A couple of months ago, back when Momvillage was still on a temporary URL and I was
working on getting it ready obsessively trying to perfect it prior to going live, I told one of my best mom friends about the concept so I could run a few ideas past her for constructive criticism.
Her reaction blindsided me: “I can’t read mom blogs.”
“But you’ll read mine, right?” I cried in dismay.
She hesitated before explaining more.
“I honestly just can’t stand the judgment. Sometimes I make the mistake of reading the comments below the post, and all I can do is cry. My husband walks in and finds me in tears, and asks what on earth I’m doing, and I just wail, ‘looking at Facebook!’ Being a mom of a newborn and a toddler is hard enough. I had to unfollow all those pages just so I can get on social media without bursting into tears.”
I’m guessing a lot of us can identify with this sweet friend of mine. As a mom, you don’t have to look hard or long at your newsfeed to find those conversations. You know the ones. The ones with the bickering, the name-calling, and the belittling that swirls around, boiling up until it reaches the ultimate insult: “You’re unfit to be a parent;” “You’re ruining your kids;” “I feel sorry for your children.”
For me, some days, it’s like the car wreck I can’t help but watch as I pass by. I don’t dare get involved; I certainly don’t know enough (new mom alert!), and I don’t think I can really help the situation. And yet…I find myself scrolling through those comments, alternating between shock and disgust, unable to look away.
I used to spend an inordinate amount of time (while nursing a newborn for an inordinate amount of time!) wondering why in the world moms engaged in such ridiculousness on the internet. This past August, when I read the chapter on parenting in Brené Brown’s bestseller, Daring Greatly, the pieces fell into place for me. She explains, “Ironically, parenting is a shame and judgment minefield precisely because most of us are wading through uncertainty and self-doubt when it comes to raising our children.”
I hope you all come back to visit Momvillage over and over (and over!). But as our audience grows, I want to be very clear: this is not a place for click bait. This is not a place for judgment or name-calling. Moreover, if anyone is crying while they read anything on this blog, those better be tears of joy or empathy, not pain! Momvillage will not be another mom blog for the poor, sleep-deprived mom of a newborn and toddler to unfollow out of self-preservation…because that defeats the whole purpose. This site is meant to help make the lives of local moms a little bit (or a lot a bit!) easier. I have so much more I want to do to achieve that mission, but *fingers crossed*, I think we’re heading in the right direction.
Moms of the INW: we’re all in this uncertainty and self-doubt together. As we teach kindness to our children, we need to take those lessons to heart ourselves and live them the best we can. Be kind. Because, seriously, you never know how many times that mom got up last night — and who, other than a mom can really understand how that feels?
At Momvillage, we believe every mother’s story deserves to be told. Are you a mom in the Spokane/CdA area who would be willing to share your thoughts and stories about motherhood? I would love to connect. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.