new_member_welcome.pngWe are so glad you have chosen to become a member here at Mothering and we hope you find the helpful information and interesting discussions you are looking for.


This is a basic walk-through of the board features and where things are located to help you get acclimated, start reading and participating in discussions, and find a home here at Mothering.






















Let's start with the Home Page! You can get here at any time by clicking the Mothering Logo in the top right hand corner.




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Here you see the carousel.  These pictures link to interesting threads, articles, tutorials, and promotions. The content changes regularly, so check back often.


Directly below the carousel you will find the All Things Mothering section:


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Here you will find links to blogs, forums, threads and other important information for the community.


Directly below that you will find the Pregnancy and Baby feeds.  Things tagged with either term will appear here:

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As we continue down the page you will find the Recent Mothering Activity feed:

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You can customize this view by clicking on the buttons for Reviews, Forums, Articles, and Profiles.  A "green light" in the button means that particular item is included in the activity section, if the light is out that content won't be displayed.  


You may further customize this view by clicking on the "Subscriptions Only" button, which will include your thread subscriptions ("blue light" on) or not include your subscribed threads ("blue light" off).  For more information on subscriptions, please see our Article on Subscriptions and How to Get Them


Clicking the "Settings" button will give you even more options for a customized view.  There are also "Play" and "Pause" buttons if you wish to pause and resume the feed.





In the right hand sidebar you will find some interesting information.  First up, the Who's Online module:

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This gives you a count of how many members are online as well as a list of of those members.  Clicking on a member's name will take you to their profile page.


Below that is the Mothering Stats Module:


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You can choose to view this information for the last day, the last week, the last month or for all time. Well, all forum time, since about 2001. As you can see it is a quick reference for how many members Mothering has, who has been posting the most, the most active threads (as well as total amount of threads) and the top rated posts (and total posts).  This module is updated daily, and you can click on any of the information there to be taken to a thread, a profile page, or a post.





You will notice that there are ads on this page, as all of our pages. We have a couple types of ads, those that are like Google Ads and run through a service - which show up in 4 locations (top banner, top sidebar, bottom sidebar and bottom banner), and our Featured Sponsors, which show up in a couple of ways:


In the sidebar:

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Or along the bottom:

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Our Featured Sponsors are advertisers that work closely with us and provide goods or services that closely align with Mothering's Natural Family Living philosophy. 



If you wish to see an ad free view you may become a Supporting Member by visiting this page.


If you see an objectionable ad, please report it, here's how:


How do I report inappropriate ads?

Please send an email to [email protected]. We appreciate your help! When contacting us regarding an ad, including the following information will help us be as responsive as possible:


  • URL/link to the website

  • Name of the company/product

  • Location of ad on page (top, right, bottom)

  • Reason content is inappropriate

  • Screenshot (if you can provide)      




Now that we've gotten through the Home Page, let's move on to the Forum Page.


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Clicking on the Forums link in the blue Community drop down in the green nav bar at the top of the page will take you to the main Forum home page. This Nav Bar is available on every page as you navigate through the forums.


Here we are on the forum home page:


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Here is where all our discussion forums are located.  They are separated into sections to make them easy to navigate, and to find the discussions you are looking for. This is a collapsed view of the sections:


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You can expand or collapse each section according to what you wish to see by clicking on the "+/-" button on the righthand side of the section header.



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You can also Subscribe Screen shot 2012-05-20 at 10.41.59 PM.png to each section, as well as find the RSS feed Screen shot 2012-05-20 at 10.42.05 PM.png here.


When expanded, each section has important information listed under the section header:

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From here you can click on the main forum, any of the subforums (if there are any), or the most recent post made to the forum.

You will note the Unread posts Icon on the left hand side: [IMG alt="


 If you click on this you will mark the forum read and the icon will change to this: [IMG alt="






Now, let's head into a forum:

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As you look at the forum you will see the following:

  • The Forum "trail": this shows the previous levels of forums. You can navigate back to the previous level by clicking on the name.


  • The Forum Jump Menu: this drop down menu will let you pick another forum to jump to directly, without going back to the main page.

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  • Forum-Wide Filters: These will let you filter the posts in all forums by New posts, Hot threads, New Threads, Unanswered Threads and things you have posted.

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Below those tool bars are the Forum Specific tools.

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The forum specific tools allow you to mark that specific forum read, Subscribe to the specific forum, find the forum's RSS feed or search the individual forum. There is also a filter drop down menu available for the specific forum:

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that will let you filter the posts in that individual forum according to New posts, Hot threads, New Threads, Unanswered Threads and things you have posted.





The Subforum listing is set up up the same way as the main forum listing on the last page, with the Unread posts icon, the subforum name, and the last post to that subforum.  Again, you can click on any of these to go to that page or thread.


