STFU Parents: Top 6 Tips For Parents In 2017
So far in 2017, aside from contemplating the end of democracy as we know it, we’ve learned a few things about parenting trends that could very well set the tone for the rest of the year. If you can’t think of an example of what I mean, then you must not have seen this Daily Mail headline:
Don’t worry — there was video proof. No one would simply write a text-based status update about wearing a Chewbacca mask while giving birth in 2017. We’re in the future now! We can live stream this stuff, just like we always wanted.
These types of stories are notable for inspiring me, an avid media consumer, to ask myself the tough questions: Is this story awful just because the Chewbacca video exists, or is it double-y awful because the Daily Mail chose to turn one woman’s silly Facebook joke into an entire article? When a lady with a mask goes from being a random person who got 47 likes on her Facebook video to a “viral sensation” with a post in the Daily Mail, is that the point where things go wrong? Or is it just the fact that she posted the video at all? This is kind of an existential chicken-and-egg approach to an otherwise harmless video, but it’s worth asking ourselves in the New Year.
And speaking of the future, look out kindergarten class of 2022! According to UK high society and fashion magazine Tatler, the “best posh baby names of 2017” includes some real gems. For girls, we’ve got classics like “Wendy” and “Opal” mixed in with some new fan favorites:
And for the boys, who wouldn’t be proud to carry a name like Npeter (the ‘N’ is silent), or Xman (gives the ego a boost)?
Of the names, Tatler writes, “These [names] are the real deal. Some are even centuries old. Let’s make them popular again!” Hey, why not? What do we have to lose, right? In the era of Brexit and MAGA, we must all focus on the issues at hand that truly matter. And I consider making the names “Wigbert” and “Czar-Czar” popular again among those issues.
But okay, forgetting about the past for a second — what about the NEW trends that aren’t attributed to the Chewbacca Mom viral video of 2015 or a bunch of “centuries-old” British names? For everyone who’s been wondering if 2017 will be a fortuitous year in which parents innovate and update preexisting trends (as parents are wont to do!), trust me, the answer is a resounding ‘YES.’ I mean, just imagine where things can go from here:
Hmm, I don’t know, IS this a thing now? You tell me, parents of the social media world! Will we soon be celebrating birthdays every two weeks? Will it happen by 2018? I can’t wait to find out (and I hope it involves ponies). But as is tradition in this column, before we look ahead to what will surely be a year of #unpresidented highs and lows, we must take a look back at some of the parenting trends we discussed throughout the last year. In 2016, we learned some important lessons, and we observed some behaviors that maybe shouldn’t be replicated in 2017 (or ever again — I’m looking at you, paranoid parents). Consider this column my recommended list of “internet resolutions” for parents to take into this new year.
And please, fellow childless people, if you’re considering doing this, don’t write an article about it, because it’s been done before (apparently), and it sprays — sorry, spreads — all over the internet. Scratch this idea off your Bucket List and latch onto another one.
It’s only January, but 2017 is already chugging right along isn’t it? Who knows what the rest of the year will have to offer?! Here are some refresher tips to carry with you along the way:
1. You Mustn’t Consider Not Smiling Or Waving At Babies
Remember way back to January 2016, before the world had spun into total despair? Before Prince died, and Ryan Lochte made up that dumbass story at the Olympics, and people cared like, way too much, about Hillary Clinton’s emails? Back to a time when the most important thing in the world, really, was a lesson in common courtesy and respect for waving babies?
Well, guess what? It’s STILL important. Very important. Babies have great waves — the BEST waves — and to deny them the simple joy of a smile or a wave back is pretty much criminal. Under this new White House administration, it may actually become illegal, for all we know, so people, you heard it from me first: Watch yourselves.
LOLOLOLOL no but really, babies aren’t just waving at nobody. They’re waving at YOU, and they deserve a reciprocal response. I don’t care if your mother is in the hospital, or your car is in the repair shop, or you just lost your job. What you need to do is muster a wave, or at LEAST a smile. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when sanctimommies at Starbucks call you out.
The kiddie gloves are off, y’all. It’s 2017 up in this bitch. #babyccino #RUDE #waveback
2. Drive-Thru Rules Don’t Exist
Because of a little something called ‘Parent Privilege,’ there continue to be people who think the world should cater to their every need/desire/schedule — especially when it comes to drive-thrus and convenience — just because they’re parents.
