One of the hallmarks of a true Sanctimommy™ is that she's a know-it-all. You can't be sanctimonious if you don't know what's best for everyone. All mothers think they know what's best for their children, but sanctimommies (or sanctidaddies) thinks they know what's best for other people's children, too. That's what makes them so likable! Haha, I kid. Sanctimommies are probably one of the most hated breeds of breeder that exist, and if I had to pick one over-generalized demographic that hates them the most, I'd have to say "all other parents" is the group that comes to mind. Sure, EVERYONE hates a righteous parent, but no one knows just how annoying some parents can be more than other parents. They're the ones who must endure large numbers of obnoxious parents at playdates, parks, and schools, not to mention all the other places the folks who don't have kids endure them, too. For parents, simply by having a child, the odds of running into sanctimommies on a daily basis increase by more than double. Possibly even triple, for all I know. What am I, some kind of statistical analyst? No. I'm just a person who's all too familiar with the various hot spots sanctimommies are lurking. And I happen to be an expert on their number one favorite hangout (besides Starbucks): Facebook.
Facebook is like a melting pot for the sanctimommies of the world. It's a platform that knows no barriers, as no parenting complaint is too minor, no judgment too harsh, no community too exclusive. If you want to be a member of a closed group called 'Moms Against Swearing On Facebook,' for instance, you could just start a new, almost totally identical group yourself! Bitching about minutiae and dictating what's best for everyone has never been easier, and sanctimommies' messages have never traveled so far, so fast. Concerned about a completely pointless plastic toy recall? Don't just call your sister in Ohio to let her know; you can post about it on Facebook several times until you think all 847 of your friends have had a chance to see it. Feeling grumpy about a particularly upsetting parent parking space situation? Rant about it on Facebook not only to commiserate with friends, but to TEACH people how to properly use those spaces! Only a real sanctimommy knows the best ways to handle every scenario imaginable. Most of the time, you don't even need to ask before you're clued in. They just tell you! Hey, it's not their fault that they're professional multi-taskers who have 'been there and done that' and just happen to be a few steps ahead of the rest of the world. They're naturally prescient beings, and they're awesome parents to boot. That's something to be proud of!
The person who sent me the above screenshot added, "This woman constantly talks about how she woke up at 6am to bake fresh bread for her kids' lunches, and she refers to herself as 'the best mom in the world.'" Well, what can Jennifer say? When you've got it, you've got it. And according to most sanctimommies, not everyone can navigate life without a little guidance from some Super Moms. So why not offer it up for free on Facebook, right? If you're a mom, and your parenting's got it going on, as Queen Latifah might have said in the late '90s, spread that knowledge to the masses! If you've got a Pro Tip to share with hundreds of people who would be wise to take your almighty advice, hurry up and share it and make a difference. Sanctimommies know that just be putting information out there, they're helping to make the world a better, safer, more well-rounded place for children to grow up in. At the end of the day, isn't that all that matters? Take heed, readers. Sanctimommies don't care if you like them; they're just doing what's best for everyone. Let's take a look a some examples.
1. The Hard Rs
While I understand what Jennifer is getting at here, I want to correct her in saying that "Magic Mike XXL" isn't just "hard," okay? It's ROCK HARD. And how are her kids supposed to fully understand Channing Tatum's Renaissance Man stripper appeal if they don't at least catch a glimpse of all the action? Yes, it can be awkward explaining that Seth MacFarlane is both a gifted entertainer and conceited piece of sexist garbage when walking past a movie like "Ted," but we can't predetermine every lesson we learn in life, you know? Sometimes you learn how babies are made when you're still too young to tie to your shoes. Sometimes you learn that Channing Tatum is the star of a beloved, somewhat autobiographic franchise that centers around male strippers when you're on your way to a Pixar movie with your mom. It's never too soon to get a quality education on pelvic thrusts. That's what I always say.
2. No Technology, Except To Brag On Facebook
"Hello World, Here I am on Facebook to tell you about the time I was at Soccer and discovered that I'm better than practically everyone when it comes to Technology in our household. Our sweet One year old, who can't even run yet, much less kick a soccer ball, does not yet know the Sweet, Sweet Pleasures of Technology and all that it has to offer, and as a family we couldn't be prouder. That's why, when I realized just how Awesome this development really is, I knew I had to get on Facebook to tell everyone I know!! One Year In and our baby is capital T, Technology-Free. It's the little things in life, isn't it?"
3. Sanctimommy Stalkers
Nothing grinds my gears more than creepy stalkers who snap pictures of total strangers for the sole purpose of shaming them on the internet. How does Lisa, who I've been told is a mom, not see the irony here? She thinks she's better at parenting (or at life) than a random woman talking on her cell phone, to the point of posting her picture online? How is her use of her cell phone somehow superior to someone else's? Something tells me this kid was just fine. And there are plenty of paper products in that aisle to help him dry his attention-starved tears. If I ever catch anyone snapping a photo of me while I'm faithfully ignoring my future crying monster of a child, my next call will be to store security.
4. Woe Is Minivan Mom
Ummm...what the hell is Jody talking about? Her car is A) bigger, and B) parked more poorly than this other vehicle, and I genuinely don't even understand the purpose of her post. It's times like these that I have to wonder: Wouldn't it have taken the same amount of time for Jody to park further away and walk than it took to take this picture and post this stupid Facebook update? Sorry, Jody, but you're clowning yourself. And you're right up on the edge of that parking space line. Before complaining about something on a public forum, consider assessing the response outcome. If there's a 90% chance someone is going to tell you that you're the idiot who parked her giant minivan next to a giant SUV (and took the time to whine about it), maybe quietly moving on with your day would be a better approach.
5. Dummies Talkin' Bout Dummies
In New Zealand, the word 'dummy' is slang for pacifier, in case you couldn't tell what Jenny the Ultimate Mommyjacking Insulter was referring to. What kind of person jumps in on Facebook to talk shit about a magical device that soothes children's cries, and parents' ears, during the early months of a child's life? Maybe Jenny should stop running her own mouth and take a tip from this sleeping baby. Self-soothing never comes easily for a infant, but it shouldn't be this difficult for a grown woman. Take a break from telling people what to do, Jenny. You should be able to stop yourself before hitting "Publish" at this stage in your adult life.
6. Car Seat Gossips Save Lives
Gee, Sheena, I wonder why someone would ever want to block the shit out of you? It couldn't be because your seething judgment comes across as supremely smug, could it? Look, I get it: Car seat fatalities are much higher than they ought to be, given the advanced car seat technology that exists (and the many, many, many overpriced car seat options that are available on the market), but the fact is, telling someone to adjust their child's car seat is probably one of the most delicate things a parent can ever say to another parent. At the root of it, you're essentially saying, "Hey moron, it doesn't go that way. It goes THIS way. Way to almost kill your child, you neglectful piece of shit." So what you want to try to do is NOT come across like a self-important asshole in the process of "gifting" people this sage advice.
I'm not against the idea that some parents need a lesson in proper car seat positioning, but if the first thing you say after someone doesn't heed your (possibly totally arrogant) recommendation is, "At least I won't feel guilty when the 4.5 year old in a backless booster with the shoulder strap behind his back is killed in an accident," here's a little pro-tip from me to you: Your *attitude* needs to be repositioned. How's that for advice? I know you're the Queen of Car Seats and everything, but having a certain amount of tact can be just as important as riding safely in a booster seat. After all, the kid will eventually outgrow his car seat, but being a sanctimommy usually lasts forever.