By Kate Cartia
Dear Everyone Who Likes to Shame Parents on Social Media,
No, I’m not talking about “typical” parent-shaming.
Not the “Cute pic, but why wasn’t he wearing a jacket?” Facebook comments, or the “Is your 3-year-old eating an Oreo?” digs on Instagram. That’s a letter all on its own. (But for now, just a note: cut that shit out, too.)
I mean the “Get off the internet and pay attention to your kids” comments lobbed at social media-loving moms and dads.
I didn’t even know this was a thing that happened until I started expanding my own social media presence (Which, for the record? Is relatively small, so I can’t imagine what huge accounts deal with).
But it happens.
There’s a whole new set of internet jerks who LOVE to make parents who have time/energy/motivation/whatever to make jokes on Twitter, post memes on IG, write articles for parenting sites, run blogs, and/or manage Facebook pages look like selfish attention mongers.
I’ve seen all sorts of tweets and comments suggesting that if you’re a parent who happens to have a social media following, you’re obviously ignoring your children in favor of it.
Or, suggestions that if you have time to read/like/follow any of those accounts, you’re (SURPRISE!) neglecting your responsibilities.
Uh. Please STFU.
And here’s why:
1. If you literally believe we’re ignoring our responsibilities, especially our children, then your faith in how badass parents are needs to be evaluated. Do you have any idea how we manage to do, well, ANYTHING? Multi-tasking is our whole jam. It’s what we do, sometimes even when we don’t have to.
Some of us get up before our families just to read in peace, or stay up well-past bedtime to finish a blog post. We’ve got this. (Also, not for nothin’, but if we aren’t paying attention to our kids, WHERE DO WE GET OUR MATERIAL?)
2. This is going to be a shock, but parents? Yeah, they’re still people. Which means we don’t stop enjoying things, AND getting to do those things. Mom Guilt is real, dude. We talk ourselves out of doing ALL. SORTS. OF. THINGS. For some, reading and writing and joking is the only thing that’s just for us. Some even make careers out of the content they create.
3. My mom lost her mother at a young age. In 1983, she didn’t have a go-to for parenting help. Sure, she had friends and family, but that Mom Guilt thing we talked about extends to “not wanting to bother anyone too much,” too.
Social media is incredible for reminding us that we’re all in this together. For building community, connection, friendships, and ESPECIALLY for cushioning that damn “I’m the only one who does this/sees this/feels this way” mentality that absolutely DESTROYS our spirits. Social media has taken so much loneliness out of parenting. Does it solve everything? Absolutely not. Is it a substitute for professional or medical advice? No way. But does it connect us in ways that have never before been available? Without question.
There’s a ton of parent-shaming out there, and we could talk about it all day. But condemning parents who participate in this Online Village that’s out there is so appalling.
Read. Write. CONNECT. Support each other, celebrate successes, and rally after fails.
We’re better for our children when we do.
About the Author
Kate Cartia lives in Dallas, TX, with her son and dog. She’s a Work-at-Home Mom, is always the first to sign up to bring paper plates to school functions, and openly has no real idea how to do this parenting thing. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram @askatewouldhaveit, and Twitter @katewouldhaveit.