Post # 1
Some recent threads that were started on controversial topics and Mrs. DG posting about this article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/mommywars/mommy.htm) got me to thinking….can we maintain the general WB community norms here in the babies forum? It seems that when it comes to kids we are being far more judgemental of each other than on wedding topics (cash bar and money dance aside!) – resulting in a bit of polarizing dynamic.
any thoughts on how we can keep it a place where we all want to be? Should we avoid controversial topics, try to think about whether we would say what we are saying on the boards to our friends ????….I don’t know the answer, but would love to start a discussion! IT seems like there are not many places where new moms can go for a community without constantly getting into these super heated topics…
Post # 3
Janna, thanks for your post. It’s true that there are VERY heated topics that are tied to parenting and that people feel extremely strongly about parenting styles and care/feeding of children.
Honestly I feel as if the very best thing we can do is not avoid these topics (because many of them — breast vs. formula feeding, vaccinating or not, co-sleeping vs. cry it out, etc. etc. are really fundamental parenting issues that everyone’s going to have to navigate their way through. If everyone can promise to really keep in mind that every child, and every family is different and that there is no ONE right answer, no matter how strongly one may feel about certain things, I think that will go a long way toward keeping the peace here. Also remember to always give the other Mommies here the benefit of the doubt — I think it’s safe to say that everyone loves their babies/children and only wants what is truly best for them.
Of course this is easier said than done when you’re feeling REALLY strongly about something, but if that everyone can agree on these fundamentals it will pave the way for peaceful and respectful discussions even about the tough topics.
Post # 4
I don’t think there is a right way to raise a child. From what I learned when I took a class in child psychology, you could do everything perfect but there is no way to guarantee your child will come out how you want them to be. Partly why I was against having kids.. but this was college. I’ve grown since then, but it still applies. If someone says something that you don’t agree with, don’t take it personally and it’s their opinion and hopefully, they are not trying to tell you what is right and what is wrong…
Is this maybe a flood of people who are newbies? Maybe they haven’t gotten the whole WB environment yet?
Post # 5
Oh, one point of yours I did not address — you mentioned thinking about whether or not what you’re about to post is something you would say to your friends — I think that is an EXCELLENT idea — taking it even further, consider whether it’s something you’d say to ANYONE’S face offline….if the answer is no, at minimum the phrasing probably needs to be re-thought.
So that’s a terrific thing to consider when posting, particularly on the hot topics!
Post # 6
Definitely! My mom always used to say “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to your grandmother.” And everytime I begin to get rude I ask myself if I would ever say that to grandma if she was on the other side. The grandmother rule has yet to fail me…my temper on the other hand, well I’m still working with that.
(Thank goodness for the edit function!)
Post # 7
As an aside, I want to note that the reason I posted those topics here is because I revere WB above all other forums on the web. You can’t find a group of nicer people and the feeling of community and the politeness…well it is something that is sorely lacking in EVERY other forum I have visited. Even those topics were (I thought) fairly well handled. I think it sets a precedent that we can talk about controversial subjects and still maintain the WB peace.
Post # 8
Just wondering, you think this mommywars is because there are a lot of brides on here that don’t have children and that they are talking about how they would raise their children.
I’ve heard that it’s different once you actually have a child. That saying is one thing and doing is another when it comes to children.
I can say til I’m blue in the face that this is how I would raise a child but I dont’ know what I would actually do once I have children.
Post # 9
One issue with discussing ANY parenting topic is that no matter how unfailingly polite a person is, it is very hard not to take offense when someone disagrees with your parenting style. Something about becoming a parent makes you instantly incredibly insecure and, I, for one, need a lot of validation that I’m not completely screwing it up. I think a lot of parents feel the same way and end up on the defensive…
Post # 10
I am pretty scared about the typical flame war starting topics, such as vaccinating, circumcision, cry-it-out, etc, but I’ve been really happy to se that they’re being handled appropriately.
Not to go overboard patting us all on the back, but I really was SO excited to see a baby board on WB… I don’t think about receptions or cakes or dresses anymore, but this is the community where people know me and I know people, and it is SAFE compared to a lot of boards out there. I didn’t really want to go create a new identity and break into a new community somewhere else, where the potential for being beat up on for my opinions was so much higher. The baby board really saved WB for me.
I think one thing we should do is try to maintain an attitude of minimal response to people who do get riled up… unfortunately, some are so belligerant or defensive that even obeying the “IRL friend” or “grandma” rule, they would go over-the-top. I think we’re all entitled to sharing our opinion here, but anyone who can’t do that in a polite, decent fashion doesn’t have to be listened to.
Post # 11
@Mighty Sapphire – I wholly applaud you for posting these topics. While the discussion can get heated, I think it’s important for us to see these subjects presented from multiple angles.
I do agree, though, that a certain level of decorum should always be maintained. No need to personally attack anyone, of course!! It’s wonderful to see a dialogue created.
Post # 12
I think the IRL policy is a great reminder. I know I always try to phrase things the way I would to a friend IRL, which causes me to think before I post. There is always a way to state your opinion without being so intense you are, in turn, demeaning to others.
I figure people have been raising kids for HOW many years all over the world? With all those different parenting styles? They turn out ok! You can only do the best you can do, but acknowledging that somebody else’s way works, too, only makes sense.
Post # 13
I love the “Grandmother Rule” I’ve never heard that before but it’s a great idea!
Post # 14
I think that there are times when people just need to keep their mouths shut. There are lots of things that people write, say, and do about their weddings that I think are absolutely ridiculous or even stupid. But that’s my oppinion and I don’t need to comment that those “gorgeous” heels are acutally the most hideous shoes I’ve ever seen. Or that spending more than x amount on your wedding is wasteful. It’s my oppinion and I can respect that others have different oppinions and priorities. And that is NOT A BAD THING! It’s what makes wedding bee a great place because there is such a diverse group of women forming a community around a common theme without the negative remarks and snarkiness.
I am not yet a mother, but know that there are topics that are very important to me, mainly natural childbirth, breastfeeding and vaccines. What I’d like when I am a mom-to-be is advice and a sense of welcoming community. Which is what I try to give in return. There are a million different ways to throw a wedding, but there are also different ways to raise a child. Each of our parents raised us a little differently from the next person, and it seems like we all turned out relatively okay. Our kids will do the same, and we don’t need to tear each other apart for doing things differently than we are.
I hope that the hive’s “nesting” boards continue to be welcoming, understanding, and considerate just as the wedding boards are.
Post # 15
I have *never* seen the vax, circumcision, breastfeeding, etc., etc. discussions go so well as I’ve seen them go here. I nearly choked when I saw all those polls the other day. But, honestly, those were some of THE biggest hot-button issues, and they seemed to go pretty well. Usually, those things crash and burn like nobody’s business.
I came on here as a vendor because a friend recommended this site; but I’ve stayed around because it’s the nicest online community I’ve ever seen. I *love* the Babies section–I feel like I can sort of be a part of it without, hopefully, it being too weird.
Post # 16
I agree with aliciarenee. I think those posts went really, really well compared to what they devolve into on most baby boards. There is a sense of maturity in this community, I think, that allows us to tolerate differences well.
I have so much respect for the women here who I’ve come to know over time that even if we disagree on baby wearing or timing of the MMR vaccine, I can care for them just as much and see how different decisions are appropriate for different families… just the same way that I can like a rustic wedding for me and an elegant indoor affair for someone else.
I think that if we are mindful and tolerant, we are going to be just fine 🙂