A Forum for Secular Moms

Mandy explains why she began a forum for Secular Moms:

I want a place where non-religious parents can come and have a conversation, build friendships and support each other. A place where you can login and know that the posters have a similar world-view. A place where you can get support and encouragement from other parents. A place to go to find resources, books and advice on parenting issues. A place where you are anonymous. Lots of secular moms (including yours truly) live in the Bible Belt, and it’s not always possible to find like-minded moms to openly talk to. It will take a while to build up and get a forum going, but I hope that there are other moms just like me, who want to find a community like this.

If you’d like to join the forums, you can find it right here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Darren

    I think this is a good idea. Though as a stay-at-home-dad, I can’t help but wonder if dads are welcome in the forum. She states that it’s a place for “nonreligious parents” (one might assume includes dads), but also says it’s for “like-minded moms.” I’ve been rejected from other “moms” groups based entirely on my gender, so I try not to assume anymore. I get it. While it’s not fun to be profiled, I understand why women are uneasy having men around. My gender doesn’t exactly have the best record and I understand the need for caution. Still, if the group is truly for all parents, then perhaps SecularParents would be a better title.

  • Levon Mkrtchyan

    It’s nice that she’s starting this forum, but it pisses me off that she’s perpetuating cultural expectation that mothers do all the parenting. That hurts everybody.

  • islandbrewer

    I can’t really add anything to Levon and Darren’s points, but I do want to be recognized as another secular primary care giver who is a Dad, not a Mom.

  • wildcatterry17

    Also, what about those of us secular folk who don’t have children or this might come as a shock: don’t want them. I can’t count how many times I’ve been told I am going to hell. These days it’s more of how I am a ‘selfish’ person for not wanting kids.

    • Beth Clarkson

      I’m not sure what you are complaining about here. Is it a problem to have a secular group set up specifically for parents? There are plenty of secular forums, but they don’t tend to have much discussion on the issues facing secular parents. Having a child, in particular being a full-time parent who does not work outside the home, is a lifestyle choice that can be difficult for non-parents to understand and empathize with.

      Or are you just venting about societies general expectation and attitudes towards those who have no interest in becoming a parent? I can certainly agree that many people are harsh in expressing their opinions about that choice. If it helps, I am totally in support of the idea that no one should pressured to have children. I believe that every child should be a wanted child and that those who don’t want a child shouldn’t have one.

      • wildcatterry17

        I am all for secular parenting forums. They are a great idea. You have two secular CF allies in me and my fiancé.

        • imjustasteph

          The thing is, we often seek advice and discussion in parenting things. My kid has a fever, does this temp sound 911 worthy or should I wait until morning? This thing happened in the preschool classroom, do I let it go or go over the teacher’s head? How do I explain this thing to my kid? And the thing is, parenting forums are so overrun with religion. It’s:

          “My son’s teacher told him that he is going to hell. Has anyone else dealt with this?”
          “No, my kid’s teacher goes to our church.”
          “She just cares. Have you thought about teaching him about God, just in case?”
          “You’re making too big a deal of it. She’s trying to protect him.”

          “My son has a fever, but I can’t tell how high because our thermometer got flushed last week. He’s only three months old, and the stores are all closed. Do you think I should take him to the ER?”
          “I’m praying!”
          “Praying, hun!”
          “Oh, my gosh, I would! I’ll pray for him!”

          Or even:

          “I’m not looking for solutions, just a place to vent. A woman told me this weekend that my son is a brat, and it just reinforced all my insecurities. I feel like I’m failing him sometimes.”
          “Don’t listen to people like that! God wouldn’t have given you that precious angel if you weren’t right for him!”

          Secular parenting advice/discussion/commiseration is a major need.

          • Zazen

            You know, it hadn’t even occurred to me how much I automatically filter out with bad news in Facebook or parenting forums. Damn good point because we atheists fill in that ‘prayer’ blank with ‘do nothing’ and ‘be of no use.’ It’s infuriating to read.

    • guest

      Start your own forum. Do you go to site for pet owners and complain that you don’t have pets, or want them? Do you go to hobby sites and tell people that you’re not into that hobby? Not every forum on the web is for you. Maybe people tell you you’re selfish because you are.


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