• Wed, Jun 29 2011

STFU Parents: The Various Types Of Mommyjackers

A few weeks ago, Mommyish posted about something that’s seen on STFU, Parents a lot called “mommyjacking.” It was defined as “when an enthusiastic mother turns someone else’s status update into their own personal baby-talk forum.” But that definition is pretty broad, and mommyjacking has many subtle facets. For instance, there are multiple types of mommyjackers, and just because you may not fall into one category, you could easily fall into another. Allow me to showcase a few of the most popular types of mommyjackers in today’s column:

1. The Classic MommyJacker
This type of mommyjacker thinks that your problems can be solved with a little anecdote about her good fortune or her baby’s cute accomplishments. She isn’t trying to be rude; she just genuinely believes that your mood or day will improve upon seeing her latest batch of baby pictures or hearing about how little Paisley can recite the first seven letters of the alphabet. Unfortunately in most cases, this type of mommyjacker thinking is wrong.

2. The Needy MommyJacker
This type of mommyjacker isn’t afraid to tell you her needs. Whether she wants you to come see her baby more, or she feels slighted because you weren’t able to attend her one-year-old’s half-birthday blowout bash, she’ll tell you exactly what’s on her mind (even if it’s slightly offensive). She’s not afraid to voice her feelings, because as far as she’s concerned, you’re the one who isn’t making the time or the effort to see her little one. Even you’ve already made plans to see her soon, your timing is somehow always wrong.

3. The Self-Involved MommyJacker
All mommyjackers exhibit some selfish tendencies, but The Self-Involved MommyJacker is the most selfish of all. She finds a way to work her baby into just about every conversation, regardless of the subject, in order to hog as much of the spotlight as possible. She may not realize she’s doing it, but somehow she manages to mention her baby in conversations about everything from marriage to graduation to illness or even death. She’s thrilled about her blessings and needs absolutely everyone to be as happy for her as she is for herself.

4. The Self-Righteous MommyJacker
This type of mommyjacker is the best at everything and knows it all. She feeds her kids the best foods, purchases the safest, most eco-friendly baby products and toys and is often against epidurals, formula, public schooling, germs and anything that hinders her baby’s advancement in life. She feels justified mentioning her philosophies no matter the occasion, and she regularly pats herself on the back for being so good at motherhood that it’s practically award-worthy. No matter what you’re going through in your childless life, she’s right there to remind you that it can’t stand up against what she’s gone through as a mom.

5. The Tired MommyJacker
This is by far the most popular type of mommyjacker, which makes sense because hey, being a parent IS pretty darn tiring. No one can dispute that claim, and I for one think that parents deserve to complain about being tired as much if not more than everyone else. But the problem is, so many parents agree with that sentiment that they ALL take advantage of reminding their friends just who the really tired people are: themselves. After a while The Tired MommyJacker loses her friends’ sympathy because there’s only so much they can take.

See what I mean?
Of course, there are other types of mommyjackers beyond this list. There’s The Depressive MommyJacker and The Boastful MommyJacker and The Bitter MommyJacker, each as ridiculous and obnoxious as the last. But I think I’ll save those for another time.

Have you ever mommyjacked someone or been mommyjacked by a friend? Tell me about it in the comments!

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  • M

    One of my statuses got daddy-jacked once, but I snapped, the planets aligned, and they realized what they had done. It was magical, seeing them acknowledge their wrong and apologize for it.

    • MissRed

      We need a screenshot of that!

  • Anon

    I have, but nothing too big. But this week a friend of mine is battling cancer and her fb status said “Watching a few movies to pass the time, feeling aggro so it’s all violent movies…gonna kick this cancer’s butt!” and a mom posted right under that…”How about Toy Story 1,2, and 3? That’s what I’m stuck watching 24/7″. I had to hold back my venom.

    • Tupelo

      Wow. Talk about one of the worst perps of the Momocentric Theory.

  • Laura

    I’ve never been mommyjacked (on Facebook, although it’s happened to me in spoken conversation), but I watched a young friend of mine get mommyjacked and it made me angry. She was posting about how she was exhausted, and the mommyjacker said that she couldn’t possibly know what tired was because she doesn’t have kids. My friend very politely replied that she was at the emergency room with her sick mother until four in the morning, which did cause the mommyjacker to recant somewhat. It just drive me crazy when people act as though having children is the *only* acceptable reason for tiredness.

    • Sam

      I wish I could like your comment 1,000 times. Now that so many friends of mine have kids (or at least girls I went to high school with), I’m hesitant to put how tired I am… and I was diagnosed with hypersomnia/possible narcolepsy! It’s sad when you feel like you have to censor yourself on FB to avoid getting mommyjacked.

