Social media is a hard enough world to navigate at the best of times, but when you become a parent it’s even easier to get it hopelessly wrong.
Whether you’re a fan of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, it’s your link to the outside world when more often than not you’re stuck at home watching box sets and hitting the wine after another day of prising apart warring siblings.
But if you’re struggling with sleep deprivation or you’ve forgotten how to talk to adults, there’s every chance you’ll make a show of yourself as soon as you log onto your account.
Here’s my guide to not oversharing, and remembering that your kids are not quite as interesting to other people as they are to you.
Posts I do not want to see from parents on social media
- Referring to yourself as Mummy or Daddy
Because we all know that people who talk about themselves in the third person are people to be avoided. And this doesn’t change when you become a parent. Right?
- In-depth detail of your kid’s illness.
I’m sorry your kid is projectile vomiting, or has some gross fungal infection. But could you possibly talk to your doctor about it instead of grossing the rest of us out when we’re trying to eat our lunch? Thankssomuch.
- Your kid singing
Or dancing. Or scraping a bow across a violin. Kids doing stuff badly is only cute if you are a blood relative. Sorry.
- Wistful Throwback Thursday pictures
Yes, we remember when you were the life and soul of the party and you could neck a pint of cider in 19 seconds. We know you drop off in front of the telly at 9 o’clock these days and you haven’t worn a lacy push-up bra for years.
It’s okay – we still love you. You don’t have to remind us you were once hot with pictures of you in an LBD captioned, ‘One day we’ll have nights out again’.
- Moaning about clocks going forward, or backwards
Once a year, we lose an hour in bed, and once a year we gain an hour in bed. Kids do not understand this, and why should they? I barely understand it.
What I do not want is to wake up on the first day of spring and see a string of moany posts from parents about how their kids’ body clock is out of sync. It happens twice a year, guys. That’s twice a year I have to wade through this tedious stuff. Enough!
- Timehop and Facebook memories of your kid
Especially if they are hashtagged #timeflies. I already saw the picture last year. Your kid’s a bit bigger now because that’s what happens. Zzz. Stop it.
- Your kid at a zoo
Or worse, swimming with dolphins. Because animals in captivity are not cool, and the tide is turning. By the time your kid is 18, they will be absolutely aghast that you ever took them to such a horrible place. Get a David Attenborough DVD instead.
Posts I do want to see from parents on social media
- Your kid in fancy dress
Whether it be World Book Day, a friend’s party, or the school play, it’s never not funny to see your darling hearts dressed as Ozzy Osbourne / the Virgin Mary / Donald Trump.
So knock yourself out.
- Your kid doing something cute with a puppy or a kitten
Because that’s what the internet is for, right?
- Messages from your kids.
Whether it’s a text or a handwritten note, there’s great comedy potential here. Did your son leave a misspelled letter to apologise for hacking into your Amazon account and ordering World War Z?
Did your daughter text you to say it is SO UNFAIR that you won’t let her go to her friend Jasmine’s house after school?
Feel free to share.
- You admitting you did a parenting thing badly
Because parenting is not a competition, and there can’t be anything worse than thinking everybody else is doing it better than you.