A Group and a Tribe

Dear Wait it Out Members,

I’m afraid I’ve gone ahead and confused a lot of you with the recent announcement of migration. I apologize for this. I want to try and clarify what the new structure is.

To answer your questions:

1- I am not deleting one WIO group and moving us all to another WIO group. As I have always said the WIO group is a space that I maintain for its members, not “my” group or a “me” group.  As long as the group has members I will work to maintain the group. It’s an awesome group. I have no intention of walking away from the group or deleting the group. That would not be fair at all to all of the members that have worked hard to build this community and that have shared so much of themselves. I am NOT saying “We’re moving and whoever doesn’t move gets deleted”. If I was going to do that I would simply start deleting members from this group which I founded and which I’ve poured a lot of my time and energy into. I’m not going to do that.

2- The reason for the split is because our group is already split. There are people that want the group to go back to its origins which is a “safe place” where people share toolkits. And there are people that want the group to become more of a “safe place” to speak one’s mind without worrying about breaking some sort of a rule or violating some code of conduct.  The admins of this group mostly come from when the group was younger and had a strong “tribe” feeling, and they (And I)  have been trying hard to restore that tribe feeling.

3- It is not fair to the group to try to “bring it back to what it was”. The group has grown and evolved into something else. It’s an awesome wonderful group where discussion should thrive and people should feel free to speak their minds without worrying about violating some code of conduct. This group has become more and more “This is what the Wait it Out Method is to me and why my implementation of the method feels good and right”. And that’s an awesome lovely thing. It’s GREAT to see so many people so passionate about their definitions of WIO. Not too long ago the group was a timid place where people were just finding that they have the right to wait it out instead of making their babies cry it out. I love the confidence. I don’t want to say that we can’t be loud and proud.

4- In the same vein it’s not fair to tell the large “tribe” within the group that the group has changed and there’s no going back to our roots. It leaves a lot of people “homeless” so to speak. In the beginning I remember helping some members that were very very vulnerable and desperate and not parenting in a very positive way. I helped them fill their toolkits and they became awesome supportive members of the group. I’ve seen comments from new members that would have driven these members away in the early days, and these comments make my heart ache for these lovely members of the tribe that JUST NEEDED SOME NEW TOOLS. That’s what the toolkit approach is. It’s about providing new tools to people that are struggling. It’s not about debating which tools are better or which methods are best. It’s about exploring tools together, finding what works for us and what doesn’t.  I want to be able to tell people “there’s this group where you’ll be safe talking about your flaws. Everyone who is in the group understands that it’s okay to be imperfect. You will be embraced without judgement and people will help you find new tools and a new understanding of your children.”  I can’t do that with the original WIO group anymore.

5- The “Wait it Out Method” is unique. There tend to be two categories of approaching sleep: Sleep training that forces a child to follow a linear path, or not sleep training and just sort of dealing until the child sleeps independently. All in sleep training or all in attachment parenting with nothing in between for those of us seeking a different balance for our kids who don’t seem to do things according to methods. I refuse to say “The original group idea is the only WIO group that should exist.” and kick out people that diverge from that idea. I refuse to say “The new group is the only group that will exist” and let fragile people go without a place to feel safe.

6- Both communities should exist. I want to be members of both of them. I’m strong enough to be a member of the loud and proud group. I desperately want to help others fill their toolkits compassionately, so I need to be in the toolkit group, the tribe. Back to the roots of the group that I started. I want both places to exist. But when they try to exist within the same group it ends up making me sad. I’m sad for the people that can’t speak openly. I’m sad for the people that hold their hurts inside for fear of judgement in what they were told would be a tribe where they would find support and understanding on their journey through parenting.

7- No one has to pick a single group. I plan on being in both groups and being active in both groups.  Both groups are awesome. But they are different. With a different focus. And I think that the two groups should be allowed to define themselves without un-defining each other. I want to be able to say “There’s a safe place” to members looking for a safe place, and I want to say “there’s a place to speak openly” for members that are looking for a place to speak openly.

I understand that I’ve upset some people that feel the group should stay just as it is. I apologize for that. If you have reservations I invite you to email me at sarah@momtomommedia.com to talk about your concerns and to give me a chance to hear them and address them. I take my responsibility as group founder very seriously, and I take none of you for granted.

<3 Sarah

6 thoughts on “A Group and a Tribe

  1. I was also nervous when I saw you had done this but I’m quite grateful you had. I’ve stopped posting in the main group because of how much it’s changed so quickly. Loud and Proud is a great way to describe it. Not a bad group or bad people, but very ‘AP and I know it!’

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