Twitter Users Meme On Foster Parent Complaining About The 'Emotional Labor' Involved In Parenting 18-year-old

April 19th, 2022 - 3:09 PM EDT by Adam Downer

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Heron g foster mom tweets.

Twitter's main character today is unquestionably Taylor Lorenz for her Libs Of TikTok exposé, but an amusing B-plot has developed around a foster mom who took to Twitter to vent her frustrations with fostering an 18-year-old boy.

hernong tweets

"Holy shit parenting an 18yo is terrifying and difficult. They can make decisions??? That are bad???? And I can only say "dude that is a VERY BAD decision"??" wrote @herong at the beginning of a thread that caught Twitter's attention. What started as a fairly innocuous complaint about parenting an 18-year-old soon veered towards cringe in the eyes of many Twitter users in a pair of tweets that read:

I also washed the 11yo's hair tonight. (We're doing the curly girl lifestyle!)
THE AMOUNT OF EMOTIONAL LABOR I'VE PERFORMED IN THE PAST TWO HOURS HOLY FUCK

And:

How do I tell the 18yo that using me as a therapist and a crisis counselor isn't healthy for either of us? He has no consistently supportive adult voices in his life except ours. But I'm conscious of the femme labor paradigm it's reinforcing that I'm the "parent" confidant.

emotional labor

The citation of "emotional labor" set off a wave of eye-rolls from Twitter users. "Emotional labor" was originally coined as a term to define how employees are expected to act a certain way in front of customers (e.g., acting "happy" for a customer even if you are not). Over time, the term has morphed into a sort of catchall for any unpleasant emotional experience. As Mel Magazine defined it in 2019:

On Twitter, where there isn’t so much concept creep as concept hyper-acceleration, the term now essentially means “women expending energy on some unpaid task.” Reminding your boyfriend what star sign you are? Emotional labor. Explaining your tweet to a Reply Guy? Emotional labor.

@herong's tweet comparing parenting to "emotional labor" was a straw that broke Twitter's collective back at the constant misuse of the term, and many vented their frustration at her thread.


The criticism soon evolved into memes, as Twitter users got creative parodying @herong's predicament, with one user reviving the Emotional Capacity copypasta in response.


Online, parenting is often the subject of some of Twitter's best riffs, and @herong's thread contributes to a long line of parental self-owns on the app. Gamely, she said she would take the L and mute the thread, but shortly after she tweeted that, her account went private.



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