How many of you reading this right now are members of an online mum group? I am - not just of one, but several, just as you probably are. No matter how much you depend on them, here are things you shouldn't share in online mum groups.
I love my mum groups because they provide me with a place to share my parenting concerns and ask questions. Almost always, I get wonderful answers and the warmest of support.
But over the last few years that I've been a member of these various groups, I couldn't help but notice that sometimes, some members share posts that perhaps should not be shared in an online forum.
Take note, mummies - here are five things you probably shouldn't post, ask or do in online mum groups.
1. Your kids' photos/ videos
It's true that mum groups feel like (and most probably are) completely safe spaces. It's also true that we love sharing our kids' cuteness with the world and what better place to do this than in an assumed safe space?
But mums, do think twice before posting that picture of your child cooling down on a hot day in a bathtub, or video of him singing an adorable song while still in his school uniform.
Many online mum groups have thousands of members and while the admins of these groups do a marvelous job at screening potential members before approving them, they are not the CID.
Admins simply cannot screen each and every member and it takes just one fake profile, one unsavoury character pretending to be a mum to enter such a community. Would you be comfortable giving such people access to photographs or videos of your precious child?
2. Medical advice
"My child has had high fever for the past two days. What should I do?" "Look at this rash on my child's vagina. What do you think it is?" "My baby keeps vomiting her milk. Why?"
These are examples of really common questions I've seen asked in quite a few mum groups. If your child has a medical issue, it's always best to seek professional medical help as soon as possible.
While it's perfectly fine to ask for recommendations for doctors, paediatricians and other health professionals in such groups, it's best not to waste precious time by asking serious medical questions or sharing photos of your child's rash, wound or other condition.
Use that time to get your child to a doctor instead.
3. Poop photos
Some may have mixed feelings about this, but I am strongly against sharing poop pictures in mummy groups, (a) because I almost always see them when I'm eating a meal, and (b) a doctor is the best person to diagnose your child's health condition via his poop - not other mums.
Or you could read this article.
4. Criticizing other mums
True, we've all judged another mum at some point or another but when you openly voice your critiques about mums, to other mums in an online support group, it kind of takes away from the purpose of the group.
It's a mummy support group, not a critique group (vent about your monster-in-law by all means, though...)
5. Leaking information
In this digital age, mum groups are a convenient way for mothers who might not be able to get out and about much, to still feel part of a 'tribe'. This mum-tribe puts many of us at ease and so, we share incidents and experiences with our fellow tribe member that we might not feel comfortable sharing on our own Facebook pages.
It's an unspoken rule of mum groups that such information when shared, should stay within the group. Don't ever share another member's posts or pictures with anyone outside of your group.
If it's something you feel will do the greater community good, such as a health message for example, ask the original poster first if it's okay to share outside the group.
In all other instances, what's in the group should stay in the group.
Mums, it takes a village, and sometimes it takes an online mum community to raise a child. Use your tribe membership wisely and you'll realise that being in an online mum group can be a marvelous form of support and friendship.
Share your thoughts with us - is there anything else mums shouldn't be asking, sharing or posting in online mum groups?