STFU, TMI Parents!
If you happen to follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you might know I recently had a baby. (Note to future self: Epidural. Get one.) How might you know this? Because I CAN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT HER! And posting pictures. All freakin' day.
Sorry! Kinda! It's just that she's really cute. And she does all these cute things. Like, well, lay there. And be cute. It must be publicly documented.
So, yeah, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm becoming one of those people I used to scoff at on my social-media channels: oversharing parents. Pre-baby, I vowed to never let motherhood consume my identity, on- or offline. Yet everything changes once you've been handed this helpless little being. Life becomes a whirlwind of diapers and sleep deprivation, joy and terror. Inevitably, stories and musings wind up on Facebook.
But how much is TMI?
There's a book for that. In an act of curiosity, I picked up a copy of STFU Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare, based on the popular blog of the same name (STFUParentsBlog.com). Created by Blair Koenig, it's a collection of the most horrifying examples of oversharing on the web, from labor play-by-plays ("Just passed a piece of mucous plug!") to graphic poop descriptions ("Looks like Thai yellow curry") to placenta art (seriously, it's a thing). One mother posted how she hates that parking lots accommodate for disabled drivers but not for parents with children ("Seriously, how many disabled drivers are out there?"). Another wrote a letter to the fire department, asking, "Why u need crazy loud sirens? They wake up my baby." Armed with Dr. Google, one mom rebuked the advice of her pediatrician ("I mean, c'mon, I have the Internet; I'm not a total idiot").
The most cringe-inducing posts of all, in my opinion, are the ones in which parents write in the voice of their child, as in "I Tank Dat I Wubba to Potty In My Pants Betus I No Know to Doh to Dah Potty In Dah White Seat Tangy." Really?!
Reading through STFU Parents, I laughed, shook my head and sighed in relief. As an oversharer, I'm not there—yet. (Friends, if I ever do get there, please punch me.) But in a way, I also understood how one could cross that line. Parenthood can be an overwhelming, isolating experience, and by putting it out there—shit stains and all—someone, anyone might understand.
And for everyone else who doesn't, well, at least it serves as good birth control.
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