STFU Parents: What Not To Say To Your Child-Free Friend
One of the unique things about STFU, Parents is that the readership is comprised of both parents and people who identify with being child free. In essence, it’s a blog that appeals to anyone who isn’t a fan of overshare, but some parents use it as a guide for what not to post about, too. Typically, those things would include the basics like poop pictures, discussions of placenta consumption, or “hilarious” anecdotes about your child’s snot. But aside from those things, there’s mommyjacking. And as we’ve already seen in this column before, mommyjacking can be just as bad, if not worse, than status updates about a toddler’s erections. If there’s one thing that annoys people – especially child-free people – it’s mommyjackers who just don’t know when to avoid hitting “enter.” Sure, as a mom you might want to let the world (or your 462 Facebook friends) know when your child is having his five-week “birthday” or that being a mother is the best thing EVER, but as a friend there’s always that split-second you should take to ask yourself, “Is this comment necessary, or am I just hijacking this person’s status?”
A particularly irritating breed of mommyjacker is the type who assumes that all of her (or his!) friends will have kids or want to have kids if they don’t already. It’s the type of assumption that inspires child-free people to go on forum boards and say, “I can’t stand my friend for always telling me to have a baby,” or, “My mother-in-law has been asking when we’re going to have kids since the day we got married….and that was 11 years ago.” Speaking as a person who actually does want children in the future, I think the “Have A Kid!” mommyjackings are obnoxious, too. So today I’ve rounded up several examples of what NOT to say to your child-free friend, whether she or he plans to have kids or not. You can type out the comment on Facebook if you want to, but don’t hit “enter” when you’re done or you’ll look like one of these people.
1. You Don’t Know Tired
The competition for who “knows tired” best continues! Do you know tired? If you don’t have a kid then you probably don’t! But hey, have one so you do! Comments like this are baffling because, A) It’s kind of shitty to always get told that parenting is the hardest job in the world and you will get NO SLEEP EVER AGAIN, and then B) Simultaneously get told that having a child is the most fulfilling and rewarding thing a person can possibly do. We all have different experiences, and we’re all tired for different reasons. Also, if you’re going to inform someone that she doesn’t “know tired” until she has a baby, don’t attach a smiley face to the end of your comment unless you’re in the market for a nickname that’s not exactly child-friendly.
2. Expiration Dates
Nothing beats expressing joy over newfound freedom like being reminded that that freedom has an expiration date, amirite? It might sound ’50s, but hey, that’s life, ladies! Enjoy not being tethered to a man and a baby while you can, ’cause that clock doesn’t stop ticking!
3. Comfort Zones
First of all, I can attest to the Canal Street station permanently smelling like a combination of feces, earwax, and moldy basement. And second of all, “feeling comfortable” with human waste in the subway is not something that’s possible in New York City whether you have a baby or not. The human waste found on subway platforms is a far cry from the excrement found in a baby’s diaper. Did your baby take a bath in the last two months? Well, the person whose shit is on a subway platform probably hasn’t.
4. Baby Diet
This is a sneaky way to make a “joke” that’s really more of a parenting gripe. The disparity may appear disguised to people like Genna, but it’s as clear as the blue lines on a pregnancy test to everyone else. I totally understand wanting to complain about not being able to eat chocolate or anything yummy, but Lucy is looking for legitimate ideas here, not mom jokes.
5. Mom Prep
Look, not everything is preparation for being a parent. Being tired is not “prep for being a mom!” Getting sick on a plane is not “prep for being a mom!” Multi-tasking is not “prep for being a mom!” Being a full-time nanny is probably pretty good preparation, but even then, not everyone wants to BE a mom. Some people just don’t want kids, or haven’t decided if they want kids, or haven’t even given it any thought yet, and that’s okay. Let your friends come to their own conclusions on their own time. And until then, let them have Vegas.