STFU Parents: “30 Days Of Thankful” Updates: Sweet Or Sanctimonious?

For the past few years, a trend called “30 Day of Being Thankful” has emerged on social media during the month of November. Because I’m a general proponent of holiday cheer and expressions of gratitude, I try to stay open-minded about this month-long stint of status update sincerity. This isn’t easy considering how trite the status updates can be. Friends who might spend the majority of the rest of the year bitching about traffic or politics will suddenly take the time out to thank their children’s bus driver or reflect upon how much they love their kids’ sweet, smiling faces. A little manufactured, but nice all the same. Some parents take the “30 Days” updates very seriously, dutifully posting each day about friends and relatives in heartfelt tributes as though they were Facebook sacraments. Others (especially toward the end of the month, when source material is scarce) will extend public thanks for reasons like “thankful for FroYo” or “thankful that my baby’s poop is a healthy consistency.” There’s no right or wrong way to rock the “30 Days” vibe, so long as you’re committed to annoying your friends on a daily basis near the peak of the holiday season.

That said, I’m reticent to call people out simply for being outwardly thankful. Who am I to say what people can and can’t be thankful for on Facebook? The point is that they’re just participating in the “30 Days” fad because it makes them feel good, and there’s nothing inherently offensive about that. …Or is there? Based on the emails I’ve received, I’ve no doubt that many people hate — and I would go so far as to sayreally fucking hate – the “30 Days of Being Thankful” trend, and they’re completely unable to take their friends’ incessant and maudlin updates seriously. Is there something so wrong with hating the shit out of a craze that encourages love and appreciation? I’d estimate at least half of all social media users think the repetitive and occasionally sanctimonious nature of the posts only serves to make people feel badly about themselves. The exercise feels more self-important than it does charitable. To everyone who shares this opinion about “30 Days,” you are not alone.

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See? Let’s check out some examples to better understand why some folks aren’t fans of the “30 Days” trend despite its benevolent purpose.

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    • CMJ

      I have found that the people who do the 30 days thingies are otherwise the most whiny, obnoxious, and sanctimonious Facebookers on any other day….or any other status, really.

      • jeneria

        Or the ones who start out with really meaningful things (family, health, husband, etc) and then weeks 2-4 it’s all consumer goods (cars, house, cookingware, iPhone, etc).

      • Blueathena623

        :(

      • CMJ

        NOT YOU. I should edit to say that most of the people on MY FB feed are.

      • Melissa T

        :( I have a lot of people on my list participating, and for me it’s the opposite experience. The cynical, obnoxious, whiny haters keep right on hating, and the people who genuinely are thankful throughout the year keep right on being thankful…

      • dizzylucy

        Luckily I only had a few FB friends who did that 30 day thing. One has had some seriously terrible stuff happen in her life and family, and I think she’s 100% sincere about her thankfulness of the good things. The rest just sound boastful and annoying.

    • keelhaulrose

      The only upside to the 30 Days posts are the ones who completely forget everything they were “thankful” for on December 1st and post a bitchy status complaining about everything. It makes cleaning out the friends list easier.

    • Milly

      I personally hate the “God is good” posts more than anything. There is one in my feed and everything that has ever happened must be followed with “God is good!”. Yes that is swell, but must you talk about him/her all the time?

      • Simone

        How does this person explain God’s goodness when their friend suffers a house fire, or a miscarriage, or paralysis? Is God not good then, or is he just having an off day?

      • Ptownsteveschick

        No, then it is God’s plan. Everything happens according to God’s plan. So when that happens its because God fucking hates you.

    • Rachel Sea

      I’m thankful for the hide and block features on facebook.

      • zeisel

        And reason #192 of why I’m not on Facelookatmebook

      • Pixx

        I don’t think there’s any reason to hate on Facebook entirely. I live far away from most of my family and friends, and it helps me keep in touch much, much better with far many more people than email/phone would. It’s all about using the tool properly. Not everyone on Facebook is there because they have an insecurity complex and want attention, and I get kind of tired of listen to people sneer sanctimoniously about how they don’t lower themselves to the narcassistic level that the rest of us must be at. That’s not really any more pleasant than the attitudes featured in this blog.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Word. I love me some Facebook because I work at home and have no co-workers to gossip about and judge! ;) My husband half hates everyone on his feed, so his hides them as only important. I’m like, what’s the fun in that?

        FB has also helped me keep in touch with a lot of old friends, and I’m *thankful* for that.

      • zeisel

        oh, don’t take yourself so seriously…

      • EcnoTheNeato

        My problem with “hide” is that I say “Only Important” updates for lots of people, either for political, baby, or obnoxious related reasons. Unfortunately, Facebook decides that the word “baby” or “child” is important and shows me all of those posts.

        DAMN IT FACEBOOK THIS IS WHY I HID THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    • TheGiantPeach

      I’m thankful for December 1.

      • CMJ

        I agree….also because Movember is over.

      • pixie

        I’m trying to convince my boyfriend to shave his moustache. It doesn’t look horrible or anything (he’s rocking a trucker/biker ‘stache this year) but it tickles and I don’t like feeling it on my face. Now he apparently wants a moustache comb for Christmas. *sigh* I guess if it makes him happy.