Below the Subforum listing you will find the Forum Note, and the discussion thread list

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The Forum Note contains helpful information, such as forum specific guidelines (several forums have these in addition to the User Agreement), reference lists, articles, and other helpful links.

Below the Forum Note are the discussion threads.  These are listed much the same way as the forums and subforums, with the thread title, and the most recent post.  On the left hand side there will either be an icon indicating unread posts: [IMG alt="


or no unread posts: [IMG alt="





If you wish to start a new thread in the forum, you would click the green "Start a New Thread" button (labeled above). You can jump to another page in that forum by using the Forum Page Navigation buttons.


If you want to read a discussion thread, click on the Thread title and you will be taken to the first post (this is often referred to in the thread as the OP - or original post) in the thread:



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There are thread specific tools available here, just as there were forum and subforum specific tools. These give you indicators of any unread posts in the thread, the ability to Subscribe to the thread, Search the thread, as well as quick access to your forum preferences. 


In the first post, you will see an indicator in the top green bar that says "Thread Starter".  This will appear in the post header bar whenever the Original Poster posts, allowing you to identify what the thread starter has replied to in the thread.  


At the bottom of each post there is the Report Post button (the flag) which will allow you to send a report to the moderator or admin in the case of an inappropriate post.  We rely on our members to report things they see that violate the User Agreement or Forum Guidelines, as it helps us to keep the community welcoming to all our members.


On the lower right hand side there is the Thumbs Up button (click on it to let the poster and others know that the post is helpful), the Multi Quote button, the Quote Button and the Reply Button.


The Multi Quote button will allow you to quote and respond to several posts at once. To use it, click the Multi button on every post you wish to respond to.  On the last post you want to respond to, click the Quote button and it will generate a reply with each individual post you wanted to respond to as quotes:


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The Quote button will allow you to respond to a specific single post, quoting that in the reply box.


The Reply Button will take you to the reply entry box to let you reply to the thread. 


You can also reply to a thread by scrolling down to the bottom of the page, where the reply entry field is located:


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Those are the forum basics. This information should get you into the forums, reading and responding!



Reply and New Thread Posting Tools



Default Rich Text Editor


When you are ready to start a new thread or reply to a thread you will look for one of these buttons:

Start a new thread

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Reply to a thread:

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The Start a New Thread entry screen will look like this:

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It differs from the Reply entry screen in that it tells you where you are starting a new thread, give you a field for a title, and gives you the option to create a poll to go with your post (We'll come back to this at the end of the article.)


The Reply entry screen will look like this:

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On this screen it will tell you that you are writing a reply, and there will be no title entry field, or a poll option.


Both screens will have a post text entry field, and the formatting tools at the top of that field. Let's get into the tools!


Tool Bar:

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Starting from the left side, we have:



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When clicked the button turns blue and allows you access to the HTML coding for the post. You can do some limited HTML here if you know what you are doing.  Clicking the button again will take you back to the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.


Format Drop Down Menu:

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This allows you to format your text according to presets for different headings.  This can be really useful if you are writing and informative post with a lot of information.


Font Size Drop Down Menu:

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This menu allows you to change the size of your font.  You can either do this by selecting a size before you start typing, or by highlighting text you wish to change with your mouse and then picking the font size from the menu.


Text Color Selector:

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This allows you to change the color of the text.  Again you can change it before you start typing, or after by selecting the text you want colored and then picking a color from the menu.  If you want even more color options, click the "More Colors" option at the bottom and you will be taken to this screen, where you will have more color options:

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Bold, Italic, Underline and Strikethrough:


These are pretty self explanatory. You can make your text Bold, Italic, Underline or give it a strikethrough with these buttons. 



Numbered or Bulleted Lists:

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With these buttons you can create a Numbered list (left button):

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or a Bulleted list (right button):

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Link Text Button:

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This allows you to link a selected section of text to a webpage, email or specific spot in your post.

When you click on this button you will be taken to this screen:

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You may choose URL, Link to Anchor in the Text (another spot in your post you want to jump to), or E-Mail from the drop down menu:


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Enter your website, email or anchor point in the entry field and then click okay. Your text will then be linked, and displayed in purple and underlined to indicate it is a link. It will look like THIS.


If you wish to break the link, highlight the text you linked and the Unlink button will become active. unlink button.png. Click on the Unlink button (on the right) and it will break your link for you.  This button only becomes active when you have selected text that is linked.


Undo/Redo buttons:


These are exactly what they say they are. If you do something in the text entry field and want to Undo it, click the button on the left. IF you find you want to put that action back, click the Redo button, the button on the right.  The Redo button will only become active when you have undone something.


Next, we have the Insert Buttons:

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Simply put these insert things into the body of your post. 




Clicking on this will give you this screen:

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You can insert an image from your computer or from a URL. Note the check box in the middle of this screen, which saves a copy of your image to your default album.  If you do not wish for that to happen, unclick the box before you click submit.




