By Pam Waldman
Local mom and National Boxing Champion, Melissa Davidson, knew she had to get back into shape after giving birth to her first child just 4 months ago.
Stressed from being a new mom, and looking for guidance, she joined the Facebook group “Pom Pom Moms.” But what she found in the group was so much more.
“I joined the group to find out if I should use plastic or glass bottles for my baby, but what I got was suggestions for chemical-free paper bottles sold on Etsy for $83 each and several accusations of being a Trump supporter.”
That’s when Davidson knew that joining this Facebook group wasn’t going to answer any of her relevant and normal first-time-mom questions, but it could very well be the key to helping her get back into shape before her “comeback” fight just 6 months away.
“I started reading posts from other moms on the board asking for advice because their kids didn’t want to eat vegetables, or they were worried that their son wasn’t sharing with the other kids. No one really offered anything helpful, just a long string of out-of-context insults that had nothing to do with the original post. I figured, if these women had the courage to sit behind a computer screen and type nasty comments to each other, these were the women I needed to train with.”
Davidson watched these fights break out via Facebook comments for weeks, learning the craft and waiting to make her move. Then she read a post from a mom telling the group she felt guilty for having circumcised her son. Davidson proceeded to read the enraged comments that followed.
After seeing one woman named Emily Reynolds write, “You should really keep your guilty feelings to yourself! Good moms don’t feel guilt! They feel pain! Like Jesus!” Davidson knew that it was now or never.
Davidson took a deep breath, put on her boxing gloves, then realized she couldn’t type, then removed her boxing gloves, then wrote, “@Emily Reynolds, I guess we live in a country where freedom of speech isn’t a thing!” Davidson sat back, took several sips from her water bottle, and felt more in shape already.
“I mean, I didn’t think you could do much better than pulling the freedom of speech card.” But Davidson was wrong. “I was a novice. There’s a lot more to fighting with anonymous people online than you think. You really have to be bored.”
After Davidson had made her comment, another comment came in from Rosie Young. Young was an experienced social media fighter and did something Davidson hadn’t seen before. She used a qualifying technique, ultimately giving her the edge to win the whole fight. Young wrote, “As someone who did a semester of pre-med my freshman year of college…” Young went on to copy something on circumcision from Wikipedia.
“I thought the fight was over,” said Davidson. “We now had someone with real credibility weighing in.”
But just when Davidson thought the belt was going to Rosie Young, a different mom – a mom who had made her point 9 times over the course of the commentary – ended it all. She said nothing; she simply inserted the “wave goodbye” emoji.
“That woman was obviously stronger and more mature than any of us, and she showed us that maturity with one single emoji.”
That Pom Pom Moms Facebook fight was the first of many in which Davidson has participated. Davidson says she is grateful for this experience because it truly opened her eyes to how much effort and skill it takes to waste one’s time.
Two months away from her comeback fight, Davidson says she still has work to do.
“Sometimes I know my daughter wants me to read her a story, but I have to stay focused. I try to add in a useless and disparaging comment at least three times a day to keep in shape. I mean, I’m learning so much from these women. Not about how to care for my child, but about how to fight with no purpose whatsoever. I feel stronger already.”
About the Author
Pam Waldman lives in New York City and works in software sales – an extremely fulfilling and impactful career. She is a mom of a 19 month old adorable boy and wife to a funny and great husband. This is the first article she has written and hopes that you like it so that she can feel worthy of love.