Just about every one of my friends on Facebook would probably tell you, I’m an over-sharer when it comes to my kid. That’s right, I belong front and center on STFU, Parents. And, you know what? I don’t really care.
Before I became a mom, I was one of “the annoyed” too. I didn’t give a shit about your sonogram, considering I couldn’t even find the baby in one of those f-ing things. I didn’t really care about your “bump” progression, your 48-hour labor, or your baby’s ugly alien face. Certainly could not have cared less that your baby was up 3 times last night – I slept just fine, thanks. He can roll over? Big deal, my dog learned to do that in, like, a week.
When I was trying to get pregnant, I became even more annoyed. You mean to tell me that the Universe has deemed this idiot worthy of procreation? You’ve got to be kidding me.
But as soon as the little bean was conceived, I had a hard time shutting my trap. I’m amazed with myself that I even made it over the 12 week mark. But after that point, I was guilty of posting the weekly “bump” pics. It was like some crazy compulsion took over and I wanted to shout from the rooftops “I’m not FAT, I’m pregnant!!!” Nursery photos soon followed. And I’m pretty sure the announcement of Charlie’s birth made it onto Facebook within just a couple of hours.
I’m not sure exactly when it became okay for me to start sharing about more intimate topics, like my bodily fluid, my anal ailments and the T.M.I. habits of my child (poop, pee, puke, etc.). Maybe it was around hour 32 of my labor after I had thrown up my life, stripped myself naked in front of a McSteamy male nurse because it was so.damn.hot., and officially threw all of my inhibitions out the window. Perhaps after labor I was never re-inhibited.
Whatever the happenstance, I now blame my parental over-sharing on two things. First, technology that makes it so easy. And second, my kid for being so damn cute.
I have had a camera phone since college, when the photos were only useful for viewing on your actual phone. Five phones later, not once had I filled one with photos. Until Charlie was born.
Every milestone, every smile, every fart – I swear I have a picture. I’ve had to clear my iPhone camera file out 6 times in so many months. And that thing holds a lot of photos and videos. But it’s just so easy – with the tap of a button, a memory is saved. If my kid wasn’t so damn cute, maybe I wouldn’t feel the compulsion to be so snap happy…but alas, he is my child and what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t think he was the cutest kid in the entire existence of humankind? Perhaps his cuteness clouds my judgement.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a history of over-sharing. Prior to kids, it was probably my wedding. Prior to my wedding, it was probably my dogs. Prior to my dogs, it was probably my bar-hopping, 20-something antics. And you know, at the time, it always seems like a good idea. As if everyone in your life can totally relate to this moment. Like drunk dialing an old boyfriend, you just have to word-vomit all over the place because you are certain it’s for the greater good.
One thing most women have in common is that, when we become mothers, we need reinforcements. We need someone to help guide us, support us, validate us… to tell us that we’re not totally screwing up our kids. I think, in part, that is why mothers over-share. We are looking for someone to say, “Hell no, girl, you ain’t crazy!”
Sometimes I say to myself, Michelle – do you really need to share this, the 1,000th photo of Charlie? 99% of the time, the answer is yes. Yes, because he is cute. Yes, because I will never get sick of people telling me he is cute. Yes, because I need someone to tell me that their kid once fell out of his swing and I’m not a horrible mother. Yes, because certainly someone else has seen a rash like this before. And, yes, because if you are one of the annoyed, you can easily block me from your newsfeed.
Just remember to unblock me when you get knocked up… you may find yourself in need of reinforcements. And we will gladly welcome you to the dark side, with open arms.