  • D

    You ever meet someone who’s joined a cult? It’s the same concept. Just try to get them to STFU about it.

  • H

    I was once mommyjacked by one of my friends…I had been feeling sick (just recently got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis) and she messaged me saying that she had been sick and it turns out she was pregnant. I was taken aback for a second, but then got over it quickly because she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for the entire time I’ve known them (3-4 years). So I let it slide…and she’s not normally a facebook oversharer anyways.

  • Cristina

    One of my friends (B) posted that she had a headache (or was tired) and one of her friends suggested she was pregnant. Another girl commented about how she wished there could be a “dislike” button, and B agreed…especially for the stupid pregnancy comments. The mommyjacker became angry and many of B’s friends jumped on the status about how you can’t do or say anything anymore without someone asking if you’re pregnant. It turned into a huge fight, and it was awesome.

    • Laura

      I wish you had a screenshot of this battle. I would love to see that!

    • Daniela

      I had a photo taken of me at a lookout, holding a shawl in place as it was windy. My hand was over my stomach. Someone just HAD to ask if there was something I should share……grrrr! Asking if someone is pregnant is one of the rudest questions!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      I had a fantastic incident- I was wearing a loose tunic top as it was cleaning day in work. a woman in my local shop asked was I pregnant. Now, I had out on a little weight, and, feeling embarrassed, laughed it off.
      she insisted I WAS PREGNANT and leaned over the counter and rubbed my stomach!
      TWICE I asked her not to touch me. then she tried to lift my top- “Aw show me your little tummy”
      I then told her if she didn’t take her hands off me, I’d break off her fingers and shove them where a baby comes out of.

      I am normally never that graphic, but having recovered from a severe eating disorder, being paranoid about my weight, then have a stranger mauling me, well…it lit a stick of verbal dynamite.

  • kate

    Years ago, I was in a meeting and one of the participants was complaining of being tired out from a packed schedule. Another participant sniped “And you don’t even HAVE kids!” The tired woman was taken aback and I just wanted to punch the mom in the brain–she had no idea that the first woman had spent years trying to get pregnant, was unable to do so, that fact was the great heartbreak of her life, and she attributed the breast cancer that she battled years prior to the hormone fertility treatments.

    • Melissa

      I really wish these brainless mombies would be more sensitive to people like the first woman in your story (the one who couldn’t get pregnant). Dangling your fertility over someone’s head like it makes you a superior being is rude enough when you’re talking to someone who DOESN’T want kids, but for someone to have to hear that when they desperately want to be pregnant must be so upsetting.

  • Zoey

    I was mommyjacked yesterday via text message. A friend and co-worker of mine recently lost his wife unexpectedly and he attempted to come back to work after having a week off. He couldn’t handle it, broke down, and had to leave. It was so incredibly heartbreaking. I texted our mutual friend to let her know what happened. She replied with, “Oh, hope he can come back to work soon,” and then proceeded to gush about how she just found out she’s pregnant and how happy she is. Absolutely no empathy whatsoever.

    I have another friend who mommyjacks every single conversation she ever has with anyone (literally!). I am amazed at how, in her mind, every subject comes back around to her kid. She was recently blessed with a grandson and whenever anyone asks about the new baby she automatically assumes they are asking about her son rather than her grandson!

  • Marta

    Mommyjacking is near the top of the list of reasons why I don’t do facebook.

  • ScienceGeek

    I had friend write some simple status about needing to take her laptop into work the next day and dreading it because her laptop bag was crap.
    MommyJacker: What do you do
    MommyJacker(three seconds later): I’ve washed all the baby’s clothes and prepared the nursery and I’m going to the ob on tuesday and….
    about fifteen other baby related things, all rubbing in how little she actually cared about the OP and that she only replied to talk about herself. Seriously, this response was several hundred words long. She also had this weird habit of sticking in random exclamation marks, which made me wonder if she was a teenager (turns out she went to school with the OP, and is well into her 30′s). basically all her sentences! really read!! like this!

    Two weeks later, I saw my friend’s status update about being tired result in another five hundred word essay from the same woman on the impending arrival and of course, how nobody knows tired IS until they’re pregnant.
    Top it off, this particular mommy-jacking included not one, not two, but three, that’s right contestants, three SEPARATE posts of when her cesearain was booked in, each two or three minutes apart (so it wasn’t a miss-post), all written exactly the same way:
    ‘this friday!!!! morning’

    I have no idea who this woman is, but I kinda hate her, just on general principle. Is that wrong?

