• Thu, Nov 29 2012

STFU Parents: 5 Parents Verbally Bashing Each Other On Facebook

If there’s one category of overshare that I receive a lot of submissions for but tend to not post about, it’s parent drama. Technically, the folder I keep these submissions in is called “Spousal Bashing,” but really, I don’t know if these people are married, divorced, polygamous, or what. All I know is that they’re comfortable talking trash about their child’s other parent online, with Facebook being the preferred outlet to ensure maximum public shaming.

Most of the time, I get submissions that involve mothers talking trash about fathers. I’ve seen examples of the other way around, but for some reason, more often than not the bile is spewing from the mouths of moms. Maybe it’s because women overshare more than men. Maybe it’s because “men suck,” or because mothers often have sole legal custody of their children and bear the brunt of responsibility. I’m honestly not sure. But one thing I do know is that the women in today’s column have no qualms about shaming and complaining about their children’s fathers online, whether they’re still in romantic relationships with them or not.

One reason I tend to not post these types of submissions is that they’re kind of depressing. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m “thinking of the children,” but seriously, somebody should. It’s crappy enough to badmouth a parent in front of a child, but doing so on the internet (and, presumably, away from children’s eyes and ears) really isn’t any better. There are friends, relatives, therapists, and lawyers for that. It just seems so inappropriate to take the private gripes public. And in some custody cases, those are the details that wind up determining who is the more fit parent. After all, if you present yourself responsibly in person but are a total jerk on the internet, what kind of example are you setting for your child? Not that I have any opinion either way, really; I don’t care who the “more fit” parent is any more than I care who cheated on whom or who lost a job and has no money.

If any of my friends were going through an ongoing public dispute, or even just having an argument with a partner on Facebook, my opinion would only be this: Be quiet. Keep it offline. No one cares. Don’t air your dirty laundry to hundreds of friends on Facebook — and this time, I’m not talking about poopy diapers. Let’s check out some examples.

1. Parents Being Childish

STFU Parents

If you know you’re being childish, to the point of actually calling yourself childish, then you should know better than to hit publish after writing your status update. Yes, Leslie’s child’s father sounds like an ass of a parent, but the better move would be to exercise restraint online (while perhaps bitching profusely offline). We all need to vent sometimes, but Leslie’s update isn’t about venting so much as it is about exerting revenge.

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • salemthegoddess

    “mouths of moms. Maybe it’s because women overshare more than men. Maybe it’s because “men suck,” or because mothers often have sole legal custody of their children and bear the brunt of responsibility”

    More women use social media than men.

    “women are significantly more likely to use online social networks, like Facebook or twitter, to communicate with friends, family, and co-workers. A whopping 68 percent of womenuse social media to stay in touch with friends, as opposed to 54 percent of men.

    “Our findings show that men tend to lag behind women when it comes to communicating with others through social media, which debunks other recent studies that suggest that men are more savvy networkers between the sexes”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/23/women-use-social-media-more_n_978498.html

    Social networkers are a captive audience that can relate to each other.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Prince-OWales/653129497 Prince O’Wales

      Yeah but the audience part is what you have to remember. When you post on facebook, you have to remember that there is more than just your close friends but also old friends from high school, relatives, co workers and the like. If you would not tell each of these people individually, don’t post it on facebook.

    • Leigha7

      See, I probably have about as many male Facebook friends as female, but the women tend to post more frequently.

  • Hibbie

    Leslie is an asshole. What her ex said (if he said it) is deplorable, but writing it down for posterity is inexcusable. Her daughter could find that (or a gossipy relative could read it and mention it in front of her) and be very, very hurt.

    • Amber

      I was under the impression that the daughter already heard it at her own B-day party. But yes, you’re right!

    • Hibbie

      Good point. For some reason I was envisioning that being an adult’s only convo, but I shouldn’t make assumptions!

  • http://twitter.com/villy23 Villy

    I really hate when ANYONE uses their social media pages to air their dirty laundry. Everyone rants, but I think anything past “I’m annoyed at so-and-so” should be discussed in a private conversation. Even if you have no “real life” friends around you (understandable, I have very few) you can still use private messengers to vent to someone. Putting someone on blast so publicly makes you look petty and classless.

  • Carrie

    I always follow the wisdom of Destiny’s Child in these matters. “You know I ain’t gon’ diss you on the internet…cause my mama taught me better than that!”

