I’m going to begin this post by fully admitting that I’m biased in favor of STFU, Parents. Not only are these posts featured on Mommyish weekly, I happen to think that Blair Koenig is a really great person. So it probably doesn’t come as a shock that I bristled when The Daily Mail called STFUP “vicious” or when the New York Post claimed that moms and dads “despise” it. This morning, Blair was on The Today Show to talk about her blog, defend her stance, and explain a little more about over-sharing. Watching her interview I thought to myself, as I have plenty of times before, “Parents just really need to learn that it’s okay to laugh at ourselves.”
During the segment today, a blogger from The Motherhood argued that STFU, Parents is too hard on the online parenting community, saying, “And I can guarantee that if she decides she wants to become a parent, she will be there. And she really will appreciate the community that’s there to support her.” In that moment, I found it kind of amazing that this blogger didn’t realize, STFU, Parents is part of the online parenting community already. Plenty of moms and dads read the site, and they take comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone in being annoyed with oversharing, mommyjacking, and sanctimony from other parents.
Believe it or not, humor can be a part of this magical online experience for parents as well. We do not always have to take ourselves seriously. We don’t always have to spend our time on Facebook either adoring our own child or mommy-shaming anyone who makes a choice that’s different than our’s. In fact, taking a step back and giggling at our universal obsession with our kids might be one of the healthier aspects of a mom’s online activities.
I’m not saying that parenting isn’t difficult. I’m not saying that some rambling and over-sharey post on Facebook might not be the result of a parent who has hit their limit and needs a little support from their friends, family and fellow moms. Of course those things happen. I’m sure I’ve been there myself.
But in those moments, does it really hurt us to take a step back and see that parenting seems to weaken the filter of appropriateness when sharing information? Does it hurt to laugh at the idea of sharing your child’s bodily fluids with the world? Is it so bad to be reminded that everyone has things going on in their lives, and moms sometimes ignore those other life achievements because they’re too wrapped up in their own world?
In all the media coverage over STFU, Parents, it amuses me that the general assumption is that this blog isn’t for parents. Every TV lead-in says that moms are mad or offended. I think this blog is visited by a lot of parents and I think it’s appreciated by plenty of moms and dads who are searching for an online community that’s a little less uptight, a little more down-to-earth, and a little more willing to laugh about somewhere sharing poop pictures on the internet.
Moms are funny. Our over-eagerness, our paranoia, our obsession with our children… it’s all funny. It doesn’t hurt anyone to point that out. Honestly, I think it does us some good.