My parenting skills are questionable at best. But I figure my kid is pretty happy, he’s well behaved in school, gets along with other kids, and has a good imagination so I haven’t validated his ticket to therapy yet.
I’m completely guilty of posting a lot of stuff about my kid, be it on Facebook, Twitter, or my blog. I’m a mom and being a mom is the absolute biggest part of my life and always will be. Kind of a big job. Kind of dominates my time.
But there are social media parents who make me want to throat punch them. They are usually the same people who make me wish divorce upon them because of how they post about their significant others. (Read Online Couples. I totally lost friends over this one! Good riddance to you. Sorry I said something true.)
I may be over kill sometimes, but no one has complained or told me to tone it down. There are some general rules you should abide by though when posting about your kids. These are my grievances.
1. Sick Bed
My son has a stomach bug. This is what made me think of doing this post today. He’s sleeping on my bed behind me, so no, I’m not choosing blogging over taking care of my kid.
What I am not doing, however, is posting pictures of my sick kid. “Look at my poor, plague ridden child! Oh I just wish so much that I could make him/her feel better now!” “Oh, look at my brave little boy getting his shots!”
First of all, your child isn’t the first one to ever have a stomach bug or a cold. I swear to God, if parents I know start posting pics of their kids getting vaccinations or x-rays, I’m calling family services. You’re abusing your parental powers in an effort to look like you give a shit about your kids. We know you love your kids. It doesn’t take vomit and runny nose photos to prove that you take care of your kid.
Next time you are sick and throwing up, I hope someone posts a picture of you on the internet. We’ll see how much you like it. I’ve posted that my kid is sick, but posting photo after photo of the poor rosy cheeked, flushed and sweating with fever, sleeping toddler isn’t necessary and is kind of creepy.
2. Look at my kids getting along!
Really? Your kids are always perfectly posed together, hugging, and looking like they are the best friends they’ve ever had?
My brothers and I love each other, but that love was spawned from violence. That love came from stomach punches, leg locks, Indian burns, snake bites, and pulled hair. In a multi-child household, you need to establish your dominance and placement in the family, or fight for power to the death. Sometimes our living room looked like the cornucopia in The Hunger Games.
It turned into real love when other kids tried messing with us. Ummm no one is going to punch my sibling and call them names but me. Those are the rules.
I will say, there is one parent who showed a picture of their kids in the famous “We’re going to get along shirt.” Two kids tear streaked and hating life, wearing an oversized adult shirt until they could knock off their shenannigans.
3. My child is perfect all day every day
I smile at the misery of my kid. It’s not because I don’t love him. It’s because I know that sometimes his unhappiness means that I did my job as a parent. I’m not here to make you happy, 24/7 little guy. I’m here to ensure that you grow into a good citizen and sometimes that means setting boundries and grounding you for your behavior. Cry if you want. I’m not budging.
I love when he doesn’t get his way and tries guilt tripping me. “You’re making me sad.” Good. You shouldn’t have thrown your toys across the room like a maniac. Sad and anger are the appropriate feelings here, but more so for me. I’m gonna let you stew for a half hour and go catch up on How I Met Your Mother while you calm down and start acting like a human again and apologize for almost breaking something I spent my hard earned money on.
Photo after nausiating photo of how amazing your child is and how they never stop smiling is unnecessary. I mean, no one really posts pictures of their kid crying, but going back to the online couples post, we don’t need to see you document your child’s day, one smiling face at a time.
“I am so blessed to wake up to this face every day!” *Insert photo of smiling kid nomming out on some Frosted Flakes.
“I’m so happy my love is home from another day at school!” *Insert photo of kid laughing as he/she steps off the school bus*
“My life is so perfect because of little Billy/Sally!” *Insert photo of kid smiling and coloring at the kitchen table*
“You are the best thing that has ever happened to me! I’m so lucky to have had this day!” *Insert kid passed out and drolling on your couch cushins*
Some people only talk about the good. That isn’t reality. That is the false reality that you create to show the world that your life and your kid(s) are better than theirs. You’re a compulsive, parenting one-upper and you suck for being that way.
I’ve posted that my kid is driving me bat shit crazy. Why? Because sometimes he fucking does. I can’t remember the last day that went by that I didn’t raise my voice at him at least one time. Mind you, my son isn’t a bad kid. He’s actually a very good kid. But he is a kid and sometimes I have to tell him 5 times to do something because his priority list is different than my own.
I am very lucky though because he is healthy and happy and smart and overall an incredibly polite and sweet child. But sometimes I want to ring his little neck because he can also be an exhausting little person. I do not dispute one bit that children are nothing more than perpetually drunk little people. Have you ever seen the videos for “Baby or Drunk?” Spot on. Spot. On.
Your kids and your life aren’t perfect and no matter how many smiling, happy photos you post a day, counting your blessings and whatever other dribble you feel the need to post, it won’t change the fact that your online life is a lie. Life isn’t perfect. Kids aren’t perfect, and none of us are perfect parents. My only goals every day when I wake up are to keep my kid alive and not doing anythign that will cause permanent mental and emotional anguish for him. So far, I’m doing pretty okay at that. But I screw up sometimes and all I can do is try not to repeat those parenting mistakes.
Pictures aren’t reality, no matter how hard you wish for them to be true.
Let the flogging and continued unfollowing continue, but know in the back of your mind that I may have said something at least a little bit accurate today. Take that with you the next time your child is miserable because they have strep throat and your solution to cope is to snap a photo.