  • RCIAG

    Who wants to tell Melissa that prisoners don’t have access to computers so there’s no point in addressing this to the “sperm donor” if he’s in jail?

    Or maybe she knows this & just wants to prove how superior she is?

    Either way, it sounds like you CHOSE him as a “sperm donor” so what does that say about you? Oh yeah…it says just as much as posting this crap on Facebook .

    It says “I’m a shallow, hateful person who wants the entire world to know just how shallow & hateful I really can be!”

    • BigBlue

      Actually, many prisoners do have access to the Internet. It just depends on the specific prison and prisoner in question.

  • http://twitter.com/Anakela21 Angela

    I totally read #5 as it is the kid’s birthday, and Melissa is sarcastically wishing the father/sperm donor a Happy Birthday on the child’s birthday, as in a ‘once again, another year older, another birthday, and sperm donor still isn’t here’ type thing.

    …I can’t decide what that says about me, that this was my first thought.

    • katydid0605

      I had that thought as well

  • Etk

    I hate the term sperm donor because it is always applied as a derogatory label. My child was conceived by sperm donor, and our sperm donor is amazingballs and will always be a part of the kid’s life, which is more than most of these dads can say. Sperm donors rock and donate willingly and with the intent to bring a new person into the world; deadbeat dads don’t.

  • Guest

    I have no love for deadbeat dads. Let me repeat: no love for deadbeat dads. No excuses for men who leave their children and the women who bore them in a lurch.

    Now, I’m not saying they should have left

    …But I understand.

    (Apologies to Chris Rock)

  • Anna

    I wish these parents would understand what they say will get back to their kids and hurt them. My mum was the same. I barely knew my father and my childhood was peppered with comments like ‘I heard *father* is taking his sons to Europe for Christmas .. and he doesn’t even send you a Christmas card! That scum bag…’ etc etc. Single mothers; on behalf of children with dead beat dads… we know! We know you are the ones that are there for us. It hurts us that we’re missing something that seems to be from everything around us (television, classmates, friends etc) so essential. We probably don’t think very much at all of our absentee parents. Please stop reminding us how horrible it is they don’t love us like they should, we know! You’re just making your kids feel like crap over something they’re probably already aware of, even if they are very young.

    And yes, when you put that on facebook, chances are your children will find it. And if that means they’ll find it in 10 years, it’ll still sting then. Keep that chat for your girlfriends, ladies. Offline.

  • http://twitter.com/tigger62077 Jennifer Wamsley

    I actually posted the other day on my FB that I simply do not understand people who malign their s/o’s in such a public forum. Whether it’s direct or indirect through a funny “card” that they shared doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. The point is that, at least in public, you you support and love your spouse. What goes on behind closed doors should stay there. If bad things really are going on, then FB is not the place to announce that – there are services and programs.

    Now yes, I get annoyed and downright pissed at my husband, but very rarely will you see me post anything about him that isn’t positive. Everyone knows that no one is perfect, but I don’t need to air my dirty laundry for all to see. It’s just not kosher.

  • coffeeandshoes

    It is obvious that Christopher does not get out much.

    • DanielCraigForevah

      I’m so glad someone else thought of that too! “Ur dope!!” – are you kidding me?

  • miliotisa1

    Blasting someone whom you slept with publicly only makes you seem like you have poor judgement in men. Grow up peoples. If you can’t be mature, at least hold in the vitriol, it’ll saver yourself the embarrassment. :p

  • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    The ones I really have a problem with most are the first two—they don’t really seem to be fit parents. I can empathize with the third one. The last one, I’m not sure what to make of that, but it seems “in your face”-ish…and #4, while I wouldn’t say it to her, it’s the classic mommyjacking.

  • Jane.

    What’s worse is I know a mother who has her children on her Facebook, carries on to say how she’s not going to “play the children off their father” yet talks trash about him in pretty much every second post. Posts that her daughters (10 and 12) can both have access to. Pretty sad really. They’re old enough to understand.

  • http://twitter.com/MonWithMac Kristin Ireland

    My problem with calling deadbeat dads sperm donors is that it gives the term sperm donor a bad connotation. Sperm donors are actually doing something honourable. Deadbeat dads are just deatbeats. http://www.mondayswithmac.com/2012/04/sperm-donors-and-deadbeat-dads-one-of.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/abby.zee.9 Abby Zee Sims

    Daaaaaaaaamn. Way to stay classy, ladies!

  • Lizzy

    Christopher doesn’t read much.