Mommyshame

STFU Parents: Irrationally Angry Parents Who Call People Out On Facebook

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Last week, the unrepentant ‘Daily Mail’ ran a story about a mother-of-six who posted a Facebook rant after unsuccessfully attempting to return a Coles-branded container of milk to Woolworths, which is an entirely different supermarket. She wrote:

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“Not seeing the problem” with wanting to return milk to another purveyor may seem completely ridiculous—because it is—but to be fair, attitudes toward mothers who irrationally whine on Facebook have been shifting. Facebook used to be a platform where it wasn’t necessarily common for users to bare all to their friends or drum up a chorus of support regarding personal conflicts, but today it’s increasingly treated as a sounding board. Having a bad afternoon? Post about it on Facebook in explicit detail! Feeling pissed off at *certain* friends or relatives about *something* that those people may or may not even be aware of? Subshare your anger in a bizarre, passive-aggressive status update, because you deserve to speak your truth!

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Complaining on Facebook certainly isn’t a tendency that’s unique to parents, but is it possible that mothers feel more entitled to complain and call people out than they used to, in an online world that practically welcomes it? Why hold your feelings inside, right?! In 2016, you can be a raving lunatic so long as the underlying story stems from being a protective “mama bear.” Without a baby, a woman who emphatically posts about shouting at a stranger is a self-absorbed crazy person; with a baby, she’s “reacting from a place of maternal instinct” and all should be forgiven. After all, she’s got children to safeguard! And other moms on Facebook can relate. They’ve been there.

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Somehow, this “mean mommy” persona has transitioned from unflattering to badass. You’re now hailed as a hero if you throw a dirty diaper at a stranger in a parking lot, because “no one messes with a sleep-deprived mother!” Previous generations of women wouldn’t be caught dead ranting about their petty parenting squabbles or trumpeting their own anger complexes, but today’s women grew up with ‘Jerry Springer.’ Their mama bear ferociousness excuses away bad behavior; their superiority (and hormones!) justify Facebook shaming and publicly calling out the unlucky people who cross them. Sometimes, the rants are so intense, their friends (or random members of the Woolworths page) have no choice but to sit back and enjoy them for the entertainment they are. The more parents feel entitled to express hostility veiled as “being a good mom,” the more extreme the status updates tend to get. It’s almost like some people are just *looking* for reasons to get enraged.

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Two things I can discern from this screenshot: 1. This person is deeply British, and 2. This person is totally nuts. Who cares that your kid’s shoe got a little dog shit on it? Everyone’s got to learn to avoid dog shit at some point in life, so why not as a small child? Also, what’s worse: a smidge of dog poop on a shoe, or an unhinged parent who enthusiastically unleashes violent fantasies on social media just because of a little dog shit? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?

I’m not just talking about Orange here, but ALL of the moms in this week’s column. I wish I could send them off to a meditation retreat in Thailand, or group therapy. In the meantime, let’s be glad that Facebook is providing them with the venting outlet they so clearly need. Here are several more irrationally angry moms calling people out on Facebook:

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