Rise of ‘sharenting’

Raging Bull

She knows nothing about Winnie-the-Pooh but she can tell you all about Netflix.

There’s a name for people like me, apparently. I am a ‘sharent’, a mom who blogs. I don’t know how many people would go around bragging that they’re sharents. I certainly wouldn’t go around telling my other mommy friends in the park that I have a new occupation called ‘sharenting’. It sounds suspiciously like something you should be ashamed of.

But the media/journalists love to put thing into neat little categories, so I have found myself suddenly acquiring this new identity. Mostly parents in their thirties and forties, sharents like to share random thoughts with strangers, often involving their unsuspecting children.

I suppose this is partly true of me. But I hope I don’t bore people with every single detail of my children’s life. Did I tell you about the time the Raging Bull finally put together a 45-piece Charlie and Lola puzzle almost by herself without throwing a tantrum? Or the time she made up an imaginary friend and ruthlessly killed ‘Sophie’ off the next day with a ballet slipper? No? Well, good. I don’t expect people to read about every single mommy milestone.

There has to be a limit to what people are willing to share. Should we be interested in what a baby had for breakfast, even if the subject is handled by the wittiest of writers? I definitely believe there should be a limit to what people post on Facebook, but common sense doesn’t seem compatible with social media. Or maybe a lot of people just start posting stuff when they’re drunk.

Well, in the interest of sharenting, and because I haven’t posted anything for a week, here’s the latest episode in my thrilling mommy life. Call it ‘Trials by Television’. In the last week we have lost the children’s best friend, the television.

The reason for the television’s absence in our life (it just refuses to work) is explained by some scaffolding that appeared overnight all over the house that we rent. No one warned us of this; why would they? So I discover, to my great alarm and increasing panic, that the television has no satellite signal because the dish is being blocked by a bunch of metal poles.

Let me just backtrack a little and tell you how the television has fitted into my life. Let’s see, it makes my weekend mornings infinitely more bearable because it can keep the kids entertained for up to two hours. It’s the ultimate pacifier, I’ve come to learn. If nothing else works and the kids are on the verge of scratching their eyes out or each other’s, turn the TV on and it’s like they’ve undergone hypnosis. No amount of cutting, cardboard or even scissors will have the same effect for as long.

I could pretend otherwise, but the TV has saved my sanity and probably kept me from going to a therapist. I know I have come to rely on it slightly too much, but when you get home from work and you stare into the black pit that is the refrigerator, the television will keep the kids mercifully tranquilized until you can figure out what to put on the table.

So imagine my shock when I discover that the cartoons will not be working for an indefinite period of time. Luckily, we have not lost broadband or the DVD player, which is now about 10 years old but still works.

I break the news about the television to the children on the bus on the way back from school. They take a bit of time to process the information and deal with it remarkably well.

The Raging Bull, in fact, shows signs of advanced reasoning when she says very calmly: ‘That’s okay, Mommy, because we can just watch Netflix on the computer.’

Out of the mouth of babes.

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Filed under Media, motherhood

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