how parents on Facebook ruin the idea of parenthood for me.

This post is dedicated to Jacob and the endless, sardonic conversations we have about everything, including this topic.

I realize I got a Facebook in high school.  I realize I’m no longer a college student and I still have a Facebook.  Yet I always fall back on the fact that Facebook was invented for college students.  Seeing parents on Facebook weirded me out during college.  Now, much to my dismay (and occasional amusement, such as during sardonic conversation), I have more and more friends or friends of friends, etc., growing up from those college kids with Facebooks to becoming parents.

It seems like you can only tell Facebook No me gusta! so many times before it becomes evident it’s just screwing with you.  Yes, I’m pretty sure Facebook is going I, Robot on us and becoming a machine smarter than the rest of us, knowing us so much better than we do that it can psychologically destroy us with redundant newsfeeds and advertisements about things we don’t gusta!  When you tell it “I don’t want to see this in my newsfeed”, it registers it as “endless baby photos upset her…mwahaha!”.  When you start a relationship, Facebook decides you’re suddenly going to read every update from your significant other, his/her family, his/her extended family, etc., etc., and that suddenly all of your advertisements are going to be about jewelry, wedding discounts, and babies.  NO I WILL NOT BE A PRODUCT OF YOUR ARTIFICAL SOCIETY.  (Well, I will admit I found it pretty funny when my brother kept getting advertisements for gay cruises and finally realized he had haphazardly put “Interested in Men” on his profile.)

But Facebook is only a tool making us realize the things we really don’t care about in life.  And I find the source of most of my frustration revolves around new parents who decide it’s okay to tell us TMI on a daily basis.  So, after reading several articles on this exact topic (Amen, I’m not alone!), I’ve put together my own list of how (new) parents on Facebook drive me crazy and subsequently ruin the idea of parenthood for me:

1. Ultrasounds

It looks like an alien, and I don’t understand who needs to see pictures of your insides who couldn’t just look at them at the next family event.

2. Pregnancy Updates

Please, tell me more about how you threw up again today, or what you’re craving, or whatever weird, gross pregnancy thing you have to share with us all (TMI!).

3. Hospital Pictures

Pretty sure I’ve covered most of these before.  I hate hospital pictures.  You look gross, your baby looks really gross, and I consider it a private affair.  You could at least wash the thing off a few (hundred) times first.

4. Baby Pictures

Okay, cool, it’s a baby.  You think it’s way cuter than the general public because it’s related to you.  It also has an egghead, hardly opens its eyes, and it’s totally not capable of making a beer run so what’s the use in having one of those around?  Just get a cat.  They at least feed themselves.

5. Real-Time Updates

I’ve definitely written about this before.  Do new mothers even realize how much danger they put their children in by posting every damn thing about them to the internet?  What they wear, what they ate, and everything is geotagged now.  Yeah, even if you think it isn’t, trust me – I know how to pull up Geotag codes on Instagram and other photos with embedded information.  Chances are, I can find your house and the exact room you took your picture in within a minute.  And I am very much technology illiterate, so just imagine the possibilities.  And maybe some folks live vicariously through you, but what are your children going to think in a few years when they have their own Facebook and pull up the archives?  Probably something like, “Way to go, mom, I officially hate my life.”

And now for the big finale….

6. Counting Ages in Months

I remember the first time I saw “24 months” and I kind of stopped for a moment and thought, Wait, that’s divisible by 12…. ((cue Lavon Hayes NO imitation)) Naw, NAW,….NAWWWW!  It should be an official rule that children’s ages may NOT be counted in months after 18 months of age.  I read online a woman who will count her child’s age up to five years in months.  FIVE YEARS.  Because “five months makes a huge difference when you’re five”.  UMM, yeah and also every child develops differently so a 21-month-old and a 35-month-old might have the same linguistic skills but different motor abilities.  NO.  I just cannot take it seriously, counting a child’s age in months.  It’s completely ridiculous.  It’s a sign of “This is my first time!  I have no idea what I’m doing!”  Or at least that’s what most of my sardonic conversations conclude.  I just…can’t even.

Also, what is WITH these new personalized chairs?  I have seen so many new mothers with these miniature sofas with their kids’ names on it.  Great, I have an idea – let’s get a gift with the child’s name on it so that only they can use it (because it’s personalized), and it will only last them as long as they can fit into it (probably a few years),….and it will be perfect to set up in front of the television so they can begin their long lives as sponge-brained byproducts of this lazy, overpopulated world…….

Okay, I’m done.  It’s snowing, and I like the snow because there aren’t any babies in snow.  Or, if there are, you can’t see them because they were dropped and buried in it.  😛

modern parenthood.

If you’ve spent any considerable time with me, you know how ugly I think babies are.  They’re literally bald, shoebox-sized aliens who do absolutely nothing for themselves and only make the world around them a dirtier place.  Admittedly, they start to get cute in a couple of years – right in time to get incredibly ornery and destructive.  Maybe the mischievousness adds to my faint appreciation of toddlers.  And, true, I do have a weak spot for little native toddlers trying to stomp dance in oversized regalia, or even the little girl I saw running around Hogsmeade in Orlando this past week with a way-too-big Gryffindor cape on.

It’s true – everyone has their own ideas of what being a good parent is.  But I think a lot of that methodology is rooted in how you punish or reward a child.  Beyond that, I think there are very obvious things that you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T be doing for a child’s wellbeing.  It’s not rocket science, and it’s not Greek – and I’ve had classes in both and those weren’t so bad.  But really, our ancestors all raised kids.  You didn’t find some magical formula.  There were a few simple rules followed along the way for all of time.  It’s only now that I’m questioning if our “superior” methodology is actually destroying humanity’s future, as ironic as that sounds.

