I don’t know about you guys, but I read a lot — a lot!!! — of parenting stuff. (And hey — you’re reading this, so … hi!) This is in part because I’m a mom (duh) and thus I’m interested, and in part because my phone knows everything about me, down to the brand of diapers I buy, and it throws story after story about children and motherhood in front of my face every day. And I am a reader, so I read.
But I’ll be honest: The more I’ve read, the more selective I’ve had to get. For as many wonderful, thought-provoking, helpful and inspiring pieces there are out there about moms and raising kids, there are also vast swaths of parenting stories make me mental. What sorts of stories, you ask? Well, here’s a sampling of genres I simply cannot click on anymore, in the interest of preserving my own sanity:
Story genre 1: Please read about this very tragic — and also extremely rare and random — accident that happened to a child and then just let the already full Rolodex of worries in your head grow to include every seemingly harmless toy/piece of furniture in your home PLUS every seemingly normal activity involved in childhood. Everything is dangerous!
Story genre 2: The airline outrage of the day.
It’s getting to be like Mad Libs now, isn’t it? I don’t read these anymore because I don’t need to: the narrative is always the same. Some airline hostess/employee/passenger shames/yells at/kicks off a mom/child/family for breastfeeding/crying/carrying milk/bringing stroller and someone films it/writes a post/calls the news, and it goes viral, and then everybody rage posts for a week. Wash, rinse, repeat. (Sidebar: Get it together, airlines!)
Story genre 3: Celebrity mom is so cool and smart and awesome at parenting that she is #parentinggoals. (Yes, I’ve written about this particular pet peeve before!)
[Two exceptions to this: I will always read about the royals, because I would actually like parenting tips/secrets from them (those kids! So well-behaved!), and also, I will always read anything written by Chrissy Teigen, because she is funny.]
Story genre 4: Celebrity mom looking great in bikini three weeks after giving birth!
Story genre 5: Any horrific true-crime story involving children where the headline functions as click-bait.
People.com is especially fond of throwing up a headline about some depraved act of violence against a child right there between lighthearted stories about JLo and some woman from The Bachelor, and I find that treatment incredibly exploitative and gross. No, no, nope.
Story genre 6: Kardashian baby fashion.
Story genre 7: Dry drowning.
Weird that I’ve read more viral stories about “dry” drowning now than actual drowning. (This isn’t to say that I don’t still worry about it: I do! See #1’s Rolodex of worries.)
Story genre 8: Some moms are shaming some other moms about something. (And usually someone “claps back.”)
Yawn. It’s like Mean Girls, but boring. And yet these stories are incredibly pervasive, and usually contain A TON MORE MOM-SHAMING in the comments.
Story genre 9: “Innovative” gender-reveal parties.
Pink, blue or meh.
Story genre 10: Comments.
The comments on roughly 85 percent of parenting stories are like all of these story genres rolled into one, but with more spelling errors.