Forget about the potty pictures, placentas, and crazy baby names. One type of person that irks me and every other person on Facebook is the know-it-all parent. There are certain people who use social media as an opportunity to police their friends about everything related to childrearing, and they get on my very last nerve. While it might seem like I relish in the chance to invade people’s lives based on posting their content on my blog, I really prefer to remain a bystander in life. I don’t actually like telling people what to do, particularly if I’m telling them what they’re doing is wrong as a parent. I like to think I’m offering up suggestions to oversharing parents about what not to share for the betterment of the world, not so much to find something to be nitpicky about. And yet so many people do just that. They seemingly seek out pictures or status updates that imply something is “unsafe” or “inappropriate” and then chide their friends and relatives for being bad parents.
Of course, some people don’t want to be viewed as a Parenting Hall Monitor, so they try to soften their “helpful” advice with a quick compliment about how “cute” the child is in-between brief lectures about what their friend is doing wrong. That little trick is transparent and doesn’t work. What would be really helpful is if people minded their own business, or, if a child’s welfare is truly at risk, message the person privately to show sincere concern as well as explain that they’re not trying to step on any toes. Instead, these hall monitors act with righteous indignance and feel triumphant for, oh, I don’t know, being superior. It’s a truly loathsome by-product of Facebook, and today I’m showcasing some examples as a plea to these parents to consider what they’re saying before they mommyjack their friends with their holier than thou comments. Seriously, no one wants to be told what to do or how to be a good parent. Especially on Facebook.
1. Car Seat Provisions
The submitter wrote, “As a mom, I do agree with what Jacklen (??) is saying, but as a normal, non-fun-killing human being, I wouldn’t voice it on Facebook! And I like how she added “C” in there to try and save herself from being a total downer.”
I must agree. “C” is such an afterthought after writing both “A” and “B,” it’s hard for me to understand why she included it at all except to save face. Or rather, unsuccessfully attempt to save face. In fact, presenting her thoughts as “points” is obnoxious in and of itself. It’s almost like she’s presenting an outline of her thoughts, two of which are rude and condescending. Why not just make a whole PowerPoint presentation?!
2. Choking Hazards
I appreciate that Hannah defended herself here without acting too insulted. She took Miriam’s comments in stride, despite the fact that this picture shows her son eating grapes while literally being held up and watched by his father. I also think that Hannah is right; at some point, parents should stop cutting their children’s food into itty bitty pieces so the child learns how to properly chew and break down food on his own. (But hey, I’m no doctor!) Miriam is being a tad presumptive in her first comment, but it’s the second comment that ticks me off. When people post passive-aggressive links to safety prevention pages, it makes me wish the original poster would reply with a link about surviving the zombie apocalypse. In other words, who gives a shit? You know how to use Google, good for you! Now save yourself!
3. Scolding Non-Parents For Lack Of Sympathy
This is a common retort parents say to people who post about being annoyed by screaming children in public places. “Be nice!” “Be glad they’re not yours!” “Show some sympathy and stop making mothers feel bad!!!” “What if your parents had thought the same thing about you? You wouldn’t have liked that, would you?!”
Yikes. Who said anything about making a mother feel bad? Ryan is just making a quick joke while he gets his hair cut. We’ve all dealt with screaming kids in restaurants, salons, the post office, etc. It’s to-be-expected. It’s also to-be-complained-about on occasion, and it has nothing to do with making the child’s mother feel bad. Just an update on Facebook, that’s all!
4. “He’s cute, but…”
I don’t really know what Michelle is getting at here, but I’m mostly concerned that after looking at what appears to be pretty cool lit up cars made out of snow (!!), she manages to find a way to be a sanctimonious bummer. That’s like looking at a picture of a baby being held in front of the Grand Canyon and asking why he doesn’t have shoes on.
5. Dad’s Gold Star
Who else wants to give Ari a high-five for the way he handled Mary’s incredibly condescending and rude comment? Get in line! I also love Sara’s light jab. “What are you feeding that baby anyway? Formula poison? Water mixed with deadly chemicals designed to make a baby go spontaneously deaf and blind? Breast is best! Educate yourself!” Hey Mary, here’s an idea: Suck it!