Tears at Bedtime

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Not long after the nursery furore, Gunsberger was forced to shut down another post after more online excoriation. She had admitted to having a ''bad parenting moment'', yelling at her children and ''throwing something across the room''. It got to the point, she says, where people were threatening to report others to the authorities.

If parenting websites sound suspiciously similar to the House of Representatives, that is because the act of caring for children has become very political, according to seasoned baby guru Robin Barker, whose book Baby Love has become many a mother's bible. Babyology's Mani Gunsberger says abuse from "mummy trolls" left one staff members in tears. Credit: Tamara Dean. Women today are living in one of the most competitive times in history.

The truth about tears at bedtime - tiosmolrichribol.ml

The feminist movement of the s and '70s - when Barker was raising her own children - was primarily concerned with workplace equality; among its beneficiaries, today's catfights hang in the air like unfinished business. In the ''mummy wars'', words are the weapons and any woman with a child is likely to have experienced shots fired across their bow. Breast versus bottle, work versus stay at home, co-sleeping or cots; you can bring down the wrath of a stranger simply by letting your child run around without a broad-brimmed hat. Parenting, with all its subtle layers of complexities, its shadows and deep, arcane wisdom, has been reduced to a stark dichotomy of right and wrong.

These days it is no longer just a matter of putting food on the table and clothes on the backs; our children's emotional and cognitive intelligence has become a prime focus. There is more awareness of the psychological influences of parents, and notions of good and bad mothers are stronger than ever.

Now, it seems, the internet has taken things to the next level. Each has Facebook followers in their tens of thousands. Babyology, for instance has , Logging in is like joining a giant, chattering, faceless mothers group, which just happens to be held at a large, eclectic baby emporium where you can buy everything you never knew you needed. Many offer forums for parents to air problems and seek help; here is a place where vulnerabilities are shared, fears become official, and wisdom is dispensed by other mothers as well as experts. In many ways, the internet offers a way back to basics, enabling mothers to return to the most traditional source of support: each other.


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As parenting becomes an increasingly isolated affair, having other voices a mouse-click away offers a comfort of sorts. One of the main appeals of these sites is their strands - online conversations between users about a variety of topics that range from the very sad - such as dealing with miscarriage - to how to disguise vegetables in a picky toddler's dinner.

But although designed to be supportive, the rows and judgmental attitudes that can appear in the comments show the divisive nature of mothering and how angry we can be about each other's choices. While several parenting websites say mummy trolls are not a big issue, others admit they can be a problem. At Essential Baby, the code of conduct for posting comments is extensive and anyone who breaks the rules is swiftly taken in hand in a disciplinary system that could have been lifted straight out of a baby manual. Trolls are warned with points; three and it is into ''time out'' when they are blocked from the site for three days.

Ten points and they are banned for ever. Hot-button topics, says national parenting editor Amber Robinson, include circumcision and smacking as well as issues around race and welfare. One area of concern is ''Munchausen-by-internet,'' in which trolls garner sympathy by inventing fake stories on bereavement or illness.

This, she says, is a mental health issue ''and we have to treat it with sensitivity''.


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One of the earliest cases of mummy trolling occurred in the UK six years ago when parenting author Gina Ford went to war with UK parenting website mumsnet. It was forced to apologise for offensive comments about her posted on its bulletin board. Ford has always attracted strong views, as does British former Apprentice runner-up Katie Hopkins, who has become a controversial mouthpiece on mothering since her TV appearance in Why do mothers judge each other?

What is behind such solipsism? People have to prove that what they are doing with their baby is the best,'' reckons Barker. Those posts go on for paragraphs. But mothers also have a job and have to keep a neat and tidy house.

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It's all about appearances now. It's a lot of pressure. But the plethora of books, essays and online parenting sites promulgating a range of different views may end up only fuelling our angst, an irony not lost on Barker: ''I believe a lot of this parental insecurity can be taken back to the people like me who give the advice,'' she says. While Barker, a former maternal and child health nurse, relied on a handful of other mums for advice she never read a book!

It is not uncommon in times of crisis, she says, to find a mother in a room with 10 parenting books stacked up on the desk while she trawls the web for guidance.

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Tears, Tantrums & Bedtime: Quints Upgrade To 'Big Girl' Beds - Outdaughtered

Clear your history. IMDb Everywhere. Follow IMDb on. DPReview Digital Photography. Audible Download Audio Books. Sarah Baylis 4 episodes, David Baylis 4 episodes, Lily Baylis 4 episodes, William Baylis 4 episodes, Ben Farlow 4 episodes, Debbie 4 episodes, Allegra Freeman 4 episodes, Lisa 4 episodes, Katherine 4 episodes, Stuart Freeman 4 episodes, Maggie 4 episodes, Sheila 4 episodes, Beattie Freeman 4 episodes, Eva 4 episodes, Jimmy Turner 4 episodes, Teresa Turner 4 episodes, Susan 4 episodes,