Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What I Think About--Sex, Lies and Mom-Blog Bullies

In my local newspaper I read an article by Georgea Kovanis called "Sex, Lies, and Mom-Blog Bullies."  The article subtitle reads:
If you think high school is tough, with its cliques and mean girls, you probably haven't visited the ever-widening world of mommy blogs where women bully and bad-mouth each other in posts that are more personal and spiteful than your likely to find on sports or entertainment blogs.  Or on blogs written by dads.
The basic premise of this article is based on contentions over what and how women should share about mothering via blogs.

*Sigh*  Oh the drama.

For as long as I can remember, there have been value judgements made about women based on how they mother.  The article states that for a woman, "a huge part of their self-worth is tied up in their mothering abilities and skills."  And leave it to moms to make themselves feel better about their abilities by rejoicing in the not-so-stellar abilities of other moms.  "For eons, moms have judged each other.  They've whispered about who is breast feeding, who is baking cookies, who is providing the best after-school and summer vacation options, who is the best mom."  While these value-judgements used to be made between gossiping friends, now these claims are shared for all to see on the internet.  Awesome.

There are anti-mom blog women out there (such as the now defunct pooponpeeps.com).  Anti-mom blog women fall under 2 categories (near as I can tell).
  1. Group #1--These are moms.  They love to be moms.  They don't mind us being moms.  But they want more from a blog than cute stories, craft ideas, and menu plans.  These women don't want to know what we did at the park or how many teeth our children have.  They want to read thoughtful and edgy posts that have nothing to do with poop or time-outs.  Fair enough--I understand this anti-mom blog group (though I'm clearly not a member!).  
  2. Group #2--They are moms.  They love to be moms.  They want us to be moms.  The problem with "them" is they want us to mother THEIR way.  As in, their discipline, their menus, their values, their "I'm seeking the imaginary mom-of-the-year award" June Cleaver lifestyle.  And if moms like me challenge traditional methods or myths about motherhood (i.e. if I let on to readers that being a mom can be hard), we are branded as public enemy #1 which results in having our marriages, parenting-styles and womanhood totally bashed (in the name of being classy, apparently). 
(FYI--There are other anti-mom blog groups such as teenaged boys and girls, avid fishermen, etc., but I chose not to discuss them for obvious reasons).

If you've ever read a mom blog (including mine) then you've probably read some non-sugar coated stuff about being a mom.  I'm the first to say I chose to be a mom.  I chose to be a SAHM.  I am living the life I chose.  That does not make my life perfect.  I don't wake up to rainbows and butterflies.  Most days are amazing but some can be bad.  Is it wrong to admit that being a mom "isn't all milk and cookies?"  Is it awful for me to admit that sometimes my kids drive me nuts (or that I want a kid-free day)?  Does being real about who I am as a women, a wife, and a mom make less of a mommy?

One of the biggest lies I see about moms is that all we can be is moms.  Am I the only mom who wants to be more than a mom?  I mean, the whole point of my blog is to celebrate and balance the duplicitous roles women take as wife, woman, and mom.  I just don't think it is wrong for me to share ways I try to make my marriage spicy, to give my viewpoints on subjects that I'm passionate about or to share what trends I'm digging.  Am I wrong here?

Remember my post on keepin' it real?  That's my goal here.  This blog is my free therapy.  It is a place for women in all aspects of life to come together to share and learn and encourage.  It is a place to be real--good and bad.

That being said, what I write here might not appeal to you.  You might not understand it or me.  It might be offensive.  If you don't like what I write, please know you have my permission to unfollow or unsubscribe to this blog immediately.  I'll be honest that is stinks to lose followers but if it's time to move on, please feel free to move about blog-land.

This blog is all about encouraging women to be the best moms they can be but to also be more than moms--to be inspired women and passionate wives (yes, this sometimes means sex).

What I think is this blog is a Mom-Blog bully free zone.

If you are an anti-mom blog bully, please take your snarky comments and sanctimonious "Mom of the Year" awards elsewhere because I effectively remove my name from the nomination list (and pursuant to my comment clause in the About section, I'll remove unhelpful, disrespectful, and drama-laden comments immediately).

Anyone out there in blog land run into blog bullies?  How did you handle it?

7 comments:

  1. I am totally with you you on this. But...to each their own. If someone doesn't like the way I do things (which by the way doesn't JUST happen via the web) I just brush it off and move on. We are all different (some of us being a lot alike) but that's what is amazing to me about mommy blogs... being able to connect with other mom's on a REAL level.
    I'll be the first to admit that I struggle as a parent sometimes, but I think that's just life. Others who see it differently need to just move on.
    Anyone bashing other mom's clearly have their own set of problems. I think we as mom's can respecfully disagree with other's parenting methods and yet still support each other...NOT put each other down.
    I have plenty of people who disagree with how I do things, including my sister. She doesn't have children of her own, so I tend to let it go and give her a break. I figure someday she'll eat her words, and if not that's ok. We all see the world a little different.
    I have had people disagree with me on my blog, but never in a hateful bashing sort of way, but I think everyone's intitled to their opinion. If anyone was just clearly bashing me, I would have to remove their comments and brush it off. There's no need to be hateful to one another.

