While I LOVE me some social networking, it can also be so frustrating at times. It’s given so many people so much more freedom to be themselves, to express who they are, and to feel comfortable saying things they wouldn’t normally say because they are “safely” sitting at their computers or on their phones. While there is a LOT of good in that, there is also a lot of bad. And a big trend I seem to see are these “mean mommies” who use their social networking time to seek out mommy’s to bash. Parenting styles to rip apart. Places where they can put their two cents in even when it’s not asked for.
I am all about being true to yourself. It’s important to be confident in your beliefs and stand by your decisions, especially as a parent. However, WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. We all are on our own journeys and make our own decisions that best suit our families. Parenting is hard enough on it’s own. The last thing we need is other moms bashing us left and right about every little choice we make.
I try very hard to be ME in my writing and on my social networking sites, however I also try very hard to never put down others. I’m no better than anyone else. I’m not some parenting expert. I don’t have a high horse to be riding. I am not looking down on others.
I try very hard to only offer advice when it’s asked for. I never planned on blogging to turn into a form of “mommy mission work” but it has taken on that level for me and I love it. I consider it SUCH an honor when a mommy will contact me asking for advice, needing to just vent, or looking for reassurance. When asked, I will give what I think is the best advice based on my personal experiences. I will also be honest and help trouble shoot issues as I can. Most often I refer them back to blog posts I’ve written when dealing with a similar experience or issue and I typically also refer them to parenting books I’ve found helpful or other bloggers who can give more incite.
When it comes down to it though. I’m a pretty new mommy myself. My oldest child is only four! I mean I firmly believe that I’ve made solid decisions in my parenting style for the sake of my family…but I can’t say that what has been best for US will be best for EVERYONE. Because that’s simply not true! And some things that may be best for others also wouldn’t be best for my family either. No two families are exact alike. No two mamas are going to make the exact same choices in every situation. And it’s ridiculous to me that anyone would look down on another parent just because they chose something different.
Occasionally I will see people post pictures of their tiny babies sleeping on their tummies or using blankets, bumpers, etc in their cribs. It is the only time I can think of where I DO contact those parents. Do I make a public comment on their picture? No. Do I talk down to them or treat them like they are stupid? No! I try to simply let them know, in a private message of course, that I have had friends lose babies to SIDS and that it’s become a passion of mine to help spread the word of SIDS prevention. I will send them a link to the preventative measures and include a link about the mattress cover I wrote about. I just give them the knowledge to make their OWN choices about how to care for their baby. Because, really, they may not know to do back-to-sleep and they may not know not to use bumpers in the crib (why the heck are companies still including bumpers with crib sets?!?!). Do I judge them or think poorly of them? No! I just know that if the unthinkable were to happen to their baby and I hadn’t said anything to them that I would personally feel guilty. And I do not want that on my conscious for sure!!! Even when those situations arise I always, always try to do it out of love. Someone once told me that when faced with a confrontational situation, you can NEVER have too much love. I always remember that 🙂
Because I am so open and share so much about my own views, I tend to get the occasional “hater” now and then. I typically ignore them. If someone is writing me out of valid concern over something I’ve written or they have legit questions about something it’s one thing and I totally don’t ignore stuff like that…but people just looking to put me down? Try to make me feel bad about myself in some way? Well, I just try to let it go and not even justify it with a response. Which is a HUGE deal for me. The “haters” have really helped me grow. Whereas I used to lose sleep over some mean comment, I now just shrug them off and move on. If I do get one where I feel a response is needed I also try to WAIT before responding. Think it over. Calm down. Plan what I want to say. Then I will respond. Very rarely do I just respond right away, and when I do I typically regret it. Occasionally someone will strike a nerve with me and I won’t have as much self control as I should and I need to get better about that for sure!
I do NOT understand the mindset of these “mean mommies” or why they would take their limited free time (b/c HELLO kids make life BUSY non-stop!) to seek out others to tear them down? Who does it benefit? Personally, the only thing I can think is that women who do those type of things are simply insecure with themselves. I recently wrote about my confidence as a mother. And I HATE that our culture is one where we’re almost looked at negatively for being confident in our parenting abilities. It’s like we’re supposed to put ourselves down. The sad truth is that MOST women ARE insecure about their role as a mom and that’s so sad. If you love your children and you’re doing the best you can for them then you have no reason to be insecure! I think most of the time these “mean mommies” are simply insecure about their parenting choices so they bash other moms who do things differently than they do, just in an effort to make themselves feel better.
