Until I became a mother almost two years ago, I had no idea about the vast world of Facebook mom groups. There are local mom groups, groups for working moms, groups for breastfeeding moms, even specific groups for moms who love Walt Disney World. These groups can be a great source of support and information, particularly for a new mother who is up in the middle of the night googling what colors of baby poop are normal or why their toddler hates them.
They also tend to be filled with some predictable characters. No matter which mom group you belong to, you’re almost guaranteed to encounter one of these.
1. The Black-Market Hustler
This woman is always selling something. Sometimes it’s old baby clothes. Sometimes its toys or strollers. She sells her own clothes, her husband’s clothes, her dog’s clothes. She sells furniture, rugs, bottle warmers, nursing bras. There is always a reason. She missed the return window on that pair of jeans, or got two swings for a baby shower, or just for whatever reason owns 5 of every baby product known to man. You envision her meeting cargo ships filled with old Mamaroos at the docks somewhere or selling crates of never opened formula out of the trunk of her car.
2. The Richer than God Mom
This mother is so wealthy that she exists on a different realm from the other women in the group. She posts when she needs recommendations for a full-time night nurse, or a sleep consultant, or a preschool admissions coach. She would love opinions on a family-friendly resort in Gstaad, or what time of year is best for visiting the Seychelles. She is desperate for advice on a decent sailing instructor for her 2-year-old. She often sells barely used couches that equal a down payment on a small house. She is usually named Mitzy or Bunny and typically married to a Chip or a Topper.
3. The Unrealistic Expectations Mom.
Her posts typically come in all caps. You can practically hear her screams of frustration. “WHY ISN’T MY 7-WEEK-OLD SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT?” she asks. Or, “MY 8-MONTH-OLD WILL JUST NOT SIT STILL FOR AN ENTIRE OPERA PERFORMANCE.” As her child gets older, the expectations only get more and more severe. “I AM SO ANNOYED. MY 2-YEAR-OLD HATES HER CELLO LESSONS.” You feel desperately sorry for the poor toddler who fails his mother at every turn, simply because he can’t yet count to ten in Mandarin or play quietly in his room for an entire afternoon.
4. The Expert.
No matter your question, this mother will respond with an answer within 10 seconds with total conviction. She speaks in absolutes. How to get your kid to sleep through the night? You MUST use her method or else your child will not sleep through the night until college. How to introduce solids? She SWEARS by a certain technique, and if you don’t do the same your kid will never eat solids and grow up to be in a cult. What kind of bottle should you use? There is ONLY one acceptable in her opinion, unless you hate your baby. There is no gray area for the expert. There is her way of doing things and then the wrong way.
5. The Connector.
This mom plays an integral role in the group. Sally needs a decorator and the connector’s friend, Beth, just happens to be available. Mitzi wants a new babysitter, and the connector has several contacts. She knows seemingly everyone in your city, and she’s always ready and willing to spring into action to put people together. Without her, the group would likely fall apart.
6. The Motivational Speaker.
She doesn’t ask for or give advice. She doesn’t really sell or buy anything. The motivational speaker is primarily there to ensure that everyone else lives their best lives. She posts inspirational quotes and links to articles. She responds to posts with a “you’ve got this girl” or “hang in there” and always uses a lot of exclamation points and emojis. She is the counterpoint to The Expert, who exists primarily to make you feel bad about your parenting. The Motivational Speaker just wants women to be there for other women. She may or may not be heavily medicated.
7. The Dad.
He is the primary caretaker for his children. He makes the meals and does school drop-offs. He bakes and crafts, and he likes it, because it’s 2018 darn it! And he is here for this group. He is here for the advice and support and tips and has just as much of an opinion about potty training as any woman. He has a slew of Crockpot recipes to share and really would love a recommendation on grocery store delivery services. Just try to judge him, and he will school you and your old-fashioned gender stereotypes.
8. The Help-Seeking Mom.
This woman is often also the Richer than God Mom but not always. She is constantly seeking out advice for various service roles in her household. She needs a date night babysitter, a daytime nanny, a housekeeper (seemingly every two weeks she changes housekeepers), a handyman, a personal chef, a trainer, a plumber, an electrician, a plumber who specializes in electrical work, a math tutor for her 8-year-old, a karate coach for her toddler, a masseuse, a Reiki master, a spiritual advisor to determine if she still needs the Reiki master, and of course, a life coach. The connector plays a big role in this mom’s life.
9. The Salesperson.
No matter how many times a group makes a rule that no one can use it for their personal business, the salesperson finds a way in. You get invitations for random, online “parties” from this woman. Sometimes it’s for skin care products that will supposedly make you look ten years younger. Other times it’s statement jewelry. Or leggings. Or flame-less candles that smell like cinnamon. The Expert, who obviously has every single bylaw of the group memorized, typically puts a stop to the Salesperson’s shenanigans. But a few weeks later, she’ll pop up again with a new product. She always does.
10. The Mid-Nervous Breakdown Mom.
We all know this woman. We have all been this woman. Her baby is teething, or going through a sleep regression, or quite literally pooping all over her house. Her posts often include the words “help” or “desperate” or “why God why.” She asks for advice in bursts in the middle of the night, with a lot of misspelled words and bad grammar. She normally knows how to spell the word “diaper”, but she hasn’t slept in a few days, so we give her a break. Sometimes her posts are barely decipherable or just a series of cry face emjois. The Expert may try to help, but this mom really just needs the Motivational Speaker to tell her everything is going to be okay. And a glass of wine. A really big glass of wine.
Why taking two little ones out in public can feel so intimidating…