Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't Feed the Bullies

I hear so often stories from mothers claiming that they "know all about something."

"Let me tell you how to potty-train. I had 3 kids! I know all about that."

"Let me tell you why breast-feeding is horribly painful and difficult and why every woman who claims it is easy for her is LYING. I had 2 kids and we had a terrible time nursing. I know all about it."

"Let me tell you why whatever it is that you're doing differently than I did is wrong. It's wrong because it's not what I did and I feel the need to validate my own experience by proving that your way is incorrect."

I can only live my life. You can only live yours. We cannot profess to completely understand each other's situations, but we can attempt to be supportive and empathetic. Being supportive does not include a condescending attitude. An empathetic person would never negate my emotions simply because they don't fit in with what YOU experienced.

I wish people would think for a few moments before hitting publish. If only more bloggers would picture the faces of the actual people that would be reading their words; Is it their intention to offend? Is it their desire to make someone's day rotten? To hurt their tender, new-mom feelings? If not, then please remember that life never has one absolute answer to any problem. There is no such thing as an "expert" at this parenting gig. If your kids grow up and still love you? Then I consider your parenting experience a success.

If it is their intention to hurt other parents, then I send those bloggers my sympathy. It must be a horrible thing to feel so insecure about your own decisions and life that you need to strike blindly at your fellow human beings. I imagine that people who write as they do are also the ones who felt the need to steal lunch money from the smallest children in the class. They were probably the girls who picked on me for not needing a bra until 7th grade. They were the girls who started rumors about another teenager, simply because they wanted to divert the attention from their own actions...

I won't read you if you're going to be mean and condescending. I encourage all of YOU to do the same.

Don't feed the bullies.
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