From the time I was pregnant with Iris, I have become a parenting message board junkie. I have found some boards to be decent at certain times, but overall my experience with them has been fairly frustrating. For some reason, I can't stay away from them, however. I'm like a moth to a flame! For a month I stayed completely away, and have since struggled to stay away from bulletin board issues that I know will upset me, but it's a losing battle. I wish I could just quit this addiction.
Every once in a while I decide that a particular message board is pretty cool, and I read it alot. This recently happened with one and although I never added any comments or started any thread, I decided my recent struggle with home birth vs. birth center birth was worthy of soliciting advice from what (I thought) were some incredibly knowledgable women about the subject. I couldn't have been more wrong. Okay, so it breaks down like this, I start a thread asking basically outlining my choices, thank the board so much for reading and responding, and then sit back and wait. The first responder basically says "I wouldn't want to drive, I would do the homebirth". The second one says "you need someone to care for your DD (daughter) while you're in labor". The third one posted a fairly unrelated story about her own birth experience, and then said "if you live in an apartment, where would you drain the pool?" At this point I jump back in and say that the pool would be drained in the bathtub, just like it was with a girl I know who had an apartment birth and that there would be plenty of people at the birth, including someone whose main job it was to watch Iris. Then the next poster quotes me and responds "you need to have someone there whose job it is to watch your DD (duh, I just said there would be) and then says, gee that's a tough call!" The last responder says "someone there needs to be dedicated to watching your two year old". I respond, again, saying that we had the child care situation covered, that really wasn't the issue. No one responded after that. Maybe I came off as too snarky. I was just pissed because not a single person who responded gave me anything real to consider, and most of the posts were about an issue that I had already expressed we had covered (the care of Iris).
I went on another message board and discovered someone else had asked this exact same question. The responses she got were so thoughtful and plentiful. I learned a ton more from that thread than I did from the one I made.
All in all, it's so dumb that I even care. And really, I don't. It was just my expectations, and was hurt that perfect strangers hadn't given me the same kind of thoughtful answers they seem to give every other person who post on that message board. See, it's so dumb!
I need to stay away, or at least stick with this other board that I've found to be much more helpful to me, and much more coming from my point of view. At least I wouldn't get my undies in a bundle over such stupid things!
My dear friend Melissa snickers in her head every time I talk to her about message boards. She rightly thinks they are silly, and serve to start mommy-wars and make mamas feel bad about themselves. She might be on to something . . .