STFU Parents: 6 Ways Parents Talk About Halloween On Social Media

Happy Halloween, everyone! In honor of the holiday, I’ve put together a collection of submissions that all screamed out to me from beyond the grave (aka my email inbox). Every year, parents tend to post the same drab, sanctimonious, and/or pumpkin-themed Halloween updates on social media, but I’m usually too busy posting about placentas or bath poop to discuss them here on Mommyish. Since I’ve been writing this column, my sole intention has been to scare the crap out of you good people around Halloween, but this year, I thought it’d be fun to check out a cross-section of good ol’ fashioned Halloween updates to keep things a little neater. A little less bloody, if you will. After all, I already subjected you to last week’s poop art exhibition; why continue on that path when we all know it leads to someplace dank and unpleasant?

Let’s stick to the facts: Today is Halloween, and Halloween represents many things to many people. For some, like me, it’s a time to amp up the horror, because horror is scary and fun. For others, Halloween symbolizes the Devil and evil demons that go against their religion, along with some other stuff that I don’t pay attention to because I’m too busy admiring pregnant zombie costumes. These extremes are at annual odds with each other, and one of the easiest ways to observe that behavior is by reading parents’ status updates online. One parent might post about hand-sewing her daughter’s elaborate vampire costume while another updates about the dangers of taking candy from strangers. To get a better idea of this spectrum of attitudes toward Halloween, let’s check out several spooky examples. (And for more posts in honor of Halloween, be sure to check out Fright Fest all day on STFU, Parents — if you dare. Mwahahaha.)

1. dressing as a dad







Last year, I wrote a post titled “Moms Dressing As Moms For Halloween” about the on-going trend of parents dressing as “parents” each year, because I kind of don’t get it. Yes, I realize it’s a joke among parents who are too busy or tired to bother dressing up (and whose focus is on their kid’s costume), but like I said last year, wouldn’t that just be like my grandma joking that she’s dressing as a “grandma,” or my mom dressing as a “retired teacher”? The joke is entertaining to an extent, but it’s cheesy if intended seriously (“…best costume ever”), and a little dumb if meant as an excuse (“I’m dressing as a mom who’s had an exhausting week and hasn’t had time to wash her hair!”).

Sure, not everyone dresses up every year, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying to put in the effort. I really enjoy families that trick-or-treat AND dress up together. If you’re a parent who doesn’t dress up, it’s no big deal, but pictures of family costumes are far more entertaining than jokes about dressing as a mom or a dad for the third year in a row, yuk yuk yuk.

2. Faux Halloween “Parades” Are Stupid

2. masks.jpg

Right on, Cheryl! You go, girl! I love it when parents like Cheryl let loose on what’s become standard school curriculum. Whether or not public schools should all be nut-free is a debate that will likely continue for years to come, but the verdict on how schools handle Halloween is in, and it’s called “Parade of Masks.”

For those of us who grew up in an era when Halloween was an awesome day to show off crazy costumes in school, it’s a shame that the holiday is now treated with kid gloves. Or rather, “litigation gloves.” But alas, that’s become the norm, and I get a kick out of parents like Cheryl who use Facebook to express their frustrations. Every PTA could use more parents like her.

3. Helicopter Parent Overachievers On Pinterest

3. halloween candy.jpg

This is one of those “two-in-one” submissions. First, who the hell is going to hand-make these paper candy pouches? Oh, Pinterest, how you delight me with your wide-eyed DIY optimism. Second, why do parents like B. exist? To ruin everything that’s good in the world? To inspire the “This is why we can’t have nice things” meme? Saying a person “can’t be too safe these days,” is like saying a person can’t be too paranoid — and we all know that’s not true, because we just read B.’s comment. If I’m reading it correctly, B.’s kids wouldn’t be allowed to eat those SweeTarts pictured above because they were wrapped in a paper candy pouch. That’s even crazier than wasting an afternoon making the candy pouches.
4. #BitterSanctimommyAlert

4. sanctimommy_sweats.jpg

Sounds like Samantha has a “problem” with “certain people” and is being “extremely judgmental” about it in a passive-aggressive status update. FYI, Samantha, staying home in comfy sweats and watching cartoons with your son isn’t just called “having your priorities straight.” It’s also called “basic parenting.” #realtalkFORREAL! Next year get a babysitter if you want to get “shit faced.”

5. Orange Pumpkin Butts Are The New Black

5. pumpkin butts

The reason I know civilization is coming to an end is because every year, my Pumpkin Butt submission folder grows twice its size. I could fill a whole photo album with pictures of little kids’ rear ends painted orange in the Fall. This one in particular stuck out to me, because the picture is edited so strangely, and the paint looks extremely wet. Not just a little bit wet, but like, freshly painted two seconds ago wet. After viewing dozens of pumpkin butts, I recommend waiting for the paint to dry before doing a photo shoot, and choosing a matte finish.

6. Baby’s First Halloween AKA Pumpkin Torture

6. pumpkin_crying.jpg_80.jpg

Lastly, we have the “crying baby stuck in a gourd” picture. This one is pretty common, but sadly only about 4% of the examples I’ve seen feature a baby who’s not sobbing in distress. And every single example has comments like, “Poor baby! He doesn’t seem to like it in there.” Why can’t we all just agree that humans don’t particularly enjoy the sensation of being stuck inside a damp, stringy vegetable? At the very least, try to use quality calligraphy if you’re going to decorate your fall centerpiece with a human child. Pictures of kids on Halloween, at pumpkin patches, and yes, inside of pumpkins, all have their place on Facebook, but it’s nice when the kids don’t look totally miserable.

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