Dear first-time parents who use Facebook,
Kids are great. I remember being one, and it was an absolute laugh. Having kids, I'm sure, is also a uniquely challenging, fulfilling experience, and all that jazz. Bringing new life into the world. 'It's all ahead of me.' Yadda yadda yadda.
But for this very reason, I desperately, desperately don't want to know how you - or anybody at all - finds parenthood at this moment in time. I'm not 'in that place' yet. In fact, I have actively sought not to be in that place yet.
Be under no illusions that having a child makes you better or more mature than anybody else; it simply means you made a different decision to your friends, and you must now deal with the consequences.
I admire your courage, I love the baby, and your loyal group of Facebook friends is a tight-knit, supportive community. But Jesus Christ have mercy, there are only so many pictures and status updates we can take.
We are not 'in this together' by any means.
It was you who conceived your child. I didn't have so much as a hand to play in its creation. It will be you and, ideally, your significant other who raise the adorable little shit. My responsibility as a friend ends at providing the occasional ironic babygrow ('aww, she looks like a mini Heisenberg!') or a round of shots during your annual night away from the beautifully innocent, puking terror.
While the little one screams its lungs up at 4am I will be a) asleep, b) on my way home in a taxi enjoying what remains of my youth, or c) reading about how "She just doesn't want to settle down tonight - feeling exhausted :(" from the comfort of my bed. In any of these three cases, what do you want from me, or anybody else? You brought this upon yourself.
Which reminds me: Referring to your child only in pronoun form is one of the most obnoxious things a Facebook parent can do. Of course I know who 'she' is when you say, "She just doesn't want to settle down tonight - feeling exhausted :(". That's not the issue.
It's the very presumption on your behalf that everybody should know who you're talking about - that somehow your child, the apple of your eye, should also be an integral figure in the thought process of 768 people - that's the fucking problem here.
Which leads us to the pictures. For the love of all that's good and pure, the pictures.
I know what your child looks like. They looked the exact same yesterday when you thanked your work colleagues for 'just the cutest babygrow.' They looked incredibly similar, to me anyway, when they were photographed minding their own business, chewing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle this time last week.
Truth be told, if you were to take an Electron Tunnelling microscope from Cornell University - capable of dissecting the atom, the infinitesimally minute building blocks of life itself - you still wouldn't be able to locate my interest in at least 900 of the 927 pictures you've posted in the last 10 days or so. But you better believe I'll feel compelled to 'like' every single one of them so I don't look like a heartless bastard.
And look, above all else, we all love the kid; little Iseult knows no better than to try and eat peas with her nose, or fling her own shit at a box of Rusks.
But we don't need to know when she won't settle down, or how tough your life is. This intrinsic belief that we should all suffer vicariously through your responsibilities as a parent is badly misguided.
You did this. Not me.
If you need help - with literally anything - give one of us a call, and we'll be there in a heartbeat. That's what friends are for. But stop broadcasting your baby's carrot-ridden diarrhoea on Facebook just to remind everyone you're a parent.
Frankly, it's juvenile.
A 24-year-old non-parent 'who wouldn't understand'.