Some days I could just give up. A fight has broken out in the comments of a seemingly mundane post. I have had a message complaining that a post was declined. A comment has been reported as being unkind. We have had to decline so many posts from members who just don’t seem to get that we do not allow promotion of their business. Someone has messaged to tell me that a plumber they used based on a recommendation in the group has done a bad job. I am left feeling frustrated and exhausted. I run the Mums (and More) in Bath group out of good will. I do not get paid and it sometimes takes up a considerable amount of my time and a large amount of my attention. This in turn causes tension at home as I am constantly staring at my phone and often prioritising the group over other elements of my life.
With over 7000 members, Mums (and More) in Bath has more than double the number of members it had when I took over as admin from Alena in 2017. With around 450 posts and 799 comments a month there is a lot of admining to do! Thankfully I have a group of amazing moderators who help me (thank you ladies!) But they, too, do so voluntarily and have lives of their own and as a team we need coordinating and communicating with too.
Some days I wonder, why do I bother?
But then a member posts requesting help for her friend who is struggling for money. Within hours the group had helped with clothes for the friend’s child and another member had privately messaged me to donate money to be passed on to the friend in need.
Another member who we helped after a cowboy builder destroyed her house messaged me photos of the carpets that had just been fitted to her newly complete renovation. Members had rallied and offered time, skills and money to help get the project to completion.
And I am reminded just why I do what I do.
It is the community. It is the support. It is the sense of belonging that our little corner of the internet offers 7000+ parents in the city of Bath.
There is the mother who could get her car fixed before an urgent medical appointment with her very poorly son.
The offers of help and support offered freeling and willingly whenever anyone asks for it.
There was the woman getting gentle and practical advice to rebuild her life after leaving an abusive marriage.
There was the mother who received clothes and toys and food and support when she left her unsafe home.
There was community and support offered between members during lockdown.
There was the mother who messaged me to thank me for organising a daily activity during lockdown so that she could enjoy a cup of tea in peace.
There was the new business owner who had new business thanks to a post I had dones about my experience of her product.
There was the lady I met at the park who told me the group had been a lifeline as she navigated becoming a mum.
There was the mother who thanked me for being honest about the struggles I have with my children as it helped her feel just that bit more normal.
And then there are the many friends, albeit virtually, that I have made.
These small and yet monumental moments are what makes our group special. These are the things that make me continue to love doing what I do. These are the things that mean I will continue working hard for my community and helping parents in the city of Bath connect with each other. I am grateful to each and every member for their contributions. For making the group what it is; a source of community, support, hope and strength for so many.
So thank you to every single one of our 7,182 members. I am grateful for being able to serve this fabulous community that is Mums (and More) in Bath.