If you’ve never seen the hysterical and entertaining Tumblr STFU, Parents, you might not be familiar with term “mommyjacking”. But even if you don’t know the vocabulary, I’m pretty positive that we’ve all seen a mommyjacker at work. Just scroll through your Facebook wall and you’re sure to find the evidence. Mommyjacking occurs when an enthusiastic mother turns someone else’s update into their own personal baby-talk forum. So if you share your big promotion on Facebook and I comment, “You think that’s big? My daughter just spent a whole week diaper-free! She’s even pooping on the potty now!” This would be mommyjacking. It would also be inappropriate information to share on the internet.
As mothers, I’m sure we can all understand why this happens. Mommas tend to get a little tunnel-visioned when it comes to their children. We get so excited about their amazing accomplishments that we want to share them with the world. In our joy and pride, we forget to consider the appropriateness or our announcement and its venue. I think it’s also important to know your audience. Your mother might not mind some mommyjacking because she likes hearing about her grandchildren. A work acquaintance might find the practice a little more obnoxious.
As the first of my close friends to have kids, I’ve been very mindful of Facebook posts and baby-overload. I don’t think my friends would be too judgey and I know they adore my daughter, but I also don’t want to make them feel like I can’t relate to their issues anymore. Honestly, I put a lot of thought into not mommyjacking.
Then, on a Friday night as I was getting ready for bed, I checked my computer. My best friend posted pictures of her brand new niece. (Congratulations again, Aislynn!) In a rush to solidify our plans for that weekend, I responded, “These pictures are so great! Congratulate your sister for me. I’m hoping Brenna and I can get up there to see you this weekend. Bean misses her aunties so much and she’s been begging to visit you all month.” The next morning, as I looked back at my response, I thought about mommyjacking. My post had much less to do with with a beautiful new edition to their family and more to do with my daughter and I missing them. Was that post the right time or place to make weekend plans?
In the end, I decided to check with the expert. I spoke with the creator of STFU, Parents and asked if I had inadvertently mommyjacked. Thankfully, I got a reassuring answer:
I don’t consider that a MommyJacking. To me a true MommyJacking is when you turn someone’s update into something ALL about you/your baby. So like in your case if you had said, “The pictures are so beautiful! Congratulate your sister for me! Childbirth is the most amazing gift, aside from your little bundle of joy, of course! I know because my baby is the sweetest baby in the world!” that would be borderline MommyJacking. I say “borderline” because your comment is in reference to a baby being born, as opposed to say, an update about an amazing sandwich she’d just eaten or something. It’s good to be aware, but your comment was on-topic and you referenced your daughter in relation to the new baby, so it’s not so bad!
Well that’s a relief! Although I think my friend would have been pretty understanding. Hopefully, we all get a couple of free passes from our loved ones. But I think our expert is completely correct, the most important part is to be aware or what we’re saying and how we’re saying. Our children are the light of our lives, but we don’t want that to overshadow or alienate our other relationships. And we don’t want to end up on STFU, Parents. But if we do, hopefully we can all laugh about it. Let’s face it, moms can be pretty funny.