see in real life.
#7: The Accepting Mama
This mama is the glue that holds the group together. She’s the one who makes everybody feel they belong. She accepts everybody, she never judges, and she has the patience of a saint.
She calls out the Sancti-Mama for her judgemental comments, but manages to do it in a way that doesn’t offend her.
You know you can post anything in the group because the accepting mama will empathise with you, and support you, no matter what. Even on your worst day, you can look to her for help and a kind smile. She’s the Internet’s version of a big hug, and she’s just what you need when you’re feeling low.
#8: The Victi-Mama
This mama always has something terrible going on in her life. She has the worst luck ever. Her life is like something out of a late night TV drama – the kind you’d watch while saying, “There’s no way this would ever happen in real life”.
Every single thing that can go wrong in her life, does. The group sometimes feels like her own personal counselling session. As soon as you’ve finished counselling her through the death of a close friend, her budgie goes missing, her house catches fire, her car is stolen and her dangerous ex escapes from prison.
And, to make matters worse, nothing ever helps her. You all try to offer help and advice but are told, time and again, that whatever you’ve suggested is a waste of time. No, that definitely won’t work. Thanks anyway.
#9: The Oversharer
A Facebook parenting group should be a safe and private place, but you’re always conscious that things could be screenshotted and shared elsewhere. As a result, you don’t share the gory details of your life. You share enough, but not too much, and most people in the group seem to share the same amount.
Apart from one. The oversharer has probably never considered whether or not the Internet is private or safe. She’s too busy sharing naked photos of her kids (despite admin asking her not to), posting photos of her mucus plug (while you’re eating your porridge), and writing out detailed stories about her sex life. Yep, she overshares about everything.
#10: The Expert Mama
Unlike the Sancti-Mama, the Expert Mama is actually a useful person to have around in an emergency. She genuinely does seem to know about everything.
She knows all about breastfeeding barriers and how to overcome them. She reads parenting books like there’s no tomorrow, and always has a new approach to suggest.
She doesn’t thrust herself forward as an expert – you just know she is one, because her advice always works
And she only ever gives advice when she’s asked to. Sometimes she doesn’t give advice at all; she just reassures you everything you’re experiencing is normal and motherhood isn’t easy.
In many ways, she’s the matriarch of the group and you all look up to her.
Which mama are you?