STFU Parents: Top 6 Overshare Tips For Parents In 2013

Every New Year’s Eve on STFU, Parents I take a moment to reflect on the many lessons we’ve learned, trends we’ve discovered, and horrors we’ve encountered over the past 12 months. It feels productive to take a look at where we’ve been, as well as where we’re going. What terrifying overshares will we be introduced to in the coming year, and what do those things say about the culture of overshare on social media? Important questions might arise like, “Did I receive twice as many poop submissions this year?” and, “What’s up with the obsession some parents have with their kids teeth?” Mostly, the Year-in-Review is a reminder that overshare isn’t going anywhere, so we may as well gear up for whatever’s going to clog our newsfeeds next year.

On that note, much like last year, I’m dedicating this final column of the year to some of the “social media goals” parents should strive for in 2013. After looking back through the year of columns, a few simple messages stood out to me. Here are the Top Overshare Tips for Parents in 2013:

1. Let The “Chain Message” Status Updates Die Out

STFU Parents

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Chain status updates are boring, meaningless, and stupid, and yet some parents STILL feel that they’re doing their “duty” by posting them. Like Bill says, he’ll “do everything and anything” for his kids, including taking the time to handwrite a viral status update on a piece of paper (?!) and then type it out on his phone, because that is the modern day equivalent of going the distance for one’s kids. Parents, in 2013, please consider how idiotic this practice is. No one needs proof that you love your children, and even if they did, copying and pasting a block of regurgitated text isn’t going to do the trick.

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  • Nikki

    I think babies and kids are cute and I enjoy giving them a little smile or a wave when I catch their attention, but sheesh! Stacy’s update makes me want to stop! I do it to put something positive back into the world. My attention is not owed to your baby, especially to a baby with a mom that’s such a selfish jackass that she wants to violently harm other people for not waving to her child.

  • CMJ

    Can we do some sort of correlation between horrible child names and their propensity to appear on this blog? I bet it would be epic.

    • bumbler

      every time I see a tacky baby name, I just think to myself “At least it’s not ANOTHER Emily or Matt.” Variety is the spice of life, right? I flinch more where I hear there are 5 different Sarahs in one class.

    • CMJ

      I would take Matthew over Kanton any day. Call me old fashioned…. or boring.

    • Ashley

      I agree wholeheartedly with you! As one of those who had to deal with anywhere from 3-5 other people with my name in my classes as a kid, I don’t like mainstream names.

    • Hannah

      The posts about names generate so much vitriol. I have to admit that I love them most for that reason!

  • Mary Sue

    Kanton?!? And why is she blowdrying his junk? WTF.

    • C.J.

      I’m really hoping it was to try and clear up a diaper rash, that’s the only thing I can think of that isn’t totally wrong. Even if it was for a diaper rash it’s creepy to even take a picture of it nevermind post it.

    • Ashley

      THANK YOU! I wanted to know that, too! xD

  • Tea

    I love when people don’t know what white canes are, and get snippy when I ignore their children or very lightly tap one.

    “My Daughter was being friendly and you ruined her day!”
    “Ma’am, I’m blind.”

    • bumbler

      you type very well for a blind person, lol

    • wmdkitty

      It’s called voice-to-text, and it’s a standard feature anymore.

    • Tea

      A very common sighted person misconception :) Education time!

      Only about 15% of people who are labeled as blind are completely so. And some white cane users are only visually impaired but still benefit dramatically from canes. Majority of us have some sight, but you don’t even need that to use the internet. Text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and even braille keyboards and braille readers all exist and are pretty commonplace. I use good old fashioned keyboarding and gigantic font as well as a screen-reader if my eyes are so tired I lose all ability to track. A friend of mine has no vision at all and runs a blog with nothing but text.

      There are entire online communities for the blind, and we even use touch-screen devices like iPads which have really awesome accessibility software. iPhones are very popular in the blind community because they can be used completely sightless.

      Bonus mindscrew factoid: My day job is as a professional illustrator. A friend of mine has even less vision (about 20/500) and is a cartoonist and comic illustrator.

