It was a typical lazy afternoon of Facebook stalking when I stumbled across a woman's plea online asking for help in response to an attack made upon her within a "Sanctimummy" group page.
A Sancti what, I hear you say?
After a little digging I discovered a group which can only be described as a Mean Girls on steroids times one thousand. Now I'm not one to shy away from a juicy bit of goss but the integral values of this group sum up to who can win at being the cruelest and most judgey of them all. To summarize, these Sanctimummy groups copy/steal/gather information and screenshots of other parents conversations online so that a bunch of women (around 10000 in some groups) can criticize and trade insults with one another whilst fiercely belittling a stranger- all from the safety and comfort of their keyboard.
Sanctimummy- Someone who points out the perceived faults in the parenting of others.
So let's go back to the distraught mum, *Sally. Sally is a kind and genuine parent who likes to post a few candid shots of cooking dinner, occasionally with a wine or two. Liquid gold for the Sanctimummy bullies. *Sally discovers through so and so that her images had been shared in this group for the Sanctimummies entertainment- which includes a frenzy of insults and sentencing her with what they deem appropriate for her "outrageous" behaviour.
"She doesn't deserve children"
"Someone should call DOCS"
"Ugh.. isn't her baby like three months old? I didn't have a drink until my child was at least 2years old. I only want the best for my child"
Are these women serious?
Before you get started with "it's just a bit of fun" or "women will be women" as you chortle over your tea, let us take a moment to acknowledge the fact that post natal depression is a VERY real issue and these types of people usually end up targeting parents that are vulnerable and may be asking for genuine help or posting for a bit of good ole social interaction. In fact PND in Australia affects 1 in 7 women and 1 in 10 men.
Let that sink in.
Within parenting groups there are already bullies, there are the narcissistic and self-righteous- let's not give them a platform to band together.
What may seem like a harmless stab at a stranger may be the needle that broke the haystack for some. Be kind. Support other parents. We are already doing it tough as it is.
Leave high school in the past.
*Name changed for privacy purposes