For The Love Of Blog Can’t We All Just Get Along

Believe it or not catty comments do happen in the scintillating realm of “my 3-year-old was up all night with a 103 degree fever” and “the dog ate a poopy diaper AGAIN” and “OH MY God my kids won’t stop fighting, please margarita fairy come visit me.”

But rudeness abounds on the Internet in general. Heated arguments and flaming are not a mommy blogger phenomenon. Every type of blog, from politics to religion to sports, gets testy and uncomfortable at times in the heated debate in blog comments. There’s something about the quasi anonymity provided by the shield of the Internet and being one step removed from another human by the keyboard that seems to give assholes free rein to be ALL! CAPS! exclamation point downright verbally abusive.

The Today Show had a great segment on negativity in the mom blogosphere this morning and earlier this week the Detroit Free Press published a piece called World of Sex, Lies and Mommy Blogs. I must hand it to the Free Press as someone who loves to write blog post headlines (one of my personal favorites is Birth Control Via Another Long Ass Line at the Dollar Tree), they wrote an eye-catcher with that one. But really…sex? I don’t see a lot of sex chronicled on your typical mommy blog. I do see frustration, humor, and the general sense of hey I am proud of my kids but this parenting thing? It is difficult. It is not to be taken lightly. I need a place to commiserate, to connect, and to count my blessings, too.

But there is a lot inherent good out there. There is a lot of tears welling up in my eyes, heart is full of warm fuzzies greatness in the blogosphere. I’ve always been one of those people who laughs, lest I cry. I try to see the good in situations, no matter how crappy they are, but there’s no trying to find the good when it comes to the good in blogging because there is a lot of good. Bloggers rally to raise money and awareness for important causes, they lift up others when the unimaginable happens.

I am lucky. In four years of blogging I’ve never had any terribly nasty comments here. I had one odd comment last year from someone implying that my older daughter had a hand-shaped bruise on her arm in a photo I’d posted. The “bruise” was a larger than life pink and purple My Little Pony temporary tattoo. So much for your I hurt my child’s arm theory weirdo!

Parenting is hard. It’s damn hard. I am a (INSERT LABEL) working mom, meaning I drive to an actual physical office four days a week for a paycheck in business publishing. My kids, GASP, both have been enrolled in full-time daycare. I sometimes gave them formula. GASP I have screamed at my children. GASP I am not an (INSERT LABEL) crunchy mom. I never “wore” my babies, although I did a great job of absorbing their spit-up, pee, and vomit on my own clothes. I feed my kids junk from time to time.

But I have utmost respect for all moms:  SAHMs, home schooling moms, women who grow their own vegetables and puree their own baby food, empty nesters whose children have flown the coop and  are embarking on their college career or their real deal career, moms who run half-marathons, and moms who decorate with aplomb and are incredibly organized. OK I might be a little bitter of some of these attributes.

We’re all just really doing the best we can, aren’t we?

As parents most of us just want what is best for our children.

We do the best with the individual situation we are in.

Don’t we?

Those cyber bullies, the trolls, the people who relish in tearing others down, I like to think they have WAY more time than I do. I’d be glad to share my to do list with them. And I wonder if they are parents, too? I wonder if that energy they spend churning out negativity on the Internet is time they are spending away from their own families?

There have always been judgmental people making comments about others’ parenting skills. The Internet just gives them a new playground.

Check out this post on Momma Said with the video from the Today Show segment featuring a great interview with Momma Said’s founder Jen Singer, along with Isabel Kallman from Alpha Mom and Susan Getgood from Blog With Integrity being interviewed by Ann Curry.

Well said, ladies. Well said.

20 comments

  1. Blonde Mom says:

    Jen:

    OH I had forgotten about Baby Center’s message boards! I used to read one when I was pregnant with Miss C five years ago. That was P.B. Pre-Blog. Wow that seems so ancient to me now like I was reading stone tablets about parenting (ha ha.)