Kayla’s completely theoretical requirements of things to realize if you don’t want to be a complete f*ck-up of a parent:

1. (To the mothers:) You are not a hero; you are not unique.
Sure, every mother is proud of herself for carrying, delivering, and having a healthy baby – but let’s be real.  EVERY SINGLE MOTHER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD HAS DONE IT.  They didn’t have fancy books, birthing and breathing classes, pain killers, nutritionists, supplements, acupunctures, or whatever other bullsh*t that becomes part of modern motherhood culture.  Oh, wow, this is your third kid?  Well, good for you.  If it were 100 years ago, you should expect 11 or even 15 more, one after the other, because probably only half would make it out of childhood anyway. And, no, your baby is not the most beautiful thing in the world.  No, we don’t want to see embryonic selfies.  In fact, I don’t even want to see a picture of your baby until it’s cleaned, back at home, and you don’t look like you sat in a sauna of tears and self-pity.  Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think any of this is easy.  I’m just so sick of my newsfeed filling up with gross photos and statuses about how hard your life is (as you throw back another painkiller).

2. Do you WANT your kids to be abducted?
I know I post a lot of things online, but I’m very well aware of when I am and when I am NOT geo-tagging my information, and I often delay in posting things when I travel so I’m not life-streaming my life.  But that’s just me.  Then I see these mothers and their horrible photos, their incessant updates,…and all I can think is “WOW, now I know EXACTLY where you live, the names and birthdates of your kids, your name, your birthdate, your spouse’s name and birthdate, your occupations, where you went to school, where your kids go to school,….HELL, I even know what they WORE to school today.”  If you were a child-abductor, you would have it made.  You could probably even have details like “Oh, Charlie is allergic to strawberries but he loves the raspberry strudel.”  And Charlie would love the raspberry strudel.  And no one would doubt who is really Charlie’s parent.  And Charlie wouldn’t cry because you could lie and say you’re Uncle Fred and give Charlie his strudel.  And wow I sound like a practiced criminal – that’s terrifying.

3. Raise your kids like animals, because they are.
I find this last one as very important.  It encompasses a lot of aspects to being a human.  First of all, I don’t understand why people even have children these days. It used to be the kids contributed to the farm work and child care and the family operated as a small community.  Well, now we don’t live those kinds of lives (generally speaking), and child labor also prevents that kind of lifestyle.  That’s fine, but then what else are kids good for?  For taking care of elderly parents.  Right, well how many people are in nursing homes these days?  Kids don’t serve any purpose beyond a selfish desire to have a family life, as far as I’m concerned.  I can’t even say it’s to pass down heritage because I feel like most friends I have don’t even know where their family came from or any of their traditions.

As we lose our traditions, we also lose our connection with the land and the reality that we are all still animals. So most of this last aspect of where parents fail today revolves around the “nature deficit disorder” concept.  I feel like our disconnect with nature also disconnects us with identity, with belonging in family units, and with healthy inputs to our body (exercise, food, exposure to green things).  I personally think one of the most terrifying things about parenthood would be feeding children.  I am scared as it is just feeding myself, knowing all the stuff that’s out there in our foods.  I would be terrified by what my kids are eating when I’m not around.  I would have to rely on their own judgments of what is good or bad for them and hope they don’t get addicted to sugar.

In a perfect world, a child would never need to taste sugar apart from maybe maple sugars or natural berry sugars – probably not even honey. Then you look at the junk parents feed kids (AND FROM SUCH AN EARLY AGE!): candy bars, sodas, fast food, packaged food, gummies, lollies, processed bakery treats, lots and lots of cookies, potato chips,… It’s like parents don’t want to “deprive” their children of “childhood treats” – but how can you deprive someone of an unhealthy experience that they’ve never had and which is only detrimental to his/her health?

Parents think they’re loving their children by providing them with all the ice cream and sugary disasters they would have craved as children, roping them in to a bad cycle. The cycle only gets worse.  Sweets for good behavior, “finish your vegetables” even if you go without dessert because you’ve been bad…now a child associates happiness with a sugar rush and the fullness of fiber as a miserable feeling.  And don’t even get me started on those electronic presents.  I think I draw the line with electronics at games like creating electronic music, editing video and photo, and writing stories.  I can understand using electronics for creativity such as that – but in addition to doing the same things with their hands.  Like learning how to play instruments, draw with charcoal, practice calligraphy,…  But so many of these kids spend HOURS a day playing VIDEO GAMES, electronic card games, etc…. Some days never even getting outside regardless of the weather.

Electronic games are just too easy, though. Like the Television.  Why teach your child something when you can just turn on the television and do house chores?  I’m so sick of all of these electronic games.  Parents are replacing being parents by shoving an electronic device in a kid’s hand.  I mean, why take the time to actually teach them face-to-face their numbers and words?  No, they have a game for that…and now children have a comfort level with electronics and a fear of the unknown in the woods.  Some  city kids grow up never having seen real wildlife besides a few pigeons.  I can’t even imagine it.

Well, this was just a rant that popped into my head last night while watching Portlandia… I’m going to leave you with one last thing – an excerpt. And if you’ve never seen Portlandia, you should definitely watch it.  It’s so confusing that it’s brilliant.  If you feel like you’ve missed something, you probably haven’t.  It just makes you feel like you’re crazy – in a hilarious way.

Watch: Porlandia’s guide to modern parenthood.