Mommyshame

STFU Parents: Mommyjackers Who Think They’re Being Clever

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When people talk about ‘corny’ parents, the common target is usually “dad jokes.” But as we’ve seen in the past, moms are also capable of indulging in the same cheeseball humor, loosely referred to as ‘momedy.‘ Unfortunately, based on the examples I’ve seen, there is little equality to be had in this realm. Dad jokes, however ridiculous and pun-filled they may be (and I’ll admit to being partial to puns) are usually far superior to momedy or anything resembling a “mom joke,” particularly when mommyjacking is involved. I don’t know why that is, because when it comes to sheer humor, moms and dads are both funny in equal measure. There’s just something so awkward about moms who think they’re being clever when they’re mostly being dorky that makes me groan deeply from within. The groan is for my mother, her mother, and her mother before her. It’s a groan of shame that goes out to all the moms of young kids who have nothing better to joke about than snot strands and baby butt-wiping. If you’re going to crack wise about being a parent, it ought to be funny to everyone, and not just to the other parents you see at the playground who are half-asleep. Unless of course you’re actually on the playground.

1.On social media, no one hopes to be mommyjacked with a mom joke. There’s never a good way to respond, because you don’t want to goad the person into thinking you want to hear more mom jokes, but you don’t want to appear unsympathetic either. Perhaps the signature distinction between mom jokes and dad jokes is that the goal of a dad joke is to make a person groan, and the goal of a mom joke is to make a person laugh, even when the joke is entirely unrelated to what someone else just said. There’s a lack of self-awareness, a sort of echo chamber of affirmation that people WILL find the joke funny—they have to—because what’s funnier than a slightly tangential reference to parenthood and potty training? Or to how exhausted moms are? That’s funny, right?

2.

GROAN. Maybe you just need to be a mom to think this type of humor is funny, and that’s okay. Parents ARE exhausted — so exhausted they find stupid memes like this to be genuinely comical — and that’s something worth discussing in the right context. (Note: some of the childfree members of Woman’s Own didn’t think that page was the place). When it comes to mommyjacking, though, mom jokes land flat for me almost every time I see one. They have no relevance and serve no great purpose. They don’t elevate the original comment into something more entertaining or engaging; rather, they often kill a thread altogether. They’re harmless and meant to be taken lightly, but they’re probably better left unsaid. Let’s check out some examples, and you can tell me in the comments if you’ve been dying of side-splitting humor or cringing inside. Something tells me it’ll probably be the latter.

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