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YABOS, AIBU, SAHM, and Other Parenting Internet Slang Explained

Being a parent can be overwhelming, but when you need support, parenting message boards are just a click away. But what do all those acronyms you’re scrolling past mean? Read on to learn if YABOS about DH and confidently navigate your way through any online conversation about parenting.

An acronym is an abbreviation of a phrase using the first letter of each word. Strictly speaking, an acronym is a pronounceable word like ASAP (as soon as possible), but the term is also widely used when each letter is pronounced separately, such as DIY (do it yourself).

As texts, instant messages, online chats, and tweets become common ways of communicating, acronyms are cropping up so quickly that it can be hard to keep up.

Some acronyms, such as LOL (laugh out loud), are so common that they’ve been added to some dictionaries. BTW (by the way), IRL (in real life), TTYL (talk to you later), and BRB (be right back) are other frequently used internet acronyms.

Others are newer and might be harder to decode. You might know a stay-at-home mother is a SAHM, but translating AIBU to “Am I being unreasonable?” and YABOS to “You are being oversensitive” can be a lot trickier.

There’s no substitute for getting together with a good friend in person, but virtual pals are a lifeline when they can relate closely to what you’re experiencing. 

Parenting message boards began as a place to exchange information about raising kids, but they’re also an important social support tool, especially for new parents trying to get their bearings during a new phase of life.

Ask a question about colic or breastfeeding, and you’ll likely get all kinds of answers. If you’re feeling like a bad parent or worried your anxiety is a sign of postpartum depression, you may receive an outpouring of support. You can also connect easily with like-minded parents and find message boards devoted to certain faiths or parenting philosophies.

Many parents are active on forums daily. They may be seeking support as they’re adjusting to life as a stay-at-home parent, coping with postpartum symptoms, or wanting to feel less isolated.

The popularity of these websites has led to close-knit communities of parents who have developed an informal shorthand to communicate.

One of the most common acronyms on parenting forums is DH, which stands for “dear husband” or “darling husband.” This term keeps your family anonymous, and you don’t have to remember the name of everyone’s spouse.

The term DH may serve another purpose, according to research. Parenting forums are a chance for parents to ask questions and also to express frustration or anger. Using the word “dear” softens these emotions. You might sometimes want to complain about your partner or child, but you still love them.

If you’re ready to add some parenting internet slang to your posts, check out this handy guide to get you started.

Give some context to your post with a little bit of information about yourself.

  • FTM — First-time mother
  • SAHM — Stay-at-home mother
  • WAHM — Work-at-home mother
  • WOHM — Work-out-of-the-home mother
  • MoM — Mother of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.)

The most common topic of conversation on parenting websites is family. Whether you’re wondering how to deal with a partner, child, or in-law or want to vent because they’re driving you crazy, you can refer to your loving family as follows:

  • DH — Dear (or darling) husband
  • DW — Dear wife
  • DB — Dear baby
  • DC — Dear child
  • DD — Dear daughter
  • DS — Dear son
  • DSD — Dear stepdaughter
  • DSS — Dear stepson
  • LO — Little one
  • SO — Significant other
  • DF — Dear fiance
  • BF — Boyfriend
  • GF — Girlfriend
  • DXP — Dear ex-partner (if you’re on good terms)
  • MIL — Mother-in-law
  • FIL — Father-in-law
  • SIL — Sister-in-law
  • BIL — Brother-in-law

You can also mention your children’s ages by adding a number to the end of the appropriate acronym. DD4 is a four-year-old daughter, and DS2 is a two-year-old son.

One of the biggest concerns for exhausted parents is getting their baby to sleep through the night. Keep these acronyms on hand if you’re jumping into a discussion about sleep training. Hopefully, you can get your baby to STTN soon!

  • AP — Attachment parenting
  • CIO — Cry it out
  • CC — Controlled crying
  • PUPD — Pick up, put down
  • STTN — Sleep through the night
  • DFTN — Down for the night

Whether you’re formula feeding, breastfeeding, or ready to wean your baby, your online parenting community has plenty of advice to share. Use these abbreviations for a quick way to discuss feeding your little one:

  • BF — Breastfeeding
  • EBF — Exclusive breastfeeding
  • EBM — Expressed breast milk
  • EP — Exclusive pumping
  • BM — Breast milk
  • FF — Formula feeding
  • BLW — Baby-led weaning
  • TW — Traditional weaning
  • NIP — Nursing in public
  • LC — Lactation consultant

Here’s a tip: If you’re breastfeeding while you’re typing on your phone, add NAK to your post. Nursing at the keyboard means your comment is short because you’re busy feeding your baby, not because you’re upset or angry.

Couples trying to get pregnant have their own unique shorthand.

  • TTC — Trying to conceive
  • IVF — In vitro fertilization
  • BC — Birth control
  • NFP — Natural family planning (rhythm method)
  • NTNP — Not trying, not preventing
  • BFP — Big fat positive (pregnancy test result)
  • BFN — Big fat negative (pregnancy test result)
  • BBT — Basal body temperature
  • BD — Baby dance (sex to conceive)
  • AF — Aunt Flo (menstruation)
  • O — Ovulation
  • DPO — Days past ovulation
  • HPT — Home pregnancy test
  • POAS — Pee on a stick (home pregnancy test)

There are so many questions that can arise when you’re expecting a baby for the first time. You can ask about morning sickness, buying a crib, childbirth, and more. Here are some acronyms you may run across:

  • PG — Pregnant
  • EDD — Estimated due date
  • US — Ultrasound
  • MS — Morning sickness
  • PP — Postpartum
  • MC — Miscarriage
  • SB — Stillbirth

Parenting internet slang may seem like a foreign language at first, but before long, you’ll be effortlessly tapping out AIBU, YABOS, and maybe even YOLO (you only live once) to your new online community of friends, IMHO (in my humble opinion).

https://abbreviations.yourdictionary.com/articles/common-accronyms.html

https://yardi.people.si.umich.edu/pubs/Schoenebeck_YouBeMom13.pdf

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-9566.2005.00464.x

https://jezebel.com/an-overwhelming-glossary-of-mommy-message-board-lingo-5897896

https://sanfrancisco.momcollective.com/mom-life/your-guide-to-online-mommy-group-lingo-and-abbreviations/