      • EcnoTheNeato

        The problem is that No-shavember feeds in Decembeard, which flows in Manuary (or Januhairy, or Manuhairy), which is followed by Febeard which precedes…

    • Kelly

      I hope Kim gets a horrific, deadly disease and then “fails” to beat it. It will probably be due to her lack of education and pathetic laziness.

      I’m so out of my mind fucking sick of the words “fail” and “failure” being used to describe women when it comes to pregnancy, labor and how well our udders produce milk.

      • carrie

        I wouldn’t go so far as to hope that Kim gets a deadly disease, but I am also very sick of using the words fail when it comes to not having the “right” birth. I am set to have a c-section very soon, and I am already getting attitude from people that I am failing at doing it naturally. The baby is breech. If I tried to have her without medical intervention, I could easily die and so could my baby. Sign me up for “failure” right now!

      • jmuns79

        I had a c section in June because of a big breech baby. No guilt mama! I’ve also read that carrying breech babies is uniquely uncomfortable. So you can also feel proud of that.

      • carrie

        Thanks! It’s my first baby, so I don’t know personally if it is more uncomfortable or not. Other than the breech thing, I have had a pretty easy time of it so I feel lucky!

      • Paula

        Screw those dummies! (lol) I’m also carrying a breech baby right now and although I’m not looking forward to a repeat c-section, I’m thankful that I have medical science on my side and my chance of surviving the birth is pretty damn high.

      • carrie

        Mine is tomorrow and I’m really excited and don’t feel like a failure at all : )

      • http://www.cafepress.com/ladycrim ladycrim

        I hope it went well and everyone is healthy, Carrie!

      • carrie

        Thank you! The c-section went well and I have a beautiful, healthy baby girl.

      • whiteroses

        The goal here? Both you and your baby live. Everything else is just gravy. If anyone’s keeping score, tell them to suck it.

      • carrie

        Exactly. I work for a non profit that is involved in relief and development and I know women and babies die in childbirth everyday because they don’t have access to hospitals and surgeries. I feel very lucky that I have these at my use.

      • EcnoTheNeato

        If failure means a happy healthy baby, I’ll take “failure” every time!

      • carrie

        Amen!

      • Julie

        I had complications with my pregnancy and was on bed rest for 2 months and had absolutely no choice in my labor. It was awful I questioned what I did to ruin my pregnancy which was nothing. But thanks to Kim I’m glad to know what a failure I am.

      • AugustW

        I felt guilty for so long, because of women like that, because I had an emergency c-section and a baby who didn’t want the boob. (Ironically, at age 3, she’s all about the boobs. I tell her “hun, you missed your chance”)

      • Kim

        Yeah, today I learned that my baby tried to come out arm first because I wasn’t educated on childbirth enough. Drats!

      • Amber Starr

        I just had a drug-free childbirth on 11/26. This was NOT by choice. The baby just decided to come too damn quickly, so there was no time for any drugs. For her to say that anything other than what I went through is a “fail” is complete bullshit. It was scary and traumatizing and horrible. Yeah, it was worth it for my beautiful baby, but I sure as hell would NEVER say that it was “better” than someone whose birth included an epidural and enough drugs to dart a rhino.

        If I ever get pregnant again, I have 2 goddamn words: scheduled c-section.

    • Paul White

      I offered to do 30 days of bitching instead to counteract the sacchrine but no one took me up on it :(

      • That_Darn_Kat

        I would totally have taken you up on that!

    • TngldBlue

      I’m thankful I’ll never be as big an asshat as these people. I also find the ones who stop posting things they’re thankful for about 10 days in amusing…ran out of thankfulness did ya?

      • EcnoTheNeato

        I’m thankful for their lack of commitment. Makes my lack of trying seem justified!

    • Lee

      It is incredibly hard on my patience when I see someone posting that their child is sooo advanced.

      • Jallun-Keatres

        It’s worse when they are WAY off, like my grandpa’s wife going on about how my cousin was SOOO ADVANCED because he could turn a doorknob. He was at least 3.

      • blckbrd

        I think that all schools should just have two classes: “advanced” and “special”. There’s no such thing as a “normal” kid anymore.

      • Ptownsteveschick

        Don’t forget the “free spirit” class. Held on the lawn while they all run around and throw mud at each other and knock down the smaller kids.

      • pixie

        And eat rocks. You can’t forget about that.

      • Kelly

        I just laugh when someone brags about their “advanced” child. Every kid I’ve ever known who is actually advanced is also behind in some other area or just plain weird. Not that there’s anything wrong with being weird but it’s hard on a kid.

        My son is intellectually gifted. He’s brilliant. He also forgets how to pronounce the word “hello” now and then, can’t remember to wear socks ever and sprawls across the floor at least once a day, every single day since he started walking. He’s 12…

      • Jessie

        Most people that think their child is advanced only have one child and haven’t been around enough children to know that most of their kid’s brilliance is pretty much normal. I bet Nicole’s daughter is probably only 5.

      • Pixx

        I saw a mommy post the other day about a preschooler who was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo smart because he could count to 10, knows his colors, and can recite the ABCs. Most two-year-olds can do all of those things…

      • AugustW

        My daughter is severely speech and cognitively delayed, but she excels in physical activities and sports. So yeah, every kid is good at something, and bad at something.

