• Thu, Feb 28 2013

STFU Parents: The 5 Types Of Sanctimommies On Facebook

The word “sanctimommy” has become popularized in recent years due to the fact that more parents are indulging in their “sassy side.” You know how success is often defined as “luck meets hard work”? Well, sanctimommies can be defined as “good intentions meets condescension.” I truly believe that some sanctimommies are not purely out for themselves, as the name implies, but rather think they’re being helpful, or educational, or not annoying. Sadly, most of the time sanctimommies are the opposite of those things, but they just don’t know it. Part of me pities them, but the other part wishes it wasn’t so passĂ© to tell people to their face (or their avatar) that they’re being smug or even hurtful.

Since it is rude, though, I tend to receive a LOT of Sanctimommy submissions for the blog, and every time I ask readers what their favorite categories are, they list Sanctimommy in the top three. We’ve all dealt with sanctimommies, whether at work, at family functions, or at a birthday party for a 1-year-old. They’re like a virus. Whenever you least expect it, a sanctimommy shall appear.

With that in mind, I wanted to identify different types of sanctimommies for today’s column. There are many varieties out there, especially on social media, but for today, we’ll take a look at just five. Here they are in no particular order of self-righteousness:

1. The Hyperbolic Sanctimommy

STFU ParentsWe’ve already seen several examples of what not to say to your child-free friend, but what about parents who post simple quotes like this about how great it is to have kids? Trinity was just posting a quote that resonates with her in order to share her feelings with her friends. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, I guess, if you’re the type who thinks that saying “you haven’t lived until you have a child” is inoffensive. But to those people who don’t want kids, can’t have kids, or are struggling to have kids, it’s actually incredibly demeaning — something I’m guessing Trinity didn’t think (or care) about.

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  • alice

    the peanut gallery on #3 is amazing. especially because they all seem so emotionally invested/outraged at something as innocuous as a child in a stroller.

    “why is this happening? i don’t understand???? double rainbow! WHAT DOES IT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAN???????????”

    • whiteroses

      If she’s anything like me, the mom of the child in his stroller on #3 might have just needed a few minutes to herself, or might have needed to spend some time with her other child. It happens, and its not as if the kid was being abused.
      Also- seems to me like a deletion from H isn’t quite the massive tragedy she’s thinking it would be. Let’s not even get into the fact that she used the word “gay” in the context that she did. Facebook is a huge time suck, yeah, but nobody’s forcing you to be on it. And honestly, H, I doubt you’re so endlessly popular that everyone is desperately waiting for your next missive. I’m pretty sure in the time you posted that, you could have had time to a) vaccuum half a rug, b) shave one eighth of a leg, or c) looked up a recipe for tonight’s dinner.

    • k_milt

      “shave one eighth of a leg” just made me spit pierogi on myself because HA.

    • whiteroses

      Thanks :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Exactly! I love how people think they know anything about your life and how you parent your children by a few minutes of observation. Like when people like to give me hell for not having socks on my son. Well, how about you fight the sock-pulling battle then? They’ve been put back on 5 times! I’m done!

    • Belle

      I once had a woman approach me in the supermarket where my 4yr old was having a cry because I said no to a particular type of ice cream and told her to pick another one, she said to me “I have teenagers, I’ve been through this phase and I will tell you, pick your battles, ice cream is not a battle worth picking”.

      Well, funnily enough I do think that telling my anaphylactic daughter no to the ice cream covered in nuts is a battle worth picking, but then I will be the one jabbing her with the epi-pen and driving her to hospital after she eats it, wouldn’t I? Didn’t hear madame been-there-done-that-I-have-teeangers offering to do that for me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Oh! I’m SO glad you said that to her! I HATE when people say nothing to people who decide to pass judgement and make comments to complete strangers. Unless I see a child in danger (left alone in a car, being abused) I keep my mouth shut. I don’t know them or their situation. Case in point with yours.

    • Dee Green

      LOL Courtney!! I work with toddlers in daycare, and the sock/shoe thing takes up a RIDICULOUS amount of our time!! As one kid takes them off, and you put them back on, 2 other kids have done the same SMH. I feel you pain.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      OMG. And he’s only 9 months, too! AND I’m pregnant again. From what my husband tells me, keeping clothes on him might also be a battle. Apparently, my husband’s much-younger brothers had trouble keeping clohtes on, period! LOL

    • http://twitter.com/roughhouseruth Susan McNeeley

      And then the parents get mad that their kids didn’t wear their socks and shoes all day. Umm, I have 5 infants who all refuse to wear them.

