As a mom blogger, I, of course follow fellow mom bloggers. Today, one that I call a personal friend was attacked solely on the name of her blog, Next Life, NO Kids http://www.nextlifenokids.com/. Another mom, a stranger, took it upon herself to post a nasty and inappropriate comment on the blog’s FB page. The comment boiled down to this; if she could use such a horrendous title, a “child shaming” title for her personal blog, then she is clearly an unfit mother who should not have children.
Now, if this random stranger had taken the time to actually read any of the blog posts, or memes or FB posts, it would have been evident that not only is this NOT accurate, but the exact opposite is true. This blogger dedicates her blog to the #mommitment, a movement to end mom shaming between fellow moms.
Her followers immediately came to her defense. The author of the nasty post responded by saying that child shaming should never be tolerated and that we, other mothers, were what was wrong with the parenting community and the country today.
Yes, when you open yourself up personally by writing and sharing with the masses on social media; you are going to get some flack. It’s just to be expected. However, when you take a snapshot of a person, or their blog title in this case, and make an inaccurate, quick assumption that calls this person’s parenting into question, it’s just downright wrong.
I too heard something today. A rumor about me that was both horrid, and untrue. A person took a small assumption or tidbit of information from wherever and crafted an entirely false story around it. This was a downright hurtful story, not only to me, but to my family. This one tiny assumption, crafted into a larger story, was told to others as a truth. One small kernel of data, suddenly grew into one large boulder of a lie.
People always ask me why I get so upset by what some silly stranger in FB land says about children with ADHD. I’m most often offended when I see people say that it doesn’t exist and/or that it is caused by bad, lazy parenting. Well, this is why. It is so easy to see my son in all of his tantrum glory, while I just stand there and try to ignore it and assume that I’m a crappy parent. I see the looks from other moms when my little guy performs the same inappropriate act over and over and over again no matter what I say or do. The looks that say, “Only a terrible parent can have so little control over her child.” I see the glances and the side talk when all of the other children are participating and my lovely boy is busy using the soccer net as a climbing wall. Looks that scream, “How is he ever going to learn if you don’t teach him how to play? She is soooooooo lazy!” I even had moms ask me how I could send my child to Kindergarten when he was clearly not ready. How would you even begin to know if he was ready or not? You see us in the pre-school hallway for a minute at drop off and a minute at pick up and you are ready to make a serious judgment call based on that alone.
These are assumptions that call my parenting skills into question. Assumptions that are made from a 30 second snapshot into my life. Assumptions, that if you took the time to see, you would know were false. I am a competent and wonderful parent; facts that you could never know about any parent just by looking at them for 30 seconds. Just like a snap judgment of my blogging friend’s right to have children are called into question simply from the name of her blog. If you took the time to look further, you would see that Next Life, NO Kids, is the embodiment of her #mommitment, to end mom judging for good. But no, you couldn’t get past the title before calling her an unfit parent.
I know it’s so much easier to make a quick call, a quick verdict based on a single episode. It’s the way have been brought up, go go go, get it done, don’t waste any time. However, when it comes to learning about people, and calling their character into question, it is imperative to go beyond the 30 seconds and really take time before making a genuine and accurate conclusion. I read a FB meme once, and in summation, it said something of this nature, “I got my little sister and I up and dressed in the dark because the electricity had been turned off. I got us to school in time for early the early breakfast because there was nothing in the fridge. I made sure she was in class on time before going to my school. When I didn’t have a pencil, the teacher gave me detention because I was unprepared.”
It’s time to learn to go beyond just looking, but to start truly seeing each other. To understand that the pencil was irrelevant, what she had already done that day was incredible. Stop mom judging, stop people judging, start being human.