When I first got pregnant, my husband and I had a big talk. We didn’t want to be like “them,” the parents who clog the feed with pictures of their precious baby for the next 18 years. But almost four years into parenting, I’ve realized it’s inevitable. Even the most self-aware parent is going to post a stupid status about their kid on occasion.
Still, I try to remain conscious of the fact that my child-free friends, and even those with children, don’t always want to hear it. Jade Ruthven, 33-year-old mother from Perth, Australia, was slapped with this harsh reality in the form of an anonymous “Mean Girl” letter sent to her on Facebook.
What was Ruthven’s Facebook offense? The anonymous letter claimed that she shared too many pictures and statuses about her baby daughter. The snarky letter, which Ruthven forwarded to comedian Em Rusciano to share with her social media followers, said that her friends were “so over” her Facebook abuse.
Here are a few highlights from the catty note:
“I have got together with a few of the girls and we are SO OVER your running commentary of your life and every single thing Addy does.”
“She crawls off the mat – we DON’T care!!!!! She’s 6 months old – BIG DEAL!!!!”
“We can’t wait for you to get back to work – maybe you won’t have time to be on Facebook quite so much.”
“Our kids are great too.”
“We are doing this to let you know what people really think.”
In her op-ed piece for News.com.au, Rusciano says, “My initial reaction was: ‘That is some Lindsay Lohan, Mean Girls, burn book, on Wednesdays we only wear pink bullsh**.’ It’s not like she busted into their houses armed with life-size portraits of her child dressed as a tiny adorable pumpkin and demand that they be hung on every wall. Obviously in some people’s opinion she’s been overdoing it on the proud mother moments. Annoying, yes. Worthy of an anonymous poison pen situation, no.”
When reading through this letter, I laughed, I cried and then I got a little sick to my stomach. To be totally honest, I have been those mean girlfriends before. Pre-kids, and especially in the early baby stage when I was very insecure as a new mom, I was fed up with the happy baby overload on my Facebook feed. Thankfully, I didn’t have the balls, or rather the idiocy, to write that kind of letter to a few choice oversharing mom friends.
Just like I was a few years ago, the women who sent this letter are probably very, very insecure.
It’s true that social media parent overshares have become an annoying phenomenon, but it helps to put it all in perspective. There are plenty of people I know who take way too many pictures of their food, or of their cats, or of their antique coffee table that they refurbished by hand.
I do think parents could stand to be a little more self-aware, but then again, so could everybody else on my Facebook feed. In reality, we are just talking about a voluntary community of grown-ass adults. If you don’t like how your friends behave on Facebook, it may be time to question your choice in friends. If you just can’t stand what another mom is posting, do yourself — and her — a favor and unfollow.