STFU Parents: Facebook Updates About Your Sick Kid Are Making Me Nauseous
In honor of cold and flu season, this week’s column is dedicated to all the sickness-related Facebook updates I receive that make me feel physically ill. You see, most of the submissions I receive are about basic parent/kid stuff: MommyJackings, Woe Is Mom, horrible stuff like this, etc. But at least once a day, I receive a submission that’s the product of something timely, whether it’s a current event, a holiday, or just related to the weather and/or season. And let me tell you, of all the seasons to receive related submissions, winter is my least favorite. Sure, in the summer I run the risk of getting submissions about floaters in the community pool, but those are nothing compared to the submissions I get in the winter about kids being sick.
You don’t have to have kids to know what they’re like when they’re sick. That’s one thing I think most parents and non-parents can agree on. We ALL know that kids not only tend to get sick a lot because they’re building their fragile immune systems, but also happen to be pretty nasty when they’re sick, too. Snot abounds. Bacteria covers them from head to toe. Vomiting is a regular occurrence, and I won’t even get into the bathroom-related symptoms, because we already know what they are. Being sick is an unpleasant experience, and looking after little ones while they’re sick certainly isn’t any more pleasant. Which is why I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why so many parents discuss details related to their kids’ illnesses on Facebook.
Yes, it sucks that your kid is sick. It sucks that the whole house is sick. And it sucks that your kid invariably got sick because of someone else’s germs. But there’s a difference between saying, “My kid is sick, what a bummer,” and going into great detail about all the things you’re supposed to keep to yourself. Saying that you or your kid puked? OK, fine, if you must. Posting a picture or super long description of said puke? Abso-freaking-lutely not. So for today’s column I’ve rounded up just a few of the submissions I’ve received so far this cold and flu season to give you an idea of what I mean. I suggest holding off on snacks until after you’re done reading.
1. Angry Mom
Whatever you do, don’t do this. Vent to your spouse, to a friend, or even to your local drugstore checkout girl, but don’t air your problems on Facebook. In this case, Stephanie and Holly are engaging in some serious mama drama, and whether Stephanie’s kid got Holly’s kid sick or not is pretty irrelevant. Especially after someone hurls an insult like “piss off you dumb blonde,” which would most certainly get any proper lady thrown straight out of her finishing school.
2. Story Hour
“Don’t get me started”? Honey, please. You’ve shared quite enough already as it is. If I know your child had to go to the hospital because his ass is broken out from being sick, I know about ninety-six percent too much.
3. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Good attempt at humor, but still too much information. The mental picture is both comical and repulsive, and therefore I cannot stand behind the joke. Also, “Selah” is a bit much for me, but I guess that’s just my personal bias against liturgico-musical marks. (Kidding, kidding.)
PS: Wouldn’t it be funny if this was the same Holly mentioned in example #1?
4. Snot Straws
By the time Abbey pops up with that comment “just to make it clear to everyone,” five of her friends had nearly lost their lunch. This is one of those moments in which parents should step back and fully assess their status intentions. If Abbey’s intention was to gross out her friends, then I suppose it’s a job well done. But if her intention was to hype up her snotty child’s awesome dad and impress their Facebook friends with his dadication, I think she missed the mark by revealing too much. People don’t want to know that Michael sucked the snot out of his kid’s nose; they want to see pictures of him with his kid on his shoulders at the park.
Speaking of which, if you’re squeamish about this submission, you might not want to read ahead to the next one… (No, really.)
5. Snot ‘Splosion
This is one of the grossest submissions I’ve ever gotten, and that’s saying a lot. When your kid has a walrus mustache o’ nasal mucus, please just wipe her face. Or, if you take a picture, please please don’t share it. Yes, it’s just one quick moment out of the day that Andria’s friends are tortured with this surprising and gooey image, but that’s one moment they can never get back. And what if they happened to be eating a delicious cup of yogurt while reading Facebook? Ew. Talk about making a person feel sick.