      • C.J.

        My younger daughter is above average in school and dances well enough to be competitive but good golly don’t try to throw a ball at her. Not only will she not catch it she also won’t duck in time. I always tell both my girls that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Nobody is good at everything and everyone is good at something.

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        According to my mother, I started reading when I was two, had an advanced vocabulary, knew what fuchsia and chartreuse were when all my age peers were still mastering blue and yellow (can’t tell the difference anymore, however), and could spell “hieroglyph” off the top of my head in second grade. I wasn’t potty trained until kindergarten, and considering I’m still looking at that as a net loss, I think my parents must’ve used cattle prods to make it happen. I also can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, am antisocial, and have no desire to give my grandmother the great-grandchildren she so desperately wants to hold.

        Tl;dr: there are worse things for parents than having a child with average intelligence!

      • Kim

        I’m a children’s librarian, if I had a dollar for every parent that tried to bring their toddler to a school age reading program, or their 5yr old to a teen graphic novel club, or their 18month old to our science-based school holiday program with the explanation of “They’re advanced and/or gifted” well, you know how the saying goes…

      • CrazyLogic

        Start asking as a joke or have a jar. You should be able to buy a house by the end of next year.

    • Annoyed

      These 30 Days things annoy the hell out of me. I cannot imagine thinking that people honestly want to know what trivial thing I’m thankful for every day, not to mention they post the same 30 things every damn year. However, it is not as bad as updating how you exercise every day. One of my close friends updates on her exercise every day and it makes me not want to be her friend in real life because it is so obnoxious, because you know if you don’t post it on Facebook it didn’t happen! Everyone must know! I should just get off stupid Facebook. Sorry.

      • April

        I have one of those friends, too. Every.single.day she announces the classes she’s taking at her gym and then in the evening she says something like, “Just finished (names of classes). SO exhausted! Legs feel like jello but so worth it!”

      • The Mighty Squirrel

        My best friend’s niece (who is about four years younger than me) is like that. Everything is ‘FEMALE WARRIOR!’ this or ‘just finished a 100-mile cycle!’ that.
        Honestly, it’s exhausting. Y’know, I run from time to time, have been known to do a class when I can be bothered and generally look after myself, but I don’t treat it like a second job (or expect the plaudits that that would ensure…).
        I have taken to NOT reading her posts after a glass of wine or two, because the temptation to comment, ‘Well done, you. Do you want your sainthood now, or are you happy to wait ’til you’re dead?’ is becoming overwhelming…

    • Blueathena623

      I admit it, I do the 30 days of thankful posts. One of mine was “I’m thankful that we are lucky enough to have the resources for me to choose to stay home with [my son].” I’ve also done ones about being thankful that I live in a country where I’m allowed to drive and Im thankful for having clean, running water in my house, and also ones like I’m thankful for triple rainbows and honey bees and my ipad. Now I’m kinda wondering if anyone has blocked me.
      I like the way it makes me look at things and figure out what I should be grateful for, but yeah, writing down on a piece of paper and keeping it to myself would probably be just as effective.

      • jeneria

        What annoys me the most is that I have a friend who is really good at doing days 1-9 or so then forgets the next 12 and does a HUGE detailed catchup post and then sporadically remembers the rest of the month. I don’t do it because I know I won’t remember to do each day.

      • Blueathena623

        I do it every other day or so. So I’ll do, for example, day 8 and day 9 on day 9, because I don’t get on Facebook every day.

      • SA

        THIS! It is driving me crazy. Like 20 people in my news feed are consistently forgetting….then you get to read how life has been crazy and 5 days worth of thankfulness. I think the point is to be thankful each day and not just have a list of 30.

      • Melissa T

        I also do the 30 days…and the reason I share them isn’t to get attention. I don’t think people pay that much attention anyways, but as an external processor I naturally want to externally process. On the other hand, many people have expressed that reading my thankfulness posts and others helps them remember to take a moment and be thankful. It also doesn’t have to BE trite, any more than it has to BE super meaningful. I just don’t get the hate toward people who try to see the beauty in life and take a moment to be grateful. It would be better to post negativity? Sometimes I do bunch up days, or make an amusing post…but really, it’s not that different than my FB the rest of the year. I like positivity and I like reading it and I like writing and expressing it. Maybe I’m a Pollyanna, but I’ve been through some really dark things and hanging on to the beauty in life has been an anchor and a way out for me. I personally LOVE reading others thankfulness posts and don’t judge them based on how trite or sincere I think they are. I way prefer them to all the political doom and gloom and complaining.

      • Blueathena623

        I agree. Its lovely to see the beauty in life.

      • Jessie

        Nothing wrong with being thankful, it’s the people that use it as a way to be sanctimonious that’s annoying. Carry on with your thankful self!!

      • WriterLady

        I see nothing wrong with the 30 days of thankfulness posts. I guess I don’t get worked up about other people’s posts, so long as they don’t cause offense to a certain group of people. The games are dumb, in my opinion, but I don’t even block those…I just ignore them.

        The only way I can see the thankfulness posts being problematic is if someone constantly praises materialistic things (or consistently insinuates his or her wealth or upper-hand in life), which, of course, could make friends who are more economically disadvantaged feeling bad about themselves. With that said, an occasional post about one’s lucky lot in life is just fine.