    • BarlowGirl

      Honest to gosh, I just think it’s really cute when kids do that. Baby feet are cute as heck. Honestly, a lot of parents here just put the boots over bare feet. It’s not like the itty bitties are walking around anyways. Who cares?

      Plus that’s a good thing for him to learn how to do!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      It’s so funny! He pulls them off all the time! I love baby feet, too! He will be sleeping and will start with socks on and I’ll go to get him out when he wakes up and no socks! Or just one.

    • BarlowGirl

      I hate sleeping in socks, I feel him there XD

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Same here! I think he’s learned it from both me and my husband!

  • stormy

    I love this blog!!!! I never knew these annoying women had a name. Sanctimommies is perfect. I am single, a foster mother, a volunteer firefighter, an animal rescuer, and work full-time at a hospital, but apparently since I’ve never been pregnant and given birth, I don’t qualify for the super Mommy club. Those hungry kids that DSS drops off in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their back must not count. Since when is motherhood a contest???

    • ODBeckster

      Good on you for being awesome, kind, caring, and welcoming to those in need. You’re too good for the super-mommy club, obviously. :)

    • STFUParents

      Yes, sanctimommies is a very convenient term. You sound like an awesome and charitable person; thanks for commenting!

    • goofyjj

      “Since when is motherhood a contest???”

      Best comment I’ve ever read

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jen-Clark/100000568225513 Jen Clark

      “since when is motherhood a contest” Is something I often ask myself and my “high horse” friends. You help needy children and rescue helpless animals, all while being single and working full time for them, you’re already a super mom in my book. Thank you for helping those that cannot help themselves and giving lives a second chance. I’ve always held fosters moms and animal rescuers within the most highest regards. You’re already more super than a lot of moms I’ve met, whose biggest accomplishments of the day are shaving their legs or finding gossip, and their biggest burdens are someone not taken their advice and the hubby not having an extra 100 for a shopping spree.

    • Alicia McCullough

      Wow you sound like an amazing mother! You are a super mommy because you choose to care for someones children when they choose not too!! Many blessings to you!

  • Barkybark

    Thank you, B., for pointing out that I support my husband and myself on my 75% salary. It’s so nice to remember that I’m working 60 hours a week while the other, male employees get to work at home and travel all the time. (No joke!) Ugh! I honestly don’t know how single mothers do it.

    • STFUParents

      For real!

    • kitten

      me too barky, me too. more power to us. or we need raises….

  • stef

    Oh man. Quoting the nanny she hired to take care of her children? That’s fantastic.

    • salemthegoddess

      I thought that too, but i’m wondering if nanny is what her grandmother is called.

    • AP

      I think it’s her grandmother. “Nanny or Nana” is what you call grandmothers if you’re descended from Ireland/theUK, etc. Like “Nona” in Italian, too.

    • k_milt

      My son is Irish, and his grandmother is a Nanny. My daughter isn’t related to her, but she still calls her “Nanny (first name)” out of respect. I like it and I think it’s nice, but I do get some odd looks when I mention my son’s ‘nanny’, given that he’s nearly a teenager.

    • Nikki

      Nanny is also what you call your aunt down in Cajun country. Confused the hell out of me when I first started dating my boyfriend. You never know!

    • http://twitter.com/roughhouseruth Susan McNeeley

      It’s what you call your godmother down there

    • Sara

      Huh–I didn’t know that! We used to call my great-grandmother Nanny Mary, but we’re Eastern European Jewish, not a drop of Irish or British blood in any of us…….I wonder where it came from?
      Interestingly enough, we never called any of our grandparents “bubbe”….

    • Lis

      We called our Scottish Grandma, Gramma. Never used Nanny or Nana.

    • whiteroses

      My mother-in-law is referred to by all her grandchildren as Nanna. She’s Australian.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Same here. My MIL is Kiwi (New Zealand for those unfamiliar) and she’s “Nanna”.

    • faifai

      My mother’s mother is Nanny/Nanna, and my dad’s mother was Gramma. My mom’s family is german/french, dad’s family is norwegian/czech. I think it’s all just a matter of “we need to find names for grandparents.” The current trend in my husband’s family is “Meemaw”, which imo sounds stupid as he11. Like “seesaw” with a really bad speech impediment. I vote for the Indian “Ama”.

