Guest series: Burned by a moms’ group, part 2

You may remember the tragedy of the time I got rejected by the Moms Of The North Shore Meet-Up Group. I'm not sure if they could tell I'm a Willbilly just by my application, or if they googled and found those pictures of me streaking in the Viagra Fountain just after college. Either way, I was scorned. Luckily I cried exactly zero tears and ended up meeting some rad ladies in my neighborhood anyway. You know, real life people who can see me in the flesh and who know that (awesome) photo opportunity in the Viagra Triangle was just a lapse in judgement. I'm classy! I'm a classy lady! I'm a classy lady who thinks running naked through fountains in public spaces is high-Larious. Love me anyway!

To lick my wounds, I called upon other scorned moms in January and received many stories of similar rejection. Here are a few reader-submitted tales of mom group woe.

NAMES WITHHELD
The Coat Snatcher

It was one of those penny-pinching times of life. I bought my 2 year old a size three parka so she might be able to wear it into the next year. She went to a kind of expensive Montessori pre-school. One day she came out with a grubbier version of her coat in size two. I knew a child that had the coat, a pink Osh Kosh that was not unusual. The mother insisted she had the right coat. What were my options?

Weeks later the teacher gives me the size 3 coat with a note pinned to it. The mom dared not show her face, I guess. The coat was too big for her darling and I was right. The note read, "Please switch back. Sorry about the stain, it got caught in the screen door." It had a huge black blob on the front that looked like it was from a marker. I didn't switch because of the stain and the mom later confronted me in front of others, so I reluctantly switched with her. The stain did not come out and my child wore it until I could get her a new one, way ahead of schedule, but I didn't want her to have to wear a gross coat with black gunk all over it. What would you have done?

Fired From Volunteering

In April of 2008, I had my first baby and became a stay at home mom. As I'm extremely extroverted, staying home with my girl wasn't going to work for me day after day so I decided to find and join a mom's group in the area. I became involved with the admins of the group and quickly made friends. By March of 2009, I decided to volunteer my time, sanity and even some money by acting as the Hospitality Manager of a 500+ member mom's group. I absolutely loved meeting new moms and helping them feeling comfortable and welcome. The only part I hated was the drama behind the scenes. In particular, a woman I call "E" was the queen bitch of them all. In late November 2009, shit went down.

On Saturday, November 28th, I spent the morning and afternoon helping with our annual Santa Photo Fundraiser. On Monday, one of the moderators, who was also the photographer for half of the day, posted a link that had all the pictures from every member’s shoot.

The number of pictures each member received varied greatly. The mom whose husband was Santa Claus had 19 pictures posted, whereas another member only got two pictures of her son. I was one of the unfortunate ones who only got one usable shot.

After seeing this, I was very upset. The photographer and both site admins got many pictures of their children AND families. I voiced my discontent in a non-obvious way on my Facebook page. Here is the status update I posted: guess I’ll be going to see the mall santa after all…

When the photographer commented that she didn't see that going well, I wrote, "Well, unless there are more of of [my child] somewhere, there were only 4 pictures out of ALL the ones taken that weren’t deleted."

In response, the mom's group manager posted this on Facebook:

"So we may no longer have a photographer because some Facebook posts (which I also saw) but now have apparently been deleted were completely offensive. I have held my tongue but will not do so anymore. Many people have seen it, and the damage is DONE already! It is not any manager's job to decide how many pictures are posted or not posted. I am very sorry if some were unhappy with their pictures. To put it on facebook completely air [our] dirty laundry and made us look very bad. It also is against the rules of [the group], and plain immature.

We have never and will never be able to put a number on how many pictures come out of one or more families. I am so sad that the true spirit of what this event was supposed to be was COMPLETELY lost. Some many people have been alienated through this event. I just do not even know what to say.

I will kindly ask that those who are involved please take a deep breath and try to see what others are seeing when reading these posts. I am not sure I am going to be able to salvage the relationship we have with a our photographer [...].

The damage control over this event is unbelievable."

Later on in the evening I got a PM from the Admin Team stating that I was suspended from my volunteer position, yet  . . . could I just go ahead and keep on doing all the fabulous work I do? Um. No.

After reading this, I was in shock. I still am not really clear on how this entire thing started over a simple post on Facebook. I was honestly unaware of [the group's] rule on Facebook posts which was my fault for not reading the rules more carefully as they were added.

I was very hurt. I spent hours upon hours focusing on making [the mom's group] a friendlier place overall. I started up several new programs and created multiple events in order to make this happen.

I was also infuriated that I would be “suspended” but “still expected to do my duties”. This is not a suspension, in my opinion.

Needless to say, nothing was done by [the organization]. The admins did "step down" and I left the group altogether because, well, who would want to hang out with those bitches? I tried to rejoin [the organization] a couple years later, saw that it was all the same bull shit, and left for good. I made many awesome friends through this experience but I will NEVER be part of another moms group again!

_______


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