Image taken from Baby Center Community Page
Being a mother can be a tough job, especially if it’s your first child and your family is either too far or too old to lend a helping hand. Sure, you’ve read countless parenting magazines since you saw a positive on the pregnancy test kit, your friends and family have been giving you all kinds of advice, and your parents and in-laws have been nagging you about superstitious stuffs on what you should and shouldn’t do. Then when the baby arrives, you realize that parenthood isn’t that simple, it’s a lot easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk – you’re overwhelmed by the new responsibility of a newborn who won’t seem to stop screaming, everything’s in a mess, you’re constantly told you’re not allowed to walk and all the other midwife tales, and before you know it, you’re suffering from postnatal blues.
My experience with my first child wasn’t a sweet one; I had absolutely no help at all that doesn’t involve some ridiculously unhygienic midwife tales. So I turned to the next best thing – the Internet. Yes I’m aware that not everything on the Internet can be trusted (Google has been a great help, actually), so I discovered the next, next best thing – Facebook Groups. Say all the bad things you want about Facebook (I agree by the way), but the social network has got the best support groups for mothers and best of all, they have localized content with Malaysian (and even Singaporean) mothers sharing their experience with one another. It’s beautiful.
There are plenty of support groups for mothers on Facebook from tips on pregnancy to parenting advice to breastfeeding guide, and there are even multiple groups you can join to buy or sell new and used item. After all, being new parents can be taxing to your income and using preloved items isn’t as bad as it sounds. So, if you have children, are expecting your first child, know of a friend who is a first time mum or even if your wife is expecting your first child, hit the break to see some of the recommended Facebook support groups for mothers – some are daddy-friendly too!
The Breastfeeding Advocates Network – it’s an open group that is free for all mothers and fathers to join. 100% breastfeeding channel that talks about anything and everything related to breastfeeding.
Mummies Connect Everyday Here – Sharing is Caring – a closed group for mummies only that talks about everything related to parenting, children and even husbands too.
Homeschooling Activities for Our Little Ones – homeschooling is gaining popularity in Malaysia and this group shares ideas about homeschooling activities and more.
Malaysian Education Info (And Homeschooling too) – which school should I send my child to? Should I send my kids to Sekolah Kebangsaan, Chinese school or private school? Get advice here. It’s an open group free for dads to join too!
Preloved / The Marketplace TM / Selangor Garage Sales Corner / Moms n kids, playmates & shopmates – buy/sell new or preloved items. The latter group even organizes play dates for mums and their kids to meet and socialize.
Raw Food Today – an open group for mums and dads who are concerned with the food they eat and wish for a healthy living
Mummies @ Home – Homemade Meals for Children – have a fussy eater or want more ideas on what to cook for your little ones? This is the page to go.
There are actually a lot more local Facebook Groups you can find that are very helpful to mothers. Most of the groups I’ve listed above have been around for quite some time now, and unfortunately a lot of them are closed groups that will not simply accept random users. There are also groups for stay at home mums, full time working mums, and single mums; I also see a lot more groups recommended by Facebook like Group BUY, Malaysia Gardeners, Momma Bubs Paradise, Babywearing Mamas, etc. so do a search or join one of the groups I mentioned, and Facebook will suggest more relevant groups for you to join.
However, I won’t recommend one to join all these groups because there is such a thing as information overload, and remember, while you may get amazing support, do take everything you read with a pinch of salt; Also, some groups are particularly large with many vocal voices (just imagine trying to chat in a group of 10,000 people!), so disagreements are bound to happen and worse still, you can’t see emotion through text.
Nevertheless, these Facebook Groups have helped me so much during some pretty trying times raising my son. These groups not only offer plenty of advice and support based on real-life experiences of other mothers, but just knowing that I wasn’t alone gave me a lot more confidence and courage facing motherhood for the first time.