This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
If you’re a new parent, no doubt the first place you went was Babycenter.com.
It makes sense, everyone goes there. It’s the most well-known baby related web site out there. You can gather tons of information, but the thing people use most are the bulletin boards. You can join up with other parents who are having children at the same time and talk with them.
On paper it’s a fantastic idea. A virtual gathering place for parents, and expectant parents, to exchange ideas and information in real time. And for a while I joined in because I wanted all the information I could get concerning my wife (when she was pregnant) and my son. For awhile it went well. I was a bit of a novelty on the board because 99 percent of the users are mothers. For a while I lurked and just soaked in the information I needed. But even then I noticed a lot of posts that were just…well, crazy.
And when I finally starting posting on a regular basis, I could tell I was rubbing a few people the wrong way. But I’m used to that. I have an acerbic personality and I’m very opinionated. But this was different. I could tell a few people were simply unhappy that a man had the audacity to post his opinions about topics normally reserved for women. But thankfully I live in a free country and there’s no rule against it, so I persisted.
Let’s forget the fact that many of the site’s users are know-it-all mommies with superiority complexes. I’m married, I’m used to being talked down to. But there are a few things I just couldn’t stand anymore, and they all culminated tonight and caused me to quit the site for good. Here’s what to expect when you’re expecting on BabyCenter:
1) Acronyms. They are EVERYWHERE and they are STUPID. DH=Dear Husband. DD and DS=Dear Son & Daughter. SAHM=Stay At Home Mom. BF=BreastFed. MIL=Mother in Law. DTD=Doing the Deed. On and on they go, each one more ridiculous than the next. I got so sick and tired of some of these moronic mommies being too lazy to type out the words. Trivial? Maybe, but it’s still annoying.
2) Advice. It doesn’t matter if you ask for it or not, because you’re going to get it. They each think they have the best methods in the world for parenting and they’re not shy about sharing it with you.
3) No sense of humor. Too many of them just couldn’t identify sarcasm. And not to toot my own horn, but I’m a good writer and I said some things that just couldn’t have been taken in any other context aside from joking around. Yet the crazies continually called me on the carpet for these things despite my assurances that it was indeed sarcasm. I can’t stand unfunny people and some of these moms were just way too uptight for their own good.
4) Anti-Male Sentiment. Right from the get-go there were people on the site who just didn’t want a guy commenting on certain topics. But I’m sorry, I join in whatever discussion I want. And I think I have a right to join in the fray about J-Lo’s post-baby body. Just because I’m a guy doesn’t mean I have my opinions stripped from me. And I made a joke about all the other women posting their own bikini shots for comparison sake. A ridiculously over-the-top joke. But did they take it that way? Nope. I was called “creepy” and “ridiculous” and they thought I was some kind of stalker. Just because I collect bikini pictures of strangers, all of a sudden that makes me a stalker? Geez. See? Sarcasm. I would’ve had to explain that to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually met a lot of nice people on there. And maybe the Moron Mommies (I’m coining that phrase right now, it’s mine!) are the vocal minority. But it was just too much. Too much preachiness, too much prudishness and too much estrogen. Hell, even my wife refuses to go on there because she said she couldn’t stand the attitudes of lots of the people posting things. I’m going to make it my mission to start a Male BabyCenter web site where guys can feel free to talk about whatever the hell they want. But the beauty of that site would be no one would say anything except baseball talk and how big their kid’s dump was.
Because guys are simple creatures, I just didn’t realize how blissfully simple until I ran into the Moron Mommies Buzzsaw! Needless to say I’d recommend getting the information you need from BabyCenter and staying far away from the message boards.