STFU Parents Should Know When To STFU

The media image of today's parents is as demanding, overindulgent creatures convinced that what they're doing in raising children is a rare and delicate work of genius. There's a tiny nugget of truth in there, and the blog STFU Parents is there to dig it up, as they hilariously lampoon self-righteous parents who throw hissy fits at strangers not being sufficiently attentive to their child, or share with their Facebook audience their children's bowel movements. Sometimes parents can be irritating jerks, just like real people.

And sometimes blogs that poke fun at parents' foibles can be irritating jerks, too. Sometimes STFU Parents ventures so far into "gosh, parents are so awful" territory they become self righteous and irritating themselves. I'm still shaking my head at the post which made fun of the mother of a special needs child for taking pride in her son's achievements, but the latest sanctimonious missive on how parents should behave is the sharing of links suggesting rules for visiting parents with newborns. Not permitted, according to STFU Parents. "Please stop sending visitation rules memos. We’ve already gotten them". Really? Then why have I heard so many stories of people visiting newborns and their parents who wait to be waited on, who show up with colds and flus and weeping conjunctivitis, who stay for four hours and leave behind a pile of dirty dishes? And maybe it's just a little bit hard to mention that with someone directly; posting a list of suggestions for visitors on Facebook is a less confrontational way to say hey, we're trying to find our feet with a six day old in the house, don't expect fine dining and witty repartee.

It goes beyond that. STFU Parents takes umbrage at those who want to follow public health advice, mockingly posting an email from a parent who apologises for being pesky, but asks you not to visit the baby before it's had their first whooping cough vaccination, unless you've had yours. Oh my god, following public health advice to prevent a newborn catching a highly transmissible, potentially fatal disease! That is so inconsiderate of the rights of the childless to spread their germs where they please.

"No one cares about your baby as much as you do". That's definitely something parents should bear in mind when their kid is singing at the tops of their lungs on the train, or just did a massive dump Facebook apparently needs to read about. But it just seems cruel and petty to say that to a parent who's only just had a new baby. I can just imagine what the author of STFU Parents is like visiting friends with a newborn: paying 30 seconds of attention to the infant, then launching into a diatribe about how she can't stand the new guy at work and, when her frazzled friend battling to establish breastfeeding after three solid hours sleep in the last forty eight fails to respond attentively, making a passive aggressive excuse to leave and holding court to her friends at a bar that night on how people become, like, so self-involved and inconsiderate once they have kids.

Look, parents are not inherently superior people to non-parents, and raising children is not the hardest job in the world. It is different to not having kids though, and I don't see too much wrong with requesting people to keep pertussis away from an unvaccinated newborn or indirectly requesting guests to not arrive expecting a full meal and entertainment. Indignant self-righteousness goes both ways, and as ridiculous as it is to send visitors to purchase and assemble your furniture just because you've had a new baby, a little more understanding should go both ways as well.

Comments

  1. You're entitled to your opinion and are free to disagree with my website, but this post is not well-researched and is factually wrong. I am not a party girl. I do not complain about my friends with kids. I buy them gifts and help them out all the time, and I LOVE babies and children. The people I'm writing about on my site are parents like YOU, who make false assumptions -- especially un-researched ones. I would never post a submission that mocks a special needs child or his/her mom, and your lack of link suggests you don't know what you're talking about. You might want to do literally 30 seconds of digging before writing libelous posts that say that I do things I simply don't do and haven't done. http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/about http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/faqs

    -- Blair aka STFU, Parents

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've raised a number of points here which I will reply to in turn.

      First and most importantly, the post where you made fun of a parent for being proud of their special needs child. I spent about an hour going through your archives, and at the end wanted to stick pins in my eyeballs and still couldn't find it. IIRC the post was specifically about a child with a speech impediment performing in a school show. At the time I challenged you on it and you screamed blue murder, so I'm not surprised you don't remember.

      Secondly, about my post not being well researched. Your latest post which I have linked to makes fun of a parent for requesting visitors be vaccinated against pertussis. If you did a little research you'd realise that in light of current whooping cough epidemic caused by low vaccination rates, this is a reasonable request recommended by most health authorities. Babies too young to be vaccinated die from whooping cough. It's not just precious germ phobic parents requesting this.

      As for making assumptions, your site is full of "I can just imagine what X is like" type assumptions. In your latest post you refer to a parent whose firstborn got a cold from a visitor and wants to avoid the same thing happening with her new baby as a Member of the National Germs Conspiracy Coalition. Yep. No judgement there at all.

      FWIW, I did say I enjoyed your blog but sometimes you go too far. You seem to have missed this point. You know, maybe you are making fun of a SN parent without knowing, because they haven't mentioned it on FB (you being so against overshare). Maybe you link to someone who has PND, and seeing their well intentioned post on STFU parents tips them over the edge. Who knows? Yes some parents are ridiculous creatures convinced the world revolves around them. But by posting what you do, you take the risk of hurting people who really don't deserve it. I don't know. Maybe if you're going to run a blog devoted to making fun of people, it wouldn't hurt to grow a slightly thicker skin.

      Delete
    2. As I've now inserted in the text, I found the link where I believe you have made fun of an SN parent. Obviously you disagree. Now readers can make up their own minds.

      Delete
  2. Most of the posts you refer to aren't making fun of /what/ was said, but /how/ they said it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Once again spot on. And again this illustrates why I've avoided such click bait ad revenue raising mummy sites.
    No compassion and no broad understanding that some people parent differently due to circumstances or choice and that no one parenting style is better than another if the end result is a well adjusted kid who understands you don't make fun of people for being different.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those pesky rules and reminders are fine. They just don't belong on Facebook. Sorry, stfu parents is right. Get over it.

    ReplyDelete

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