Monday, April 26, 2010

Surviving The "Mommy Mafia"

Well, today I received my very first negative comment!  Ouch! 
Instead of dismissing it or wallowing in sorrow, I've decided to discuss it! The purpose of me discussing it is so that I can grow and learn from this experience.  Also, so  that I can say to other "mom bloggers" or mom's in general "this is what happened to me and this is how I handled it".  I want to stay true to the purpose of my blog and why I actually began to write in the first place.  To reflect, plan and think about issues important to me.  It's like therapy for me.  Just like a songwriter writes a song after a bad breakup, I am writing a blog post about my experiences{good or bad}. 
I received a comment from a STAHM(stay at home mom) from South Carolina.  She was commenting on my post If These Walls Could Talk" .  She basically read the post and took my comments literally! She started attacking and judging my parenting skills on a few fabricated statements and exaggerated quotes in my post,  instead of on the facts and evidence.  At first I was hurt and saddened by her comments but then I realized that attacks like these are way to common in the "Mommy World" and even more common on Mom Blogs.  In fact there is even a coin phrase called the "Mommy Mafia".  If you're not familiar with them than let me explain.  The "Mommy Mafia" are those women who feel it is there duty to enforce social structure norms and lay judgement on any other parents who dare to do things differently.  Many of the "hot button" issues of parenting have become the makings for a real life mommy mafia turf war!
For example, the lines that are drawn between breastfeeding moms vs bottle, disposable vs cloth, working moms vs STAHM, public school vs homeschooling.
The reality is moms are constantly being judged on how well there children are doing and the degree of their commitment. 
It's no secret than women and girls bully each other.  Hollywood even made a blockbuster movie entitled "Mean Girls".   

The difference for me is that I'm no longer in high school and insecure about myself and the decisions I make.  I guess this is one perk of being in my 30's and more comfortable in my own skin.  Not to say that it doesn't hurt when you are being judged but how I deal with the judgement is definately in a more productive way.  I feel no need to lash out or fight back.  I want this experience to make a difference in the lives of others and to set a good example for my kids on how to deal with bullies.  As a mom it is my job to recognize bullying behaviour and to address it in a healthy manor.  Just like I tell my children not to stoop to a bully's level and take the high road, I too refuse to engage in this negative behaviour.
At the end of the day, we are all  just moms trying to do the best we can with the circumstances we've been given.  We must always remember to support each other in our parenting decisions instead of tearing each other apart and being critical of one another.  I hate to think any of you have ever been bullied but that is just naive of me.  I would love to have an open discussion about some of your bullying experiences from school, work, neighbours etc.  Please leave me a comment and how you deal with bullies in your own life! 


jonesy_jen said...

All I can say is, I've got your back sister! I missed the comment from the mean lady, but since we are so alike and share the same every day problems, I feel a little irritated if not angry that someone would say something negative about your honesty. I am glad you could turn it into something positive. You are much stronger than me :)

Crystal said...

Thanks for the moral support! I guess I was was a little naive when I started blogging! Creative writitng is just that! Creative! Realism mixed with a bit of exaggeration!