Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wow.

I received an anonymous comment on my blog last night which was ... hurtful. And full of misunderstanding.

My last post pictured my daughter sitting on a motorized scooter with a neighbor - her sitting in front of my friend on a scooter. No she did not have a helmet on, and I was criticized, heavily. In words you don't chuck out unless you mean business. Perhaps most of you would have agreed with the commenter.

My husband said not to respond. Clearly, he said, this person does not know you. Don't fuel the fire he says, no good can come of it.

But as it involves criticism that I disregarded my own child's safety, I decided to respond. (Keep in mind, anyone who IS a parent knows they need no further criticism from anyone besides themselves).

Call me lots of things and you would be right - mediocre. average. ordinary. imperfect. But comments that I exposed my child to an irresponsible danger. That I will defend.

For note: The motorized scooter in question is a childs motorized scooter. I don't know what speeds it goes, but childrens' motorized vehicles generally don't go over 5 to 10 miles an hour. I know it is a scooter intended for the 8-10 year old age group and is not street legal. My neighbor who had Greta on the scooter lives 4 houses away, and from the completely creeping speeds I saw (my neighbor had her foot on the ground balancing the whole way) I would guess it was going LESS than 2 miles an hour. (maybe 2? Jodi, you drove her, would you think it was over 2?) I wouldn't let my child go with someone irresponsible, and going at any speed above a crawl was out of the question. Speed was never even discussed because my friend would NEVER endanger a child and neither would I. I watched the whole thing, no way would anyone have ever thought the speed was a factor in anything, because frankly, my neighbor was essentially scooting along on her feet. No way could my G have gotten hurt.

Clearly the commenter doesn't know me. Ask anyone who knows me. I was raised by the most paranoid woman in the whole world. Anyone who knows me and hears I was criticized for being unsafe will be baffled.

Threats were made about "not reading this blog" anymore. Well, it is a documentation for me, not for you. If you find something fun or insightful, great, but it is a way for me to keep track of creative things I do with my children so that I will remember it, or moments I want to remember. I am not on a publicity campaign for my life. Thankfully, my priorities are straight - with concern for readership of this blog coming in dead last. This blog doesn't even come close to representing my real life in any way. Art lessons with my kids? Sewing? The occasional tidbit about something funny my kids did? My blog represents less than 1% of my life. My blog was private for a really long time - I was hesitant to share my life and it is precisely this kind of experience that makes me hesitant. Being judged by people who see one teeny tiny snippet of your life and decide you are the worst person on earth. And worse, doing so on the assumption that they have all the facts.

And, if there is anything I find more cowardly than leaving an anonymous comment, I will let you know. Please, this blog is not my life and is not important enough to me to keep going if I am to be attacked anonymously. If you have convictions, own them, be yourself, and be proud to be yourself.

34 comments:

Mikelle Auman-Williams said...

You are such a great mom that you shouldn't even have to defend yourself. Your kids are so lucky! I love your blog! And you!

www.noteworthydesigns.ca said...

I am sad to hear that someone felt the need to comment. I'm also sad to see that the post is gone (although in the spirit to shield yourself from any other inappropriate comments, I understand). I appreciate what you share on your blog - thank you. I hate when strangers feel the need to criticize others parenting. Keep up the great work - blogging and being a great-cool-fun-loving mom (from what I can see from your blog!)

Anne said...

Lane. (That's what Thomas says when he means "lame"). The whole point of your post was uber-sweet, about how attached you are to Greta. You're rubber, and the anonymous commenter is that really toxic stinky glue that naughty kids used to sniff. Love you.

Camillitary said...

That is too bad Pam...my advice to myself and other is 'be kind.' It is the best way to be, or try to be. I enjoyed the post and thought nothing more than what it was. Keep up the great work.

Camillitary said...

I meant 'others.' I hate bad grammar.

GrittyPretty said...

it really bugs that someone would write that. ugh.

i love your blog. your mothering is exceptional. and your family's story is dear to me! i think you can change the settings so that no one can leave anonymous comments.

Maggie said...

people can be so self righteous, I'm sorry you've been hurt. You're fabulous and I love your blog.