At the end of the day though, they aren’t just hurting someone else’s feelings, they are hurting themselves too. Being that negative all the time and seeking out drama isn’t healthy and won’t be gratifying. Instead maybe those mama’s need to try to find the GOOD in others! Seek to see things they admire in other women and seek out friendships with like-minded parents so they can grow and learn together in their styles of parenting.
When you are faced with a mean mommy issue, and sadly I’m sure that majority of us will have it happen from time to time, I encourage you to remember that you are a GOOD MOM. You are a WONDERFUL PARENT. You are doing THE BEST for YOUR family and that is ALL that matters. Try not to waste your time letting those type of people hurt you. Try to see it as a compliment of sorts because you must be doing something right to attract the haters 😉
I hope that we as women can work towards supporting and encouraging each other instead of constantly finding ways to tear each other down. This world is hard enough as it is, we need to be on the “same team” as we can do so much more together than we can separately! I mean I thought it was bad in middle school getting teased for having glasses and being chunky…but being “teased” for the way you parent hurts much, much deeper than those surface level things did back then. They say high school never really ends and it’s so true. It really only gets worse! It can feel frustrating to try to be the “nice guy” and be the “bigger person” but do it anyway. You are setting a great example for YOUR children of how to be and hopefully this cycle can end with our generation and the next generation of women can build each other up more than we do and use social networking for GOOD 🙂
How do you deal with the mean mommy mentality?
Was this directed at me?? I just feel like this was for me.
We really should listen to each other more and not engage in hate. I'm a committed Christian (I follow the bible properly, no cherry-picking) and almost altered my beautiful son because I wasn't willing to listen to others. I eventually listened and discovered that most American Christians are not really Christians; they circumcise and I discovered that the New Testament strongly speaks against it in Acts 15:1-11 (even calling it a yoke that neither the apostles nor their fathers were able to bare), and Galatians 5:2, Philippians 3:2-3, Titus 1:10-11, Galatians 5:6, and 1 Corinthians 7:17-18. I decided I could not offend Jesus Christ by altering his perfect creation and left my baby boy uncircumcised. After some research (up until that point I had only spoken to mothers who ad circumcised, so of course they would say it was fine – I hadn't done proper research), I discovered that us Americans are fed so many lies about it and my decision was confirmed, praise the Lord. It's not done in most countries around the world and they don't have all the problems that Americans THINK will happen if you leave a baby to his healthy body rather than altering it.Of course when people first told e not to circumcise, I got very angry and thought they were questioning my choices as a mother, but I realised they weren't – they were trying to protect my baby. Something that I am supposed to do and was horrified to discover that I wasn't doing it. I have spoken to several British people and they have all shown me that there areno issues with having a healthy, uncircumcised penis (and I realised how illogical it once to think there would be a problem with a healthy part of the body).I nearly waited 9 months for a healthy baby, hoping and praying that he would be healthy, only to remove an important part of his body after his birth – thankfully the Lord saved me from doing that to him. I found that http://www.nocirc.org has a lot of info.
I'm VERY impressed with the way you expressed yourself and the things you said. I hope you will comment in lots of places because your message will help many other moms and babies! I'm also happy that you learned the truth in time to prevent having your baby circumcised. Over the 35 years I've been involved in this issue, in one way or another, I've met probably hundreds of moms who had their sons circumcised, before they found accurate information. One of my adopted sons was circumcised before they let us have him. I had tried to convince the social worker at the agency NOT to have my baby circumcised, but he thought he knew more about it than my husband and I did. My baby had complications from it, too. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with. Even though there were differences, I think the anguish I felt was very much like that of moms who have chosen circumcision and later regretted it. I also adopted three sons who were intact when I got them, and stayed that way! They are all grown, now, and the only one who is unhappy about it all is the one who is circumcised.