Every Long Island community seems to have a Facebook parents group, and each group is filled with moms happy to share — or take — advice on children’s rashes, family vacations and the day’s third-grade homework assignment.
From the wanna-be M.D.s to the coupon mavens to the pet detectives, here are 11 types of moms you’ll meet on Long Island Facebook groups.
The wanna-be M.D.
“A mother posts that her child is choking on something, has a rash all over his body or is breaking out in hives,” says Emily Schiano-Porter, 51, of Elwood, administrator of the 3,000-member East Northport Moms Facebook group. The parent will post a photo of an ailment and ask other parents what they think it is. The would-be doctors chime in.
The news reporter
Common posts include curiosity about the path of an overhead chopper or details of a local car accident, says Kristi Gambaro, 49, administrator of Farmingdale Fabulous Moms. “We all know about it before the police know about it,” says Dawn Boyle Kostakis, 45, administrator of the Massapequa Moms, with 7,800 members. Moms will comment, "Christian Grey is landing," jokes Valerie O'Connor, 34, administrator for the Bay Shore Moms.
The coupon maven
“The daily question in our moms group is, ‘Who has a Kohl’s coupon?’” Kostakis says. The coupon king or queen is the one who can offer a 30-percent-off Kohl’s coupon. Seconds Schiano-Porter: “That’s always a given. Retail coupons, food coupons, Groupon coupons.”
The amateur travel agent
“You get a lot of people who ask about what cruise to choose,” Schiano-Porter says. One recent post to the East Northport Moms read, “Looking to go on a three to four day trip in the U.S. with my 17 year old. Been to Disney and Williamsburg.” Within three hours, 27 comments offered such locales as Hershey Spa, Chicago and Newport, Rhode Island.
The PTA mom
A mom will ask, “Does anybody have Ms. So-and-so’s homework?” and in minutes somebody will post a screen shot. Parents will share help with their kids’ specific math problems, people who can tutor or advice on where to go for Regents prep classes. They’ll support local fundraisers for sports or other teams. The Long Island Mocha Moms, a group for parents of color, will share suggestions of children’s books that feature main characters of color, says administrator Shanequa Levin, 36, of Huntington.
“We had a family lose their home to a fire a couple of months ago,” says O’Connor. Parents immediately donated clothing, money and more. Even when families aren’t “in need,” the parents share. Someone will post that their child needs a winter coat and other parents will check what sizes their kids have outgrown and pass them on, O’Connor says.
The pet detective
“For some reason Bay Shore families are always losing pets,” O’Connor says. The owners post a photo and the close to 1,700 members keep their eyes peeled and come to the rescue. “They always seem to get reunited with their families,” O’Connor says.
The auxiliary chamber of commerce member
Parents share the names of local service people such as landscapers and mechanics. “I got the name of a grout guy who was absolutely amazing,” says Karen Cooperman Alford, 50, of Melville, administrator of the Half Hollow Hills Moms. On some pages, parent-preneurs are allowed to advertise homemade items they’re selling.
The Martha Stewart clone
“Everybody’s got a fix for everything,” Kostakis says. The best way to get stains out of clothes or to clean an oven, for instance. “The amazing amount of knowledge about vinegar is crazy,” Kostakis says.
“This group allows us to vent when our kids drive us crazy. It’s great to have proof that you’re not the only mom who set a curfew or punishes kids for lying,” O’Connor says. On Mocha Moms, parents might talk about their shared ethnic identities, Levin says. One such post let parents share talk about the topic “Thanksgiving with Black Families.”
Sometimes that mom on Facebook Mom pages is actually ... the dad. Dads do chime in. In fact, dads also have Facebook Dad pages, says Adam Kramer, 37, of Bellmore, who launched the Bellmore-Merrick Dads page about five months ago. It's got more than 100 members now, he says. "We make plans to go to a bar and see a game together; we started a flag football team," Kramer says. "Gardeners or mechanics we'll ask for; the rashes and the coupons, not so much." He says the dad involvement reverses the usual process of moms becoming friends and then dragging their husbands into their social circle, hoping the men get along. "Our wives have to meet each other instead," Kramer says.