    • Katherine

      So much this! My brother-in-law is legally blind (very nearsighted and many blind spots) to the point where he can’t drive, although he doesn’t require a cane to move about comfortably. He uses a computer with two monitors and a standard keyboard (hooray for touch-typing!) and text-to-speech for editing purposes.
      I have never once known someone to meet him and assume his vision was that poor. The most we’ve ever seen was someone commenting on how thick his glasses were. In fact, much of his best man’s toast at his wedding fell VERY flat because the big joke was a story about going to an empty parking lot and giving him a chance to try driving for a minute. I would say more than 50% of the room had NO idea why that would be funny!

    • lyn

      What an ignorant comment. I can type with my eyes closed so why couldn’t a blind person be able to type? You are rude and the “lol” doesn’t make it OK

    • Emmali Lucia

      I wish I could see that happen in real life. I would die laughing

  • Ale515

    I would actually love to have the parent want me to smile and wave to their child. It seems like no matter where I am (including different states) I’ll wave to a child and the parent always gives me the dirtiest looks. If I was a man, maybe I could understand. But I’m a short young woman with glasses. I don’t look that suspicious do I? Haha!

    • bumbler

      for some reason my husband HATES anyone (even young ladies) talking or waving to our daughter. He gives them a dirty look. I on the other hand would probably hand her to a stranger if they offered to hold her! (haha, ok maybe not that far, but still) I think it’s just overblown protectiveness. The parents don’t have any true danger to protect their kids from, so they shun perfectly normal people in order to exercise that instinct. It’s illogical but that’s the best sense I can make of it.

    • Ale515

      I guess that makes sense, it just makes me feel like a perv or something haha!

    • TheHappyPappy

      I actually did have a total stranger hand me a baby one time, in a doctor’s office. I had been waiting with a friend and a woman came in with her six-month-old. I was smiling, waving and making faces (at the baby) and chatting with the mum while we sat across from each other. Then, when the mum went to leave she was trying to juggle the baby and her wallet, so she turned and was like “Would you hold her for a minute?” I said sure! And held the baby while mom signed out. We said goodbye at that was that. So you see, you can make faces at babies, and you can hand your baby to a stranger to hold and everything may be just fine. :-)

    • Spiderpigmom

      I have the same experience. I don’t know why. I love it when strangers smile and wave to my son.

  • wmdkitty

    Uh, ladies, I’m not ignoring your kid out of spite or some personal vendetta, and it’s not a slight against you (or your child). I’m just wanting to get in, get what I need, and get out, while minimizing the amount of sensory stimulation I’m subject to.

  • C.J.

    How self absorbed do you have to be to want to cause bodily harm to someone because they didn’t wave at your kid, really. There are bigger things in life to worry about. I don’t even remember most of the people who waved or smiled (or didn’t) at my kids when they were little.

  • Helen Donovan

    Dear Stacy,
    Don’t take it personally. If a stranger is waving at me, particularly one who smells like shit or who is drooling on him/herself, I ignore them. It has nothing to do with age – just an aversion to inane babbling and bodily fluids on my part.

  • Blueathena623

    I am waiting for the day for number 6. Lazy, freeloading baby.

  • Fay Walsh

    The Adoption shaming in the first one makes me grind my teeth

    • Hannah

      My thought exactly. I bet she’s anti-choice and anti-birth control, too.

  • Justme

    Is anyone else utterly confused by Danielle’s leaking breasts? “It’s finally coming in” at only 14 weeks along in her pregnancy?! Perhaps I’m reading it wrong, but nothing should be “coming in” (such as breastmilk) until after the baby is born, right?!

    • Anika

      Colostrum comes in before birth, some women start leaking it while they’re still pregnant and some don’t. I’ll be giving birth any day now and I’ve been leaking on and off for weeks (Haven’t posted about it on Facebook though!). 14 weeks is early, most women don’t start making it until 6 or 7 months. Real breastmilk doesn’t come in until after birth.

    • Justme

      I did birth and breastfeed a child so I do understand about colostrum and breastmilk, but I wasn’t aware of anything that “came in” as early as 14 weeks.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Danielle has maaaaaaagic boobies.

