Three months ago an acquaintance of mine had a child. I know this because the employment section of her Facebook changed from ‘miscellaneous job in retail’ to ‘Full Time Mummy’. The update of her place of work served as the announcement of her newborn child’s first breath – think about that for a moment. It’s either a heartwarming moment in a family’s life, or a harrowing reminder of how intertwined our lives have become with social media.
With the new-found knowledge that little Jimmy was fresh out of the oven, I ‘liked’ the updated job status and commenced my involvement in some random kid’s life. Over the coming months, I saw photos of him smiling and crying. I also got to know the mother a little better. I quickly realised she had become remarkably more vocal since squeezing an overripe fetus out from between her pelvis. Each day she was liking ‘mummy support groups’ (hoards of women who are equally sensitive about anything that might encroach on their rights as mothers) and updating her status asking for ‘quick pieces of advice’.
Asking Facebook users about best practice for raising a child isn’t a good idea, but I sympathised with Full Time Mummy. She’d gone from the ‘can-I-help-you-with-anything-or-are-you-just-browsing’ prestige of retail, to the arm-deep-in-vomit pit of raising a child (on Facebook). I wanted to reach out and help, but I didn’t know how, and Kevin from Jimboomba and Tally from Dysart were doing a pretty good job coaching her on keeping little Jimmy breathing.
Though eventually my relationship with Full Time Mummy grew distant. More and more often I would see her writing in capital letters on pages who didn’t offer booster seats, or digitally shouting expletive-laden rants about ‘insensitive dickheads’ who aren’t affectionate to little Jimmy screaming like a wounded banshee. Full Time Mummy was sour, and all the peer-sourced baby info in the world couldn’t heal her wounds.
One particular morning, Full Time Mummy wrote a 1000 word rant on the wall of a company who specialised in baby products. It was a novel, and it was also a turning point. Full Time Mummy is not good – Full Time Mummy is bad. Little Jimmy is being raised by a woman who spends half her life caring for him, and the other half acting as some kind of DIY martyr, filling time by writing angry messages on the Facebook walls of cafe’s who get ‘outed’ by Today Tonight for being unsympathetic to crying children.
So I’ve broken off my relationship with Full Time Mummy. She’s using a biological status to feed her superiority complex, and if she hadn’t used little Jimmy as leverage in her new place of employment, she’d probably have less of a vendetta against everyone who isn’t her.