Ever scrolled down the Facebook newsfeed and done a major eye roll?
I have. Many a time. And Moms know they have too.There's the constant imagery of perfection and the endless sea of unsolicited opinions. People love to post their best photos of them having the time of their life. It can make Mom feel like her life is lame.
The way some people use social media can drive you up the wall. Parents are not exempt from the shenanigans of the internet either. Maybe you decided to post a cute photograph of you and your kids. Or you got the nerve to post a belly bump selfie. Perhaps you shared a funny meme. You’re thinking other parents would get a kick out of it.
Then it happens.
Someone responds with a comment that gets under your skin. What they say irritates your soul.
How dare they say that and even more importantly who asked them?
It takes everything in you not to hit ‘reply’ and write a snarky response. You hastily show your phone to your significant other.
Can you believe what she said? You complain to your partner.
The ironic thing is parents aren’t the only victims of annoying comments on social media. They can definitely be the givers and do some pretty obnoxious things themselves.
One thing is clear. There’s a lot of chatter on social media. People let their opinions run rampant with no filter.
Let’s talk about those times when people just need to shut up on social media.
We all know that breastfeeding can be a hot button topic. If a woman is still breastfeeding her toddler someone somewhere will likely have a negative opinion. If a mother chooses to breastfeed uncovered, someone else has an opinion about that too.
So it’s no surprise that annoying comments about breastfeeding run rampant on social media.
It’s always the same scenario. A woman is pictured innocently nursing her child on the web. A quick scroll to the comments section reveals a storm brewing.
Negative opinions usually swing one of these ways:
- “Why do we all need to see this. Some things should be left for private!”
- “That child is too old to still be breastfeeding! That is sick!”
- “Why can’t she just cover up?!”
Message to everyone with a criticizing opinion of a woman simply feeding her child. If you’re still uncomfortable with breastfeeding in 2017 either get educated or shut up.
14Giving New Parents Bad Advice
I remember when my son was a few months old. As a new mother I would periodically post a status related to motherhood to Facebook.
Comments would start to pour in and I was inundated with advice. Looking back a lot of what I was being advised was terrible advice.
One person repeatedly insisted that adding rice cereal to milk would help my son sleep better. This would supposedly allow me to finally get a full night’s rest. I did my research and read that plain breastmilk was more than enough. Waking up throughout the night was normal behavior for an infant.
Heck. At almost 23 months he still wakes up around three times each night.
Someone else suggested I give my son the infamous gripe water to make him less fussy.
Somehow I was able to sift through all of this unsubstantiated advice. I ignored the comments and rolled with the punches. I learned as I went along.
People. What worked for you may not work for another parent. It’s also important to be wary of telling new parents to do things that actually aren’t medically recommended.
13Telling You To Stop Complaining About Pregnancy Pains
This one really burns me up.
I was one of those women who had pretty horrific pregnancy nausea and vomiting.
My first trimester was a complete disaster. I was insanely nauseous every single waking moment. I would vomit anytime, anywhere.
When I complained on Facebook there was always someone who laughed me off. They hinted at my possible exaggeration and essentially told me to get over it.
So here I was in desperation mode. I posted about my struggle hoping some woman would share some sound advice. Yet, I was brushed off by women who had supposedly been in my shoes. Because they survived it so should I.
Through trial and error I eventually learned that snacking all day controlled my nausea. I also realized I may have had hyperemesis gravidarum and not even known it.
Many of those same commenters may not have dealt with anything nearly as challenging. Yet they felt comfortable enough to brush off my struggle.
Please don’t ever downplay a pregnant woman’s aches and pains. Not on social media. Not anywhere.
12Asking If A Woman Is Pregnant Based Off A Photo
Cardinal rule numero uno of life. Never ask a woman if she’s expecting.
Somehow there’s always someone who doesn’t get this. They often end up seriously hurting someone’s feelings.
You post a photo onto your profile. You’re thinking you look cute enough. You wait for the likes to stream in.
Then your eyes stop dead at one certain comment. Someone asks you if there’s a little one on the way. They add a blushing smiley face emoji at the end as if that will soften the blow.
You play it off with a "haha" and tell them you’re not expecting. Unfortunately they’ve just embarrassed you in front of all your online friends.
Never assume a woman is pregnant just by looking at her in person or in a photo. Social media is the very last place you want to ask about it.
