STFU Parents: “30 Days Of Thankful” Updates: Sweet Or Sanctimonious?

For the past few years, a trend called “30 Day of Being Thankful” has emerged on social media during the month of November. Because I’m a general proponent of holiday cheer and expressions of gratitude, I try to stay open-minded about this month-long stint of status update sincerity. This isn’t easy considering how trite the status updates can be. Friends who might spend the majority of the rest of the year bitching about traffic or politics will suddenly take the time out to thank their children’s bus driver or reflect upon how much they love their kids’ sweet, smiling faces. A little manufactured, but nice all the same. Some parents take the “30 Days” updates very seriously, dutifully posting each day about friends and relatives in heartfelt tributes as though they were Facebook sacraments. Others (especially toward the end of the month, when source material is scarce) will extend public thanks for reasons like “thankful for FroYo” or “thankful that my baby’s poop is a healthy consistency.” There’s no right or wrong way to rock the “30 Days” vibe, so long as you’re committed to annoying your friends on a daily basis near the peak of the holiday season.

That said, I’m reticent to call people out simply for being outwardly thankful. Who am I to say what people can and can’t be thankful for on Facebook? The point is that they’re just participating in the “30 Days” fad because it makes them feel good, and there’s nothing inherently offensive about that. …Or is there? Based on the emails I’ve received, I’ve no doubt that many people hate — and I would go so far as to sayreally fucking hate — the “30 Days of Being Thankful” trend, and they’re completely unable to take their friends’ incessant and maudlin updates seriously. Is there something so wrong with hating the shit out of a craze that encourages love and appreciation? I’d estimate at least half of all social media users think the repetitive and occasionally sanctimonious nature of the posts only serves to make people feel badly about themselves. The exercise feels more self-important than it does charitable. To everyone who shares this opinion about “30 Days,” you are not alone.



See? Let’s check out some examples to better understand why some folks aren’t fans of the “30 Days” trend despite its benevolent purpose.
1. Thankful For One’s Uterus



I’m a feminist who’s proud to be a woman, but I can’t say that I honestly expect any of my friends to care. Sarah has every right to express her gratitude for motherhood and her female physiology, but I CANNOT condone a reference to her “two princes” without linking to the video for ‘Two Princes’. That, my friends, is de-friending territory. 

2. Thankful For Breast Milk


In case you needed another reminder that breast milk is liquid gold, the stuff heals pink eye, diaper rash, cracked nipples, a broken heart, AND it can be used in place of WD40 to lubricate door hinges. That shit is magical. Let us bow our heads and pray for Mother Earth’s breast milk to rain from the Heavens so that it may Nourish us all.   

3. Thankful For Pregnancy And Birth



PS: Don’t you love it when your friends turn their “30 Days” updates into short prayers? It’s like they’re writing down their personal conversations with God for everyone to read online for an entire month. Such a blessing. 

4. Thankful For Rewarding Relationships


According to the submitter: “”Successful and rewarding” means home births and breastfeeding until the child is 4 years old. Those of us who had babies in hospitals have “failed.”” Oh snap. This is the kind of sancti-mompetition that spoils the “30 Days” movement. Way to take it to the dark side, Kim.

5. Thankful To Be A SAHM


Well, pin a big, shiny ribbon on Nicole! Not only does she have the good fortune to stay home with her child, but her kid is advanced as a direct result of her primary caretaker role. That’s a reason to be thankful if I ever heard one.

Of course, not everyone stays home with their children, or even wants to, and many of those people’s children are perfectly intelligent, too. Maybe instead of using “30 Days of Being Thankful” to humblebrag, parents like Nicole could just stop writing after the first sentence. Sometimes less is more, even when giving thanks.
On that note, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who reads this column each week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Similar Posts