STFU Parents: Mommyjacking With Too Much Unnecessary Information

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It occurred to me the other day that I haven’t posted a single mommyjacking column this entire year, which is downright shameful. While we’ve previously seen our fair share of parental hijacking in columns about know-it-alls, milestones, one-uppers, non-sequiturs, birthdays, holidays, people who are childfree, and, of course, the difficulties of work when you’re a mom, there are always new mommyjacking themes emerging in my files. One theme I’ve noticed recently is the habit some parents have to not only bring a conversation around to their child, but to provide a “healthy” amount of information when doing so. It’s a bit like mommyjacking on steroids.

Understandably, if you’re the parent of a small child, that child is the center of your universe. You probably have a very clear idea of precisely what’s happening with your child’s developments, accomplishments, and ailments at any given moment. But just because *you* know your kid inside and out doesn’t mean that all of your friends should, too. Finding some sort of “in” that allows you to relay a baby book entry’s worth of unnecessary information can appear disingenuous and self-serving. If a Facebook friend posts about getting her tires changed, for instance, that’s not an opening for parents to “relate” to the update with a story about how much their kid loves cars. Or if someone writes that he’s been out of work all week with the flu, that’s not an invitation to hear all the details of Mykynzee’s last stomach bug. It’s not that people don’t care about your child; they do! But it’s all right for parents to keep 99% of the details to themselves, because when I say “care,” what I mean is, “Friends will tolerate their friends and their friends’ children for many reasons,” and not so much, “Most people sit around wondering how their friend’s baby’s diaper rash is healing.”

And yet, some parents don’t realize this social code of conduct exists, simply because they’re busy revolving their lives around their kids. Parents have blinders on, and while that’s not always a bad thing, it’s the reason they often think their friends want to know more than they really do. Their inner editor has been quieted by the love they feel for their child, which is wonderful for them but can be annoying for others. Still, what kind of friend would reply to a mommyjacker with something like, “Thanks, I’m good on all things Brayden today.”? Or, “Hey, [friend], when is the last time you *didn’t* relate everything to your child?” Mommyjacking is a bad habit, but calling out a mommyjacker who is a real friend can be straight up rude. Thankfully, this is where STFU, Parents comes in, to help let parents know gently-but-firmly where their friends usually stand on such matters. How parents choose to comment on their friends’ social media updates is up to them — but taking a few pointers into account never hurt anyone, right? Today, let’s check out some examples by parents who have offered their friends a little (or a lot) more information than anyone needed to know.


1. Twinsies


I can’t tell if Jennifer is saying that Chrissi and Katie have “something in common” to seem on topic, or because she think it’s funny and cute. Either way, there’s a big difference between a tooth that’s (painfully) coming in versus a tooth that’s painfully (and expensively) being taken out. Aside from the most obvious difference — that Katie is a baby, and Chrissi is an adult — Jennifer’s update isn’t sympathetic. It’s almost uncaring. She seems to expect Chrissi to care about Katie’s first tooth, but she doesn’t express any sympathy for Chrissi’s tooth in the interim. Maybe she should’ve kept her mouth closed (pun intended) and not commented at all.

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