Happy New Year! It's officially 2015, and I'm both excited and scared to see what the year ahead will bring us on social media. Will this be the year that parents finally stop complaining about Daylight Saving Time? Will couples' maternity photo shoots get taken to a terrifying new level that I can't predict or imagine? Are parents prepared to give mommyjacking a rest, or are they just gearing up to lay down the mommyjack smack on another social platform?
Not the same day, people. THE SAME MONTH. When I received this submission on New Year's Eve, I knew that my job in 2015 was going to get that much more absurd, and I must say, I'm anticipating some wacky new trends to arise. Consider, for a moment, the titles of some of my most recent STFU, Parents submissions: 'The Ultimate Messed Up Mommyjacking'; 'What happens when dad takes a 30 minute shit'; 'Honestly, I think my friend has lost her mind. (two images)'; and the intriguing yet ominous 'IF I WANTED A GRANDFATHER CLOCK I WOULD BUY ONE!'
Who knows what we have in store for us in the New Year, you guys. Only time will tell. But before we dive into all the weird and wild stuff that 2015 has to offer, let's take a minute to recall some important lessons from the past year. This is an annual tradition right up there with New Year's resolutions, and for the fourth year running, I'd like to dedicate this particular column to some "social media goals" that parents should strive for in the coming months. Here are the Top Overshare Tips for Parents in 2015, based on the many lessons we learned last year:
1. Don't Rage On A Corporate Facebook Page
Remember last year, when parents raged for 40 days and 40 nights (haha, JK, more like hundreds of days and nights) on the Disney Facebook Page regarding the shortage of Frozen merchandise? The incident was similar in its ridiculousness to the time parents went berserk over the cancellation of the kids show "Moose and Zee" on the Nick Jr. Facebook Page. And while I don't actually expect parents to calm down and stop complaining on corporate business pages on Facebook, I would like to gently suggest that it's not a very good idea. Especially if it's over something stupid like why the new episodes of Caillou suck.
If you're that upset, okay, maybe email someone over in corporate, but if it's really not that important, don't expect the internet to care or not make fun of you. Unless, of course, you're railing against the Play-Doh company for manufacturing a play set piece that looks just like a penis. Then the internet will LOVE you for bringing such a worthy cause to mainstream media's attention.
This story is probably the best exception to the rule that I could've dreamed up. In fact, I don't even think I'm capable of dreaming up this "Cake Mountain" fiasco. Well played, everyone. Way to close out the year on a high note.
2. Parentsplaining Is Redundant And Useless
Remember when I introduced the concept of "parentsplaining" and some of you guys got really mad? Because some people without kids really DO need parenting stuff explained to them like little babies? Well, screw you people who think parentsplaining makes perfect sense. Every now and then, in certain instances, perhaps it might be necessary, but in 2015, how about just letting your West Coast homie complain for a hot second on Facebook without acting like a condescending douche from Better Than Yousville? Is that possible? Can we all aim to not be pricks this year? Great.
3. The Gender Reveal Concept Is Played Out
One of the saddest revelations we had in 2014 was that gender reveal celebrations are never going away. Whether announced with a lavish party, an emotional Skype hangout, or overpriced miniature cupcakes and a rented sonogram machine in an upscale event space with 200 of your closest friends, gender reveal celebrations are, if anything, simply played out. It's not that people aren't excited for your new arrival -- they are! -- but imagine if EVERYONE had a gender reveal party. It becomes less and less special each time. Now imagine that it's 2015 and that could realistically happen. Parents-to-be, resist the urge! Just because they're popular doesn't mean that they, or the people who throw them, are likable.
I want to believe that Julie is kidding around and she and her husband wouldn't actually spray their guests with colored water or cover them in honey and blue or pink confetti, but after reading this submission three times in a row, I think she's being serious. Granted, she and her husband aren't planning on pulling the trigger on their terrible squirt gun / confetti ideas, but still, what the fuck? Are Julie and Dan throwing a fun-loving get-together for their friends in honor of their fetus's sex, or plotting to capture the bad guys at the end of "Home Alone"?
Also, if you think the party stops at gender reveal cake pops in the park or whatever, think again. In 2015, anything is possible.
4. Don't Lose Your Identity When You Become A Mom
Parenting identity is an increasingly discussed and heavily debated subject online, with some women decrying "No more 'mommy juice'!" and others posting happily about losing their former selves in order to become the best mommy they can be. Like the above submission suggests, change is inevitable after having a baby, but perhaps the thing a person's friends most want to hear is, "I'm still the same old me." Not so much, "The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before," like some kind of Mommy Gandhi. Save the deep thoughts for your postpartum diaries, new mothers. Facebook is better used for fun stuff like this.
5. Being A Mama Bear Is Fine If You Like Looking Crazy
I don't know about you guys, but I would be stoked if I found out my children were being supervised by a parent volunteer like Lisa during school hours. What a gem! She seems so intuitive, you know? Like, if there was ever a mother out there who knows exactly who deserves a beatdown and when, it's Lisa!! You can't train someone to be sharp like that. You're either a natural born mama bear, or you aren't. It's a bloodline thing. But my advice to mama bears and papa bears for 2015 is to temper those growls, at least on social media, because they make you sound fucking crazy, even when you're not enraged. The only person truly LOLing about hypothetically "ass whopping" your classmates' friends' parents is you.
6. It's Okay For Parents (And Non-Parents!) To Get Irritated By Children
Finally, in 2015, let's remember that it's okay to hate on children. You can even have children of your own and dislike them from time to time. Really! It happens to everyone. We can't always be smiling and courteous around humans who aren't tall enough to ride roller coasters or old enough to make their own money. Sometimes kids are the WORST, and all you want to do is drug them with Benadryl so they'll sleep for a solid 16 hours, and that's okay. In fact, it's more than okay. It's a typical way of life. Join me in this freeing exercise by looking in the mirror and saying to yourself, "The kid in that viral video deserved to have milk poured over his head, and that's okay."
Welcome to 2015, everyone!