Musings: I've given up on parenting groups, they're all too toxic
It's the last place you expect to be judged and yet....
When I first became a parent in 2012 I was clueless, so I turned to a lot of different parenting groups and forums for advice.
Now ten years on, I've completely given up on them because of the toxic behaviour I've seen displayed by other parents towards myself and other members and I'm just sick of it.
One of the reasons that I turned to the various parenting groups and forums I've used over the years is for advice, but instead all I've gotten is judgement.
Judgement over what name you choose for your child, if you raise them with religion or not, what diet they eat, where they go to school, when they hit their milestones, how you put them to sleep.....it just goes on and on.
I won't lie, back around 2012/2013 it wasn't as bad, which is why I stuck with them as long as I did.
Unfortunately, as the numbers of users on social media platforms grew and we saw the beginning of the age of the parenting influencers, suddenly every and all questions asked was met with nastiness.
I think one of the most toxic things about a lot of these groups is how they affect the mental health of parents, especially new parents.
I know when I was a new parent (and to be honest still to this day) I wracked myself with guilt over everything.
Should I be going back to work? Should I be more involved with the school committee like other parents? Should I be going on a night out?
None of these things harmed my children, but were these questions met with judgment and upsetting comments? Absolutely.
That's why now I've had enough and will not be using parenting groups anymore.
Parenting is hard enough, we guilt trip ourselves enough without having anyone else, people who should support us, add to that guilt.
What ever happened to parents looking out for one another?