      • Blueathena623

        I can see how the emphasis on material things would be annoying. And honestly, there are a few ppl on my FB who are doing the 30 day thing and are kinda annoying me because its all very religious. But I do try to word my entries carefully, such as the SAHM one.

      • WriterLady

        Yes, the way you phrased the SAHM post was perfect. You emphasized why you were thankful, without disparaging others’ choices to work or inability to choose (in cases where it’s not an option). The overly religious ones are a tad annoying….totally in agreement there. :)

      • NicknamesAreDull

        This year, I did the thankfulness posts. I wrote that I was thankful my husband and I would be in the same country for Christmas. We didn’t think it was going to happen, so when I learned that it was, I was over the moon. Some of my posts were funny, some were serious but they weren’t sanctimonious or materialistic.

      • Blueathena623

        I think some of my posts are materialistic because aren’t we all thankful for materials? I think one of mine was being thankful for my house (I did the 30 days last year too, which is why I’m not totally sure). I did do a thankful post this year for my iPad and wifi, because as a SAHM, it is my link to the outside world. Yes I would survive without it, but it helps keep me sane.

      • NicknamesAreDull

        One of my cousins posted “I’m thankful that my dad is buying me a new macbook. My old one was SO old” Last year she posted pretty much the same thing. She gets one every year.

        So, there’s different types of materialistic statuses. The ones where people are thankful for what they have, and the ones that are thankful for what they can get.

      • EX

        Maybe tomorrow you can be thankful to STFU Parents for showing you the error of your ways? (Just kidding. I have no problems with the 30 days of thankfulness thing in general.)

      • JadePanda

        Expressing gratitude is wonderful! I have one friend who has been doing the 30 day of thankful posts, and all of hers are great expressions of care. On the other hand, I also have 10+ relatives/colleagues using it as a platform for bragging about new cars, expensive houses, their advanced parenting skills, and generally why God loves them better than everyone else.

        It’s a nice idea that some people have taken to a really shallow place. But to everyone doing it right (as I think you are), just keep doing it if it makes you feel happy. :)

    • Karen

      The last one is pretty ugh. Like, sure, be thankful you can be a SAHM if that’s what you want for yourself and your family, but please don’t equate staying home with your kid being “Advanced.” Some of the others….eh, not really overshare or sanctimonious to me. There are a LOT worse things happening out there {and not just talking about Frightfest material!}

      • WriterLady

        This one from the SAHM and the one from “Kim” really screamed sanctimonious far more than the others, IMO. Note to these ladies: Being a judgmental jerk has nothing to do with thankfulness.

      • Blueathena623

        I’m a SAHM, and my kid is behind in speech and is in speech therapy. Apparently pretty common with SAHMs, because we anticipate our kids’ needs so well they don’t have to practice their speech as much and they may not be around other kids as much, compared to kids in daycare.

      • rrlo

        Some kids apparently have speech delays when they have older siblings that anticipate their needs or speak for them too… My neighbour’s 2 year old is experiencing that and that’s what his pediatrician said. Some kids who are at home with Grandparents have similar issues. Other kids with a bi-lingual household have speech delays too.

        I am sure you don’t blame yourself – but even if you did a little bit – just wanted to let you know that there are MANY innocuous and reasons for speech delays – besides having a SAHM.

      • Blueathena623

        Oh don’t worry, I know there are tons of reasons for speech delays. I just like to throw that out there whenever there is talk of “my kid is sooooo advanced because I’m a SAHM!” It works a lot better when I can do it in person, totally deadpan. Oh, the ways I’ve seen people squirm.

      • WriterLady

        I think the stupid mommy wars have perpetuated so many stereotypes. Nicole’s belief that her kid is advanced solely because she stays at home is ridiculous, unless Nicole happens to hold a degree in early childhood education…and even then, that doesn’t necessarily mean she single-handedly created a prodigy.

        In my experience, a kid will progress in his or her own way, regardless of the mother’s work situation. For example: My son attends a very good preschool. For whatever reason, he also struggles with his speech. He talks a lot, but it’s difficult to understand what he’s saying much of the time. I don’t attribute this to any life circumstance, including his preschool experience…it’s just an issue that a speech therapist will be working with him on. Despite my son’s speech problems, he is right on track in other areas (such as recognition and repetition of numbers and letters).

        Blueathena, it sounds like we are dealing with similar issues. I hope the speech therapy is helping your child. We haven’t started therapy yet, and I truly hope my son benefits from the sessions. All kids have their strengths and weaknesses; I’m sure your child excels in other areas, too. Also, most children will grow out of any weaknesses with time and dedicated parenting. Best of luck to you and your child, from a mom who totally understands!!

      • Blueathena623

        Best of luck with speech therapy. I’m sure your son will be a-ok, because as our SLP said, kids have the best outcomes when they have parents who care. Therapy is helping my kid — he’s not quite two and still wasn’t saying any words at 19 months. He is still behind, but he says some words now. I think it was just a combination of him being colicy early on, so I was uber responsive, but he turned into a super, super mellow kid and never really wanted anything enough to ask for it. Plus he is gross motor all the way and is advanced in that area. So all kids are different, and as long as their parents care about them — working or staying home — they generally turn out ok :)

      • Jessie

        Hmmm, I work and don’t feel like it’s hurt my ability to anticipate my kids’ needs at all. I have 2 in speech therapy—just sayin’….

