Anyone on Facebook has seen the idiotic, self-important, self-pitying, morally superior status updates posted by so many parents on the social networking site. It could be about changing a poopy diaper in the middle of the night, because people actually care. Or – and this seems to be a popular one – smacking down anyone without kids who ever claims to be tired.
Blair Koenig has been collecting and commenting on these kinds of posts on her popular blog since 2009, and has now published the choicest ones in her new book, STFU Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare.
The blog’s categories offer a taxonomy of the issues, anxieties, obsessions and questionable behaviour of parents today. The categories include: Sanctimommy, Spoiled Brats, Bathroom Behaviour and, among several others, MommyJacking, which refers to taking over a conversation to talk about your kid.
Posts on the blog run the gamut from this bit of Mommy Drama – “why do my friends only wanna hang out with me when i DONT have my kids like sorry dudes MY KIDS ARE ME NOW so i am sorry but i sure will not call u when my kids are outta town just because i wanna PROVE A POINT!!!!!” – to declaring what kinds of presents are appropriate for their children.
Earlier this month, Koenig, who is 30 and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., told the Atlantic Wire that she is not a parent hater.
“Hopefully this will make me a better parent, not just in terms of what I share online, but also, I just know way more than I ever thought I would. I feel like I’ve gotten an education. I have gained a lot of respect for parents. I’m just mocking what they do online,” she said.
Considering what parents do online, it’s easy to mock them.
Writing in Slate, Torie Bosch cites the example of someone who disagreed with her pediatrician’s advice on dealing with constipation: “I mean, c’mon, I have the Internet, I am not a total idiot.”
The blog and book may be reason enough to never have kids, as many commenters say. For many parents, the posts may be a rally point – Yes, this is what we have to deal with! It would be easy for the two groups to take sides against one another. But Bosch argues for mutual understanding instead, writing that many of the blog’s posts “have made me a little more understanding of the indignities and stresses of being a parent.”
But that doesn’t mean you need to log on to Facebook the next time your kid poops in the tub.