Althea said...

You are an inspiration to many of us who only see a teeny snippet of your life,and the anonymous jerkface who judged you obviously has the wrong idea-both of themselves as one with the ABILITY to judge-and of you for being anything less than a human being who does the very best for her children.

So...anonymous jerkface...I hope that God blesses you with the perspective you so obviously need.

Pam...you inspire me and many others. Please continue that we can see that teeny snippet of your life. You rock.

mandy said...

oh my goodness, sorry someone took out their own problems on you. thank you for coming here and sharing a bit of yourself. it is so appreciated. xoxo

Lovely Little Lovelies said...

never commented in this space before, but felt the need to today...
that is unbelievably LAME that someone thought it was absolutely vital to berate you in a blog comment. good grief.

and if they don't want to continue reading this fine blog again, good riddance.

be gentle with yourself. you know what happened.

Kellie said...

I don't know you from Adam...i just know i stumbled upon your blog and was inspired beyond belief! I am a expectant mother of 4 kids under 9. I am a country girl raising my kids in suburbia...i purposely allow my kids to be kids which sometimes means they may be in danger- for example, they run around the backyard avoiding the ax my husband left out, the saw i kept outside when i was pruning...they play with ropes, i even let me 4 year old run around with an old tool box that unknowingly had a box of razor blades in it! lol! but you know what? there is a Godly protection over kids that is sometimes unbelievable...you know, the kind that you feel when you let your kids be daring and let them do things like ride on a motorized scooter? i applaud you for standing up for yourself on this one...NO ONE knows you or your children like you do, nor do they have the right to hurtfully attack...
we have friends that no longer let their kids come over 'cause they think our yard is unsafe...i just call it an adventure! keep going mommy- we believe in you!

juliannarichman@blogspot.com said...

WOW. I'm with Anne who quoted her son and said "lane'. It is so lame that lame is not even the word to describe it. This person cannot be a mother because every mother knows they are not perfectly keeping everyone of their children safe 100% of the time. (not to say that the scooter ride wasn't safe-I never thought it was unsafe) I wish we could be more supportive of each other rather than so critical. SO anonymous reader-I hope you can relax a little-I am going to try and be a supportive and say that you must have had a bad day. And if you go private Pam will you include me please. I think you are inspiring.

allie said...

Seriously! I hope you know that when I am having a bad mom day I just think of what a great mom you are and it gives me hope that I can do it too! Your kids are so lucky to have you and I agree that anonymous comments are a sad persons way of lashing out and being rude. I love your blog.

jodi said...

well Pam, I actually think it was 2.5mph. I mean I stubbed my toe that was dragging on the ground. Don't let this get to you...if I were to pick a mother I admire most it'd be you because of the love you show your kids. period.

cathy said...

Seriously! Pam you are a great mom and not just to your own kids! Your house is Kella's second home and I trust you above others to watch over her! That person seriouly needs to take a look at their own faults before running their mouth off! We love you and will miss you greatly!!!!

I am glad to see you keep the dress up tradition alive with Greta!!!

Vanessa said...

Pammy- I am so sorry that someone decided to lash out at you like that. I know a lot of great mom's and you are probably the greatest one out all of them. I love you.

Christina said...

That is so dumb that someone would take their time to write something mean and then not put their name on it. Your blog is inspiring and entertaining and I am so glad you share. Some days I never leave the house. Some days I don't talk to anyone above the age of 7. Without blogs like yours that share real stuff, how else am I going to get out? Don't change.

Emily said...

Well, I didn't see the post or the comment, but I'm sorry someone did that.

I don't know you, but your blog is one of my favorites! It's kind of weird that someone would judge you like that because my impression of you (based off of the tiny bit that you post) is that you're an amazing mom! Like, I read your blog with the hope that someday when I have kids I will be as creative and amazing as you are.

(And I feel super cheesy writing that, by the way, but it's totally true.)

sixmoores said...

Hammy I love you. Don't take it too much to heart. Your a peach of a mom & sister.