      • WriterLady

        Jessie, did you see the interaction between Blueathena and myself? If you missed it, here’s the gist of it: Blue is a SAHM; I am a work outside the home mom. However, BOTH of us have children who require speech therapy.

        I don’t think Blue’s initial comment was meant to be taken in the way that you have perceived it. Hers was not a statement meant to disparage working mothers; it was just an observation…and a valid one at that.

        Trust me, if I thought someone was questioning my parenting choices and skills because I work outside the home, I would not be having a friendly discussion with that individual.

        And, again, this Mommy Wars junk has made us all so sensitive. Nothing against you, Jessie, I’m just so sick of everything that pits mothers against one another when it comes to career and parenting choices. You rightfully feel threatened when any issue arises surrounding your decision to work (and vice versa for SAHMs). Never have I seen a topic conjure up more vitriol than that of the Mommy Wars.

      • Blueathena623

        Not all speech issues are related to responsiveness, and speech issues can and do occur in kids with a variety of parental work situations. However, its not uncommon for kids with SAHP to have delays due to responsiveness. Its not a slam against working parents, and I’m sure you give your kids just as much attention as I give mine. But when you are around then 24/7 its easy to fall into the trap of routine. If I don’t watch myself, I will give my kid his cup just because I saw a small eye flicker in the general direction where his cup usually sits and I mentally know about how long it takes him to get thirsty and when his last drink was, etc., etc., etc. So he didn’t use any language to get that cup. Now, if he was in daycare or with other care providers, there is a decent chance he wouldn’t have as much of a delay, because they just don’t know him as well as I do. And its not a slam against them, but if you have other kids to watch even the best provider probably ain’t gonna catch that eye flicker. Plus he would be around more kids and hear more examples of kid language.
        Anyways, the whole point of my comment was directed more at those annoying SAHP who think their kids are so advanced because they stay home. Having a parent who stays home can put a kid at a disadvantage sometimes, as I’ve explained, and there is a good chance a kid who is advanced would be just as advanced with working parents.

      • pixie

        One of my riding coach’s granddaughters is way behind in speech and her mother is nearly a SAHM from my understanding. It’s not because her needs are anticipated super well or that her older sister talks for her, but it’s a medical reason. They thought it was because of her hearing problem, but now that they’ve fixed her hearing, they’ve run more tests and realized that most of the dna for speech is missing (I don’t really know the proper science-y terms, but that’s the gist of it) so she can say very basic things. She’s not mentally delayed at all and is at the proper development of everything else for a 4 year old, just not speech. She gets frustrated when she wants to express something but can’t, but it melts my heart when she comes close to saying a new word.
        Basically my long way of saying I agree with what you’re saying and there’s a variety of reasons why kids could have speech delays (as you pointed out in a comment below). I hope your kid does well with speech therapy. :)

      • rrlo

        The last one rubbed me the worst way too. I didn’t quite understand what the heck Kim was thankful about (until I
        read the explanation and the comments) – so it didn’t really bug me much
        at the time.

        I hate it when parents attribute all their kids accomplishments to themselves and then link it to something like being a SAHM. I hope they do the same when things go wrong – like say my kid has lice because I am a SAHM… or my kid is terrible at soccer because I am a SAHM.

        Btw, I have nothing against SAHMs – it would be the same as someone claiming their kid is a genius because the parent is as an Accountant or something.

      • Ashley

        I also think it’s weird to go on and on about how great it is that you never miss a moment of your child’s life, without seeming sorry at all that Dad is missing 40 hours/week of it (at least). I would feel so guilty that I might hurt my partner’s feelings if I talked about it like that with/around him.

    • blh

      I’m thankful no one I know is this big a douchebag so I don’t have to see this shit on my newsfeed.

    • Laura

      I only have a couple of FB friends who have participated in the 30 Days of Thankful thing, and they don’t really bother me…there is NO mention of breastfeeding, being a SAHM, natural birth, or any other sanctimommy crapola. If there were I’d just hide them from my feed.

      • rrlo

        I agree. First sign of sanctimomdom (or racist/sexist behaviour) and people are forever hidden on my Facebook. It’s bad enough reading rage-inducing opinions on the Internet (with misleading titles) – I don’t need it from my friends and family too.

      • Laura

        Amen!!

    • Melissa T

      Honestly, I love reading others thankfulness posts. I also participate in the 30 days. For me, it’s something I’d probably be posting about anyways, it’s just that it’s couched in those terms. I don’t get the snark about people being grateful for their personal experiences. Why is it so cool these days to celebrate negativity and disdain positive outlooks? And why can’t people be nuanced…of course people will complain over the year, but having sad or annoyed feelings doesn’t mean one is incapable of grateful ones. I just don’t understand the level of cynicism. Is it subconscious jealousy? What’s with the rage over people taking time to remember the good in life. I don’t get it.

