STFU Parents: Facebook Documoms Still Fascinated By Their Children’s Infections And Fluids

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For the past couple years, I’ve reflected on a strange and somewhat creepy type of parent overshare around Halloween: The Documom. Documoms (and docudads, but we’re talking about a relatively small fraction of men who do this) are a breed of parent who obsessively chronicle every bug bite, skinned knee, and — everyone’s favorite – “mouth discoveries” their children have on Facebook. For whose benefit exactly, I’m not sure, but this phenomenon is a real thing that continues to get weirder by the year. I have a (toe-)jam-packed folder of submissions pertaining to all these documom, and this is the special time of year that I get to bust them out in a column for your viewing pleasure. No need for thank you’s, as I’m very aware that you readers are eternally grateful for these collective images, many of which fall into the “close-up” category.

It’s not that I don’t see the purpose in documenting certain milestones (like a first tooth) or even snapping a picture of something anomalous or worrisome for a loved one to unhappily peer at before telling the parent to seek out a doctor’s opinion. I do get it on some precious level of basic understanding. Perhaps a parent never wants to forget the memories associated with her three-month-old’s nasty diaper rash, or she wants to create a shrine to Li’l Kaiytlynn’s Cuts ‘N Bruises with dozens of bizarre photos. Haven’t we all had a weird obsession about something at some point in our lives? I used to collect pictures of Johnny Depp when I was younger; is that really so different from a mother taking multiple photographs of her child’s eyebrow stitches? Maybe it’s not!

However, what’s weird is the way parents upload these images to Facebook, either to “showcase” their child’s ailments or physical markings, or to request medical advice from their Facebook friends, most of whom offer guesses that are followed up with, “But you might want to take him to the doctor to get a professional opinion.” This leads me to the conclusion that documoms are going to share this information regardless of any substantial reason. They want their friends and relatives to get to know their kids – really get to know them — and Facebook is the best way to make that dream a reality. Let’s check out this year’s examples of body photography that parents might want to avoid posting on social media, lest they be classified as documomtarians.

1. Yucky Cord

1. yucky cordHey, Lauren, thanks for the belly button cord collage, but why the hell do you think anyone wants to see this? When you write, “Seriously, who has this issue? lol” are you being facetious, prideful of your child’s “unique” cord stump healing, or just plain annoying? How about all three?

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