If there’s one thing that’s revolutionized parenting, it’s social media. Yes, I know, penicillin is usually considered a major breakthrough, blah blah blah, but since that was way before my time, I’m sticking to social media.
For any mom (or dad) perusing social channels, you’ve probably noticed several different types of posts and posters when it comes to parenting. My Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of first birthdays, pregnancy announcements, Christening pics, and even kids leaving for college. Amidst all the #instakids, I’ve noticed five specific and distinct types of parental posters: the Oversharer, the Perfectionist, the Well-Connected, the Know-it-All, and the Sky-is-Falling.
Here’s a simple breakdown to see who’s filling up your feed and if maybe, you never know, are one of them.
I’ll admit I fall most closely into this category. Not oversharing, per se, but I’ve been accused of overposting in the past. I subscribe to the philosophy that if one picture is cute, then ten are even cuter. But enough about me.
It’s a well-known fact that everyone on social media tends to overshare in one-way or another. But the Oversharer loves to give minute-by-minute updates on everything going on from potty training to the Tooth Fairy to having a strange bug bite in a unique place (with pictures, natch). She sees no boundaries.
Even awkward and uncomfortable subjects are fair play. This poster will let you know when she’s mad at her significant other, pissed at her mom, and even punishing her children. She might even share the color of her kid’s poop if she managed to get a decent shot.
The Oversharer also tends to forget that the Internet is like a diamond – forever. One day, in the not-so-distant future, her children will be reading/seeing/cursing these very posts and questioning why the world needed an up-the-nose-close-up of their neon green snot.
In my pictures, I try and keep the piles of clothes, dirty dishes, and the overall chaos of being a mom in the background. But the Perfectionist doesn’t even allow them in the frame. What mess? Chaos…what’s that? This poster’s pictures always show an immaculate house, perfectly well-dressed children, and not a hair out of place. She makes parenting look like a (glamorous and worry-free) dream.
Even at your local Starbucks, she’s dressed flawlessly, whereas you’re just sporting the only pair of leggings without spit up or poop on them. Her pictures always have the perfect glow, surrounded by an angelic halo. And while you know she may have had to take 100 shots before getting the perfect one, she still got it. For us mere mortals, it’s nearly impossible to get the camera app open, let alone get off more than one off-centered, blurry, no-one-looking-at-the-camera shot.
And while this mama may make you reevaluate your world, don’t bother. Behind the scenes, she’s probably also a hot mess who’s just really good at editing photos and using makeup to hide those telltale dark circles.
This poster knows everyone. Everyone. From your third cousin once removed to your entire high school class, her friend list is packed. Every time you add a new friend or get a friend request, you can be sure you’ll see her name on the “Mutual Friends” list, and if you don’t, you actually consider ignoring the request.
Every weekend, her posts are a “who’s who” of the playground, filled with birthday parties, brunches, and tiny tea parties for her soon-to-be well-connected children. She is definitely on the party circuit. This poster is also always tagging other well-connected mamas with captions like, “The next generation of besties-who-brunch” or “Shopping with our mini-mes” or “Mans, pedis, minis.”
Her posts may give you a major case of #FOMO or leave you feeling like the new kid in the lunchroom. But don’t worry. This mom happens to be insanely inclusive, welcoming, and ready to add you to her #BFF list. Her motto is definitely “the more, the merrier” and she means it.
This mom is forever posting links to articles on raising well-meaning kids, the proper way to parent (is there even such a thing?), and studies that link breastfeeding with higher IQs. She means well, but if you wanted to feel bad about your own unique way of parenting, you’d call your mom.
When she does post about her children, it’s often to highlight an achievement or an issue she’s managed to avoid with them and how you can emulate her style. This poster obviously knows better than you and has no qualms letting you know it. She shares her knowledge on your own “help me” posts, and not always sympathetically. It becomes super easy to unfollow or hide her posts. You should actually feel sorry for her; it must be exhausting always being right.
You can’t help but feel for this posting parent. She always seems overwhelmed screaming, a la Chicken Little, that some disaster has happened or is imminent. She’s the one whose child smeared poop all over the walls and floor then launched a spaghetti attack while she cleaned up. All of the normal childhood shenanigans are magnified with her, making you break out into a sweat every time she posts, worried you’ll be able to relate.
If anyone needs a friendly comment or kind word, it’s this mom. And while you don’t want to indulge in her end-of-the-world antics, a sympathetic comment, here or there, is sure to brighten her day and remind her she’s not alone. Something that every mom, regardless of the above categories, always needs to hear.