Can We Build Each Other Up, Instead Of Bashing Each Other Down?

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In light of some recent negativity towards mums who share their lives online, I’ve often wondered if, back in the day, parents were punished so harshly for their parenting choices. I ponder if they were they dragged out into the street, and publicly thrashed, or stoned, like the people who’d stolen bread and stuff.

Perhaps Mary was so proud of her family portrait, and how gorgeous her unsmiling children looked in it, that she pissed everyone off by getting them to admire it when they visited. Did her guests gather together and put anonymous calligraphy notes through her door, telling her she was up her own arse for wanting to share her family with the masses?

I bet Margaret let herself down by treating her colicky baby with what sounds like an awesome concoction of opiates and alcohol, and was the first in line for a thrashing when she wrote to the local paper to share her amazing cure. I suspect that neither were thrashed or stoned, I suspect the worst that happened was that Mary’s pissed off visitors smiled and nodded politely, and Margaret’s mates all came around to learn of this miracle cure-Drs encouraged it, and everyone thought it was fandabbydosy. It proves that everyone parented however the feck they wanted, and nobody batted an eyelid.

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Opiates and alcohol for colic, anyone?

Fast forward to today, and times have changed. It seems that a lot of people would like to stone you and thrash you for the way you parent, but because they can’t (outlawed and all that y’all,) then you have to find a way to show your immediate disdain of how dreadful you perceive other parents to be. You need to cloak up (basically just hide behind your computer screen-it makes a great mask,) get crappy internet user name ‘PerfectParent666’ and virtually bash your targets through the screen.

There’s an extremist branch, who have blown out the cloak and dagger approach, using their own actual names-this sect is mainly made up of Daily Fail journalists. Both sects love that the online nature of their virtual stoning will give them an incredible freedom to say all the things they’d never be able to say to somebody’s face. Anybody can do it, all you have to be is a Twazok With an Ability To Type-I’m sure you’ll agree that they’ll thank me for the useful acronym I just created for them.

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Let’s hide behind these, and virtually bash as many people as we can!

They don’t like parents who share useful ideas for crafts and fun activities, online. And don’t you dare stand against a wall looking amazing in an achingly cool outfit, because that is not allowed. You will be referred to as ‘smug.’ Now, I’ve checked, and the dictionary definition of smug is ‘having or showing excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements.’ Looking ace in a fab outfit and sharing an idea you found that may help someone entertain their children for more than 3 nanoseconds doesn’t quite seem to fit, but is still seen as insufferable to these Keyboard Warrior TWATTs.

Similarly, they will fall off their chairs in sheer convulsions of pure rage, should any parent admit to daytime drinking, wanting time away from their children, or finding motherhood hard or just a bit shit. They will take pleasure in tearing further strips from a woman who has had the courage to admit they just can’t find perfection in every second, and will enjoy leeching any remaining confidence from them, swooping like virtual vultures to peck away at any remaining unexposed vulnerability.

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Don’t you dare enjoy sharing pictures of yourself looking lovely…

Now, I’d like to know what these people would think of me. On one hand, I devour pictures of beautiful mums, with their gorgeous offspring-my Instagram is full of them. I admire them, and although I’d never squeeze my crepy tummy and cellulitic ass into a denim jumpsuit, I’d like to celebrate with them that they can look so awesome, not put them down because I can’t. I also have a whole cupboard dedicated to crafts. It’s just a shame my children fecking hate crafts, and would rather be rolling around in mud and kicking the shit out of each other.

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Please don’t admit it’s not all perfect…

On the other hand, I’ve also had a drink before the children have gone to bed-anything to stop me clawing at my own face like a meth addled zombie. I’ve also sometimes felt that I don’t like being a mum, and I’ve inadvertently messed up the job. So where does that leave me? Will the TWATTS vilify me for sitting on the fence? Does that make me the crappiest of all crappy parents because I can’t even commit to one single parenting cause to be knocked down for? Or does it make me a legend, a superhero parent hybrid cross between a Mister Maker, and Lindsay Lohan-canonised as a parenting style to aspire to, as it covers all bases, and shows super powers for not fully being sucked into any parenting style wholeheartedly.

