During my pregnancy I spent many hours trawling Google, searching and researching every element of pregnancy, birth and the first few days of my daughter’s life. So many hours.
I attended classes and groups and asked friends for advice. I had roughly a billion questions I needed answers to, and often the answers that came back were conflicting. I felt like I needed that mythical ‘village’ around me to help me make sense of all of the information, and to hand down the wisdom I needed. Being an expat in Dubai, being far from family and childhood friends, certainly didn’t help.
It wasn’t until Baby Bu was perhaps one month old that I discovered that village. Likeminded parents all in similar situations, some with plenty of experience, some with none (like me). All ready to support each other and supply each other with relevant information. Facebook groups. If only I’d known about these before Baby Bu’s birth. I could have saved hours of research.
Likeminded. There’s the key. When choosing your village, the most important factor is that the ethos of the groups you choose sits well in your heart. It makes all the difference. You avoid all the debates and arguments that occur in less niche groups, all the tensions between parents whose styles conflict. No formula vs breastmilk, no pram vs carrier, no CIO vs gentle sleep. You ask a question, and know that the responses will be helpful and supportive rather than conflicting or controversial. I learned that from trial and error unfortunately.
So I thought I’d share my go-to groups and pages with you (my favourite websites and parenting experts will come in another post). Maybe it’ll save you from having to trawl the groups yourself. Or maybe it’ll inspire you to find your own relevant groups. I just hope it’s helpful. Please, let me know in the comments if you have any other groups/pages I should know about too!
- Gentle Parenting – a reference page populated with articles, quotes and research supporting gentle parenting. 36,000 likes.
- Gentle Parenting International – the sister page of the above, where members can post their own questions and thoughts and receive support. 10,000 members.
- Attachment Parenting – a page rather than a group, shares AP relevant research, articles and information. 109,000 likes.
- Attachment Parenting International – the Facebook page for www.attachmentparenting.org. Again, lots of useful research, articles and information. 146,000 likes.
- Evolutionary Parenting – where history and science meet parenting. Written by a mother who is passionate about all things science/parenting related. Also very supportive of AP and GP. 77,000 likes.
- Sleepy Littles – a sleep group that offers support and information on sleep without sleep training, CIO, controlled crying etc. So gentle methods only, yay! Super supportive, and because it’s international you’ll get responses even in the dead of the night, wherever you are. 22,000 members.
- Learning Littles – a group to help with ideas for real ways to integrate play-based learning into our lives. Such lovely ideas come out of this group for play that will inspire your children and ignite their passion for learning. 6,000 members.
- Attachment Parenting UAE – I’m a founding admin for this group, and I LOVE it. I’ve made so many friends through this little local community, and they’re always there for support, advice and suggestions. 342 members.
- Breastfeeding Q&A UAE – I’m at almost 20 months and counting with Baby Bu, and this group has been an incredible resource in helping me at every stage. If you’re not local to the UAE I’d definitely recommend finding a local group for breastfeeding support. They’re invaluable. 2,600 members.
- Love Parenting UAE Support Group – A support group attached to a company here in the UAE running gentle classes for parents. Their network is built primarily on parents who’ve taken their classes, so often very likeminded. 2,300 members.