Scrolling Facebook the other day, I saw a photo of a girlfriend’s baby.
Sonia* had posted a photo of her son, Jamie*, sharing the news that he is now three months old. The photo was taken from above, with Jamie stretched out on the floor smiling. He was in blue overalls and a tiny red shirt. He’s an undeniably cute baby boy.
However, I was perplexed by the mini-blackboard laid down beside him. With gorgeous penmanship, in stark white chalk, she had written:
Jamie at three months:
- Sleeps through the night
- Can grab toys with hands
- Rolls over
That’s right. SHE LISTED HER THREE MONTH OLD’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Knowing full well that babies don’t use Facebook, this image was carefully orchestrated for Sonia’s online followers. Mostly, I assume, other mothers.
She had over 100 likes. I call these ‘Imaginary Social Dollars’. They’re worth nothing, yet they make you feel like the richest mum in the kinder-gym. (How else will we know we’re doing a good job?)
Sonia’s post was followed by comments like, “Wow, he’s such a good boy!”, “Genius!” and “You must be so proud!”
I couldn’t help but scoff. The post’s clear intention was getting ‘likes’. It’s not like anyone was going to comment, “Duh, he’s a baby!” or dare share that their own child was sleeping through the night at two months old.
Don’t get me wrong – I love Sonia. But in this moment, I felt bad for her. The Sonia from a few years ago would have been embarrassed to post such arbitrary facts about her baby. What is this, his quarterly review?