I hate moms. Okay, not all moms. Just the moms who sit on their asses at home and post in online “mommy” forums. I only venture to these forums if I feel like I have no other resource, if the only possible person who could answer my question is a mom who’s been through it before. Sometimes the objective opinion of a person who doesn’t know you can be incredibly helpful. But most of the time, I avoid those places like the plague.
I got sucked back in the other day – honestly, I don’t even remember what my question was. But once I’d posted it and gotten a response or two, I started perusing other questions and posting answers of my own. Just like that, I was an Online Mommy once again.
About five minutes ago, I deleted my account. I won’t mention the particular website, but suffice it to say I had accrued over 8,000 “credits” (at about 2-3 credits per post) over the past few years, so I’d spent just a wee bit of time there. There were times it was rewarding, like when my advice helped a panicked mommy figure out that she hadn’t screwed up her kid for life, or when I’d posted something particularly witty and got voted “best answer”.
But like pretty much everything else on the internet, Mommy forums are affected by this little thing called anonymity. Anonymity is like sex – it gets people amped and full of absurd overconfidence. Only, unlike sex, there are no consequences, no chance you’ll regret what you did or said, so these women run their mouths and click their “vote down” arrows like there’s no tomorrow. They spew insults with such venom, it can take your breath away.
Religion and breastfeeding are favorite topics for drawing blood. You’re an idiot if you love God, you’re an idiot if you don’t love God. You’re a selfish bitch if you don’t breastfeed, you’re a self-righteous bitch if you do.
Years ago, I used to engage these people. I’d try to fight my point or make someone feel like scum for being self-righteous. As time progressed and I matured, I stopped giving those trolls the time of day because I realized the futility of it. Eventually I became adept at ignoring them altogether.
Tonight, I submitted a rather long-winded post talking about my amusement with the way that people tend to judge a book by its cover, especially when food stamps/welfare are involved. It wasn’t an angry post. It wasn’t even a philosophical post. It was an observation, a little sharing of my own side of things, and an opening for others to share their stories too. I submitted it feeling sure that I’d get a lot of bitchy comments, but confident there would be chimes of agreement too.
I got exactly one response: “Feel better now?”
My post wasn’t a vent, it wasn’t self-serving. I wasn’t looking for sympathy. But, perhaps because I told it in story form, peppered with little quips of wit, someone took it that way.
You want to know what I think?
I think the women who sit on these forums, who consider themselves goddesses of motherhood and wielders of great knowledge, are no better than the average cyber bully. I’ve been on plenty of other types of forums – I’ve met some of my closest friends and favorite people in the world there. But not on the Mommy forums. The Mommy forums are the worst. Many of these women (myself included) are home all the time, bored and frustrated and overwhelmed. It’s nice to feel like you’re talking to other “real” people, and the forums provide that outlet.
The moms hiding behind names like “happymommy37” (any relations to real screen names is unintentional), are hypocrites, spouting advice that they likely don’t even follow themselves. Such as, “spend more time with your kids”, said by the woman whose profile boasts 20,000+ credits amassed in less than a year. (Bravo, lady, you must be so proud!) The posts guaranteed to get catty or just plain bitchy responses are any that are well-worded, thoughtful, and true. Don’t you dare hit on a nerve with these women.
Which, frankly, is what I’m pretty sure my last post did. I found the singular bitchy response to be so amusing, it inspired me to delete my account and get the heck off that site forever. Why did I post it anyway? Probably to prove to myself that most of those women couldn’t come up with an eloquent response if their lives depended on it. I can spell, I can use punctuation. Heck, I can even write a blog while talking to my 2-year-old, eating dinner, and changing the TV channel. Most Online Mommies can’t do much more than come up with third grade insults or ask questions like, “my peirod was like tow month’s late and my boobs hrut and my belly is gettgn big do u thnk i might be preggers???”.
I tried to grace them with some real thought-provoking stuff, in a light, fluffy, fun manner, and all I got was one line of snark in response. But in order to come up with that snark, it means said mommy had to read my entire long-winded post and take time to think of an insult. She’s probably doing the same thing right now: trying to come up with a good jab to make another mom feel like shit, so she can go to sleep with a smile on her face tonight.
Me? I’m about to finish this blog, pack my toddler off to bed, and get back to work on my degree.
Thanks to that good dose of perspective, I do feel better now. 🙂 Much.