Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Facebook and parenting post-IF

When I was going through treatments and losses, I hated, hated, hated anything on Facebook about other people's kids and pregnancies. It started off with not liking sonograph photos. On very bad days, I didn't want a reminder that anyone, anywhere, could do what I couldn't do and reproduce. Which was a bit extreme, and I realised it myself.

But I promised myself that, if I ever got to the other side, I'd never be one of those awful Facebook baby bores.You know the kind of which I speak.

I've tried to stick to this. Obviously I post some stuff about the Boy, as it would be a bit odd otherwise! But I try not to post about him all the time, although it is tempting. It's also temping to post every single photo we've taken of him online, to show off. However, that's a road I don't want to go down for several reasons - so we're sticking to showing them to Granny and Grandpa.

 Other rules I think are sensible are:

First and foremost, and more seriously than the rest, do not be offended if anyone going through infertility and losses doesn't comment on your pregnancy or baby-related Facebook photos or comments. Definitely, defintely don't use Facebook to try and show them how cute your baby is and provoke a response. The reaction you're looking for is unlikely to be the one you'll get.

No poo. My Facebook buddies don't need to know about the colour and consistency of my baby's poo. The audience this sort of information should be shared with is very limited. And definitely no pictures of poo. It's gross, and would you be happy if all your mother's friends had seen pictures of your dumps? No.

No photos in bed or scantily clad with your baby - anything that's an attempt at an 'intimate' shot. If you were a tall, muscular, tanned, beautiful thing, then you just might get away with an Athena Man/Woman type pose. But let's face it, you're not. So don't try, unless you want all your friends to snigger at you from behind their monitors.

No excess sentimentality. Ok, you might get away with being gushing once or twice. But any more than that and it gets a bit embarrassing. This rule is also good for spouses and pets (actually, all of these are good for spouses and pets, it's just that you're unlikely to post pictures of your dog's or husband's faeces online).

No feeding photos. If you're breastfeeding, it looks like you're making some sort of enormously self-important statement. If you're bottle feeding then it probably invites judgement, or is a bit dull, really. And besides which, very few people, babies included, look cute with their mouths full.

No stupid chain statuses. You know, the "I clean up vom and poo and work 24 hours and never get any time off, because I am a MOMMEEE!" I mean, I know parents put in a lot of work to their kids, and those 3am wakeup calls (or, particularly, the 5am wakeup call that follows) can be hard going. But is a tacky cut'n'paste status  to (apparently) let everyone know you're a smug martyr really the best way of dealing with the long, lonely nights?

So, those are my Facebook rules. Does anyone else have any?


  1. I love your rules. I stick to all of them (pretty easy because I have no baby and now no pets either). I especially like the "no chain statuses" (you know, "post this if you're against child abuse" - but aren't we all?) and "no excess sentimentality." In fact, DH hardly makes an appearance on FB.

    I have FB rules too: when I post photos of my adorable niece, I only do so for close family, and restrict access to everyone else.

    I don't post political comments - I have friends and relatives of all different political persuasions, and I'm not going to get into debates online. I'm happy to read them on other's pages though.

    Try not to brag too much when I'm on holiday. (I tend to break that one a bit).

    I know you read the same blog I do that campaigns against photos of poo, so I applaud you! (I love that site - I mentioned it once on LWB when I just started blogging and reading, and someone responded "that's a hate site!" So I shut up. But I still love that site.)

  2. Love the rules you posted. I'll have to remember those someday when I hopefully have a use for them myself.