The answer is, I don’t actually care. I don’t care what an online TWATT has to say about my parenting, and don’t want them to gnaw anything more from my psyche than they can, with their ill informed, jealousy based comments and opinions. I will continue to admire my favourite Instagram families, and leave comments that build them up, to make up for those bashing them down. I’ll continue to collect craft tutorials, until the day my children give in and indulge me. I will daytime drink if I want to (not till I’m passed out obvs-looking after them hungover is not fun.) I will laugh about my parenting fails, and learn from my mistakes.

We are not perfect, and the least perfect of all are those who will hurt people at their most vulnerable, and who can’t find it in themselves to be happy for somebody who is successful, or find a word of sympathy for someone who is struggling. Look at Mary and Margaret and the Victorians-they drank Guinness while pregnant, made their 2 year olds fend for themselves, and swapped tips on drugging their children-and nobody gave a shit.

I’m going to be more Mary and Margaret-I’m going to give less of a damn. I won’t let the words of others invalidate my feelings, or and knock me down. That’s the best reaction for the TWATTS, and with any luck, will make them self combust from their own anger.

*This post luckily hasn’t stemmed from personal experience, but is for all who have been on the receiving end of this.

 

59 Comments

  1. September 11, 2016 / 10:55 am

    I was upset when I first read it, I guess it was a gut reaction. But now I decided that no one has the right to make me feel that shit that doesn’t know me! I do put myself out there and people have the right to their opinions. What I find really annoying is the fact to raise people up society needs to knock people down. Mum bashing is not on , there is room in this world for all sorts.

  2. September 11, 2016 / 7:40 pm

    I’ve witnessed a bit of first hand mum bashing recently, and I pondered how harsh it is – and how easy it is to get sucked in and join in. Life’s too short to be so negative, I’ve really been feeling that lately. If there’s anyone who needs someone to lean on for support, it’s another Mum. We should know that, right?! Fab piece hun xx
    #Bigpinklink

  3. September 12, 2016 / 8:07 am

    Good for you! You can’t win – anything that looks remotely ‘good’ and you’re smug, anything remotely ‘bad’ and you’re a crap parent. You’ve got the right approach, stay positive, know you’re doing the best for your family and your sanity and the trolls can carry on leading their negative lives from behind a computer screen #bigpinklink

  4. September 12, 2016 / 8:13 am

    Oh I have had som really negative comments to my blog. Horrible, judges things saying what a terrible parent and a bad example I must be. I just delete and move on, I have no time for numpties! It’s always worse when it’s a comment from another blogger though.

    #big pink link

  5. September 12, 2016 / 8:21 am

    Such a great article lovely – sadly, playground behaviour seems to rear it’s ugly head time and time again and there just doesn’t seem to be enough positivity in general around – it feels to me as if there is a huge cloud of unhappiness so people turn to criticise others to make themselves feel better – not nice and not something I want to or have ever been involved in. You’ve put your point across perfectly! #BigPinkLink

  6. September 12, 2016 / 8:26 am

    I am so glad that I did my parenting back in the olden days before the interweb was a big thing. I may have had to put up with unsolicited advice/criticism from relatives and nosey old ladies in the highstreet, but it was certainly nothing like parents have to deal with these days.
    My parents always taught me ‘if you cant say something nice, shut up’. It us something many people should remember. #bigpinklink

    P.s TWATT’s…….. just brilliant 😂😂

  7. September 12, 2016 / 8:30 am

    SPOT ON! Yes to all of this – TWATTS – Brilliant. #bigpinklink

  8. Nige
    September 12, 2016 / 8:36 am

    Fab post and it’s so wrong but I guess when you put it all online you leave yourself open to a bashing people can be nasty. I have recently experianced such behaviour difficult situation thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  9. September 12, 2016 / 8:36 am

    This is a touch poignant for me today. I’ve always been of the mind live and let live. I was bought up to only say something nice or nothing at all. Of course I am a naturally quiet and shy in big or unfamiliar groups so perhaps my silence can be misconstrued for rudeness. I use my social media for my own satisfaction and because it is a lovely way to connect to other like minded people. I have had days where some of the lovely comments have really helped keep me going until the kids bedtime. I avoid the daily fail like the plague for precisely their rudeness. My Husband calls people you describe in this post ‘Keyboard Warriors’ and I think it is a very accurate term.
    I enjoyed reading this! Have a great day!
    #BigPinkLink

  10. September 12, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Ah I love this so much, you’re so right, those awful Daily Fail people are a disgrace and should be ashamed of themselves. The double standards are just awful – you can’t look nice as you’re smug, you can’t wear a tracksuit as you’ve let yourself go. It’s a no win situation. As if we don’t have enough to deal with just trying to parent the best we can! xx #bigpinklink

