What mother hasn’t read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” when their first child was still in the womb?
As helpful as that book (and the whole series which details every phase of childhood) was to me, some of the best parenting advice I've heard—that is, if you like yours served up with a side of sardonicism—hails from a far cheekier source: www.UrbanBaby.com
Urban Baby, or UB as it is also called, launched in New York City in 1999. At the time, my younger sister was raising her kids in Manhattan and turned me onto it. UB provides extensive local information for the NYC and San Francisco markets and offers general parenting advice, product news and tips.
The site’s most popular feature is its message board, titled “Talk”, which allows readers to post and respond anonymously. It discusses many hot parenting/family topics such as: Daycare, Expecting, Marriage, Sex, Politics, Teenagers, etc. UB also has local message boards for San Francisco, Seattle/Portland, Chicago, Miami, D.C. and L.A. Living in the metropolitan Washington area, I should favor the D.C. message board. I admit to sneaking peeks at ours, but generally, I peruse the NYC site. It’s typically a little edgier and I’ve long been a fan of that New York state of mind when it comes to humor.
UB has its own language and abbreviations. Many correlate with what we commonly use in texting/email but some are unique to UB: AB (after baby), BB (before baby), CIO (cry it out), DC (daycare), EBF (exclusively breast-feeding), TTC (trying to conceive), WOHM (work out of the home mom), etc. For newcomers, the site has a section that orients readers to the many abbreviations.
UB is a legitimate network of interactive resources but the snarky nature of it is what makes it so compelling. It keeps it real and affords great respite after a demanding day of parenting. One poster described UB this way, “This site is like eating fast food or watching a trashy reality TV show. It’s fun in a bad way and makes you feel crappy after.” UB definitely leans left and can sometimes skewer, or in UB language, “flame”, posters. UB does not suffer fools well. So, if you do post, it’s best to have thick skin along with a self-deprecating sense-of-humor.
To offer a better flavor of the site, excerpted are a few recent posts and some of the more colorful replies they garnered:
I want my ds (darling son) to be the Big City Mom’s Cutest Kid of the Week. What does this take?
-don’t have an ugly child
-a really cute kid apparently
-[expletive] George Clooney!
Heard Through the Grapevine that Gymboree Play and Music is going live on Groupon.com at midnight tonight!
-I hope for your sake that they also put lives on sale because you need to get one.
If Michele Bachmann gets elected President, you will…
-play the Lotto because anything is possible
-set out a lawn chair and wait for the pigs to fly
-get my tubes tied
-wait for her dh (darling/[expletive] husband) to get caught in a gay sex scandal
Name poll: Hannah
-Fee Fi Fo Fanna
-and Her Sisters
-love it...like all other millions of parents.
-just do Anna
-One of my favorites but I had all boys.
-Classic and nice but overused
-I think it’s better to go with classic and overused than with weird or trying too hard.
I officially have National Geographic breasts
-are you getting the lip plate soon?
-Gravity has the final word.
-Neck rings will divert attention from them.
My 20 month-old son just looked at me like I am the best person on earth because I gave him a sippy cup with apple juice. Why couldn’t everything in life be this easy?
-men are pretty easy to please
-wait till you give him chocolate milk; he’ll give you a kidney
The most sanctimonious moms on UB (Urban Baby) are:
-EBF (exclusively breast-feeding)
-Moms with only one dc (darling child)
-Moms with more than one dc
-judgemental WOH (work outside the home) and SAH (stay at home) moms
-CIO (cry it out) moms