      • Erin Voyik Roy

        I don’t think there’s any rage. Lots of people post these more as a way of bragging about all the things that are wonderful about their life than about expressing gratitude. If it was about gratitude, you could just express your thankfulness to the person to whom it’s directed or to a loved one when you see them in person, not to your brother-in-law’s best friend, your fourth grade lab partner, and the other 385 people on your friends list. It’s especially tiresome since these are usually the same people who post about their great dinner, awesome spouse, adorable kids, fabulous vacation, etc. throughout the year. It’s irritating not because of jealously, but because its disingenuous. These people don’t post about the time they screwed up at work, fought with their partner, when their kid lied to them deliberately, etc. The thankfulness thing is bragging cloaked in graciousness, and I prefer my bragging straight-up.

      • Melissa T.

        Gratitude can be more than toward a specific person. Sharing our thoughts, inspirations, emotions, desires, heartaches and other such things is part of the human experience. After all, here we are, broadcasting our thoughts about a rather mundane topic on a public website to mostly strangers. I don’t really see the issue with expressing grateful sentiments. Some people don’t post negative things because it’s no one’s business…or because they want to focus on the positive. It’s generally understood that no-one’s life is perfect, no matter what they portray. As for me, I have no problem posting about whatever’s going on, good or bad. I do try to keep things upbeat, but that isn’t always good or possible. Not everyone participating in 30 days of thanks are couching bragging in graciousness. And true, my old math teacher probably doesn’t need to know. But I don’t write for him, I write for the people I care about and care deeply about me. If he doesn’t enjoy the types of things I post, he’s more than welcome to hide me. After all, I’ll never be the wiser.

    • tesm

      I have a family member who is thankful year-round. The problem is that she is constantly thankful for her new designer purse, her Caribbean vacation, her heated steering wheel, etc. I’m oh so glad that god is so good to her…

      • SA

        Someone in my news feed praised God for their iPad…needless to say they were called out by several…wtf?!

      • Blueathena623

        Have you ever had a car seat that has a warming feature? My doesn’t, but I’ve ridden in cars with them. On a really cold day, I would be thankful for them too ;)

      • Justme

        I love my seat warmer. But not enough to post on Facebook about it. My husband, on the other hand, says it makes him feel like he wet his pants. I’m curious when the last time he wet his pants…apparently it was recent enough that he remembers the sensation so clearly.

      • EcnoTheNeato

        Hey man, if you’ve ever done it in your life, chances are you never forget o_O

    • Michelle

      Reading this article makes me wonder how their friends who are infertile, or work outside the home because they have to, have kids with special needs, etc. feel when they read the posts. If I ever feel that my post may make even one person feel badly for their own situation, then I feel it’s best to keep my thoughts to myself.

      • ginja

        You nailed it Michelle! I wish everyone would take a moment to consider these kinds of things before they hit the “post” button. I love to see my friends’ and family’s updates about their lives and cute pics of the kids, but I wish some of them would consider that the braggy/sanctimonious posts can hurt other people’s feelings or further remind them of things they are struggling with.

      • Williwaw

        Good point, I have a good friend who had repeat miscarriages and eventually had a preemie (who is, thankfully, doing very well now), and she said she quit Facebook because of all the endless mommyness – even from people who knew her, knew better, and should have had a little bit of sensitivity when commenting to her.

      • AugustW

        Having a special needs child the same age as two friends’ kids who are “normal”, it can be a struggle to read about how they are totally potty trained and you can’t get that going with your kid, or how they say sentences when you are struggling to get a “hi” out of your kid.
        But I don’t hold it against them. They aren’t responsible for my feelings.

      • EcnoTheNeato

        It can really sometimes be a delicate balance between excitement (and wanting to share said emotion), and bragging (or just selfish “look at me by proxy!”)

    • LiteBrite

      I’m thankful I’m not FB friends with Kim and Nicole.

      Edited to add: Where are you Justme? This article is right up your alley! :)

      • Justme

        I’m here, I’m here! Had to take a break from the laziness of the morning. The family is apparently required to eat more than once a day. Who knew?

        Man, it’s like B is reading my mind on this shit, right?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      Ugh shut up Nicole. Is it really giving thanks when you’re just patting yourself on the back like that?

      I don’t find most of these all that bad – at least compared to what B usually posts, but I guess I don’t have that many americans on my fb so haven’t seen quite the same onslaught of thankfulness as most. I can imagine it gets worse the more of them you see.

      • pixie

        I haven’t seen any, as far as I recall.
        I’m thankful my American friends don’t participate in the “30 days of being thankful” statuses.

    • Marie

      Alexia? As in the brain disorder? Lucky the poor thing managed to read at all…
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexia_%28condition%29

      • Williwaw

        Exactly what I was thinking. Maybe she’ll name the next child Aphasia.

      • EcnoTheNeato

        Or “Tyler Benjamin.” Or just “TB” for short…

        “I’m so glad your sister has TB right now! We really needed that night off”

    • Tigger

      She who is thankful for her uterus…I bet she’s not thankful every freaking month! I don’t know a single woman who is. We don’t give a thought to it unless it’d malfunctioning in some manner. The rest of the time it’s doing its job, even if we don’t appreciate it. :)

      I am rather irritated at the 30 days thing. Most of the stuff posted is just…I’m thankful for my shoes, but you don’t see me posting on FB now do you? Nope, because it’s a small thing (which I say because I have them but it’s probably not a small thing if you don’t have them). I pretty much just skip over them when they appear in my feed.

