Childrearing

STFU Parents: Mommyjacking Know-It-Alls On Facebook

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Forget about the potty pictures, placentas, and crazy baby names. One type of person that irks me and every other person on Facebook is the know-it-all parent. There are certain people who use social media as an opportunity to police their friends about everything related to childrearing, and they get on my very last nerve. While it might seem like I relish in the chance to invade people’s lives based on posting their content on my blog, I really prefer to remain a bystander in life. I don’t actually like telling people what to do, particularly if I’m telling them what they’re doing is wrong as a parent. I like to think I’m offering up suggestions to oversharing parents about what not to share for the betterment of the world, not so much to find something to be nitpicky about. And yet so many people do just that. They seemingly seek out pictures or status updates that imply something is “unsafe” or “inappropriate” and then chide their friends and relatives for being bad parents.

Of course, some people don’t want to be viewed as a Parenting Hall Monitor, so they try to soften their “helpful” advice with a quick compliment about how “cute” the child is in-between brief lectures about what their friend is doing wrong. That little trick is transparent and doesn’t work. What would be really helpful is if people minded their own business, or, if a child’s welfare is truly at risk, message the person privately to show sincere concern as well as explain that they’re not trying to step on any toes. Instead, these hall monitors act with righteous indignance and feel triumphant for, oh, I don’t know, being superior. It’s a truly loathsome by-product of Facebook, and today I’m showcasing some examples as a plea to these parents to consider what they’re saying before they mommyjack their friends with their holier than thou comments. Seriously, no one wants to be told what to do or how to be a good parent. Especially on Facebook.

1. Car Seat Provisions

The submitter wrote, “As a mom, I do agree with what Jacklen (??) is saying, but as a normal, non-fun-killing human being, I wouldn’t voice it on Facebook! And I like how she added “C” in there to try and save herself from being a total downer.”

I must agree. “C” is such an afterthought after writing both “A” and “B,” it’s hard for me to understand why she included it at all except to save face. Or rather, unsuccessfully attempt to save face. In fact, presenting her thoughts as “points” is obnoxious in and of itself. It’s almost like she’s presenting an outline of her thoughts, two of which are rude and condescending. Why not just make a whole PowerPoint presentation?!

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44 Comments

  1. janine

    May 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Love it! I got a good laugh about the bottled fed baby! Good for that Dad.. people need to mind their own business and keep their comments to themselves.

  2. NotThumper

    May 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    If she is so pro-boob can’t she tell that that is a bottle from a pump?

    Love the Dad’s response! Can I have what the second kid is getting?? 😉

    • chinookeroo

      May 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      I picked up on the Medela bottle too, heh.

      But honestly, I know one mombie who is so pro-boob that she it’s damn near abuse for anything save a tit enters a baby’s mouth before it’s 6 months old.

    • chinookeroo

      May 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      I picked up on the Medela bottle too, heh.

      But honestly, I know one mombie who is so pro-boob that she it’s damn near abuse for anything save a tit enters a baby’s mouth before it’s 6 months old.

  3. Katherine

    May 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Re. the bottle-fed baby…I’m a BIG breastfeeding supporter, and I do agree that it’s best…for most situations. So I would absolutely encourage people to nurse, and try hard at it, because it does take time to learn. But I tell every mom I talk to about nursing, there is nothing wrong with an occasional pumped or formula bottle. There are all sorts of reasons it might be necessary, on a scale from “I’m having critical surgery and can’t nurse while I have serious painkillers in my system” to “If I don’t get three hours of sleep in a row I might have a psychotic break.” People have taken the cautions about the risk of supplementation affecting your milk supply and SERIOUSLY stretched them past the ridiculous. I think it’s doing more damage to breastfeeding than good; moms who might otherwise have considered nursing say, “If I can’t have one night off until the kid’s eating solid food, formula it is!”

    • Amber

      May 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      “there is nothing wrong with an occasional pumped or formula bottle.”

      Wait, so pumped milk is considered taboo as well by some?? So, Dad’s never allowed to pick up the feeding chore? My Dad used to say his favorite thing about babies was getting to feed them. I think breastfeeding with only the breast would have made him super depressed.

    • 1st-Time Mommy

      May 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

      “there is nothing wrong with an occasional pumped or formula bottle.”

      There’s also nothing wrong with bottle-feeding exclusively.

    • Andie

      May 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      As someone who has watched those closest to me struggle and tearfully fail at breastfeeding, I’m really inclined to tell such helpful awareness-raisers like yourself to stuff it!

      “You know, breast is best.”

