"I'm an FTM with DS and I'm actually NAK right now. My DH and I are NTNP, but my HPT gave me a BFN and I was wondering if this has to do with EBF." Huh? This is how people communicate on pregnancy, parenting and TTC (trying to conceive) message boards. While internet conversations are typically riddled with acronyms, shorthand and emoticons, mommy message boards have a language all their own that's not exclusive to any one forum or site, but rather is universally understood by online breeders. With these communities multiplying faster than Gremlins in the rain, the phenomenon can't be ignored. But can it be understood? We do our best to crack the code.
There's basically a message board community to cater to every type of parent out there: Christian parents; diabetic parents; working at home parents. The Bump is to pregnancy what The Knot is to weddings. What to Expect message boards are a catchall for women familiar with the popular books (What to Expect When You're Expecting and What to Expect the First Year) who don't know where else to go. Scary Mommy is good for the irreverent and YouBeMom is a great resource for mothers who want to be completely honest about anything — be it pediatricians, Real Housewives, strollers, or sex toys — without getting the virtual side-eye from judgmental types in more mainstream forums. The many different TTC (trying to conceive) boards across the internet are no doubt comforting for its participants with fertility issues. But there are also geographically-based Yahoo Groups (like the oft-discussed Park Slope Parents) for mothers and fathers looking to connect with others in their respective neighborhoods. And while PSP gets a lot of flack for its flame wars, eye-roll inducing preciousness and "over-parenting," for the most part, these mommy message boards are used by people looking to feel a little less confused and a little less alone. Sure, there are the people who enter into these forums strictly to brag about their children or their own parenting prowess — but they're also obviously fulfilling a need that's not being met in their real lives, however annoying that might be for others.