Unfortunately there is a dark side to blogging and occasionally attracts trolls and haters. Generally insecure people that are not intelligent enough to accept a difference of opinion, so I write to respond to them…
Every now and then something will surface about some troll or crap forum where moms are slagging each other off, the latest one doing the rounds is some mumsnet forum where a bunch of moms are slagging off bloggers saying they have too much time on their hands and it’s all a bunch of drivel.
I’ve been spouting crap for almost 4 years now so I think I can firmly be described as a mommy blogger, I’m not a pro or even very popular but I am a mom and a blogger and I have a pretty good understanding on soical media for business after years of running pubs. Read more →
For most people, writing a blog is basically a diary. It is a way to project your thoughts and feelings or to capture moments that you don’t want to forget. It is a very personal thing to do. There are millions of bloggers that are private and make no attempt to share their blog. There are some, like me, that share it in hope of helping some people or finding like minded people, there are some that blog for a living and write three times a day and have 10000 followers. However you blog, we all have something in common… It is personal and it is an insight into our lives. We write honestly and openly and write about our lives. Not about other peoples lives.
Occassionally somebody will get offended by something you’ve written and it is so silly to get offended by a blog, here is why… You are offended by the life of somebody you have (in most cases) never met. You don’t know that person beyond the blog. Quite simply and I apologise for this statement because it will sound rude but… Get over yourself. The blogger is not writing about you. They are writing about their life and it makes no sense to be offended by somebodys mere existence. In fact it is highly self absorbed to take offence from somebody you have just stumbled accross on the internet. It is not about you.
If you align yourself with the type of person they are discussing, for example, full time mothers, attention seeking breastfeeders, trolls, whatever… Then you have identified with that type of person. That is your issue to deal with. If you are content being a troll then why should you care about the opinion of a stranger? If you get defensive, it is because they have hit an insecurity of yours. Again, that is your issue to deal with.
I am not a houseproud person. I am not a tramp but I have no objection to leaving a pile of washing in a corner instead of putting it away. I’m not fussy about washing dirty pans straight away. I’ll pile rubbish on the bin before eventually deciding to put a new bag in.
All the mess aside, if I invite you into my house you should take it as a compliment. I like you enough to welcome you into my perosnal space. If you feel the need to leave and criticise me by telling people what a tramp I am or deciding that you’d rather not come back, then you are the one with the problem. You are being rude and inconsiderate. You do not deserve any special treatment and I do not need to go over my house with a fine tooth comb before you arrive.
Blogging is exactly the same. If you read it, I am inviting you into my personal space. Into my life. I am writing about my birth, miscarriage, deep feelings. If you feel the need to go off and critcise me, you have the problem not me. I will not go over my writing with a fine tooth comb just in case I offend a stranger.
(On a lighter note… Feel free to share our blogs explaining how offensive it is, we like our stats going up.)
Anyone that follows my blogs will know that this is one of my reoccurring themes, there’s always a bigger picture. What I mean is, there’s always something you don’t know about any given situation and more often than not a lot of things you don’t know about a given situation.
I was called a “judgemental cow” by somebody simply because I write a blog and express my opinions. A blog that if anyone reads it, has made a choice to read so you can’t be mad about it. I’m not preaching in the streets or hosting Loose Women, I’m expressing my thoughts to people that like me or are interested in my life and opinions. The person that said that about me, intended it as an insult but I actually found it quite inspiring. First of all, do you not understand that by calling somebody judgemental you are in fact…. Judging them? Secondly, it made me think, aren’t we all judgemental? So actually what you just called me is, normal! I always I thought I was a bit abnormal so thanks.
I realised that I have judged people. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Here’s some examples:
Before I had a baby, I’d look at snot faced kids and think, “Don’t their parent give a shit about them?” It’s bordering on neglect letting your kids go around covered in snot. Then I had a baby…. I do care about my baby and I don’t neglect him, but oh my god it’s a drama trying to get snot and dried porridge off his face. He hates me for it. Sometimes I do just think, he’ll be happier if I leave him snotty! It’s easy to look at a situation having no idea what it is like to actually be in that situation and it’s even easier to have an ill-informed, unintelligent opinion.
Children in Nappies.
I made a judgement about somebody whose child was still in nappies and he was about 4. I thought the mother was lazy or just didn’t understand that this is too old to be in nappies. Then I found out from a mutual friend that he was born with serious complications and underwent a series of operations and is now classed as special needs. I felt really guilty to say the least. It did reinforce, there’s always a bigger picture.
The Girl in the Highchair.
We went out for dinner the other day and on the table next to us, the mother put her little girl in a highchair. The girls feet were nearly touching the floor, it’s a wonder she didn’t get stuck. My partner whispered to me, “isn’t she a bit big for that?” I was thinking the same thing but I said, “ssshhh” simply because we don’t know why she did that. She might just be stupid, or there might actually be something that has nothing to do with us. Maybe she fell off a chair when she was a baby and now she’s overprotective.
The point is, we don’t know everything. We can’t know everything. Yet, we all judge, if you think about it, judging is the same as having an opinion. Every harps on about, “I’m entitled to my opinion.” Yes we are, therefore we’re entitled to judge. Issues arise with judgements or opinions when you feel it’s necessary to turn nasty over something you don’t agree with. I think a good rule is, if you swear at somebody, you’ve taken it over the line.
You know when you log onto Twitter or Facbook and see the trolls are out again, just throwing horrible insults at people they have never met, personally I think that’s a step too far. I think too much so I try not to get too mad and I think I don’t know what their bigger picture is and what has happened in their life to make them love a drama. Whatever has happened, I don’t think there is a justification for calling a baby ugly or calling someone you’ve never met a shit mom.
Judgement is ok, we all do it because sometimes we see things that do not align with our beliefs and therefore we judge, if only for a split second. We judge. Acting upon our judgement is where the problems arise.
My opinions about snotty kid, nappy boy and highchair girl are perfectly fine. My opinion doesn’t cause any harm whatsoever. I would be creating a problem if I took a picture of snotty kid and put it on my blog, or updated my Facebook status knowing full well that nappy boys mom might see it and wonder if my passive aggressive pointless rant is aimed at her. Or if I’d actually said to highchair girls mom, “Oohh she’s a bit big for that!” Leaving her wondering if she’s doing something wrong and why did ‘cute baby’s mom’ (that’s what a stranger can call me!) feel the need to say that?
My life has led to my decisions, my whole life. Not just my life as a Mom. Nobody can possibly know everything and so nobody can be certain that their judgement is correct. Ollie has had his teeth (gums) brushed since he was 5 months old because I have a complex about my teeth. I know it’s silly but that’s just where my life has taken me.
Don’t be nasty just because you don’t understand. Or even worse, because if you had kids you wouldn’t let them do that.
Opinions and judgements are normal and help us to process information. Say what you want to your close friends and family, we all bitch and moan. Don’t feel guilty or apologise for having an opinion. Please just think before you act upon your judgements because unless you know everything about that person and situation, you will probably just come across as nasty, rude, attention seeking and extremely insecure.
So mothers, feel free to judge, it’s fine and normal and can often give you inspiration even if it’s on how not to do things. You don’t need to rant to the world about that mother.
I am a Huffington Post blogger and submit some of my blogs to them or write blogs intended for HuffPo. This is one that they published.