In light of some recent negativity towards mums who share their lives online, I’ve often wondered if, back in the day, parents were punished so harshly for their parenting choices. I ponder if they were they dragged out into the street, and publicly thrashed, or stoned, like the people who’d stolen bread and stuff.
Perhaps Mary was so proud of her family portrait, and how gorgeous her unsmiling children looked in it, that she pissed everyone off by getting them to admire it when they visited. Did her guests gather together and put anonymous calligraphy notes through her door, telling her she was up her own arse for wanting to share her family with the masses?
I bet Margaret let herself down by treating her colicky baby with what sounds like an awesome concoction of opiates and alcohol, and was the first in line for a thrashing when she wrote to the local paper to share her amazing cure. I suspect that neither were thrashed or stoned, I suspect the worst that happened was that Mary’s pissed off visitors smiled and nodded politely, and Margaret’s mates all came around to learn of this miracle cure-Drs encouraged it, and everyone thought it was fandabbydosy. It proves that everyone parented however the feck they wanted, and nobody batted an eyelid.
Opiates and alcohol for colic, anyone?
Fast forward to today, and times have changed. It seems that a lot of people would like to stone you and thrash you for the way you parent, but because they can’t (outlawed and all that y’all,) then you have to find a way to show your immediate disdain of how dreadful you perceive other parents to be. You need to cloak up (basically just hide behind your computer screen-it makes a great mask,) get crappy internet user name ‘PerfectParent666’ and virtually bash your targets through the screen.
There’s an extremist branch, who have blown out the cloak and dagger approach, using their own actual names-this sect is mainly made up of Daily Fail journalists. Both sects love that the online nature of their virtual stoning will give them an incredible freedom to say all the things they’d never be able to say to somebody’s face. Anybody can do it, all you have to be is a Twazok With an Ability To Type-I’m sure you’ll agree that they’ll thank me for the useful acronym I just created for them.
Let’s hide behind these, and virtually bash as many people as we can!
They don’t like parents who share useful ideas for crafts and fun activities, online. And don’t you dare stand against a wall looking amazing in an achingly cool outfit, because that is not allowed. You will be referred to as ‘smug.’ Now, I’ve checked, and the dictionary definition of smug is ‘having or showing excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements.’ Looking ace in a fab outfit and sharing an idea you found that may help someone entertain their children for more than 3 nanoseconds doesn’t quite seem to fit, but is still seen as insufferable to these Keyboard Warrior TWATTs.
Similarly, they will fall off their chairs in sheer convulsions of pure rage, should any parent admit to daytime drinking, wanting time away from their children, or finding motherhood hard or just a bit shit. They will take pleasure in tearing further strips from a woman who has had the courage to admit they just can’t find perfection in every second, and will enjoy leeching any remaining confidence from them, swooping like virtual vultures to peck away at any remaining unexposed vulnerability.
Don’t you dare enjoy sharing pictures of yourself looking lovely…
Now, I’d like to know what these people would think of me. On one hand, I devour pictures of beautiful mums, with their gorgeous offspring-my Instagram is full of them. I admire them, and although I’d never squeeze my crepy tummy and cellulitic ass into a denim jumpsuit, I’d like to celebrate with them that they can look so awesome, not put them down because I can’t. I also have a whole cupboard dedicated to crafts. It’s just a shame my children fecking hate crafts, and would rather be rolling around in mud and kicking the shit out of each other.
Please don’t admit it’s not all perfect…
On the other hand, I’ve also had a drink before the children have gone to bed-anything to stop me clawing at my own face like a meth addled zombie. I’ve also sometimes felt that I don’t like being a mum, and I’ve inadvertently messed up the job. So where does that leave me? Will the TWATTS vilify me for sitting on the fence? Does that make me the crappiest of all crappy parents because I can’t even commit to one single parenting cause to be knocked down for? Or does it make me a legend, a superhero parent hybrid cross between a Mister Maker, and Lindsay Lohan-canonised as a parenting style to aspire to, as it covers all bases, and shows super powers for not fully being sucked into any parenting style wholeheartedly.
The answer is, I don’t actually care. I don’t care what an online TWATT has to say about my parenting, and don’t want them to gnaw anything more from my psyche than they can, with their ill informed, jealousy based comments and opinions. I will continue to admire my favourite Instagram families, and leave comments that build them up, to make up for those bashing them down. I’ll continue to collect craft tutorials, until the day my children give in and indulge me. I will daytime drink if I want to (not till I’m passed out obvs-looking after them hungover is not fun.) I will laugh about my parenting fails, and learn from my mistakes.
We are not perfect, and the least perfect of all are those who will hurt people at their most vulnerable, and who can’t find it in themselves to be happy for somebody who is successful, or find a word of sympathy for someone who is struggling. Look at Mary and Margaret and the Victorians-they drank Guinness while pregnant, made their 2 year olds fend for themselves, and swapped tips on drugging their children-and nobody gave a shit.
I’m going to be more Mary and Margaret-I’m going to give less of a damn. I won’t let the words of others invalidate my feelings, or and knock me down. That’s the best reaction for the TWATTS, and with any luck, will make them self combust from their own anger.
*This post luckily hasn’t stemmed from personal experience, but is for all who have been on the receiving end of this.