You know them. You've seen them. You might even be one. Well, not you, of course. You're cool. I'm totally talking about that annoying friend you have. Yeah... that's the ticket.
So even though I am a parent and I love parents, the fact of the matter is we can be an infuriating bunch. The know-it-all mentality, the one-upmanship, the showboating -- it can all be a little much at times. Unfortunately, social media -- and Facebook especially -- serves as a virtual bullhorn that broadcasts that obnoxiousness across the Internet and beams all the bullshit directly to your laptop, tablet or phone.
Well, it's time to call these perpetrators out by shining the spotlight of truth on them.
I have used every bit of scientific methodology and cutting-edge research available to mankind (or simply looked in the mirror while also observing many of you) to put this list together. So read this list of annoying kinds of Facebook parents to find your friends, see a little bit of yourself and tell me which ones I've missed.
11. The Gratuitous Picture Poster.
We start with an old fan non-favorite -- the mom or dad who posts WAY too many pictures of kids. Look, I get that becoming a parent is life-changing and you want to record and share your precious new addition with everyone. I, myself, have flooded your poor social media streams with roughly 27,487,302 pictures of Will and Sam in the six years I've been a parent, so I've got no ground to stand on here. But at some point you've gotta say enough with the "LOOK AT THE BABY LOOK AT THE BABY!" stuff. The only problem is if you stop them from posting pictures of kids they'll just turn to something else. Sunrises, sunsets, landscapes, pets or -- God forbid -- food. Because the Internet needs more cat pictures and food portraiture.
10. Your Actual Parents.
The good news is your parents have learned to work the computer. The bad news is the first thing they did was sign up for a Facebook account and friend you. You stared at that friend request for four entire days before you grudgingly accepted, all the while knowing full well the hell that would follow. Your mom likes EVERYTHING you do and feels the need to comment on every single status update. Your dad won't stop sending you Farmville requests. You want to contain your Facebook life, but they take each of your status updates involving the kids and tag Aunt Millie and Uncle Rob, who then want to know why you haven't accepted their friend requests. Mark my words, this will be the eventual downfall of Facebook!
9. The Misinformer.
There's always an alarmist in every group, but give overprotective parents individual media platforms and you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to spreading misinformation about parenting topics. How many times have you seen a headline or meme that says something like "WARNING!!!!!!!! FACEBOOK CAN STEAL YOUR PICTURES IF YOU DON'T POST THIS LEGAL COPYRIGHT!" or the complete lie that was pedophiles being able to get to your kids via the Talking Angela app? Nope. Sorry. It was just a talking cat. I'm not sure when grown men and women lost the ability to perform a cursory Google search or take 30 seconds to look things up on Snopes, but we need to ignore the Misinformers or, at the very least, verify before we spread incorrect information. However, that Nigerian prince who wants to give you a cut of his millions? Totally true.
8. The Humblebragger.
Regular braggarts are not on this list, because it's social media and part of the deal is to brag. I'm a reasonable guy. But the Humblebragger is a horse of a different, and far more obnoxious, color. It's douchebaggery masquerading as self-deprecatory humor, and it drives me bonkers. Things like "I honestly envy the parents with kids who aren't in the Gifted & Talented Program. Junior has so much extra work, and traveling to the local university for college level classes is really cutting into his all-star equestrian practices. But hey, #yolo right?" At least a run-of-the-mill braggart is an asshole out in the open, and doesn't feel the need to be a passive aggressive dillweed about everything. But then again, we shouldn't be too hard on him. After all, he's SO stressed helping his kid choose between Yale, Princeton and Stanford (with Harvard as the safety school, naturally).
7. The One-Upper.
Anything you or your kid can do, the One-Upper and his/her progeny can do better. I understand you wanted to celebrate your 1-year-old taking his first steps, but that's just not how Facebook parenting rolls. Instead of "Congrats, that's awesome!" you get something like "Hey, he finally did it huh? Isn't he almost a year? My daughter walked at 8.5 months, but I guess all kids are different." Because parenting on Facebook means feeling like you're never doing a good enough job, and everyone else is doing it better.
6. The Know-It-All/Unsolicited Advice Giver.
Being overwhelmed is a rite of passage for all parents, as is dealing with the monotonous, insane, gut-wrenching, overpowering, bring-you-to-your-knees emotional roller coaster that is raising kids. And the one really great thing about Facebook is it's a safe place to vent your frustration virtually, so you don't lob your kids over your neighbor's fence and run away. Except the Know-It-All won't let you vent. Instead, he tries to fix everything by offering you advice you didn't ask for, don't want and probably already knew in the first place. Screw this jackass. Punch him right in the dickhole.
5. The "Too Cool For Parenting" Parent.
I almost named this one the Hipster Parent, because it seems there's always one parent on your friend list who think s/he is too cool for the rat race that is parenthood. While most of the parents you know (yourself included) are mired down in explosive diapers, babies who never sleep and a Chicago Cubs-level drought when it comes to sex, this clown seems to be doing everything BUT taking care of kids. There were the pictures of that kidless vacation to Cabo, the dinners at the fancy restaurants every weekend (who's watching the kid??), and somehow managing to train for and complete an Ironman (seriously, where are the children?!?). There's a name for this phenomenon, but you've probably never heard of it.