    • Dee Green

      I think ‘nanny/nanna’ is a common name around the world for grandmothers. Like ‘mamma/mommy/ma’ is for mothers.

  • bts

    Ugh..I just had to distance myself from a sanctimommy. Let’s call her a “do as I say, not as I do” one, esp. when it comes to eating organic, hormone free foods. She goes on tirades about not feeding kids horrible, evil dairy or prepackaged foods, yet has no problem posting pictures of her kid glopping his yoplait everywhere or making cookies with the betty crocker box clearly in the background.

  • babycarrot

    #5 sounds like a blast. I’d like a whole post dedicated to her.

  • jsterling93

    So I’m due soon and guess what the “really live” part pisses me off. I have had an amazing life full of love affairs, travel, adventures and all sorts of amazing things. The result is I am ready to settle down and have a kid. I have “lived” plenty which is why I won’t end up bitter and resentful of my children.

    • whiteroses

      Yep. By the time I had my son, I’d met three world leaders that I can think of, gotten two degrees in my chosen field, climbed Chichen Itza, toured the Vatican, seen the Sydney Opera House, gotten tan on a beach in Hawaii, walked around Stonehenge, seen a giraffe in its natural habitat… the great thing about those of us who actually had lives before we had kids is that we can tell them with straight faces to go out and do things before they settle down. I don’t feel like I gave up anything to have my son. The only thing that I didn’t do that I wanted to was earn my PhD- and to be honest, if I can’t do that, I won’t get a ton of heartburn over it.

      Yeah, having a kid has opened up a whole world of experiences. But I feel like the fact that I’ve had all these other experiences is not only nothing to be ashamed of, but also makes me a better mother- because I can tell my son his life doesn’t have to be a small one. Having a child opens your mind in so many ways- but in many crucial ones, it can limit you. You can still have goals and dreams after you have a child, but your priorities change (as they should). I feel the same way about my son as I do about my relationship. I don’t need to broadcast how happy I am. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am. And I don’t need to marginalize anyone, because I have nothing to prove.

    • Katia

      that’s you though… For me I have much different (and new) goals now that I’ve had kids. So I’m glad I had my cuties early (Ish) because having them gives me more to focus on.

    • whiteroses

      Never said my goals aren’t different now that I’ve had a son. What I am saying is that I lived a full and complete life before I ever thought about having him. Some parents anger me because they’re under the mistaken impression that the childfree or those who are yet to have children are somehow LESS, as if those without children don’t live good lives that contribute to society. I have plenty of goals, but the most important (in my mind) is to raise my son and any of his future siblings to be a productive member of society. I’m still in my twenties and still have a heck of a lot of living to do. And yes, any choice my husband and I make is now based around whether or not it’s the best option for our son. But living a full life before you have kids (or settle down) is, in my mind, so incredibly important- because the fact is, once you have children, you can’t do as much as you used to. I was able to do tons of stuff in my twenties that I never would have been able to do if I’d had my son when I was 22, as opposed to when I was 28.

    • Blooming_Babies

      Hell I had my first kid young then had some amazing adventures. Really “living” has very little to do with producing offspring. Adventures… Have them early and often, have them your whole life, don’t put the weight of you really “living” on your tiny people that’s not their job.

    • AP

      I know people who’ve put their whole emotional well-being or identity into their children. It gets ugly quick. Kids decide to pursue different interests than the ones their parents preselected for them, they have personalities that don’t mesh with their parents, and then they grow up and Mom ends up walking a Yorkie in a stroller while demanding grandchildren so she has a baby again.

    • whiteroses

      Yeah- this. I knit. I love knitting. I will teach my son if he ever wants to learn. If he doesn’t, that’s cool. I plan on putting him in sports, because I think it’s important to grow your body and your mind (plus, he’s got a lot of energy). If he hates it, no skin off my nose. We’ll find something he likes, and I’ll support him in it. I want him to succeed and I want him to love what he does. My son is a seperate person from me. He’s not an extension of me, and his achievements- good or lack thereof- don’t reflect on me. I’ll be incredibly proud of him when he succeeds and support him when he fails. He will see and do things that I never dreamed of, and hopefully I will have done my job correctly and raised an honorable man at the end of it all.