      • Kathleen O’Malley

        You’d be surprised at the amount of women who talk as sanctimoniously about having periods as these mombies do about ‘full childbirth’ and breastfeeding. I went onto a website to ask for help regarding extremely heavy “monthlies” and the pain that came with it–and some women commented that they welcome their periods because it’s NATURAL and it CONNECTS THEM TO MOTHER NATURE and we need to GET IN THE RHYTHM and the pain is PART OF WOMANHOOD! And not an ‘this is my opinion, but yours is ok’ way, but ‘you’re not a woman until you embrace your period’ kind of way.

      • AP

        I know women who were fed those lines, which masked serious reproductive disorders.

      • pixie

        Screw that. I am not embracing anything that makes me want to rip out my insides with a rusty spork and/or makes me wonder how I haven’t died of blood loss yet. I begrudgingly accept it as having a functioning uterus (got tests done to make sure before I went on the pill at 16) and realize it’s my own fault for being too lazy/cheap to buy pain killers, but that’s as far as it goes.
        (I woke up with surprise monthly this morning, can you tell? lol)

    • NicknamesAreDull

      I’m thankful for the fact that, despite the fact I chose to fail at breastfeeding, my husband and family still love me and didn’t send me to the island of misfit moms.

    • goofyjj

      Thanks for getting “two princes” stuck in my head at the BEGINNING of the post. It couldn’t just be “Tie Your Mother Down” or something cool like that???

      • Ptownsteveschick

        One, two princes kneel before you, that’s what I said now, princes, princes who adore you, just go ahead now.

      • goofyjj

        WHY MUST YOU TORTURE ME!!!!!

      • Ptownsteveschick

        Because its going to be in my head all day too lmao. Marry him, or marry me, I’m the one who loved you baby can’t you see!

      • goofyjj

        I’ve got to go be thankful for Queen. and Aerosmith

      • CpaCat

        I am thankful for Two Princes. Even though I still don’t know what a “princely racket” is.

      • Ptownsteveschick

        Its gotta be his dick. It just has to be.

    • Justme

      Dear B,

      You are speaking my love language today. I JUST commented on this “thankfulness” phenomenon over here…http://www.mommyish.com/2013/11/26/worst-holiday-bragging/

      I also go off on that little cretin, Elf on the Shelf, which I have a feeling also brings some mail your way.

      Thank you for reading my mind,
      Justme

      • NicknamesAreDull

        I hate Elf on the Shelf. My SIL does it, and posts the “evidence” to FB. I want to throw that stupid elf at a wall.

      • AP

        I like the Naughty Elf on A Shelf sites that pop up every year. Elf in Barbie’s hot tub with two nude Barbies, Elf headfirst in the toilet surrounded by beer cans, Elf lewdly posed with GI Joe, etc.

      • LiteBrite

        Last year my son’s class had a Curious George stuffed animal that would go home with each kid for a weekend. The point was to take pictures with George and create a picture page of all the cool stuff you did. Thankfully George came home with the boy on a weekend when we actually had stuff going on and not on one where all we did is watch Wreck it Ralph and go to Target.

        The first night though I kept conjuring up really horrible situations we could take pictures of George in: George with an empty bottle of Jack and a crack pipe. George passed out with a dead prostitute. George at a Justin Bieber show.

        My husband thinks there is something seriously wrong with me.

      • Williwaw

        Is Elf on a Shelf only a pre-Christmas thing? (I had never even heard of it till last year.)

      • EcnoTheNeato

        It’s supposed to be used pre-christmas to remind kids that Santa is watching. But also as a way to interact with their kid in kinda weird (sometimes cute/inventive) ways.

        Some parents keep it year-round though, but even those parents have the elf be more “Active” close to Thanksgiving time

      • Tigger

        Elf on the Shelf is just CREEPY!

      • LiteBrite

        We are in the process of unpacking all of our Christmas decor, and the boy kept looking for the Elf.

        Boy: “Where’s Marcellus Wallace?”
        DH: “He’s everywhere son.”

        I’ll make sure to take lots of pics and post them on an Elf-on-the-Shelf thread for you. :)

    • Cee

      As a woman, I wouldn’t really thank my uterus. You know, periods and all that business. Now my clitoris….

      • candyvines

        HEY! It’s not Friday yet.

      • Cee

        I’m on vacation! :p

      • candyvines

        Well, then, carry on!

      • April

        I haven’t been participating in the 30 days of thankfulness bs, but you’ve inspired me to let my friends know that I’m EXTREMELY thankful for my clitoris. I might just even end it with “God is GOOD!” Thanks, Cee! You rock. =)

      • Audrey

        I love it! For a clitoris is holy amongst all things, said He.

      • potato

        Nice reference use. (o_o)-b

    • SLM

      The stay at home mom with her exceptional child sounds like a helicopter mom in training. Good luck to her daughter later in life.

    • Rowan

      Right now, I’m thankful that I’ve got a tub of Green & Black’s chocolate ice cream in the freezer, and that there is still some gin left.