People who feel compelled to take the time to be mean really only hurt themselves in the long run. Whomever that person is gets the joy of being that person still (opinionated, grumpy, negative) - and luckily you are still you.

I thought it was a great story about Greta. I also liked reading about what a great neighbor Jodi has been - and a good reminder to be a good neighbor.

meg said...

Pam,

You are a gem! Ignore that unhappy person. I think that you are a wonderful mom.

selahestelle said...

Unfortunately, many seem to feel justified in passing judgement on others even with very little information. It is so easy to do, but is dangerous and hurtful. As a parent, who has been guilty of passing judgement myself, I alway try to remind myself that I don't know the whole situation. Being a parent after years of working with kids has made me realize how easy it is to look like you're being a "bad parent" when you are genuinely doing your best and watching/loving your children more than anything. The criticism was short-sighted, rude and unfair. This person could have expressed concern in a far more neighborly, constructive way, but the internet gives the meek bravery enough to scold, but does not actually make them brave, strong people. Being a parent and loving enough to let the most precious thing in your life go and have their own lives is being a brave, strong person.

HooverBirds said...

what an ass! pay no mind to buttfaces like that.

Crafty Mama said...

It broke my heart to hear about the comment you received. Somehow I randomly fell upon your blog a few months ago. What an inspiration you are! You are specifically the person who inspired me to start my own blog, so I just want to personally say thank you that you did go public on your blog. I hope you won't let this one ignorant comment spoil it for the rest of us fans. Your blog, your creativity, all your amazing ideas, and the love you show for your kids - well, when I first saw your blog, I thought "I want to be this kind of mom." And I still feel that way 100%!

Carolyn said...

The funny thing is, I read that post and didn't even think about it. I'm a paranoid mom but from reading your blog I assumed you kept a safe eye on her and that your friend lived close by. Plus, as a kid I used to get rides on a adult-size scooter with a close family friend. No helmet. Regular road speed. People freak out about pretty much everything these days. It's just too bad they felt like they needed to judge you and make you feel terrible.

Fun times at the McF home said...

Hey Pam...I'm Cathy's sis in law. I think that who ever made that comment was looking to string up trouble. The things you do for birthdays alone are amazing...forget about the parent patrol. You are a great mom!

megadog said...

Oooh, the old, "I won't read your blog anymore threat." Real scary!
There are some rude, rude people in the world. I can tell you lots of stories about being out in public and having strangers criticize for random, weird stuff. Don't worry about it. Those clowns are a dime a dozen.

Heistermanfamily said...

Pam you are one of the most amazing people I know! Don't let that loser's pathetic comments get you down! Love ya Tons!

Em said...

My new theme in life is "Why do you care?" Why would someone care what you do? Mind your own business and get a life and yes, I hope they don't read your blog anymore. Big threat. You are doing a great job!

Kelsi said...

What a pathetic person to leave a comment like that. You are awesome Pam! Don't waist your time on people like that. I love reading your blog and you are an awesome mom!

Abbigail said...

Wow is right. Missed the photo but I sure I would have loved it. We often take neighborhood kids on short "rides" around the block and it is all great fun. You inspire me all the time. That commentor must have a real chip on his/her shoulder.
Hope all is going well with the many changes in your family's life. We are thinking of u out in the Midwest.

sixmoores said...

I did think of three people more paranoid than you when it comes to child safety but you are related to them all. 1) Mom 2) Grandpa Olsen 3) Uncle David. Those are in no specific order, they all are/were off the chart.

Amanda said...

I've also been attacked online more than a few times by people that have nothing better to do. You are an excellent mom and it shows in all of your posts. Said poster is obviously jealous and had to pick out the one possible thing they could conjure up to make themselves feel better.

AkuTyger said...

I have had a few of those too, it's never fun. Just delete them and put it out as some person having a bad day. In the end, I put up comment moderating because of getting a ton of Chinese X rated sites spamming me. The good thing is though, usually they just leave one comment one day and never return.

I think you are a fantastic mom and I will always return to read your stories. Someday I hope to find a way out there and meet you in person, but until then - KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

Brooke said...

Ditto what Mikelle said.