Raising kids can be stressful so knowing you are not the only one facing challenges can be extremely helpful. Suzanne Baum gives a group hug to her favourite Facebook clubs that have helped her on the journey of parenthood.
Facebook may be the last place you’d think to share details of your raging hormones or discuss your son’s bedwetting habits. However, it has proven to be a huge source of comfort to many seeking support and advice for such things-thanks to its vast number of groups set up by individuals that share the same concerns as many of us mums.
In case you didn’t know – a Facebook Group is essentially a community, within the Facebook platform that shares a common interest or goal. With so many groups to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones are the best to join. So, with a lot of help from my friends, I have picked the best ones that have proven not only to be hugely informative but very interesting, hysterical and heart-warming along the way!
1: The Motherload
Brutally honest, funny and supportive, this group is a must for every mum out there! The fact it has only been running for less than a year and has gained a following of more than 10,000 members proves founder Kate Dyson is on to a good thing.
“I set up The Motherload in June 2015 after having PND – or rather, I should say, hiding the fact that I had it. I was aware that some of my friends had also suffered after I sort of ‘came clean’ about it, and together, about eight of us, all suffering from sleep deprivation and feeling the rough end of parenting started the group. It turned into a lovely little supportive network where we could vent about motherhood but also celebrate milestones and share advice. Gradually, we introduced more people and eventually realised that this should be available for every mother; we all needed support.
“The Motherload allows you to get advice without that judgement or guilt-trip, and where you can ask the most silly of questions without being lambasted by a fellow member for doing so. We all get it wrong sometimes, there is no such thing as a perfect parent and we want The Motherload to be a community that spreads that message, and acknowledges that motherhood is fantastic and an incredible gift; but it also can be stressful, despairing and fraught with dilemmas (and a chronic lack of sleep!) It works so well because our members buy into this ethos and help us to uphold it. We have around 150 new member requests a day and we are careful to check profiles when accepting new members, again as a way of ensuring that the community stays non-judgemental, supportive and – importantly – witty!”
2: Top Tips 4 Women over 40
Having gained nearly 4000 members in just a matter of weeks, this group is proving a huge support to women whose kids have grown out of babyhood but who still are keen to share advice and discuss other aspects of parenthood and personal matters. Set up by mother-of-four Katie Taylor, it has proven a big success with everything from mammograms, mid-life madness and memory loss under discussion.
“I realised that I was still reading about tips on nappy rash and sleepless nights when in fact no-one in my house was wearing a nappy anymore (well at least not yet!) and sleepless nights were more to do with peri-menopause than babies keeping me awake all night.
“I felt there was a real gap in the market for a Facebook group for my age group- a place for women to share tips, articles, and advice away from any male members as I wanted women to feel that they could talk about very personal matters without being embarrassed.
“We’ve shared advice on everything from the effects of peri-menopause , the pressure of being a perfect teenage girl and going back to work after bringing up kids to voting in the referendum, mental health issues and foreign politics.”
3: Facebook Book Club
If you don’t like reading then look away but by the number of members in this group there are many of us mums that can’t wait to indulge in some bookish behaviour! I, along with 14,000 others, absolutely love this group so much not only for the book recommendations but the hysterical snippets and interesting discussions that it offers. Set up by friends Katy Grant and Karen Green, the girls have definitely found a much-needed niche within the Facebook community.
“We set up the group because we both love reading and wanted recommendations from friends,” explained Katy. “We imagined only our friends would be keen but over four years we have attracted members from all over the world. We are very strict and do not allow any advertising or self- promotion. We just want truthful write ups about books that people have read. I think it has been so successful because we ensure that it really is only about reviews or recommendations and everyone is passionate about what they are reading. We also try to ensure that anyone can have their own opinion of a book bad or good, just because one person loves it doesn’t mean someone else does.”
4: Kiddoo; amazing things to do with kids
When mother-of-three Hannah Feldman launched her group just a few weeks ago she wasn’t expecting such a huge interest.
“As busy parents we want to make the time that we spend with our kids really count. I set up Kiddoo in order to inspire quality family fun for parents like me, who know that active kids are happy kids but struggle to navigate the sea of events and activities available! With quality recommendations and in the know tips, parents in our community can try an activity or go on an outing with confidence that they have all the right information in their hands. I have used countless recommendations from the group for my own family and love the resource that we are all creating!
“The group has over 7000 members from word of mouth alone and is growing daily. Kiddoo works so well because of the authentic and useful reviews from our members and also every week we are researching and sharing the absolute best things to do around town plus “themes” to explore with your children. The group has a really positive vibe – it’s all about creating magical memories with your family and getting out and about! I want Kiddoo to be the place where positivity around parenthood reigns!”
5: Top Tips 4 Mums
This group has served as a lifeline for me having provided valuable advice when it came to bringing up my last child. When I’ve been at the end of my tether with anxieties surrounding my kids or ability as a mother, this site has offered me support like no other. I can’t recommend it enough and it’s all down to the brilliant mother Vicky Toubian who set it up three years ago after listening to mums chatting in the music classes that she runs!
“I would hear the mum’s discussing how their bring up their kids and it was great how everyone was so forthcoming in offering advice and guidance so I just thought a forum on Facebook for this sort of thing would really be popular and 30,000 members later it proved to be just that!
“I think the group works because it’s on Facebook which most people check daily anyway so it’s easy to keep up to date with it, ask questions on it – and a lot of the mums at the beginning were all from North London so many of us recognised each others names and it felt like a real community of people. It has since grown and the mums come from everywhere now – there has been a lot of good advice and tips given, useful recommendations for good days out with your kids, good books for your kids, good classes for your kids and so on!”
Are you in any of these groups? Have they helped you? Share your insights in the comments!