If You Say You've Never Flipped Off Your Baby, You're Lying

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 

There’s a mom posting selfies where she cradles her sleeping baby girl —while flipping her off. Of course, the internet isn’t entirely pleased. If you have children and haven’t become so frustrated that you’ve flipped them off or shouted into a pillow at some point in their first year of life, I will never believe you. Babies are the most wonderful thing in the world but are also incredibly frustrating. It’s understandable that a parent would feel that kind of irritation and no one should be condemning her for sharing it.

Slate columnist Rebecca Schuman has a 7-month old daughter who, like many babies her age, isn’t the best sleeper in the world. Rebecca says her daughter is “a grade-A pain in my ass” about going to sleep: “Sometimes, it takes longer to put the little tyrant to sleep than she’ll deign to remain asleep. It is on those days that I celebrate her hard-won unconsciousness by taking a nice little selfie in which she’s conked out, and I’m flipping her the bird.” Rebecca then uploads the images to her website to share with others.

Of course, plenty of internet commenters have something to say about it:

“You flip off your baby, and can still call yourself a functioning adult? Really? What is your daughter going to think when she’s old enough to see those pictures? You need a serious reset, because she absorbs the negative vibes, just as she does the positive.”

“You stupid f*@king bitch. I feel sorry for that little one over whom you wield such power. You are a pathetic narcissist, and I do not doubt that you will do great damage to the poor child’s sense of self.”

“Mailgnant [sic] narcissism aside…oh wait, there’s nothing else in the article.”

“You might need to re-think your coping skills because you’re really going to need them. Keep it classy lady. I mean really, how does it benefit you or anyone out there to show pictures of you doing this? If it doesn’t benefit anyone involved then why?!!!! Like I said, keep it classy I’m sure you make your mother very proud.”

Well, that escalated quickly. Some people feel the need to remind the world they are far better parents than the rest of us because they would never do that to their precious angel. Of course, they have to completely over-react to a stranger’s choice to do so in order to validate their own parenting. Wow. It must be nice to be perfect and have it all figured out! Please, tell us your ways, internet!

What this mother is doing is not only harmless, it’s hilarious. Not to mention, totally relatable to any parent without a stick up their rear. Even the most patient of us can become frustrated by an infant that won’t sleep. All of us have been there. Maybe we didn’t flip our babies off, but the feelings were there. I know my preferred method of blowing off steam when my babies refused to sleep was locking my bedroom door and shouting into a pillow. My son, the world’s worst sleeper, was none-the-wiser — but boy, did it make me feel better to have that release. Losing sleep makes a person feel crazy. If these fun selfies are giving this mom a laugh amid the demoralizing experience of having her life controlled in all ways by a non-sleeping, shrieking sack of flour, then everyone else needs to get over it.

Some question what “damage” Rebecca might be doing to her totally clueless infant by jokingly posting what she calls her “baby bird” selfies but honestly, damage? Is this real life? There is anyone who really thinks this is somehow hurting this baby? If she sees these photos one day, perhaps after having a baby of her own, she will more than likely find them hilarious. I know I would. Everyone needs to calm the hell down and if flipping off your baby isn’t your cup of tea, (again, I still say you’re lying,) then how about you just worry about yourself and leave this woman alone?

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