    • jc

      No, that’s perfectly RIGHT.

    • TheSquirrel

      Nope.

  • Stoner

    I get mommyjacked in real life all the time by my Aunt. If I say something about my school work, “I recently took a trip up to Philly with the band..”, she’ll turn around and spout off something along the lines of “Well A. (my girl cousin) will be taking many around the world trips once she reaches the high school level, she’s just so darn talented.!”. Now my cousin is very smart, but the bad thing is…she KNOWS she’s very smart and so does her mother.

    It’s happened to me all my life, I’ve just never had a term for it. “MommyJacked”. I just love it. :D

    • Jojo

      This happens to me all the time! Being the oldest of the cousins, I’ve taken to just avoiding conversations with those aunts just because it’s so irritating.

  • itmeantnothing

    we have a family friend who is a notorious oversharer/mommyjacker. recently, my sister got engaged and told me in confidence that she was NOT having any children at her wedding. we of course laughed about how this was going to offend a couple people, even though she was going to go out of her way to arrange childcare during the event (which is an evening wedding/reception and not child-friendly).

    lo and behold, my sister posts that she’s engaged on facebook and the FIRST comment is from this family friend. in it, she does not even say congratulations but talks about how excited her kid will be to go to the wedding, then launches into a “cute” story about how her son recently went to his 1st grade teacher’s wedding and blew a noisemaker when the bride walked down the aisle, which, she added, was unappreciated by the bride’s family even though her kid was being cute and having fun.

    • Canaduck

      What is with these people? Can’t they grasp for that occasionally, for as many as 10 seconds at a time, the world is NOT about their adorable child? At my wedding, my idiot cousin, who was 10 at the time, started belting out the wedding march as I walked down the aisle. “Daah da da daaaah, dah dah dah daaaaaaaah!!” (We had no music playing.) His idiot parents thought it was adorable and I had to mutter to my mother to ask him to be quiet.

  • Janellionaire

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never mommyjacked, for two reasons: 1, my mother is one of those people who always has to one-up your sickness/fatigue/headache with a story about how bad her own is, and that shit drives me crazy, so I make it a point not to do it. 2, I’m sorry, but my FB is supposed to be about ME, yes? I rarely post statuses on my own page about my kids, unless it’s something cool like, “(3 year old) is playing Plants vs Zombies, and WINNING.” or “Check out this awesome video of (10 year old) doing the Safety Dance at the school assembly.”
    Oh, and there’s a number 3: Every time I go to comment on someone else’s post, I read it before I hit enter, and half the time I delete it just because I don’t think it’s as amusing or helpful as I had planned. Like I tell my talkative kid who drives me nuts, “Just because you thought it doesn’t mean you have to say it.” I think a lot of people (moms or not) could stand to hear this advice. Just because you typed it doesn’t mean you have to post it.

    • pony girl

      “Just because you thought it doesn’t mean you have to say it.” I love that saying!

      Someone needs to invent a program that makes us wait 5 minutes before hitting enter on emails and such. Then we have time to read it and really think about if we want to hit send or not.
      Wonder how many people could prevent breakups and firings and feuds?

  • Patricia

    I had a real life mommyjacking of the righteous sort when I was doing my medical clearance for the Peace Corps. This woman in the waiting room overheard what my business was at the doctor’s office and said it was such an amazing selfless thing I was doing. Then she followed up with, “But, you know what the most selfless thing you could really do?… Become a parent. That’s the most selfless job in the world.” Even though I didn’t imagine the Peace Corps to be this huge selfless give of thine own self situation, I wanted to let her know that she wasn’t special, first of all, and second selfish people have babies all of the time and don’t suddenly become angels of mercy, so I’m not really sure where she was getting her intelligence on the matter.

    • Mary

      Pretty much anyone can make a baby. These particular mothers need to get off their high horses. I get comments all the time because my husband and I are waiting to have a baby; we want it planned. Anytime my cousins get knocked up accidentally, it’s like “Oh she sure is showing you up!”

    • Laura

      These are the same people who say that having children is such a miracle. The word “miracle” tends to lose its meaning when there are around 6 billion of them running around on the planet today.

  • Laura

    The worst mommy jack that happened to me was actually more of an “expectant-mommy jack.” My husband and I have had fertility issues and have been trying to have a child for about 2 years. It’s not a secret either, I post openly about it on my facebook.