You may embed video in your posts.  When you click on this button you will be given the option to put in the video URL or Embed Code from YouTube or Vimeo. 

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This button allows you to attach a file.


IF you have sufficient privileges. 
 Currently this is limited to admins only.




This allows you to insert a table into the body of your post. When you click on this button you will get this screen:

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Which will allow you to set the specifications of your table such as; columns, rows, headers, etc.


Horizontal Line:

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This does exactly what it says: it inserts a horizontal line into your post, like so:

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Clicking on this button will bring up a menu of the forum's available smileys or emoticons. 

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We have quite a few so it might take a moment to load all of them. Simply click on the smiley to insert it at the cursor position in your post. You will need to click on the Insert Smiley Button for each smiley you want to insert in your post.




This will insert a quote box into your post. The empty quote box looks like this:

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You can click inside the box to enter your text into the quote box.


Spoiler Tag:


This button lets you put in what's called a "spoiler tag". This will hide the text you enter behind a warning.  Other users will have to click on it to see what you have posted. This is useful in discussions of movies, books, tv shows or other things where some people might opt to not know the information you posted.

The entry field will look like this:

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It will appear like this in your post:

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When someone clicks on it, it will expand to look like this:

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Text Alignment buttons:

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These buttons change the alignment of your text in the post. From left to right they are left aligned (standard post appearance), centered, right alignment, or justified (spaced to make both edges of text even). 


Spell Check button:

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Once you have typed your post you can click on this button and it will give you this screen:

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It works like a spell check in a word processing program, allowing you to pick alternates to misspelled words, or skip things like names.



If you find you don't uses these buttons often, you may collapse the tool bar by clicking this button, collapse tool bar.png,  that is at the bottom right hand corner of the tool bar.  It will remove the tool bar from view. Clicking the arrow again will expand the took bar.


Increasing or decreasing the size of the text entry field:

At the bottom right of the text entry field there is this symbol:

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Clicking and hold and then drag up to decrease the text entry field, or drag down to increase it.



When you are happy with your post, you may click the Preview or Submit buttons. [IMG alt="


The Preview button will let you see how your post will look when it is posted, and still edit your post.  Submit will publish it to the forum.



The tools I have just described are the Rich Text editor tools, which is the default setting in your options.  If you are more comfortable or familiar with BB Code (such as is used on vBulletin forums) you can change to our BB Code editor.  You can find this option by clicking on your Screen Name in the upper right corner of the screen and then clicking on the Edit Account Details button at the top of your profile.

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Once there, scroll down to the Site Preferences section and you will see the Preferred Editor Type option

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The drop down menu will let you choose between the Rich Text Editor and the BB Code Editor:

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Once you have selected which editor you want to use, remember to click the save button!



BB Code Editor


If you are not familiar with BB Code from other message boards, you may want to stick with the Rich Text editor as it allows you to see the formatting changes as you make them in the text entry field. If, however, you are comfortable with a BB Code system you can scroll down to the different buttons available or if this is new to you and you want to learn more, read on!


The main difference in the BB Code Editor is that it works in code, not in WYSIWYG style.  Things are bracketed by tags and will appear formatted when you click submit and actually post. For example, to make text bold, you would click on the Bold button, and tags will be generated that look like this:

Bold Tags - bb code.png

Your cursor will appear in the middle of these tags allowing you to begin typing. Any text in between the tags will have the formatting indicated by the tags:

BB Code bold code.png    bbcode bold posted.png


The tag that begins the formatting in BB Code will have brackets [ ], the tag that ends the formatting will look like this: [/ ] with brackets and a forward slash. Knowing this will help you to "read" the formatting and determine what it will look like before you post it.



The BB Code Editor looks quite similar to the Rich Text Editor:

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The tools available are quite similar to the ones described above:

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And most of them function exactly as the ones mentioned above. Listed from Left to Right, with their corresponding beginning and end tags:





Strike Through:    

Font Size: The # sign will be replaced with the number of the size you select.  Note that the menu does not give font point size, but rather….descriptive text size. 

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Font Color:   The # signs here will also be replaced with the Color ID.

Left Align:


Right Align:  

Indentbbcode indent.png 
This will indent a section of text from the regular body of text.

Spoiler Tag: [SPOILER=Warning: Spoiler!] [/SPOILER]

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This will make your text appear like this:

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Numbered List:  





Bulleted List





Link:  This will give you a screen to enter your link on and then will generate a tag that looks like this:

http: //www.mothering. com

If you leave it like this it will just appear as a clickable web address. If you wish for it to appear as text other than the web address, you may type the alternate text in between the tags like this:

Mothering Website This will make the text clickable and will appear as this: Mothering Website


Video:  [VIDEO][/VIDEO]

Image:  This will give you the same option to upload an image as the Rich Text Editor did, once you have chose an image it will appear in the  entry field like this:

Again, the # signs will be replaced with your specific photo ID.