    • jessica

      Gobsmacked is a word that people don’t use enough in their daily lives.

    • http://baltimoregal.blogspot.com/ baltimoregal

      I’m NOT thankful for the passive-aggressive backwards “30 days of thankful” posts that start out thanking for something and end up complaining more than anything else.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      I’m thankful that I have never posted about how advanced my child is on facebook, and therefore haven’t hat to shoot myself in the face.

    • loops

      I’m in the UK and I’m thankful we don’t have thanksgiving! But I am thankful for Mommyish as it makes me realise that the world is full of sanctimonious knobs. Love this site for exposing worldwide knobbishness

    • JadePanda

      While well-intentioned, even the more restrained posts tend to come off as a humblebrag.

    • Erin Voyik Roy

      I thought about doing this because I have so many things in my life I’m so grateful for…and then I realized it’s entirely an excuse for extra-curating my life to show off to everyone I know. Telling your Facebook friends about everything you’re grateful for serves no purpose outside of reassuring everyone you know that your life is amazing all of the time, and that you never screw up at your (challenging, fascinating, high-paying) job or feel embarrassed or fight with your (attractive, sweet, smart) spouse or fail in general. I admit that I love getting likes & comments (who doesn’t), but I try to reign in the impulse to overshare about the great stuff, because it makes my life seem so unfairly one-dimensional.

    • Teleute

      I am thankful for the Internet, without which Facebook and STFU Parents would not exist.

      Also:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6oUz1v17Uo

    • Emily

      I would not be thankful for two princes… that just sets one up for a lifetime of sword fights arguing to be heir to the throne. Imagine the cost of armor! And in your UTERUS? No, thank you.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      Nicole and Kim can suck my dry teat.
      And speaking of being thankful, I’m thankful for Mommyish where I can be indulgent in my vulgarity.

    • CpaCat

      Every Thanksgiving, my in laws force us to go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. It’s pretty lame. I think I may liven it up by telling them I’m thankful that breastmilk cured my pinkeye. And then pretend there’s nothing weird about that at all.

      • Williwaw

        If that doesn’t work, you can always take it to the next level, like “I’m thankful for x”, with x being some sort of TMI. I’m sure the recent Fright Fest can help you think of something horrific…

    • Williwaw

      If I knew anyone who did the 30-day-thankful thing, I think I would have to respond with a ridiculous non sequitur each and every day. You’re thankful for breastfeeding? I’m thankful for the letter ‘S’. You’re thankful for clean water? I’m thankful for permafrost.

    • esuzanne

      I for sure do not regret quitting Facebook.

    • educationist

      All these sanctimommy posts make me and my broke-teacher, dual-factor infertile self feel especially thankful… oh wait, I mean terrible and like I want to stab a bitch.

    • Steph

      I HATE the 30 Days of Thanks. I am thankful for many things every day of the year, why just dedicate 30 days to it?? Also? By day 20 you’re thankful for socks, mittens, Miley’s twerking to poke fun at, or some other ridiculous thing because you’ve run out of shit to write and we all still have to read and/or ignore your drivel.

    • MammaSweetpea

      THIS explains a lot!! I have a Facebook acquaintance who has been posting these “I’m thankful for…”,and I’ve been tempted to ask her, what’s up with the Thankfulness all of a sudden. I’m all for being thankful, but not just because it’s the latest thing to do.

    • EcnoTheNeato

      Please…PLEASE tell me that she fed her child breast milk and got over pink eye really quickly. And not…any weird hippie-mother alternative…

      • AP

        Squirting breastmilk in the eye apparently cures pink eye. I heard this from coworker, whose newborn caught it from the older siblings but was too young for eye drops. She thought it was weird, but it worked, so she went with it.

    • Jayamama

      I had two “successful” home births, breastfed my first past one year (stopped when I found out I was pregnant) and so far nursing is going well with my two-week-old. This is probably due to me being able to be a SAHM for the past two years. While I am thankful for all of this, I would never rub it in my friends’ faces by putting it on facebook, and I would definitely never insinuate that those who don’t share my choices somehow failed in any way. These people absolutely disgust me.

    • aliceblue

      I am SO thankful that I don’t know any of these bitches.

    • Katherine Handcock

      I think the thing that drives me crazy about the “I’m thankful for…” posts (in general, not just the 30 days of thanks stuff) is that it’s usually an opening for humble bragging. So few people say something like, “I’m thankful that me and my loved ones are safe, warm, and fed tonight.” It always seems to have to point out wonderful the status writer and his/her life are. It goes beyond sancti-parenting (is that the appropriate gender-neutral of sanctimommy? Heaven knows there seem to be plenty of sancti-daddies out there) into all aspects of life.

      The only time I’ve ever enjoyed (in a very schadenfreude kind of way) was watching someone I knew who was probably one of the least grateful people on the planet start the 30 days of thanks and start running out of thanks about halfway through. Watching the efforts at being thankful getting more and more desperate was quite entertaining.

    • samsi96

      Re: #4- How does one even “fail” at giving birth? As long as the mom and baby are OK, that’s a successful birth in my book, and if something goes wrong, it’s not *usually* the mom’s fault.

    • HannahP

      I’m grateful I’ve never encountered this woman, her two ‘princes’ or her blasted uterus…

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