    I came home from the doctor a few months ago and was posting about the traumatic experience I just had getting a blood workup in preparation for intra-uterine insemination. The first comment was from an aquaintance that said “be thankful you aren’t pregnant! You’ll be having blood drawn every visit!”

    Not only is that a total mommy-jack, but it’s a complete consolation FAIL.

    • Lindsay Cross

      Oh my Heavens! I’m so sorry. I just can’t imagine. That’s awful…

    • Nicola

      Yep, I think that one gets first place. Brutal.

    • Angeli

      Oh. my. goodness. I too am going through infertility issues and if I ever heard that from someone who theoretically knew about it, I would have to seriously control myself. Unbelievably insensitive.

    • irritated

      Sorry a “friend” would say that…..have you read any other STFU articles? This is exactly the type of TMI you shouldn’t be posting anyway!

  • Kat

    Tired mummyjackers are the worst! I was more tired when I was doing shiftwork as a nurse than I have ever been in my first year as a parent. I’d rather change my kids nappy at 4am than some 80 year old mans nappy at 4 am…

  • Lady

    One of my oldest, best friends has started Mommyjacking regularly. It’s still so shocking and annoying that I don’t even know how to deal with it, other than ignoring her.

  • liz

    So post his on your facebook wall and see if all your mommyjacker friends get the hint.
    I’m about to!
    I actually get annoyed by facejackers in general, people who turn anyone’s status around to be about them
    “Going on holidays”- wish I was/ haven’t had a holiday in twelve months / im stuck home with two kids etc (How about “enjoy it!”)
    or “Having a bad day” – mine worse / having a bad year / you dont wanna hear about my day.. (Why not “oh poor you / big hugs / hope tomorrow’s better)” etc
    but really it shows how egocentric we are becoming and how facebook encourages that part of us.
    See how I hijacked the comments to make it all about my thoughts? Bahahaha subtle.
    Great post by the way. :)

  • E

    Got mommyjacked not once, not twice, but three times by friends who thought my 27th and 30th birthday parties would be an awesome place to announce their pregnancies. At my 27th birthday party, my friend decided to announce her pregnancy by pulling out pictures of her ultrasound during my birthday brunch. At my 30th birthday, I received an email from one friend 24-hours before the party telling me she was pregnant and the the same offender from my 27th birthday started hinting she was knocked up at my 30th birthday dinner.

    God I hope my boyfriend gets me a ring in time for their kids baptisms…

  • Cory

    Whenever I see mommy jackers like number 5, I always want to say,”My two year old lets me sleep until 10 in the morning when I don’t have class and she goes to bed at 9pm without any problems, so sorry. College makes me more tired than my child does.”

    • Kiona J.

      ROFL !!! /high five/

  • Tanya

    I just posted on FB that it was 9 weeks til Christmas (to advertise my the christmas cards i designed). My pregnant facebook friend posted “Actually it’s 10. 9 weeks is my due date:) But still, crazy how soon it is!”

    Screenshot provided upon request.

    • STFU Parents

      Putting in my request now! stfuparentsblog AT gmail ;)

  • Ally

    My Mum mummyjacks all the time. It’s funny because she never did anything like it when I was a child, but now I am in my mid-twenties… She means well but is utterly humiliating. Recently, my Uncle posted about his children topping their years at school, and my Mum made a point of letting them know that I also had done the same (14 years ago!). I also recently entered a competition on facebook where you post a photo and the most likes wins and she posted on everyone’s wall “Merry Christmas…. you haven’t voted for Ally yet!” She also has a habit of commenting on people’s statuses with completely unrelated comments. I don’t think she understands social media etiquette…

  • lillian

    I haven’t been mommyjacked on FB but this is something that happened to me, so our extended family went on a trip together and my cousin( older to me by 7 years and in her early 30s) is pregnant with her second child and the entire time managed to make it all about herself and her baby, she is just 2 and half months preggo but she always kept holding her stomach as if it would fall off otherwise, refused to go in a SUV and wanted only a Sedan, and kept asking if she looked fat because apparently the way you are preggers decides if you have a boy or a girl inside.. This just at 2 and half months!!!! Just wanted to yell at her ” you are not the first or the last mother in this world, get over yourself” but the I would get told you don’t know the joys of motherhood speech so I made it a point to just put as much distance between us as possible… Mommy Jackers are such a pain

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  • Infertile and irritated

    This blog is fricking awesome. After a year and a half of trying for kids my husband and I have had no success. All of our close friends know this yet the minute they pop out babies they start viciously and thoughtlessly mommyjacking our every digital move. I swear if I ever successfully reproduce there will be no online baby news – on my profile or anyone else’s!