What is DWIL? It’s a Baby Center group that deals with issues with family and in laws. It’s half entertainment with a dash of tragedy porn, a heap of llama food and a pinch of helpful advice. It takes a while to distinguish trolls from real people. Don’t get me wrong, trolls can be very entertaining. Especially ones with writing skills and patience. A lot jump the shark too soon or start out with outlandish and impossible scenarios to keep up with.
People love a good mother-in-law who has gone totally bonkers. From poisonings to break ins to attempted kidnappings, claims of magical vaginas and wanky blankies.
It all begins and ends with “The Sticky.” The sticky has the rules of the board. The rules are enforced by “The Queens.” No legal talk, no medical advice and no text speak. And most certainly NO VENTS. If you post there, you are posting for advice, not to bitch. Bitching is for the birth boards. Oh and you must know all the lingo and abbreviations.
Bitch Eating Crackers. Most in laws are mommies BECs apparently.
You must be ready to two card your spouse at any moment. Two cards means you hand them a card to a therapist and a card to a divorce lawyer and tell them to choose. Leave and cleave, ladies, leave and cleave. Once you marry someone, their loyalties only lie with you and your magical vagina. He must never ever have any loyalty to the person that birthed him and raised him.
And if a grandmother wants to see her child and her grandchildren more than twice a year, she is a psychopath. She must only speak to her child on the phone once a month for 5 minutes and they can only talk about the weather. Anything else is boundary stomping. Grandmothers can never buy anything unless it’s birthdays or Christmas and can only buy things from a per-approved list.
Real talk though, I get some of the boundaries they talk about. Don’t buy “Firsts” leave that to the parents. No favoring one kid over another. Be respectful of your child wanting to spend time with their newly created family. But these bitches go way way overboard 99% of the time.
If a post starts out with a background that says “my mother has always been abusive, she hit constantly as a child” I legit close that page. Usually there’s 10 more pages of bonkers background that’s like duh, don’t let these toxic people in your life. They are just there for the attention and drama.
If a post has 100 pages and no update numbers in the thread title, I skip it. There’s an amazing creation called Sleepy Cow now but if an OP is too lazy to post update pages, I’m too lazy to read their post.
If a post says they live with their family or in laws, I typically won’t read it unless it’s super super llama food. Because it’s always the same song and dance. They “can’t” afford to move out. Yet they’d been living rent free for years. They only want to buy and not rent. But are willing to live in a place where their kids see their parents emotionally abused or worse. And it’s always, well my husband doesn’t want to move out when they are living with his parents. STOP HAVING SEX WITH HIM. His mommy does his laundry, how in the world are you even getting turned on by this man child enough to get pregnant multiple times under his parents roof.
Oh and my ultimate favorite thread was the one where the wife was letting her MIL move in even though the mother-in-law endangered her child’s life on more than one occasion and now emotionally abuses her daughter to the point of the nanny having to step in and tell the chick to DO SOMETHING. Ask me if the mother in law still lives there. She does. But hey, the mom has time to write a blog and bitch to Huffington Post about how a dude at Jiffy Lube insulted her.
Every once in a while you get someone coming back and saying how the group changed their lives and helped them get out of a bad marriage or away from really bad family. I refer people there all the time. But I tell them to take it all with a grain of salt and find what boundaries fit for you. The one positive thing I can say that group does consistently bring is helping new moms protect their postpartum time. New moms have no idea what the weeks after birth is like and the group tends to give it to them straight on what to expect.
Baby Center does let their group owners in DWIL run wild. They usually never give an explanation for threads being deleted. Close threads on a whim. That’s when messages get sent to venture to the two other boards that have gentler and more understanding group owners. There’s been complaints for years but nothing has ever been done about it.
And yet, I still go and read. I find myself getting invested in a story, waiting for updates, bookmarking pages. Hugging all the good comments along the way.