Dear Moms Who Judge My Parenting….Thank You

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

My family, my imagination and my life are my inspiration to write. I love sharing what is happening right now in our stage of life. Obviously, I don’t post about every minute of each day. That would be boring to read and tedious to write. In any case, I put out into the world snippets of our experiences; the good, the bad and the ugly. As a family of six with four kids, 11 and under, we have no problem creating new material.

These bits and pieces are enough to entice people to read and get them thinking. Most people read articles because they want to see what others are doing, looking for help in a current situation or the topic simply grabs their attention.

The majority of my non-fiction pieces are about my parenting style, which has a lot to do with being semi hands off because we are raising independent adults. We want our kids to try things in a safe environment, so we can let them fail with minimal consequences. This allows them to learn from their mistakes and figure out how to fix it for the next time.

There are a group of people that nod along agreeing with my methods and others who are violently shaking their fists at me. And that is 100% okay!

Handling Criticism With Grace

As a creative, criticism for my work is a part of the industry. When you put your work out there for the world to see, whether it is movies, books, art, theatre, you have lovers and haters. Within these groups, there will always be a percentage voicing their opinions about everything and I love that.

Learning how to handle the critics with grace is a huge part of the process. Either way, you can’t let your highs get too high and your lows get too low. Take every comment with a grain of salt. Every time, I read anything, I remember not to take it personally. Comments are not about me, but about the person’s reaction to what they are seeing, positive or negative. All I have done is given them is cause to think.

When people read a piece of my work, fiction or non-fiction, it may or may not be for them. I could ruffle some feathers depending on my choice of topic and truly I am OK with that. The reason I write is share the thoughts in my head. I am aware that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s great, because if we all liked the same thing, the creative world would be boring.

My mindset is to write so that people will read. When children see their parents reading more and having an opinion about what they’ve read, then it opens up the doors of communication. So while I may get judge from one article, I want to thank you, reader, for the opportunity to write for you.

Everyone Is Entitled…To Their Own Opinion

The other night, I was curious about my current article stats and saw a huge increase in readers. After doing a little research, I realized what article hit a spike. Where was this traffic coming from?

The link only showed as the referral page. Against my better judgment, I clicked it, but couldn’t view it without logging on to the social media site. This should have been my first clue to be content with the new viewers and let it be. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I logged in.

Side note: I haven’t had a Facebook account in over six months, but somehow my login information was saved. Even after the allotted 30 day waiting period, my account was still active and present.

I came across the link that referenced my article and at first glance, I was excited it was from another mom. That is, until I started reading the comments.

Once I noticed it was going downhill, I clicked away and re-deleted my Facebook account. I wasn’t trying to avoid the comments but knew they weren’t there to serve me. As a parent, I am doing my best each day and I’m confident and proud of what I wrote. We do what works for our family and I encourage others to do the same.

Writing For My Ideal Reader

While the investigator in me wanted to keep reading, I didn’t want to feel bad about had been said. Yes, it was my choice to follow the link but it was also mine to click away to protect my feelings. I’m all for people sharing their opinion but that doesn’t mean I have to read it. Before I clicked off, I saw some things that made my heart hurt, not to me personally but to mothers, as a group. We all parent differently and when we judge each other harshly, it fuels the “mommy wars”.

After I stopped reading, instead of stewing about the comments, I decided to be grateful for all my new readers. I am thankful for moms who read articles and comment, positively or negatively because whether you want to or not, you are supporting someone’s work. Although, my article might have rubbed some the wrong way, I thank you for reading.

While the comments didn’t quite make my day, I was happy to see my work influencing other people to share their opinions.

I don’t pretend to have a thick skin, but I’m working on letting comments slide off of me. This is difficult for a recovering people-pleaser to admit. Frankly, these comments keep the conversation going. I’m never looking for a fight, but instead it’s fuel for me to produce more material to share and I thank you for that.

Put your oxygen mask on first. Self care is essential for all parents to make it through the day.

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