    • Riki S.

      Hey that sounds like my MIL, but its a Westie, not a Yorkie :P She is also currently demanding to name our child on the way. I told my husband I think she thinks I’m some sort of incubator for a future child of hers.

    • Justme

      My MIL was this way. I was merely the vessel for the beloved granddaughter. One day when my daughter was very small, she texted my husband “how’s my baby?” He responded “I’m fine.” Then when I told her that if we are to have another child, we won’t be finding out the gender. She proceeded to tell me that “you can’t do that – if you won’t tell me, I’ll just go ask your OBGYN.” Okay crazy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.cimino.560 Mary Cimino

    I love Sanctimommys, they give me wonderful way to mock them and feel better about my sanity

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

    I don’t get the problem with Eddie so much? The others, sure but that one didn’t seem sanctimommyish.

    • Shores

      She’s making a dig at Elizabeth by saying that she’d told her to do that a week ago… a GOOD mom would have listened to her and not waited until the baby pulled itself up, potentially putting it in danger.

    • AllysonLT

      I read it as her having posted something similar about her own kid a week ago. Maybe B. can clear this up?

    • STFUParents

      What Shores said.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      That was kinda how I read it too.

    • AP

      I find it highly unlikely that the baby would go from “just able to pull myself up” to “Olympic pole vaulter.” Not that it doesn’t happen, but it’s pretty unlikely.

  • KatieMB

    “I’m too busy to play your gay game!” Well of course you are. Amazed you even have time to post your rant about game requests. But ya know what? There’s a lovely thing that FB allows you to do – block games, thus blocking those game requests. I know you’re busy, but I bet you can find time to do it.

    • LiteBrite

      No she can’t. She’s a MOM.

    • Dee Green

      LOL!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pandora114 Monique Boulanger

    I submitted R’s entry. (Thanks B! I knew you could find a use for it) That mom is a super sanctimommy. She’s a car seat nazi too…I do try to catch some real humdingers to send in…hehe

    • STFUParents

      Thanks again :)

    • LiteBrite

      The best part was when R admitted she was on her phone instead of interacting with her boys while at the same time judging the crap out of the other mom for something similar. But of course it’s different when R does it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

    Apparently Trinity is Mother, Daughter and Holy Ghost and gets to decide who has a “real” life.

    Hmm, now let’s see if I have this right Hot Pink. You wiped up your kid’s shit, picked up your dog’s shit and went out and bought some shit? WOW, thanks for “you’re” efforts.

  • CW

    Sure, like there are no employed sanctimommies who play the martyr. I was an employed mom for a while, and while it was challenging juggling career and motherhood, it was still quite a bit easier to be an employed mom of 1 typical child than a SAHM of 3 including a disabled child.

  • Lis

    “You don’t know what it’s like to be a slave until you have kids.” I like my quote better.

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      ain’t that gods own truth. I love our kid dearly but dang.

    • jjr

      except maybe if you were an actual SLAVE

    • Makabit

      Fairly sure that when you tell your owner they’re in a time-out, the results are more problematic than some crying and whining. Yes.

  • allisonjayne

    I totally respect SAHMs, except for the ones that seem to think that those of us that do work don’t ALSO clean our homes, make dinner, shop (‘contribute to the economy’…), read to our kids, etc etc….???

    And yeah, I love my kid, she’s amazing, but my life was full before her and remains full now that she’s here. That shit is so irritating, especially I’m sure to those who would LOVE to have kids but can’t.
    Friends of friends of mine had a 3 year old who spent all her time while out of the house in her stroller…note the ‘had’ there, she had lost use of her limbs due to brain cancer and eventually died. They would get all sorts of dirty looks from strangers and old ladies tsking that she was ‘too old’ to be in a stroller. “of course it’s possible but there was no sign of it”….like, is she looking for an actual sign that says “disabled kid! don’t judge!”.

    AND f’idiots (not a typo) who protest gay marriage on facebook can kiss my (legally) gay-married (canadian) ass.

    • faifai

      congratulations on your marriage (whenever that may have been)! i’m praying for the day we reach that goal in all 50 states here in the US.

    • allisonjayne

      Thanks! It was over 6 years ago, but sometimes I’m still amazed by it. :) Most days it feels remarkably unremarkable.