Your best bet is to wait until your friend makes an announcement. This can avoid a lot of awkwardness and potential hurt feelings.
11Sharing Photos Of The Kids Without Asking You
Ever receive a notification that someone has re-shared your personal photo? What’s even more unsettling is when they share a photo of your child.
I would never feel okay sharing a picture of someone else’s kid. It doesn't matter how loving the accompanying comment is. It’s just not my place.
Many parents are very controlling about where their children’s photos are visible on the web. The internet is a wild place. So many people are serious about protecting their children’s privacy.
I once had a friend who started resharing my personal family photos. He would write comments about how beautiful my child was. So now my son’s photo was being broadcast to all of his friends.
While flattering, it also made made me uncomfortable. So I messaged him and politely asked him to stop.
Before re-sharing photos of a friend’s kids you should definitely ask first. Or just don’t do it at all. Admire from their page and fill your profile up with your own pics.
Take photos of a friend’s child during a recent visit? It’s also a good idea to get their permission before sharing to social media.
10Brushing Off Parenting Woes
Have you ever taken your annoyances to social media? So have I. As a parent it’s not uncommon to voice your parenting frustrations on your profile. It’s a great place to bounce ideas off of others or to simply vent.
I’ve definitely voiced my own gripes through a post. My most difficult days often end with a Facebook rant about toddlers.
My son may have written in permanent marker all over the walls. Or he decided not to eat the dinner I spent hours preparing. To cool off I head to social media to air out my concerns.
Sometimes I check the comments and find someone essentially shushing my post. They tell me to enjoy the stage of toddlerhood because it will fly by.
While that’s true, sometimes I just want to complain about my son. What I don’t need is anyone invalidating my feelings and taking away from my moment.
Give parents their moment and allow them to get it out, free from being hushed. Our feelings are valid.
9Telling You How To Discipline
The most effective way to discipline children is always up for debate. You’ve got the spankers and the time-outers. And those who fall somewhere in between.
Sometimes videos of kids having a public meltdown make it to the internet. The child is throwing a complete tantrum. And the parent in the video is clearly distressed.
Unfortunately parents, these videos often go viral on social media. They’re flooded with thousands of comments with opinions about what the parent should have done.
Many commenters will say the parent should have spanked the child. Others berate the parent, saying they’re too weak. Somewhere that mother or father is potentially feeling like a failure.
Parenting is tough work. There is no perfect routine and there is certainly no perfect child. Think twice before you go on social media criticizing another’s parent’s disciplinary methods. Try not to forget your most difficult moments with your own kids. We all have them.
8Telling A Pregnant Woman She's Huge
It’s common knowledge that with pregnancy comes weight gain. Your nose gets wider. Your thighs get bigger. And your belly protrudes past the point of being able to bend over. This is nothing new.
Still some people just have to highlight how large a pregnant woman has become.
An expectant mother will share her latest maternity photo on her profile. In the picture her body has visibly changed throughout her pregnancy.
In response, some people will scream out in surprise through their keyboards.
“Oh my god, you’re huge,” they say.
Newsflash. Most women do not want to hear about how huge they’ve gotten. They know they’ve put on a few pounds. But your gasps and astonishment make them feel like a whale.
So the next time you see a beautiful nine month belly on social media, choose your words carefully. A comment about how fabulous she looks is more than fine.
7Telling A Pregnant Woman She's So Small
There are other size related comments that can throw you for a loop.
Let’s say you share a photo of your baby bump or latest sonogram to your social media account.
You get a response about how small your bump or pictured fetus is. This is so not what you ever want to say.
You’re not a medical practitioner. You don’t know what medical issues the woman may be having. Pregnancy is riddled with all types of nervousness and you’ve just rubbed it in.
Parents just want their baby to be born healthy. So the last thing they need to hear is how small their soon-to-be born child looks.
Women carry differently so there really is no set standard of how a pregnant women should look. The model in the picture above caused a social media uproar over her petite 8-month pregnant belly. However, you’d be surprised at how big a baby can be born from a seemingly small carrying woman.
Have thoughts about the size of a woman’s bump? You’re much better off keeping them to yourself.
6When Can I See The Baby?!
New parents can also find themselves pressured through social media.