4. The Complainer.
On one hand, parenting is a goddamned grind and a half. Truly, it is. If you have a newborn, you're up every few hours; women have to breastfeed until their nipples bleed; toddlers watch the same shitty TV shows over and over until your adult brain turns to mush and you find yourself drooling oatmeal and humming the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song. And some parents (myself definitely included) have a tendency to wallow in the negative and post update after update complaining about EVERYTHING kid-related. But at a certain point, it's just too much. There are more positives than negatives when it comes to being a parent, and the years are too short to overlook the terrific things parenting brings with it by spending time dwelling on all the crap.
3. The Crafty Parents.
I consider myself a success if I've slapped some peanut butter and jelly on a couple of slices of bread, and filled my son's lunchbox with a bag of Goldfish and a cheese stick. But then I jump on Facebook, look at what the Crafters have made their kids, and want to jump off a bridge. Seriously, who does this?? Suddenly I'm dealing with culinary savants who are making Yertle the Turtle out of broccoli and snap peas. There's no way to compete with that kind of awesomeness! And God forbid your kid sees even one picture of this artistic wizardry, and then it's "WHY DON'T YOU MAKE MY LUNCH LIKE THAT?!" You creative bastards have ruined it for us commoners.
2. The TMI (Too Much Information) Parents.
Yes, before any of you bring it up, let me be the first to admit I'm king of this group. My name is Aaron, and I share. A lot. Fine, I overshare on a regular basis and may have written a post specifically about my wife's cervix. I don't know why, but parenthood is the end of boundaries. Suddenly it's fine to talk about poop (color, consistency, frequency), vomit, rectal thermometers, how long it's been since we've had sex, how sex has changed post kids, post-pregnancy hair in the shower drain and even pictures of the time you ripped your pants wide open while curling. Moms routinely talk about tearing during delivery, bloody nipples from breastfeeding and stretchmarks. All of this to say, if you have parents in your timeline, you're setting yourself up for one long, seemingly continuous stream of bodily updates complete with pictures of the first time Junior dropped a deuce in the potty. My apologies.
1. The Perfectionists.
Here they are. Numero uno on the hated list. They're rich and they have a nice house with an eco-friendly luxury car parked in the garage. There's a picture of the mom seconds after giving birth (naturally, of course, and at home) -- with no makeup -- looking like a supermodel. The dad is uber successful, routinely runs marathons for charity, was once used as a movie double for Brad Pitt and had his personal friend Morgan Freeman narrate their DVD birth announcement. Their children are all flawless and their family pictures are so perfect they look like they were plucked out of an Abercrombie & Fitch ad. They make their own wheatgrass tofu baby food that's been blessed by the Dalai Lama, and no one has ever seen them fight about anything. They are one of the FFFs (Flawless Facebook Families), and their existence irks you for reasons you can't even fully comprehend. The only way to combat the Perfectionists is to take solace in the fact that they must be fake, since manufacturing happiness and the perfect image is easy to do on Facebook. They're almost definitely fake. Probably. Dear Christ let them be fake...
So, which annoying Facebook parents did I miss?
The ice cream man annoys everyone at some point. Not just parents of napping babies. This summer, parents should try to contain their violent rants against people who peddle ice cream for a living. Ice cream men provide a delicious service.
This summer, don't call people out on Facebook for wanting to sleep in. Just because you enjoy waking up at 5 A.M. with your baby doesn't mean everyone else should, too.
If you want to have a dead skin foot party at home with your kids, by all means break out the tweezers. But don't post about it on Facebook. Keep it in the family.
What happens in the backseat of a parent's car should stay in the backseat of a parent's car. Metaphorically speaking, I mean. No one needs to know that little Elliot barfed after jumping on a trampoline in the heat. As long as he'll live, everyone else can live not knowing about it (or its smell).
I'm not sure what the difference between 69 and 70 degrees is, particularly when a person is pregnant, but I do know that Alicia's friends no longer care to hear about her hardships. She made them uneasy with her "sweaty butt crack" description, so why should she get to be comfortable?
If you knowingly take your infected child to a public pool, have the self-respect not to brag about it online. Sure, you're doing everyone else who goes to that pool a favor by making an announcement, but you come off looking like a giant asshole at the same time.
Don't paint a summery picture for your friends if that picture includes a turd, two dogs, and a disappearing act. Post a picture of your child swimming before she defecates in a body of water. That's what your friends really want to see.
This summer, don't let bitterness over your body get in the way of wishing a friend well on her bikini. Remember: "Our spirits need not droop as low as our post-baby breasts." That's a parenting adage I just made up.
Funny how when you're "just sayin'" so little, you wind up "just saying'" too much. I'm guessing Kara's been hijacking every Facebook update she sees with reminders that she's a full-term pregnant lady who's ready to pop at any minute. That's a pretty far cry from sitting on the beach and enjoying a cold one. This summer, don't interject yourself in conversations about shrimp cocktail with a comment about your fetus.
For more STFU, Parents, join the Facebook community or follow B. on Twitter. Plus: 10 Hilarious Texts From Parents 9 Funny-Because-It's-True Baby Sleep Positions 8 Babies Doing Adult Things 11 Deliciously Awkward Baby Shower Cakes
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