Today is my son’s due date.

But he won’t be arriving.

Because his heart stopped beating at 25 weeks and he was stillborn last July.

So today, instead of posting about the excitement of his pending arrival, I need to talk about something that’s been on my heart for over a year. You see, my son’s stillbirth wasn’t my first pregnancy experience. But I’m still sitting in a house with no children. I’ve done the miscarriage journey. And now I’m on the stillbirth journey. Hopefully, one day I’ll be on the newborn journey. And then the toddler journey.

The miscarriage and stillbirth journeys have turned social media into a minefield. Pregnancy announcements. Birth announcements. And…complaints about kids and motherhood.

To All the Mamas on Social Media

We all know that motherhood is hard. There are brutal days. Kids can be jerks. Life with kids is loud and messy and exhausting and can feel like you have no time for yourself.

We know.

And we all know that everybody needs to vent sometimes. We all have moments when we need to just complain, spew about how this or that sucks and get it out of our system.

We know.

But, can I ask that you don’t vent about your kids on Facebook?

I know that you’re trying to be real and authentic and show what life is really like. I know that you’re reaching out for support, a kind word, an “I’ve been there, mama” or a “you’re doing great, mama”.

But when you complain about how your kid kept you up all night, or how your house is a mess again because your toddler decided to “help” and poured an entire box of cheerios all over your kitchen floor five minutes after you finally finished sweeping up the last week’s worth of dog hair and that you’re just done and would someone please just come take your kids… it really hurts.

Because those of us who can’t seem to get pregnant or can’t seem to stay pregnant would do anything to be in that position, to have that problem instead of the one that we do have — empty arms.

So, before you post about it on social media, can you do us pregnancy loss and fertility issue mamas a favour? Can you text, call or private message a fellow mama who has kids instead? When you need to vent, can you do it privately with a mama you know will get it and who will be able to give you some words of encouragement? Will you save us the tears of seeing you complaining about something that we thought we’d have and had ripped away from us?

Pregnancy loss is more common than people think. 

You might not know it, but it’s likely that at least one if not a handful of your Facebook friends are in this boat with me. They love seeing photos and videos of your kids and getting updates on your life. Your kids are adorable and bring so much joy.

But when you vent and complain about how hard being a mom is or how frustrating your kids are, it’s like a punch in the gut. One in four women has experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. Chances are, there’s a few on your timeline that have to quickly scroll past those venting posts to avoid the tears starting.

I don’t, in any way, want to tell you that you shouldn’t be feeling the frustration that comes along with motherhood. It’s real. It’s your life. It’s your emotions. It’s hard. But what I am asking, is that you choose where and how to share that frustration. Your pain and frustration and exhaustion are real. You have every right to talk about them and to ask for help and support.

Please spare a moment to realize that while those difficulties of motherhood are real and valid, there are a lot of us who would do anything to be experiencing them and seeing people complain about them reminds us once again of our struggle and our loss. And it hurts. A lot.

For the sake of pregnancy loss mamas, Please Stop Complaining About Your Kids on Social Media on trishajennreads

  1. This is beautiful Trisha, and so so relevant. I’m friends with a few mamas that are guilty of that, but I’ve never paused to think about effects on someone who wants to be a mom and isn’t yet. Personally, I’m not one to share the negative online (my Facebook posts are pretty much just the random stuff that comes out of Marko’s mouth) but I will think twice about what I post from now on. I love your honesty — and I’m sending you big hugs on your son’s due date 💕💕💕💕

    • Thanks Melissa. I appreciate your comment so much. I’m a little nervous about sharing this post. I don’t want to make people upset or feel like they can’t share their reality. But I believe it’s always important for us to consider how our actions may affect those around us. 💗

  2. Hearts to you, Trisha, and your husband. I hope you are marking this day with a ceremony. Rituals ground us in the spiritual, where your son is waiting for you. Have you thought about how all your children will make your life in heaven the complete opposite of what you are experiencing on earth? This definitely helps me.
    I look forward to the ‘do this’ posts you are going to write. And I completely agree with you ‘don’t’ posts. We should not vent on social media. People have knee jerked into it, and voyeurism has fed that beast. I hope that the platform will develop over time into something that displays the honour and dignity of humans, not the detritus.

  3. So sad to hear this. This (well, not this in particular, but the nature of such things) is why I stay off of personal social media (with the exception of bookish social media). This is just one facet of how you can go on social media and completely ruin your day. It stays true on a lot of other issues as well. I really don’t think most social media is making the world a better place :/ (again! Bookish social media though 😉 )
    Again, really sad that you had to go through this and I hope one day it will all be just a dark cloud in the past. Will share your post, and thank you for speaking up about this. A lot of those people probably just wouldn’t think about it, when posting. I bet we do a lot of similar things in other areas too. I sometimes worry about complaining even about the bookish stuff – what if I complain I have “too big a TBR” and someone who has no money to buy a book they want will read it? That will also hurt them, most likely. Not comparable to the issue you talked about, of course, but the principle is the same. Social media can hurt.

    • It’s a sad truth of social media and I find it a hard balance. I live far away from some of my family and many of my friends from childhood and University so it’s the easiest way to stay in touch with each other and yet…this. I agree with you that we often forget about the other people on social and I think it’s important for us to consider how what we say there or anywhere might affect those around us.

  4. Thank you for this. As an older woman trying to get pregnant and failing every month you’ve summed up my thoughts. I love my friends but the ones who complain constantly about motherhood make me feel the way you so eloquently wrote. They have no idea how much they are hurting me because I haven’t told them. Thank you for being brave and writing this.

    • Thank you for commenting, Jenn. I’m so glad my words are doing some good. So many of our friends don’t realize that getting pregnant and staying pregnant is incredibly difficult for some. I’m sorry you’re struggling with this too, but I will continue to hope for both of us. ♥️

  5. As a mother who previously suffered from pregnancy loss multiple times, I’m so sick of articles like this. It’s absolutely ridiculous. You can still mourn your loss while an exhausted or frustrated mom shares her authentic experience. It’s not one or the other. Loss hurts AND having kids is hard. We don’t have to silence one for the other. Loss sucks and it hurts and I’m sorry you have had to go through that, but that doesn’t mean that mothers with children owe you anything or should have to walk on eggshells when sharing their experience.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. This post isn’t meant to tell people to stop sharing their authentic experience, but rather to consider the words they use to do that and the impact of those words on the people they love: their friends and their kids.

      There’s a difference between

      “Parenthood sucks. I can’t stand my kids right now; someone come take them before I strangle one of them.”
      “Oof, I’m exhausted. My kids have too much energy for me today. Anybody want to tap in so I can take a breather?”

      Social media is a social activity. I see posting something publically about how much you can’t stand your kids as equivalent to walking up to your friend who just had a stillbirth and saying that to her face. Or saying that to right to your kids. How would that make either of them feel? And yes, kids might very well see what their parents write on social media.

      All I’m asking is that people be kind to one another. And that means considering what we say and who we say it too. Private messages and groups exist for those thoughts that we need to share or vent about but that don’t need to be shared with everyone.

      I wrote this post to help people consider their words and how those words impact the people they love. Again, it’s all about kindness to our friends and to our kids.

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