On Monday night, I watched the Bachelorette’s Men Tell All episode. (I also totally realize you may have officially lowered your opinion of me now that you know that I watch said show.) Anyway, it’s always one of my favorite episodes because you get to see the contestants get “real” about their season, ask questions, and hopefully get some closure. Monday’s episode took an interesting turn that I have never seen before, and it really struck a chord with me.
Midway through the show, the bachelorette Kaitlyn was brought out. Now, I will be honest and say she has made some decisions I personally wouldn’t make, but that’s her prerogative and she seems like a very nice (and pretty funny) person. Chris Harrison started talking to her about some of the decisions she has made on the show, and then the topic turned to how hateful some of the viewers have been. My ears immediately perked up when the began talking about remarks made to Kaitlyn on social media, and my heart immediately went out to her.
There were people tweeting to her calling her a whore, cursing at her, and telling her she needs to die. To DIE people! How AWFUL is that? I immediately got a pit in my stomach as I watched tears well up in this poor girls eyes. Kaitlyn went on to say that she has gotten death threats, and one of the most hateful of the messages read out came from a mother. Kaitlyn was so shocked, and didn’t understand why someone would spread such hate that has a child….how is this mother any better for teaching her child how to hate with the way she was talking to Kaitlyn?
Oh my friends, this hits so, SO close to home for me. I have been blogging over five and a half years now, and have gotten my fair share of hateful comments, emails, tweets, and the like. I absolutely do not expect everyone to like me, read my blog, or agree with me, (it would be WEIRD if you did!) but I DO expect people (especially MOTHER’S for crying out loud!) to show some respect, kindness, and compassion. Saying something hurtful then disguising it as “I have a right to my opinion” isn’t nice either. Just because you CAN say something, doesn’t always mean you should.
It seems like the majority of the hate I have gotten has come since having my baby, and is directed at my parenting style. Why? I am honestly wanting to know why? For some unknown to me reason, mothers have this way of directly or passive aggressively making other moms feel bad about their parenting decisions, and it’s really not cool.
Unfortunately, I feel like most of the hate comes from insecurity, jealousy, and anger in a mother’s own lives, and I really and truly just want to give you a big hug. I will admit, my initial reaction is often anger. What did I personally do to you to deserve this? Why are you wasting precious time you could be spending with your own kids, writing me hate mail? Do you honestly CARE about what I do and don’t do with my child, or does it just make you feel better about yourself to make me feel bad?
But once I get over that initial anger, I truly feel sorry for you. Sorry that you have so much anger in your life that you need to blow off steam on someone, and obviously don’t have that outlet. Sorry that your three kids being home with you all day drives you insane but you feel too guilty to admit you really need a break from them. Sorry that you wish you could afford to stay home with your kids and you feel guilty because you don’t get to spend enough time with them. Sorry that you don’t have any family nearby so you never get to go on date nights or vacations. Mostly, I am sorry that you feel so alone with no one to discuss this with in a healthy (aka not bashing people online) way.
I wish I could just talk to you over coffee, and find out what I could do to help. I want to find out why it bothers you so much that I formula fed my baby after a month of unsuccessful breastfeeding. I want to find out why the fact that I travel for work and leisure and leave her with her very capable grandparents for a few days makes you so angry that you leave passive aggressive comments about it on my blog. I want to find out what I have personally done to make you lash out, and get to the root of the problem.
I so, so wish that moms would be more encouraging and compassionate. We know how HARD raising kids can be, so instead of pointing the finger and declaring that what someone else did as “wrong” why not be sympathetic? Aren’t we all trying to strive toward a common goal? To raise these tiny humans to be happy, healthy, and the best that they can be? I don’t know what is going on in your life behind closed doors just as you don’t know what is going on in mine. I am working really hard to never try to measure someone else’s pain. Just because I find a tough situation “not that bad”, doesn’t mean it’s easy for someone else to deal with. None of us really know what others are going through.
I know it’s so easy to read a blog or an Instagram profile and feel like someone else has it “easy”, or is “lucky”, but just remember, you may not know the whole story. You may not know that a mom who formula feeds her baby would love to breastfeed but can’t due to a medical issue. You may not know that a mom who puts her kids in full time daycare needed to do so because she struggles with postpartum depression. You may not know that frequently traveling out of town is part of the job, and bills have to be paid.
Everyone is going through their own stuff y’all. Trials will always come, and I thank the Lord that He is there with me every step of the way because I can’t do it on my own. I pray that every hard time that comes will turn into a learning experience and an opportunity for me to grow and be better. I have made many many mistakes in my life, some even involve being rude to people online, and I will totally own it. The key is in the learning. I have grown up and hopefully am making better, kinder decisions every day.
If you don’t like my blog, that’s fine, and I am ok with that! No one is forcing you to read it (I hope!) I really don’t want you wasting your time reading something that you don’t like, what fun is that? I know what I have to say is not for everyone, and that’s ok, too. I do want one thing though, I want us to all step back, and take a deep breathe. Before you hit the “submit” button on a Facebook status, blog comment, or tweet, just think about what you are writing. Re-read it. Can anything you are saying come across wrong, rude, mean, or passive aggressive? Is your comment going to genuinely HELP the person or tear them down? Is what you are about to say something that you would want a stranger saying to your child online? (that one gets me to stop and think every time!) Just be careful. be kind.
If we all took the hate and anger and disagreements we have with people, and instead of commenting online about it would say something nice or beneficial, this world would be a better place and we could hopefully get a handle on cyber bullying.
In closing and thinking back to the show, I hope that Bachelorette Kaitlyn realizes she has worth and value aside from what the people on social media said about her, and I hope YOU realize that you have value, too. If you ever need to chat, vent or cry, my door is open fellow mom, blogger, woman, or reader. I’m here, and I won’t judge. Life is hard, and we all need a cheerleader sometimes.