April 20, 2010

A different kind of Mommy Wars

          We've all heard about the "Mommy Wars," the supposed fight between working moms and stay-at-home moms. It's been propagated in the mainstream media for years. I'm even writing about it in my new book. But now, according to this article, there is a different kind of conflict that has broken out online between mommy bloggers.
          Originally, I thought I would blog about motherhood. I had every intention of doing so before my daughter was born. I had written an online column for the Florida Times Union called "Discovering Jacksonville." It had run its course, so I was planning to launch a new column titled "Discovering Motherhood." Had it all approved by the editors. Then I discovered motherhood did not leave me with any time to blog. At least in the beginning.
          Once I got the point where I had the time, I realized everyone and her sister was already doing it. And some were doing it very well. I decided to focus instead on writing my book about motherhood. There are a lot of great Mommy blogs out there, and I follow many of them. 
          I have seen some of the negative blogs the article talks about, and I have to say I'm turned off by them. Yes, being a Mom is not always a fun job. It is often frustrating and can easily make you go a little (or a lot) crazy. But do we really want to create the perception that it turns us into miserable people?
          What kind of legacy would you be leaving for your child(ren) if you were to write publicly (and there will always be a record) about how unhappy they make you? It gives me pause. On the other hand, if having a forum to vent about the challenging times and commiserate with other moms enables women to build more positive experiences with their kids and in their lives, more power to them. Who am I to judge? I know social media sites like Facebook have generated countless support groups for moms. I belong to several and really enjoy the exchange.
          One of the key points of my book is that moms need to stick together. Provide understanding and support to one another, not try to tear each other down. So I am troubled to learn that moms have found another reason to bicker. I'm hoping this is just another figment of the media's imagination. And if not, that it will pass quickly. Please!

8 comments:

  1. Great blog. Honestly in my opinion I think people complain TOO much. As a teacher and coach I have learned that complainers complain. No matter what, they will find something to complain about. Some of them have children, therefore that's what they now have to whine about. And unfortunately there is a whole universe of internet for them to now do it in. I just don't read it!

    My point is complainers are going to complain no matter what they are doing. If they weren't being a mommy right now they would probably be complaining about work or their mother-in-law. It just seems people are more flexible with listening to moms complain because.... Well I don't know. I hate to read that stuff and I just want to tell them to buck up and spend less time complaining and more time nurturing their kids.

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  2. One thing I think people forget is that the internet is forever. I would be very hesitant to post negative things about my children or my thoughts on parenting my children on a blog because the odds are that your kid(s) will see them someday.

    I wonder about even the most positive of mommy blogs, though. What Mom may think now is an adorable tale about a kid may prove extraordinarily embarrassing to the kid later. How terrible would it be to be in junior high and have your worst enemy pull up all sorts of stories about your most embarrassing (to you) childhood antics and be able to share them with the rest of the class? I would have been mortified, I can assure you.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this - you are an excellent writer and express yourself well. I certainly agree with you that moms should be supportive of one another while raising their children. All moms need this.

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  4. I think we do a disservice to our children, especially our girls, if we lead them to believe that raising children is all Easter dresses and chocolate-cake-on-the-face photos, without letting them know the work that went into that moment. Just because we were challenged by the organization of making it happen, doesn't mean that we wouldn't do it again without hesitation or that we believe the happy event wasn't worth it. I prefer that we tell it like it is, not complaining but explaining, all with the understanding that the end result of that little smile of delight made every 3am cupcake baking session worthwhile. And there is comfort for every mother decorating cupcakes at 3am and asking herself if she's gone completely crazy, in the knowledge that somewhere close by, someone else is doing the same thing, for the same reason, for another version of that same smile.

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  5. I thought this post was interesting and perceptive, but I'm afraid I'm the wrong person to ask about an opinion on blogs written by and for moms, as I haven't read a sufficient number of blog posts (mom-related or otherwise) to detect the negativity that you mention. But I'm against negativity in general, so I suppose I would be against negativity in blogs also.

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  6. I enjoyed reading your blog, Elizabeth. I never cease to be amazed at the level of snark women consistently throw at each other. The anonymity of the Internet is like a free pass for some to post comments and say things that they would never say to someone's face in real life. The whole "mommy wars" thing makes me mad to start with, because it just pits everyone against each other, and for what? What are we accomplishing by calling other moms horrible ugly names, and judging their life choices, most of which we know nothing about? Does it make us *better* than those we judge? Drives me crazy. I've been attacked and called some hideous names online, and I really question whether those women would stand in front of me and say those very same things to my face. Why do we continue to do this to each other? My personal theory is that the level of ugliness a woman gives to others is directly proportional to her level of security with her own choices. And I also think we all could use a lesson in common courtesy and manners. There is a polite and civil way to disagree with someone, and still not give any ground on your own views. And it doesn't involve name calling or character assassination. It's the old golden rule (I paraphrase)....treat me with the same respect you expect me to give you.

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  7. As a reader of online discussion boards relating to pregnancy and parenting, I have seen the snark to which Julie refers. I certainly can't imagine adult women acting in person the way some of them do online. Luckily there's a little red "x" at the top right of my screen that I can click if I'm offended by what I read.

    That being said, I have found myself to be jealous of other bloggers because they have what I think I want in my blog ... a dedicated following, wit, charm, product reviews, giveaways, etc. I keep telling myself that they were new bloggers at one point and they had to start from scratch and develop their readership. It doesn't happen overnight.

    I am glad to have found several communities dedicated to helping "mommy bloggers" connect and support one another, rather than tear each other down.

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  8. I agree with the first comment.. some people just are complainers by nature and have intention of every changing it even though being content and happy is a learned behavior or comes in your relationship with Christ. I host a "mommy" blog that is strictly about having fun with your kids.. not about how to raise them. I think too often people are concerned with comparing their kids to others they forget to enjoy the moments they live in.

    Ps. Found your blog/post on FB Mommy blogs.

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