You post a few shots of your newborn to announce their arrival. Since everyone’s been waiting you decide to share the exciting news.
Then someone comments asking when they can come over and see the baby. Whoa. Hold your horses!
New parents are generally overwhelmed and sleep deprived. They’re also trying to keep germs away from their little one. Mom is physically recovering and may not feel up to guests.
The last thing they want to have to do is host guests. Aside from very close family, no one should invite themselves over.
So don’t be pushy and publicly ask them on social media for an invite. It can be awkward and plain old annoying to the new parents.
Want to be helpful? Have some takeout delivered to them. Send them some gift certificates. When they’re ready they’ll surely invite you over to meet their bundle of joy.
5Questioning Other Parent’s Choices
Some parents really seem to have it all together. They prepare perfectly healthy meal plans for kids. Their kids are never photo’d on social media with candy or a hair out of place.
Meanwhile your kids are frequently pictured binging on ice cream or in front of the TV. You lightheartedly decide to post pictures of them in action to Facebook. Why not show people the imperfectness of your everyday life, you think.
Cue the Debbie Downer. A friend comments under a photo about how your kids need to eat healthier. Or someone else writes that TV watching isn’t the best idea for your children.
While you may have good intentions, social media is not the place to question someone’s parenting style.
You can gently chat with someone in person. But better yet, just accept that everyone has a different parenting technique. Unless a child is in danger you may want to keep your questioning to yourself.
I’m not good with surprises so I couldn’t wait to find out the gender of my son.
Yet, some parents like a big reveal. They go through great lengths to prepare a gender reveal party. Money is spent and people are invited for the big announcement.
Other parents just want to keep their child’s gender quiet. They may not feel like entertaining a lot of hooplah on social media.
Unfortunately some close relatives have trouble keeping the secret. This can be especially tricky on social media. Some parents say their parents and in-laws accidentally give away the sex of the child through Facebook comments.
Despite this new parents often still go ahead with their planned gender reveal parties.
Now some may say that if you really want to keep a secret just keep it to yourself. Still if you’re privy to this special information, just avoid discussing it at all on the web.
3Shaming Kids On The Internet
Some parents have absolutely had it with their children’s behaviour. So they’ll use social media as a form of public discipline.
This often involves parents of teenagers. A frustrated parent will record and post a ‘shame video’ of them scolding their child. One father recorded himself cutting his daughter’s hair off as a punishment. In the video he is heard asking his daughter if it was worth it. Unfortunately shortly after his daughter committed suicide. The video made it to social media and whether or not the father originally posted it himself was debated.
In another viral video a teenage girl is viciously beaten by her mother. The reason? Sneaking a boy in. The mother purposefully posted the video to humiliate her daughter.
While parental frustration is normal, it’s not cool to shame a kid in front of the entire world. Parents should show the same social media discipline they expect from their children.
2Half-Way Showing A Baby
Your Instagram friend just gave birth to a beautiful baby. The first photo shows only a few fingers which is adorable. The next photo only shows the baby’s cute little toes.
Months later this person is still refusing to post photos of the infant’s face. They post tons of pictures of their baby. Yet they somehow manage to always shoot from a angle that hides the face.
Even more mind boggling is that they do write about the child in the caption. So you want to share information but we can’t see their face?
It’s understandable that many parents are protective of their child’s internet privacy. The Internet is a scary place. Yet sometimes face hiding actually seems like a cry for attention.
Don’t want to share your child’s face with your social media friends? Fine. But don’t tease us with body shots. Skip posting their photos entirely.
What’s ironic is that somewhere down the line these parents eventually do post face shots of their kids.
So, we all love our kids. From the moment they're born it’s hard to stop staring at them. We gaze into their eyes and wonder how we created something so amazing.
We also share our love for our kids on social media through photos, posts and the likes. But let’s be honest. Some of us are severe oversharers. We share hundreds of photos to our profiles. We document every little thing our child does through statuses.
The term, ‘sharenting’ was even coined a few years ago. It describes parents who use social media for everything kid related. Sharents turn to social media for advice, attention and for sharing everything about their children.
We get it. You’re obsessed with your kid. But sometimes the sharing can be a bit too much.
And yes we know that we can adjust our news feed settings to weed out your constant posts. But we wouldn’t want to do that because we still love you. Just monitor your habits and try not to go overboard.
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