    Rebecca, thank you. I’m glad we have gotten to know each other in real life, too! I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I run into you at Publix or Walgreens or the liquor store. 😉

  2. Jerseygirl says:

    Very well put. I think it’s the “mommy” label that the media loves to talk about. I’ve seen much worse on political blogs, for example, but no one is shocked by vehement Democrats and Republicans.
    .-= Jerseygirl´s last blog ..I Really Do Think It

  3. Balisha says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I enjoy reading your posts everyday. I am way past the years of child rearing, but always find it interesting to see how things have changed in “Mommy World” and how they have stayed the same. You write the way I used to think. Why can

  4. Jessica says:

    Jamie, as a (warning: labels ahead) crunchy, homeschooling, babywearing nutrition fanatic who LOVES reading your blog and feels like we would totally be friends IRL, just wanted to say that I couldn’t agree with you more. We are all doing our best and that does not mean the same prototype for every family! We all derserve respect and kudos for our parenting – It’s freaking hard! And all the people who read blogs need to learn to play nicely: I tell my kids all the time that it is perfectly acceptable to disagree, but not to call names or fight about it (Yes, TROLLS, I’m talking to YOU!). xo Jessica

  5. lifeinapinkfibro says:

    I agree. I’ve never understood why people can’t just let others get on with it. As you say, we’re all just trying to do our best, and ‘best’ is different for everyone. Oh, and for the record, I stay a long way away from any ‘mummy forums’ – I think that’s where the ‘mean girls’ go when they leave school.
    .-= lifeinapinkfibro´s last blog ..And the song goes on and on and on and on =-.

  6. Heather says:

    As a working mom there is no job I love more than taking care of my kids. And you are right we all just want to do the best we can for our children and deep down we want to do better for them than our parents did for us and that’s no knock on our parents.
    The world of blogging in general can be strange. Forums are no different. Just look at the weird comment you had about your daughter. People make all sorts of assumptions. The days of being able to determine intent from facial expressions are long gone thanks to the web. Very well written and said.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Avoid Potentially Hazardous Drinkware Pitfalls =-.

  7. Margie says:

    Just read your post by way of Bossy. Loved the post. As a grandmother I can attest to the fact that parenting is hard. Parenting adults is also hard. It doesn’t matter which path is chosen (working mother, single parent, home schooling, breast feeding until they can unbutton your blouse, etc.) some can do that path well and some can screw it up. We all have done or are doing our best. One of my daughters tells her teenage children that she doesn’t know what she is doing but hopes she is preparing them for life.

  8. Kat says:

    You’re darn right motherhood is tough! And the internet is even tougher! Love your honesty!

    Kat
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..

  9. Caitlin says:

    I completely agree! I think the thing that gets pushed to the side is that we ARE all trying our best for our kids (just like you said). No one is setting out to be a terrible parent. We’re doing the best in a situation which, as wonderful and life-altering as it is, comes with no instructions and lots of guilt! I really appreciate your honesty and willingness to say what the rest of us are thinking!
    .-= Caitlin´s last blog ..It

  10. Linda Sullivan says:

    Rudeness is a reality in this world, as much as kindness. No matter how good your intentions are, there’s just bound to be haters waiting to nip and gnaw at even the most neutral things you can ever think of you’ve said or done.

    I believe that’s just how they try to make up for all their insecurities and their limitations. The best way to deal with them? remind them of these very insecurities and limitations. I’m sure a writer of your caliber can slap each one of these trolls with monumental winning comebacks. Lol. Forget kindness when an a-hole is doing the mudslinging.

  11. Unplanned Cooking says:

    I agree. It surprises me how much negativity/competition there is in all realms of parenting, not just on the blogosphere. If you get a chance, you should check out the spoof we did on social media + bloggers on my site. Because really this world of mommy bloggers is hilarious in some ways.
    .-= Unplanned Cooking´s last blog ..The Vlog Pantry: Ethics of Social Media =-.

  12. Sally Bishop says:

    You Serious? Someone made a fuss blaming that you bruised you kid? Some people are just looking for a fight… turning an ant into an elephant. My kids were never into My Little Pony, they liked Care Bears. Speaking of them, I found some snack containers today on http://www.snackholder.com that look like Teddy Graham Bears… really cute! Why didn’t I think of branding these? Guess I’ll stick to cleaning teeth.

  13. Lisa says:

    Well said Jamie! I couldn’t have said it more perfectly! Been forever since I’ve been around your place – your girls are looking as sweet & sassy as ever! Hope you are well.

  14. Viktor says:

    Well said.The more negative information you see or hear, the more negative part of your life and not just yours. Live and see only the positive and everything will be fine.

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