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.
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.