Wednesday, May 11, 2011

AshevilleMommies and The Mommies Network

I'd like to preface this entry by saying a few things which may not make any sense to some of you until you read below.

1) Even though I applied for and didn't get the Chapter Manager job for AshevilleMommies, I'm not angry or bitter. Honestly, I applied before I knew I had to take summer classes and before I started writing for GeekMom. While I would have done the job to the best of my ability, I'm actually relieved that I don't have something else added to my plate right now.

2) I did email The Mommies Network to get their side of all of this, so this post can have both sides. While they did email me back, it took a while to get any actual answers out of them. Their answers will be covered below.

I joined AshevilleMommies, which is a part of The Mommies Network in July 2009. It was really a godsend because I was really struggling with being a stay at home mom and with my postpartum depression. When I joined, this was a thriving community with lots of people on the forums and lots of things for both the kids and moms.

Just about a year later, there was some drama that I wasn't really involved with beyond knowing the folks it did involve. It had to do with a long standing member used a swear word, and because of that she was briefly banned. I think there may have been other things going on beyond that, but I really wasn't involved.

A new mommies group was formed and lots of the members of AshevilleMommies moved to that group. I did make an account with the other group since lots of my friends were there, but I did keep up with AM.

After the split, AM was a ghost town, and a newer member stepped up to be the Site Administrator. She and I never got along, but I tried my best to be pleasant at events that we were both at.

It was a few months after the split I signed up to be Promotions manager. I did the job to the best of my ability, promoting the site on social media among other ways. I was getting really stressed over school at the time, so I was only the manager for a couple of months when I had to step down. It wasn't too long after I got so sick and ended up in the hospital.

Now, I will admit to not being very happy with AshevilleMommies in recent months, mostly because a lot of the activities aren't the sort of thing I could go to or could even afford. Activity on the forum has been way down again, and the site seems to be dying a slow death.

The majority of the activities were either Mom's Night Out, which I personally can never attend since my husband works 2nd shift. Or activities that I cannot afford.

Case in point, there was a Portrait Party that was scheduled which would cost $40 to have a 1/2 session and that included 1 free print. I was a bit annoyed so I posted that I thought that wasn't a very good deal and how I wished there was some more activities that weren't so expensive.

Turns out the Portrait Party is a fundraiser for AshevilleMommies, but that wasn't put anywhere in the original post. If I had know that, I might have still been a bit annoyed, but I wouldn't have said anything. But this was just a sign of tings to come as far as secrets and not disclosing things.

So in February, the current Site Admin announces she is moving away so she has to step down from her position. I thought about it for a long time, and I decide to apply, since I had some ideas to bring the site back up to it's former glory.

It was around this time that The Mommies Network puts a post on the AshevilleMommies boards that if no candidate is found, the site will be shut down. This post was actually put up a week after I had sent my application in, which struck me as odd.

Once I had applied, I waited to see if my application was received. I waited about a week and then had to email The Mommies Network to see if they had gotten my application. In fact, I think the post about the site shutting down was what prompted me to email them.

I was told that they got my application and so I waited. I did get an email at the beginning of April asking what part I had to play in the earlier drama and what I did for the rival site. I post pretty much what I said above and was perfectly honest.

There was more waiting, and more posts asking for more applications. To which, I sent a private message to the person on The Mommies Network if I was not being considered to which I got the reply, "I'll look into it". I never got a reply back.

A few weeks ago I got the email stating that I was not chosen. It didn't really surprise me, but I was curious who had gotten the job. I was also curious if the current site admin's dislike of me had something to do with it.

The waiting continued and some people where really concerned that no-one was chosen and expressed this on the forums. The Mommies Network didn't have the courtesy post that someone had been chosen, letting all those members worry. I did come forward and say that I had applied, and since I had been declined for the job someone must have gotten it.

Today it was announced who the new admin is, and it is someone who has only been a member of the site for a few months. It just really struck me as odd.

So I emailed The Mommies Network to get their side because I do want to strive present both sides. They say that the current Site Admin had no input at all in who got the job, and finally after emailing back and forth all day, they finally admitted they considered me not appropriate for the job because of my involvement with the rival mommy group. So they were going to actually shut the site down if no-one else applied.

I just wish they had been honest with me from the beginning. I wish they had let me know that I wasn't what they thought was an appropriate candidate from the beginning. I wish it hadn't have taken all day to get a straight answer from them. And I really wish they hadn't been so secretive with the members of AshevilleMommies. It's not a good feeling knowing that a group you depend on might dissolve without getting any clear answers from the people in charge.

I do wish the new Site Admin the best of luck. The site is on life support and I'm not sure it's going to be able to rebound at all. For me, I'm pretty much done with AshevilleMommies and The Mommies Network. I've had enough of the secrets and drama.

I really hope I have presented this without sounding angry and bitter - I'm really not either of those things. Mostly I'm annoyed. I just also feel that there should be something out there about this company and their practices so potential members in other cities can try to avoid the issues that I've had. It's honestly hard enough just being a mom!


  1. First off, love love love the Jayne Cobb hat!!

    Secondly, I found this blog post after I Googled "themommiesnetwork lousy site admin". I don't even know where Asheville is (no offense!), but we have this same drama in my TMN group too! The secrecy is ridiculous!

    By mistake, I was given access to some of the manager forums, and I was able to see how things were discussed. Unfortunately, I was then able to see how poorly these topics were brought up with the rest of the group.

    I'm not sure if TMN knows how to properly help the smaller groups, but I hope they start listening to members other than the site admins. Sadly (though appropriately), my site admin's name appeared in my Google search results.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I like many of the moms in my group, so there was that small concern that maybe it was just us.

  2. Asheville is a pretty small town in NC - I had no idea where it was before my husband got a job here :D

    I'm sorry you and your local group are having issues with TMN too. But I'm glad my post let you see it wasn't just your group but a TMN issue.