Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Motherhood and blogging

Most of my friends do not have children yet. Often because of this I get the "What do you do all day?" comments. I always ask "Do you really want to know?", because most of the time the comments aren't actually curiosity, but rather a statement that I have a lot of "time off".

At this stage in the game, being a stay at home mom isn't the hardest job in the world. It still is the most rewarding, and the lowest paying job. Now it is more like a schedule. There aren't many surprises, and I can easily adjust when those surprises come up. Now when I hear "What do you do all day?", I think 'I clean and play with my kids, it's wonderful'. I can still remember when it wasn't wonderful though. It used to be really hard.

I was reading a random blog the other day about a new mom with twins. The writer is having a very hard time adjusting to the lack of sleep and the constant demands of being a mother. She feels unappreciated.

Haven't we all felt that way?

Ofcourse people had commented on this blog, most offering support and understanding such as: "I know how you feel, we all feel that way at first. Don't worry it gets better." etc. There was a comment that bothered me though. It was "What did you expect? If you're not prepared to make sacrifices you're not prepared to be a mother."

Did a mother really write that?

That is quite disturbing. I can understand if someone never went through that phase, you know the parent whose kid slept through the night from birth and never cried. It bothers me that someone would comment like that on another's blog. Why would anyone want to make a mother who is already having a hard time feel worse about what she's going through, and even imply that she is not deserving of her kids?

We all blog for a reason. Some bloggers (like me) just blog to get the things in their head out because they type faster than they write and maybe they'll find people who share opinions along the way. Some writers blog to vent or get support or just simply share. Some write stories, some write about politics, some write about what they did yesterday. There is one thing all bloggers have in common. We use our blog, OUR SPACE, to write.

Obviously if the writer enables comments, they welcome opinions on what was written. Therefore, they should expect to get comments that disagree as well as those that agree with what they write. I believe there is a proper way to disagree. Respectfully. Just like you should never walk into someone else's home and start insulting them, in my opinion, the same goes for blogs.

Let's take the comment I mentioned above, and explore different ways of respectfully disagreeing. "What did you expect? If you're not prepared to make sacrifices, you're not prepared to be a mother.", could easily be changed to the less hostile "I can tell you're having a hard time right now. None of us are really prepared for motherhood until we bring our babies home." Another: "I've never felt this way, so I really can't relate, but best wishes." Yet another: "There are many good support systems for mothers of twins. If you want me to help you find some good links, let me know."

And finally: Write NOTHING. Like the saying goes, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. Remember, no one makes you comment. If you can't find a polite way to disagree, click the X, or the arrow pointing towards the left of your screen.

Lastly: As mothers, we should be supporting other mothers. We all know it isn't easy all the time whether the experience is fresh in our memory or not. This fact is not going to change. It helps to hear the occasional "You're doing a great job." If you ever come across a blog of a mother who is having a tough time, I encourage you to leave some good words.

Blogger birdwoman had this to say:

Dude, I just went back to work full time because I couldn't take being at home with my kids anymore. And I didn't think it was doing them a world of good, being with me, either. I don't know how you stay at homers do it. I give you all the props.


7:45 PM EST 

Blogger dom had this to say:

I've gotta agree that being a mom is a full time job.
I just wish you'd change your template to 840x whatever and not 1200x
That way I don't have to predict what the last word was (sweet smile)

8:48 PM EST 

Blogger Jen had this to say:

I can't believe I was just thinking today about how hard some people (especially other mothers) are on complete strangers. It's like they can't step out of their shoes for just ONE minute to at least TRY and understand how someone else feels.

It's like me owning a mini-van and telling the single guy across the street with a mini cooper that he has to have one.

Great post.

11:18 PM EST 

Blogger Chicka had this to say:

Amen! If you haven't walked a mile in their shoes...

Surfed in on BE. Great blog!

12:28 AM EST 

Blogger Laura had this to say:

Ugh. Me thinks they project too much!

1:35 AM EST 

Blogger Heidi had this to say:

I coudn't agree with you more! I can't believe how insensitive people can be sometimes... I have friend who got pregnant when she was 40 (they wanted to start their family later in life), and it as a major shock to her system when the baby arrived.

I could sympathize. I dropped off a meal, sent flowers, offered help if she needed it... Other people we know smirked and said things like, "Well, she shouldn't have waited so long to have kids. She was too set in her lifestyle, she should have known it would be hard to adjust!" I couldn't believe the nerve of those people! Parenting is hard no matter how old (or young) you are! A little kindness and empathy goes a long way! Btw, my friend is now pregnant with their second baby, and they are doing great! ;o)

6:33 AM EST 

Blogger Heidi had this to say:

hello again!
Just wondered if you'd mind if I linked to you on my blog? I'm putting together a list of blogs I enjoy reading and would love to include your's.
heidi :o)

4:07 PM EST 

Anonymous Holly had this to say:

I knew intellectually when I had my son that things would be different and that life would be hectic. I had an idea what I was in for. However when my son was born and it became a reality, I was totally not ready for just how exhausted I would be, and how much work he really was (I had one of those babies who doesn't like to sleep, but prefers to scream if he isn't held). If I had a journal at the time I most certainly would have vented. I knew what I was getting into, but unless some one has been there before, they can't fathom just what it will really be like. Not to mention every baby is different and every mom is different. With twins there is twice as much work, not to mention factoring in Post partum hormones.. well its natural for a new mother to be overwhelmed. I think that poster was rather thoughtless, and I tend to agree with you. New mothers need lots of support, I wish I had had more suport. (BTW My son will be 12 in June)

5:54 PM EST 

Blogger Kim had this to say:

I've been a mom for 24 years now and I'm STILL overwhelmed. It never ends!
The problems your kids experience only get bigger as they grow older. There is no book that explains how this feels, no words to make it any easier, you just live through it. The only comfort you can offer anyone is empathy, stating that WE ALL feel that way. The asswipe that wrote that bitter comment probably has only one child,a nanny, cook, butler and tons of fun money. Anyone who has ever been a true mom knows how hard it is and anyone possessing such a superiority complex can't be real.

9:10 AM EST 

Blogger Library Lady had this to say:

Holly and Kim have said it for me.
(And I had one of those "I want to be held all the time" with my first baby too!)
No matter how much you know about kids (and I've worked with them for over 20 years) nothing can prepare you for how hard having your own can be. It truly is the hardest job in the world.Every time you've mastered one skill or gone through one stage, your kids give you something new to deal with!
It's fun though. I love my daytime job, but it pales in comparison to my pride in being the mother of my girls.............

4:39 PM EDT 

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