This Fourth of July, I hope everyone spends some quality time with friends and family. Whether you’re grilling in the backyard or hanging out at the lake, the Fourth is a great opportunity for communities to come together to help celebrate America’s Independence. That said, I’ve put together a few ground rules regarding what not to say on Facebook in relation to the holiday. Every year, like clockwork, parents post the same updates on social media around the Fourth of July, so this year I figured why not round up those predictable posts and explain why you should avoid them. Even if it’s hot out and you have a baby trying to sleep through loud fireworks, you’re better off keeping certain gripes offline.

Here are some examples of things you might want to keep to yourself this holiday:

1. Don’t Bring Your Kids Out If They’re Sick

Do us all a favor and don’t bring your kids and their puke bowls to the fireworks celebration, unless that celebration involves sitting on your own driveway. It’s one thing to be a “brave” mom who takes her kid to see the fireworks after he suffers a mild reaction to a bee sting, but taking puking children out in public is pretty uncool, not to mention un-neighborly, because you’re running the risk of getting other people sick and/or forcing them to watch your kid barf. If you’re already out and then your kids complain of feeling sick, okay, but if you’re home with “sick kiddies” and still decide to take them out with puke bowls in tow, you’re kind of a jerk. Announcing it on Facebook doesn’t make you any less jerky.

2. Don’t Make The Holiday All About You

 

Parents, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t brag about taking your kids out to see the fireworks even though they’re sick, and then turn around and leave a comment about not wanting your baby to catch a cold. Kelly isn’t saying she’s going out; she’s saying she’ll be spending the day eating Popsicles. And yet Randie’s reflexive reaction is to express concern for her baby.

Try not to mommyjack your friends this Fourth of July.

3. Don’t Complain About Fireworks (Especially Before 10 P.M.)

Fireworks and sleeping babies don’t mix. Unless, of course, your baby sleeps right through them. Regardless, allowing your neighbors to shoot off fireworks in peace on the Fourth shows that you understand that the world doesn’t revolve around your baby. Complaining about them, on the other hand, makes you look like a brat, whether it’s on Facebook or outside on your front lawn. If you’re going to complain about fireworks, at least wait until after 10 P.M. That’s when most city fireworks end, and when you begin to look slightly less crazy for throwing a fit on a holiday.

Remember, parents, it’s just one day. If your neighbors continue to shoot off fireworks for another six days after the holiday, that’s a separate issue. But in the days leading up to the Big Day, there will be fireworks, and they will be shot off by kids in the neighborhood who were once babies themselves. Don’t deprive them of their chance to be young and reckless. Your kid will get his chance one day, too.

4. Don’t Be “That Person” In Your Community

I can practically hear the Channel 3000 representative’s hand hitting his or her face in this thread. When it comes to being involved in one’s community, try to respect that most people enjoy fireworks around the Fourth of July and are excited to take part in the festivities. Sure, there are always going to be people (and pets!) who hate fireworks, but the best thing to do is just deal with the fireworks for the day (or the week), and then move on. At the very least, don’t announce on a local news Facebook page that you’re the grouch who’s hoping the fireworks don’t happen. That’s no fun for anyone.

5. Don’t Use The Holiday As An Excuse To Brag About Your Kids

Yes, parents, your children are adorably inquisitive, but when you describe them as essentially being Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, that cute precociousness turns sour for me. This holiday, try easing up on the “attorney” jokes. Just post an update about your kids having a blast at the pool and maybe put up a picture of them hula hooping. That’s all anyone should be doing on the Fourth anyway, no matter what age you are.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July, everyone!