I recently came across this blog (article, facebook status?) of a person ranting that people share too much on social media. I thought I might agree with them, until I realized a lot of their rants were against parents. Clearly, this person had no children because part of it was “Why do you need to tell me that so and so pooped in the potty today? Like I needed to know?!?! Keep that sh*t private!” While I can appreciate the clever double meaning in that sentence, I thought to myself, why not just close the status, or better yet, take anyone with children off of your friends page? Because honestly, unless the parent is going into too much detail about the actual poop in the toilet, I don’t see what is so offensive about it.
What I realized is that people without children may not understand the small victories that parents feel a sense of pride in. The fact that this is the first time your child used the toilet by themselves means you are getting closer to not spending 700+ dollars a year on diapers. When they sleep through the night by themselves means you might be closer to not looking and sounding like a zombie in the morning. The first time that they start using words, it means you don’t have to play the 21 guesses and three tantrums later to figuring out what your child is asking for.
Little victories with children seem to be so similar across all diversities. If it’s that your child sat mostly quiet through a meal at a restaurant means you may be able to go out to eat just a little more often. This is one of the rants that irks me the most. I know no one wants to sit and listen to a screaming child in a store, restaurant, or plane and believe me, it’s not just the people who are sitting around the child that don’t want that. For many parents, there is the sheer terror and embarrassment that sets in when a child picks the most inopportune time to pitch a massive fit. (And this fit, believe me, can come even after the child is fed, diapered, napped and feeling well. They are like an earthquake; they can strike without warning and can be as terrifying.) In general, I will pick my child up with a firm warning (hoping this will be the end of it) but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it take me standing outside of my car with my child pitching a fit inside. (Granted, I’ll admit that there are some parents out there who believe that if they have to listen to it, then so should everyone else, but I think those parents are more rare.) I think all most parents are asking for is a little bit of understanding. Believe me, we didn’t want our child to throw a fit and embarrass us. Parents, just as much as anyone else, do deserve to have a night out, and they should be able to do it with their children and not have snide comments about a babysitter. (Do you know how much it costs these days for a babysitter?!?) All we are looking for is a little sympathy because it really wasn’t our intent to have any one’s night ruined. But, I’ll get off my soap box now on that.
Some victories are even smaller than what most people would notice. The first time your two year old says, without prompting, that he loves you so much. The first time he eats the green bean (just one out of the 10 you have given him) means perhaps he’s learning to like new things. Or the first time he asks to go to the farmers market and yells “Ta-da!” when it’s open means you probably didn’t take him for too many fast food meals.
The point is, most parents post on their social media sites, moments that they are proud of. Sure, to a person without kids, these pictures may not be as exciting as tweeting their dinner… but other parents usually understand and can relate, and really, that’s all we want. And hey, we might even post a picture of the last meal we ate or participated in.. but it’ll probably look like this..