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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?