      Check phrase one off my list for 2013!

    • StephKay

      Yeah, that seems a little early doesn’t it? I was amazed when colostrum “came in” at 19 weeks during this second pregnancy, and naturally it tends to happen earlier when you’ve just had a baby two years prior. 14 weeks for a first timer might actually be Facebook worthy unusual, if it weren’t for the whole “better tell my old high school history teacher about the current status of my bodily fluids!” vibe.

    • katydid0605

      agreed. ive had three and actually never had it come in before birth

    • katydid0605

      i had the exact same reaction. 14 weeks? barely even showing a belly, if at all, never mind expecting anything to have come in yet…not to say that its impossible, but her comment was incredibly odd

  • Katherine

    I love how it can’t possibly be that they didn’t SEE your baby waving, because they were thinking, or waiting for their turn at the cash, or reading a sign or something. No, it’s horrible and malicious and they hate all children!
    Heck, I’ve been known to miss my HUSBAND waving to me when I was waiting impatiently for him to pick me up…

  • KatDuck

    Yes, Bill, the ONLY reason people “give up” their child is because they’re horrible, selfish people who don’t want to crimp their lifestyle. No one has ever put their child up for adoption for any other reason ever.

    Grrr. My good friends have four children via adoption. First one’s dad was in jail, mom decided he needed a better life than she could give him. Third was from China and was an illegal second child who, by rights, should have been aborted. Fourth was born to a teenager who decided both she and her daughter would both benefit from not doing the teen mom thing.

    The second kid, however, was born to a mom who was guilted by people like Bill and told if she REALLY loved him she’d keep him in her impoverished, struggling life and cripple her own options. She played yoyo with that boy for a full two years before finally terminating parental rights. Causing him some pretty serious damage that took his new family a while to work through (poor guy just assumed they’d leave him – can’t blame him for that).

    Anyway, looking at that family I see four fabulously unselfish birth moms (well, three with the fourth allowed in on good behavior), four wonderfully unselfish birth dads, and two amazing adoptive parents who are giving their four kids a wonderful life. And you, Bill, would deny the latter that family and guilt the other eight for that? Please, Bill, STFU.

    • firefly327

      My sister is a birth mother. She was young and made a mistake by getting involved with a selfish, older, irresponsible jerk. They had no way of taking care of this baby, financially or emotionally, but he and his family still pushed her to keep the baby and his mother was the worst. “She gave her baby away, she doesn’t care!” Meanwhile, his mother was an addict who did heroin in front of her kids. Eventually one of her kids ODed and died and the others were taken away, but she kept in touch and now most of them are messes who can’t hold any job and spend most of their time either drunk, in trouble with the law, or making bad decisions. But apparently she didn’t see the irony in calling out my sister for placing her baby with two stable, loving, background-checked parents who wanted and were ready for a child.

    • Bubble

      I agree. It’s particularly sad when you look at people who hold on to their children even though they are clearly incapable of caring for them. My brother and sister-in-law have two children in permanent foster care (which in my country exists as an alternative to adoption when unfit parents refuse to give up their children), as they can’t have children of their own. These children are now well cared for and very much loved, and everyone knows that they are way better off now than with their heroin addicted parents. However, their parents still want them back, even though they aren’t even trying to overcome their addiction. The children are already damaged (they have been handed back and forth ever since their birth, have never been able to build trust, or feel safe with anyone) and are very confused, because they are expected both to feel safe in their new family and overcome their birth parent’s neglect, but they are also expected to have regular contact with their birth parents who neglected them (and they are still so very little, they have no voice whatsoever in that decision). It’s very hard to watch at time because you just KNOW nothing good can come out of them seeing their parents at this point in time (maybe in a few years, if the parents are still alive, and the children old enough to understand). If their birth parents were less selfish and just thought about their children’s future for a second, they’d know that, too. They’d give them up and give them at least a chance to still grow up to be happy and well-balanced people. But they don’t. Bill would probably applaud them for that.

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