Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Danger, Will Robinson!

So, yesterday as I was working on the finishing touches of my new blog, I ran across this article in the Daily Herald.  Apparently, there are some women who take it upon themselves to attack so-called "mommy bloggers" who choose to display motherhood in a less-than-flattering light.  Who celebrate time without the kids and fear the start of summer vacation.  Who admit to being frustrated and tired and (gasp!) a little burned-out.  In other words, people exactly like me.

Yikes.  Have I perhaps chosen the wrong time to get in the mommy-blogging business?

I've only had to deal with this kind of attack once before.  I commiserated with a friend who was completely losing it with her kids, and the person who replied after me said something like, "What if your kid read this?  You sound like you don't like your kids."  Ohhh, did I feel awful.  And then I felt extremely irritated - good for you if your kids are so delightful or your personality is so easygoing that parenting is nothing but a picnic without the ants.  Not all of us are that lucky.  And then I felt guilt, because of course I would be mortified if my kids saw the things I wrote and believed that meant I didn't like them.

I vacillated through emotions for about an hour, before finally reading a reply from the original poster.  She told the judgmental-person/truth-teller (whichever you believe she was) to wait until she grew up and had kids, then she could talk.  Whew!  I wasn't being judged by another mother, I was being judged by a teenager!  Which meant, in my mind, I could continue on my merry way without looking back.

I haven't forgotten it, though.  I do wonder how much my kids observe from my attitudes, behaviors, and yes, the things I say.  You know, that's where these internet-attackers lose ground - they might see what a person writes in the heat of the moment, but they don't see the rest of it.  You might know when my kids are one whine away from sending me to the loony bin, but you might not know that I spent an hour on the couch cuddling and watching tv with them.  Or playing Super Mario Bros. Or apologizing profusely and telling them just how much I love them.  I promise, I do those things way, way more often than I write about.  It just isn't as fun a story to tell.

Why do women insist on judging other women?  Does it make us feel better about ourselves when we bring someone else down?  The honest truth is that parenting is hard.  Some people handle it better than others.  No matter which side of the equation you're on - whether you are better or worse at parenting - we should all be able to reach out to each other and be supportive, not attacking.  They say it takes a village to raise a child - they didn't mean Salem.

By the way, I think you're doing a fantastic job with your kids.  See, didn't that feel good?


Dad said...

Some of the best Dr. Laura calls to listen to are the ones which the caller tells the good Dr. that she's wrong. Its breath taking, kind of like in the movie Three Amigos where the rebel leader says... "very funny, just kill one of them." I think its the hardwiring of women that they handle correction so badly. Men and women need each other, that's why the scriptures say, "its not good for man to be alone." Also, I never bought the village thing. Only the communists have proposed that and history has proven they could screw up a free lunch. It takes a family.

Laurie Bulson said...

One day when I was a young mom, I ventured a rare trip to the mall with my little ones with my 2 year old on a child leash (homemade with a rope). A teenage boy came up to me and railed on me for treating my child like an animal. I was so shocked, because I felt like I was a good parent, knew my son and what he would do in a mall.I knew I could not chase him and keep watch on the baby in the stroller too. If that boy ever grew up and had kids, I'll bet he reflected back on that moment of judgment with chagrin when he lost his son in the mall and had to explain it to his wife. :o)