      You know what? We know!! I don’t think there’s anyone left in the first world who’d listen to this interfering from some busybody stranger and think “My god! If you hadn’t told me that I’d never have known!”

  4. Brandi

    May 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    If you love boobs or formula, great! Wonderful!
    What you like shouldn’t impact what other people like and people should absolutely not leave a idiotic comment showing their “disappointment” if it was formula. Would you appreciate people telling you what to do with your kids unless they helped make them? Probably not.
    These things would hardly come up if everyone kept their child feeding comments to themselves entirely. In other words, I wish the whole lot of them would STFU 🙂

  5. Meg

    May 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    There is NOTHING I hate more than being told “Be happy” or that I what I think or feel isn’t ‘nice’. I’m a damn adult, and I can post what I want on MY facebook!

    • village mum

      May 24, 2012 at 2:53 am

      Post whatever you want to your own facebook wall, couldn’t careless, have a feeling I would block your updates if I did have you on my friends list but what is being talked about here is what you post on other peoples walls. If you just can’t help yourself and have to pick at somebody else’s choices in raising their own children then do the most decent thing you can, put it in a private message. Posting the kind of comments highlighted on this article direct on peoples wall or photo albums just comes across as you enjoying picking other people apart, not cool.

    • Sharky

      May 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

      I think Meg is referring to the guy who was posting about getting his hair cut on his own facebook page and was attacked by the idiot mombie commenters telling him he’s not being nice. Not that she wants to be able to comment nasty things on OTHER people’s pages.

    • Mya

      May 24, 2012 at 11:04 am

      village mum:
      I’m pretty sure Meg was talking about the status from hairdresser’s. The man posted a joke on his own Facebook, then other people told him to “be nice”, “be happy” or whatever.

  6. Hannah

    May 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve asked many times since reading STFU, and according to my mother, I was always well-behaved in public. I never screamed or misbehaved or threw tantrums, and if I did, I was taken outside.

    So, no. My mom did not think that a few years ago. She raised me right. Also, I don’t care how precious your snookums is, for the rest of us – the sight of your snotbucket is BIRTH CONTROL!

    Get over it!

    • Edify

      March 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      This response always makes me laugh. It’s up there with “in my day, children were to be seen and not heard” as well as walking to school through a snow storm in shoes made of canvas.

      You can believe it if you want. Or perhaps your mother is protecting her previous snookums after all this time.

    • Maureen A. Eggert

      April 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      I wasn’t always well-behaved but my mom certainly did not go “oh that’s what sprogs do.” She believed in something called discipline and if I was too wound up to behave she had these things called “arms” and “legs” which she used to remove me from the place where I was being a brat.

      And (according to her) what drove her crazy was when people said things like “oh, poor little girl is upset” when I was throwing a tantrum. I was upset because I had been told “no” by mom and she didn’t want me getting any positive attention.

      Oh, and I am thankful for her. While I am still opinionated and stubborn, I’m pretty sure that without her (and dad) I would have ended up in jail rather than law school.

  7. Sandra

    May 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Ari deserves a triple gold star for his last comment. Plus ubermom Mary should know that Medela (the name on the bottle) is a breastpump manufacturer thus it would be highly likely to be pumped boob juice in that bottle.

  8. mel

    May 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Ari is hilarious, spot on!

  9. Mew

    May 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Mary, it doesn’t matter if “breast is best”. The parents will handle feeding their baby the way THEY want to, not the way you tell them to. Keep your nose out of their business.

  10. rachel

    May 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I hate to disagree with Jacklyn, but they have made those over the head carseats much more recently.

  11. Katie

    May 24, 2012 at 4:17 am

    I picked up on the brand name on the bottle too. Clearly Mary didnt think too hard, or even look at the picture properly before she judged.

    As for the car seat, Sage had one with an overhead bar, bought brand new and manufactured in 2006, when she was 2yrs old, so I dont know what Jacklen’s talking about.

    • kate

      May 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      I picked up that it was a medela bottle too. mary is apparently not up with the times on breastfeeding and pumping. ha

  12. Jack Faire

    May 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Wow seriously Mary “I don’t mean to be picky” I wasn’t aware that you had a say in how they parent their child.

    The only other place I have heard “I don’t mean to be picky” is when someone is saying, “Sorry to make you work harder but this IS how you will be doing things from now on because I say so”

  13. Suzy

    May 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    That dad totally rocks! And Mary is a sanctimonious jackhole who needs to shut her damn mouth. Gawd, I hate people like her!