    BTW- as far as I can tell, I think you are a wonderful Woman, Mom, and Wife, so keep doing what you're doing! ;)

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  2. I have experienced this... I can't read a few moms' blogs that homeschool.. b/c they constantly talk about how much better their kids are guarenteed to turn out than those of us that have our kids in school. (and one of them I know.. and trust me when I say that's far from the truth!)

    I always expect to find other opinions on blogs, that's why I read them! If I wanted just my way of doing things I'd only read my own blog. lol But, when I find blogs that constantly toot their own horns and look down upon other ways of raising kids.. I just move on. I don't feel the need to tell them I disagree... they've obviously made up their minds, I just choose not to upset myself by reading what they write anymore.

    There's a huge difference between telling ppl how you do things, and why you do them that way, and making it clear that to you, your way is the only right way.

    And, I'm with the bloggers that need more out of a blog than "mommy talk." But, a healthy dose of mom talk is good for the soul sometimes lol

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  3. I agree whole heartedly. I don't understand these moms who like tearing other moms down. We should be lifting each other up! It makes me kind of sad, because you know that if they are bullies, they are most likely teaching their children to be bullies, which is not good for anyone.

    I love your blog and have missed reading it these past few weeks. I think you have great ideas about a lot of stuff.

    I have not run into bullies that have left comments, and I guess if I do, I'll just try and remember that it's truly not about me, but their own insecurities. That's truly what its about for them, they feel threatened in some way and being a bully is their way of feeling better about themselves.

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  4. I love this post!

    I have to admit that I think I was a blog bully the other day. I didn't mean to be. I usually click away. But, I came across a post that was basically saying that natural childbirth is the only way. And it wasn't written as a personal experience, but with facts and all that crap.

    It came across to me as putting down any mom who didn't have her child naturally.

    So, I commented(I had one natural, one with a little bit of pain meds, and the last induced and with an epidural) and said that it should be up to each woman to decide.

    And got unfollowed shortly after that. LOL

    Maybe I shouldn't have said anything- after all, her blog, her right to write what she wanted- but it came across to me that it was a failure to be induced or have an epidural...and I could see that hurting women who made that choice.

    Anyway, I'm writing a whole book here and going off on a tangent, so I'll stop now. LOL

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  5. @Amy--I agree 100%. I'm okay with disagreeing--as long as people can disagree in an agreeable manner!

    @Mandy--I love reading how others do it and how I do it. I like the "no one way" approach which is probably why mom-blog bullies bug me! If they are so great why are they reading my junk anyhow?!? Ha ha!

    @Sarah--I'm with you--no response but a good, sound "delete comment!"

    @Shell--I think leaving a comment that respectfully disagrees is not a problem. The mom-blog bully at pooponpeeps had NO boundaries. I mean should would attack anything that didn't meet her standards (calling other women's husbands fags, etc.). That is NOT okay.

    I hate it when people unfollow--what a bummer. BUT I suppose if it's time to move on it's time to move on (and people who only want to read what they agree with 100% of the time should probably move on from here).

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  6. I totally agree. Coming from a home school background I've known many women who are 100% convinced that the only thing a woman is called to is motherhood and constantly put down those who do anything else. This always seems weird to me because aren't we women before becoming wives and mothers? What about those callings God gave you before marriage and mommyhood? What about the women who can't have children or never find "the one?"

    Being a mom is one aspect of my life. And I love it! But I'm still a wife, a woman and a Christian. I think it would be remiss to think of those parts of me as less important than my "Mommy" role. Proverbs 31 describes the perfect mom/woman and she is very active in all the areas of her life, not just focusing on the mom role. Just saying. :)

    And that's my rant. Can you tell I've run across a lot of "You aren't loving your kids if you do anything besides be a Mom 24/7, people? :)

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  7. Sarah, that's possibly the most insightful thing I've ever heard anyone say when it comes to the balance of being a mom AND a woman. It seems our country is taking a huge shift back towards women thinking that you should ONLY be a mom.. and if you choose to work or obtain other goals while being a mom, you are not as in love with your kids as they are.

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{Reverse Psychology}
I DO NOT like comments. Whatever you do, don't leave me a comment about this post or your thoughts or any connections you have to what I wrote. Seriously, I don't care.
(Did that reverse psychology work???)