Attachment: This permission is limited to admins only.


The last button is the "plain text" button. Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 9.32.44 PM.png

Clicking on this will give you the following:

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If you click okay, it will remove any and all formatting you have placed in your post and strip it down to only the text you have entered. 




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Smileys are located to the right side of the post text entry field. You may click on one of the ones that is shown there, or you may click on the More option at the bottom to get the full smiley menu window. Some smileys will auto generate in BB Code editor such as the basic :). All of our smileys have a code that you can type into the BB Code editor if you know it such as :lol = 
, :dropjaw = 
, :rolleyes = 
 If you hover your mouse over the smileys on the right hand side, or in the smiley menu window, the code for each smiley will appear.


 You can type this directly into the BB Code editor, and bypass the menu window.


Creating a Poll


When you make a new post, you will have the option of creating a Poll to go with your post.  The tool to add a poll appears below the post text entry field:

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When you click on this you will get this screen:

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As you can see you have the option to enter a question, up to 20 answers, allow for multiple choice, and set when you want the poll to close. When you have completed your poll and submit the post it will appear at the very top of the thread:


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You can view the results without voting by clicking the View results button in the lower right hand corner.




With these tools you can add a great deal of variety and content to your posts on Mothering.  Now, go get posting!



The Nav Bar


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You can get just about anywhere you need to go via the Nav bar.  The Nav bar appears on every page, making it an easy way to get around.



Mothering Logo:

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This will take you to the home page. You can find articles, blogs, and editorials here. In the Nav Bar you will see section headings:

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Each of these sections has a drop down menu.  Mouse over it and it will pop up:


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As you can see, the left side of each drop down will take you to articles and content for the topics listed.  The right side will take you to the Community discussion forum and reviews for the topics listed.  Each drop down menu for each main topic contains many links to both content and discussions.  Poke around!  There is a lot of information here!


At the end of the Nav Bar is the blue Community tab:

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When you mouse over this it is will also give you a drop down menu:


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Forums - 

Simply clicking on this link will take you to the Forum Page, which we discussed in Part One


Reviews - 

Clicking on this link will get you to our product reviews section:

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This is exactly what it sounds like. Our members leave reviews and feedback on the products they have used.  We are always wanting new reviews and more information for our members, so if you have something you loved (or hated) write a review!



This will take you to tutorials (like this one!) as well as site guidelines and contest rules.

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Galleries - 

We have Photo Galleries!  Here are galleries from recent photo contests, Mothering members and more:

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A Tutorial for Galleries is coming soon!


Groups - 

This is a direct link to our Social Groups.

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Social Groups are smaller groups that are created and run by members. Our Due Date Clubs are located here so that we can keep them available to you indefinitely.  Check out our article on How To Start a Social Group if you are interested in starting one, or the Social Group Guidelines if you want to know more.


Articles - 

This goes to our Community Articles section.  

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Here you can find articles written by community members on a variety of topics.  This content is different than the articles on the home page which are written by our bloggers and editors.





My Profile - 

You can reach your profile to change settings, see your subscriptions, photos, and more by clicking on your User Name at the top right of every page:

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You can also reach your subscriptions, private messages and logout from this tool bar.




You can become a Mothering Supporter! Check out our Article on what is included with a Supporter Membership or a Business Advertiser membership. Click on the title links to purchase either of these.




Now, to the bottom of the page!!!



What's that at the bottom of the page??

At the bottom of every page you will see this:

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This box has a lot of information and some great links. 


At the top you can see how many active users are currently on Mothering, as well as a link to change your status to either Active (visible to other users online at the same time as you) or Inactive (hidden to other online users).

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In the bottom area there are three sections - 

Recent Discussions:

This is exactly what it says, the most recent discussions on the forums. Below the list there are links to New Posts and All Discussions. 

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Recent Reviews:

The most recent published reviews in our Reviews section. This is a fast way to see what is new in Reviews. 

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New Articles:

These are the most recent Articles that have been written for Mothering. Below the list of the most recent ones you can see the links to New Articles and All Articles.

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Down below the green area, you will see another purple navigation bar, with links.  


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This duplicates many of the same links that are in the top Nav Bar, and adds some other helpful links, such as the About Mothering link, or the FAQ. Our Terms of Service and Site Map are also located here for quick access. 


Also in this spot is the toggle button for those of you who view Mothering on mobile devices.  The Mobile interface is excellent and comprehensive. You can find a tutorial on it in our Mobile Quick Start Guide.




That's it for now! Lots of information all contained in a few sections. Explore and learn more about Mothering and all the information we have to offer! WELCOME!