an interesting thing about moms

February 21st, 2009

I work for a mom community website where moms come to ask each other for advice from other moms. We’re recently working on a project that has me spending lots of time reading, classifying and sorting these questions and answers. It is fascinating. Our community skews ultra right wing Christian, and so it is not uncommon to see “trust in God” nestled right in there with “swaddle ’em til their eyes pop” as the solution to a sleeping problem. But in general, we all ask the same questions and give the same advice.

Going through the process of sorting, I’ve learned a few things:
– Everything is linked to potty training. No matter how I search through the questions, potty training always weasels it’s way into my results. I’ve found it under “x-rays and 4 year olds”, “in-laws & step families”, “losing baby weight”, “summertime treats”, “toys”, “traveling”, …
– “If my son cosleeps with just his dad, will he become gay?” Thankfully moms around the nation resoundingly say “No. Are you for real?”
– A lot of people eat casserole. I mean a lot of people, like 90% of the US.
– Watch out for the world war between the breast-feeders and the formula feeders. The topic is like religion. Frankly, I’m not surprised by the sidedness of the conversation because in mothering we are always looking for an indicator of our success as a parent, and few things can make you feel as successful or as insecure as your ability to sooth and nourish a baby at your breast. So, those who do breast-feed feel righteous, and those who can’t or won’t line the spectrum from “whatever” to racked with insane, fire spitting hormonal guilt. Pit righteous against fire-spitting and bam!