Dear Non-Parent Facebook Friends
I know some of you roll your eyes when I post a photo of my kids. How do I know? Well, because I used to be you. I enjoyed my child-free life. Like you, I often savoured a quiet dinner out and I would occasionally even share photos of my food. I delighted in taking my dog along hiking trails and would sometimes share an action shot of her on Facebook. Back then I had a lot more spare time for everything – my wife, my friends, my hobbies, myself and even social media.
I’ll admit it: back then, when my Facebook feed was filled with the offspring of friends, I thought to myself, “Ok ok, I get it, you have kids!”
Then I became a parent.
Yes, we parents post photos of our kids because they’re cute, because we love them and because we’re proud of them. But please, keep in mind that parenting is effing hard. In the first few years, not only are we still mourning the loss of our child-free life, we’re also novices during this challenging period. As a result, we haven’t had much time for friendships. We’re sorry, believe us. We’re not happy about this situation either.
Every time you see a photo of my kid you can bet there’s at least twice as many memorable moments not captured on camera. These moments may include one or more of the following: screaming, tears, tantrums, disgusting diaper changes, nightmare car rides, disastrous dinners and sleepless nights. As a courtesy, we don’t subject you to these unpleasant moments.
And if you eye-roll as the photos from a stay-at-home parent scroll through your feed, here’s something to consider: being the house spouse can be isolating and lonely. That photo could serve as a reminder for you to reach out to said parent, ask how things are going and maybe even offer to get together. Even if all you do is click “like,” it can help a mom or dad feel connected. Kinda silly, I know, but it’s true.
Parents cherish certain memories because they help us make sense of the madness. They remind us it’s all worth it and they give us the energy to drudge through it.
So let’s all just appreciate each other’s happy moments, ok? Whether I post pics of my tiny humans. Or you share photos of your sleeping cat or your beer.
The next time you’re sitting on a patio and share a photo of your beer – you know, the one that’s perfectly poured, with just-the-right-amount of head, and the pint glass glistening with condensation reflecting off the glorious sun? And in that blissful moment when you consume this delicious beverage, knowing you can sleep-in the next day if you stay out too late and/or have one too many… remember, I have your back. I will give your photo my seal of approval in the form of a like.
But I gotta admit, I will probably think to myself, “Ok ok, I get it, you DON’T have kids!”