  14. Bubberfly

    May 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Mary, no one cares if you think “breast is best”. Mind your own business, so others will mind theirs. I mean, I’m sure if I watched you for an hour I’ll find 20 ways in which you’re screwing up your children, none of which have anything to do with the way you feed them. But you know what? It’s none of my business.

  15. Molly

    May 25, 2012 at 12:17 am

    But WHERE is the BREAST?

  16. Ashley

    May 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    One of the biggest problems I have with Mary’s comment is that, if it had turned out that they do use formula, she does not know (nor does she have the right to know) why they chose to do so. Imagine if she said that to a woman who desperately wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t? You don’t just say stuff like that, Mary, jeeze. Why must people be so sanctimonious and judgmental?

    • Katie

      May 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      My best friend had a duel mastectomy following breast cancer about 10 years ago.

      Following that she got implants, so when she is clothes you really cannot tell. She was bottle feeding her 4 week old son at a maternal health nurse and got an EARFUL from a crazy “there is no reason not to breastfeed” type mother.

      So there you have it folks, having your breasts removed due to cancer is not a good enough reason not to breastfeed.

    • Leigha7

      October 15, 2012 at 1:35 am

      I sincerely hope she told her, and that the woman immediately felt very ashamed and awkwardly excused herself. You didn’t say, so I’m just going to assume that’s what happened. And I’m also going to assume she learned her lesson and never did that again, because I am an optimist.

    • ktree

      October 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      I would be absolutely livid. No one should have to reveal a torturous and painful medical history to a fucking stranger for any reason. It’s not even a matter of defending your choices in that situation; she didn’t have a choice! Geez I am mad.

    • Beth

      June 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      This is such an important point that so many people don’t consider. I don’t have children yet, but when I do there is a good chance I won’t be able to breast feed because of some medicines that I take. Would I love to breast feed? Absolutely. But I’d also love to be around to see my kids grow up and I’d like to think they’d appreciate that more than any benefits they might get from breast milk. People need to STFU and think before they stick their noses into situations they know nothing about!

  17. aliceblue

    May 26, 2012 at 2:27 am

    “Where’s the breast” sounds like that old “where’s the beef commercial. Someone please hold Mary’s head in a bucket of cows milk for 5-10 minutes so that she can have the satisfaction of giving her life to prove that bovine milk is a killer.
    As for Ryan’s attacker, if the kids were only misbehaving 2-3 minutes that’s one thing but a hair cut, even a very simple one, last 20-30 min. Plus, what was mombie (or the mombies) doing? Trying to quiet little Jaidin-Mickaylaa or ignoring said sprog & letting it run wild?

  18. Derpy

    May 26, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Mary sounds like a sanctimonious twatwaffle to me. No, that’s not breast milk in the bottle, it’s actually a white Russian, now stfu.

    • MommyK

      October 13, 2012 at 2:00 am

      I might have to steal this line to say to some sanctimommy frenemies I have 😛

  19. ladycrim

    May 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    As a dedicated non-parent, I’m waiting for the day someone gives me the “what if YOUR parents felt that way?” line. If my parents had decided not to have kids, they’d have probably been less stressed out, and I wouldn’t have known the difference.

  20. Sarah

    June 5, 2012 at 12:36 am

    As someone who tried, valiantly, for a month and a half to breastfeed, the comments like Mary’s are nothing but hurtful and rude. Yes, “breast is best” is a great thing. But some children (like mine, for instance) don’t breastfeed well. My daughter wasn’t gaining her required weight, I was stressed beyond my limit, and it was easier and HEALTHIER for everyone involved for her to go to formula. I got my fair share of “I though you were breastfeeding?” comments when I posted a picture of my baby eating out of her bottle as well, mostly from my family who is obsessed with organic and homeopathic parenting. I live in Middle America. I can’t do everything organic/homeopathic, even though I try to do as much as I can. People need to realize they can only parent their own children.

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  24. Lauren Kamikazepenguin Esmon

    October 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    It’s totally weird to be asking about the absence of another woman’s breasts when commenting on a picture on a social media website. Like, “Show me the tits! Pics or it didnt happen!” My answer would be to email or link her to lactation porn.

  25. Jen Clark

    March 16, 2013 at 3:29 am

    I always found it highly inappropriate when people would question and heckle me in a condescending way about not breastfeeding. I guess some people dont realize that there are some mothers that are unable to breastfeed, due to health and nutritional problems.

  26. Guest

    May 7, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    My mom and I were talking about this today. I am going to be changing some privacy settings on faceook so I

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