During a very animated conversation with friends the other day, where I was showing them some pictures on my phone, I caught my husband's eye over their bent heads. He was shaking his head vigorously and signalling for me to stop talking. I awkwardly tied up the loose ends of the conversation and wondered why I had to stop talking. On our way home, he told me we had officially become those parents. The kind that can't stop extolling the virtues of their kids. Whose every conversation revolves around what their children do and every story has an instance from their daily life. I shrugged and told him we hadn't crossed over that far yet.

A few days later a curious incident occurred. I was catching up with an old college roommate. As conversations between long lost friends go we spoke a little about everything and everybody, clutching at information we had heard and reaching far for new bits of gossip. We also caught up on each other's lives. I told her I was working from home now and, was at the moment, writing a column on parenting.

She laughed. Out loud. For a long time.

I waited for her to finish and slightly miffed, wondered what was so hilarious. She was curious about how I could write a column on parenting, given that I have but one child. What made me an expert on the subject?

She is right. But also wrong. I write about parenting, not in general, but about parenting my child and my dog. I share my experiences week after glorious week on a very public platform not because I have cracked the code on bringing up children but because I seek desperately for validation from fellow parents.

Parents anonymous

As cliques go, we parents are a class apart. As soon as you have a baby you are automatically enrolled into the group. If you wish to seek them out, they are everywhere. Parking lots, hospitals, malls, restaurants. When you walk into a grocery store with a hyperactive baby in your shopping cart, you get a smile, an all knowing nod from fellow parents. They will move, make way for you to shop and even entertain your child while you reach for that cereal box from the top shelf. I have had people offer their recommendations to me when they see me reading the fine print on formula boxes at a medical store. Perhaps trying to make my life easier for that one moment with their personal experience about the formula. At restaurants fellow patrons will smile and look away politely when your child drops the salt shaker and proceeds next to disrupt the peace in the sugar free bowl.

As a parent you will join the many hundred Facebook groups created and curated exclusively by parents. You will bare your soul and ask complete strangers embarrassing questions even before you ask your own mother or doctor. All in the hope that some fellow parent must have lived through the same trauma as you. And usually the advice pours in. With absolutely no judgement. If not advice, then suggestions or even just "hang in there, this too shall pass" messages. Strangely, every message makes you feel better.

The world is such a small, well connected space that my stories have been read and are remembered. We are suddenly famous. My little family and I. Actually who am I kidding, my son and my dog are suddenly famous. Friends on social network have sent private messages talking about my three year old and enquiring about my dog using their first names like they have known them for years. An old classmate I met in a checkout lane at a clothing sale spoke about my kids and even offered a play date.

This happens. It was bound to.

"Our life has become too public. Don't put me in there." My husband says one evening when he sees me sit down to write.

It's too late, I say. You are already part of the family.