    • faifai

      “Remarkably unremarkable” is entirely how it should feel. :D

  • Em

    Maybe the kid in the stroller has mobility issues or some other health issue, maybe he was sick, maybe he had been taking a nap or was just tired from walking all day..or maybe like my son he had autism and if you turn your back on him for a tenth of a second he’ll run for the hills and never look back. Whenever I took my kids to things like this when they were little, I would have to put my autistic son in the stroller if I wanted to do any activities with my neurotypical daughter or be able to pay any attention to her at all. Otherwise I’d spend the whole time chasing him and dealing with his screaming tantrums while she was ignored.

    • STFUParents

      Good point. Maybe the sister was getting some much-needed time with her mom. Who knows! It’s probably not that big of a deal and definitely not anyone else’s business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

    You know, I love my son but I was most definitely “living” and most certainly enjoying life with my husband before he came along. I’ll probably get bashed for this, but I’m looking forward to my “empty nest”. I’m enjoying being a mom, don’t get me wrong, but I will not be trying to keep my kids at home once they are grown.

    • whiteroses

      And you shouldn’t try to keep them at home. Parenting is the only “job” on earth where your eventual goal is to make yourself redundant. I had a boyfriend once whose mother was so attached to him and his siblings that she told him- in front of me- that she had no idea why anyone would ever want to get married and leave home. There’s a very good reason he’s my ex.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      I agree. I want to always have a relationship with my son, but once he’s an adult, he’s his own person! I want that for him. I want to see him become independent, happy, successful, confident and a great contributor to society and his community! That’s my goal for him. I will not do him any favors by selfishly keeping him at home. How sick.

    • Leigha7

      Didn’t SHE get married and leave home, though? If she couldn’t imagine why someone would want to do that, she must have been pretty miserable herself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      LOL…wonder why we were voted down? How dare we look forward to our children growing up to be the responsible adults we hope to raise them to be! BAD mommies! Sorry, but I will not be raising Norman Bates.

    • EditKitten

      Ha, I keep wondering who’s doing the downvoting today … ’cause you two ladies seem kinda cool in my book!

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      There’s always someone, isn’t there?

  • Dee Green

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting these!! I’m SO TIRED of moms who make other moms feel bad! I’ve been on both sides, working and SAH so I know both roles are difficult. I didn’t breastfeed my kids for various reasons. I’ve never made anyone feel bad for the choices they’ve made in raising their kids. I’m not saying I’ve never seen or heard things that made me wonder, or feel badly about (like baby in stroller for 2 hours), but if i don’t know the circumstances, I’m not gonna plaster my judgmental views all over social media sites. I have 3 kids, and sometimes when a kid is getting out of hand or is tired or whatever, they need a time out to chill. Maybe that’s what stroller baby had to deal with. In any case, it was nobody’s business unless he was being abused.
    It really is time for some moms to get off their high horses and help each other out. Most men don’t have a clue how hard mothering can be. We need all the unity we can muster amongst ourselves.

  • Bubblefly

    The last one… I have no words…

  • Cabbie

    People go nuts over game requests. It’s too bad they are too stupid to figure out how to simply block those.

    I don’t know if I have some exclusive, fancy version of Facebook or not (I didn’t become a “Gold member” when that option was briefly available for a month or so back in 2010), but when I get a game notification, there is a small ‘x’ in the upper right hand corner. I click that, and it gives me the option to block the application. That way, I don’t have to deal with pesky game requests (which, really, why do people get their panties in SUCH a twist over these, anyway?) AND I don’t have to write obnoxious status updates and alienate my friends who are into games and also probably don’t realize they’re even sending you requests as most of those applications send out requests automatically when you sign up. Any time I’ve ever bothered to ask someone why they sent me a game request, they usually didn’t even know they did it. I think this is an appropriate time to say “PIPE THE F*CK DOWN.”

    • goofyjj

      usually, they send it out to all their friends, so I tend to either ignore them (if on my kindle) or block the games (if I’m on a PC)….. She’s not that special

    • BarlowGirl

      The one that used to drive me nuts was when the game told me a person played and then they said they didn’t. Or they just quit. I used to play a bunch of those but I’ve mostly stopped. Now I just ignore the requests and block the ones that are really annoying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for posting the correction to “You’re welcome.” That drives me nuts!!!! I always find it funny when people try to insult others when they don’t even know how to spell correctly.

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