Something tells me this woman doesn’t necessarily think any limits should be applied to HER — just that it would be nice if people would learn their effing place in life, amirite County Moms? Look, I don’t mean to imply that people can’t vent; I have complete respect for anyone who’s in a rush, feeling annoyed, and interested in venting to friends (or total strangers) to find some relief. We all need to commiserate sometimes. But IF you’re going to make that venting a page-worthy affair, maybe just vent about stuff that matters? Not just “being late to work because of some jerk in line at Starbucks”? I really am hoping 2017 is the year more parents start brewing their own coffee at home. It’s a caffeine-rich revelation, and now you can even buy snazzy thermoses that keep liquid hot for hours and hours. (Perfect for busy moms!) This one is $36 but it’s worth every penny. I bet M. could’ve ordered one on Amazon in the time it took to post this status update.
3. Don’t Casually Displace Your Pet(s) Because You Have A Baby
Last year, we took a closer glimpse into the sad reality that is pet displacement. Some parents even plan to get rid of their pets before they know how they’ll behave around a baby, making those people monsters who never deserved to own pets in the first place.
Speaking as a person who owns both a Maine Coon and a black and white tabby, may I be the first to say, “Fuck you, Orange”? These poor kitties don’t have a clue what’s going on, and their “mom” has some unfortunate plans in the works. The worst thing is when people give their social media friends an “opportunity” to take in a pet, emphasizing that if someone doesn’t save it, the pet will be dead by next Friday for no reason. Also, what a backwards way to sort of declare yourself to be a protective new mother. “By putting down my old fur-baby, I can make room for my new human baby!” Ew. People like this suck.
4. Irrationally Calling People Out On Facebook Is A Bad Look
Although it may be hard for many of us to do, I do believe that in the era of Trump — a man who fires off angry tweets from his commode each morning — it’s best to keep our cool. That’s why it’s key not to irrationally call out groups of people or individuals who are strangers on social media, especially if you’re calling them out over something stupid. It’s a bad look, and even if you decide to delete your post later, the internet and your friends will always remember.
I posted this image on Instagram last year during a blizzard-heavy weekend, and one person commented, “I don’t even drink soy milk but this has made me want to go out and buy all of it.” Sure, Robin’s description of hipsters is pretty spot-on, but it’s in the service of excusing her entitled attitude. Robin is the classic sanctimommy who thinks the world should revolve around her child’s needs…or else. It’s one thing to quietly admit to yourself that you should recalibrate your expectations for soy milk during a blizzard, or even grumble loudly about the shortage alone in your car, but to type up a fiery rant on Facebook and blame “vegan hipsters” for your kid’s lack of soy milk and actually publish it says to the world, “I don’t care how bougie I sound. I’m a MOTHER, dammit! I’m an advocate for my daughter, who struggles with reflux, and I don’t care if I just had my French manicure done yesterday — I *will* knock someone to the ground in the dairy aisle!”
Side note: What do Robin’s kid’s donations (?) to the Humane Society have to do with anything?
5. Stop Fetishizing ‘Guns And Kids’
I’ve yammered about kids and guns in this space several times before, and yet the subject only continues to further alarm me. And it’s not just me, it’s also the people who send in submissions with honest notes of concern or confusion. Take this submission, for instance:
The submitter wrote to me, “I don’t necessarily share your full view on guns, but I do think that any normal, sane human being should feel icky at the thought of a small child with a gun, owning a gun, being in a house with an unsecured or loaded gun, holding a gun, etc. As you might guess, Dylan is Alexandria’s daughter. Why the fuck a four-month-old needs a gun is waaay beyond me.”
Unsurprisingly, I agree! But the real question is, what leaves a worse taste in your mouth — a parent who passes down or buys her newborn a deadly weapon as a means of “tradition,” or a parent who fetishizes guns to the point of commissioning a gun-themed birthday cake?
What a tasteful way to celebrate a kid’s birthday. Nothing goes together quite like birthday sprinkles and a handgun.
6. Always Show Off Your Kid’s Artwork (When It’s Actually Funny)
Lyz here is not only the winner of this week’s Mom’s Gold Star, she’s also a former Mommyish contributor! I got to know Lyz via the internet, and while I think she’s a smart and funny writer, I’m even MORE impressed with her daughter’s artistic vision and execution. Who colors within the lines of a fart?! Lyz’s kid does. If I had one wish for 2017, it would be that all the little boys and little girls could sit and draw farting fairies together in harmony, with the sun shining upon their fart fairy-drawing faces. And, of course, that their parents would post their finished artwork on social media. If it’s a choice between “fake news” and farting fairies, I’m Team Farting Fairy for life. Let’s hope my wish comes true.