  11. September 12, 2016 / 8:44 am

    I love this! I hate negativity and I have been disappointed to come across some over the last week. Keep doing what you’re doing hun cause you’re fabulous! I’m with you – lets build each other up! xx #bigpinklink

  12. September 12, 2016 / 8:45 am

    I love his, good for you!! I read the article with complete outrage and yet by the end I had to laugh at how ridiculous it is that a proud mum who wants to share her life with others is now labelled as smug! I had a friend (and I use that word loosely) that told me my blog was very self indulgent, and I was completely lost for words. I guess sometimes you just can’t win, and I think as bloggers we do leave ourselves open to criticism and it’s important to try not to let it affect you, however hard that may be sometimes! #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 12, 2016 / 8:57 am

      Self indulgent?! Does she not know what you often write about, and how writing about it could be one of the best outlets for your grief? Honestly. I’m unashamedly self indulgent in my writing-In looking after the children, I’m largely forgotten, so I’m just me me me on the blog!!

  13. September 12, 2016 / 8:56 am

    This is quite simply one of the best posts I’ve ever read. It breaks my heart to see mums being torn to shreds both in life and online when we are all basically just doing the best that we can. You’ve captured this so perfectly and I salute you for tackling this hateful trend. Very well said xx

    • This Mum's Life
      September 12, 2016 / 8:59 am

      Thanks for the very kind words Dawn. I know a lot of people are saying that you open yourselves up to it by living your life online, but there should be no place for hatred, and negative comments deliberately meant to put someone down. I’ve never understood it, and never will do. X

      • September 12, 2016 / 10:21 am

        I totally agree. We might be sharing our lives online, but we’re not harming anyone and not attacking people. Why are we therefore inviting this kind of abuse ourselves? Brilliant brilliant post. Thank you for hosting #bigpinklink x

  14. September 12, 2016 / 9:31 am

    Yes! This! Why are people so mean! Live and let live I say xx #bigpinklink

  15. September 12, 2016 / 9:40 am

    This is BRILLIANT! So true! It’s a no-win situation? If you post a lot of pics/moments, you’re gloating, if you dare tag yourself as being out-out you’re neglectful. Gosh we women are sadly each other’s worst critics. Great piece #bigpinklink

  16. September 12, 2016 / 9:43 am

    This is such a brilliant post, truly. Thanks so much for speaking up! It is blooming difficult to be a blogger, and be your little old self when people are out to get you. Why are people so mean, so judgmental, a lot of it is down to jealousy or just beef they have with themselves. Keep being your super self! #bigpinklink

  17. September 12, 2016 / 10:04 am

    Some people really get on my nerves. No matter what we do, we will be judged. So we might aswell do whatever the hell we want. This is spot on and so well written. Thanks for sharing! #BIGPINKLINK

  18. September 12, 2016 / 10:41 am

    There seems to be so much mum bashing – not just online but in day to day life too. I got a lot of gasps when I told some people Piglet was weaning at 19 weeks – but thats because it was advised by HCPs to help with his weight gain. No one knows what anyone else is going through – we should be building each other up for sure! #bigpinklink

  19. September 12, 2016 / 11:46 am

    This is all too true, people hide behind their phones and computers and think it’s acceptable to say nasty things, that quite frankly they would never say to you if they bumped into you in the street! This is a great post and such a good read, thank you! #bigpinklink

  20. September 12, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    YES! I love this, you are spot on. Lily Allen did a song called URL Badman about this phenomena although she was obviously mainly referring to music bloggers. But yep everyone can be a keyboard warrior unfortunately. I’ve encountered very little judgment or rudeness to my actual face but you see it everywhere online. It can be hard to ignore it but it’s the only way! A little kindness goes a long way and just keeping your mouth shut when you have nothing nice to say is always stellar advice. #bigpinklink

  21. September 12, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    It’s so sad that so often the internet is used for evil, to tear people down. Be more Mary and Margaret (I think that will be my motto!). The internet allows people to behave in a way that would never be stood for in the real world. It’s horrible. But I love the way you’ve highlighted and tackled this issue with humour #BigPinkLink

  22. September 12, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    Very well said… Well done! I have not experienced any bashers yet but who cares, I post anything I want whenever I want. That’s my account I can do what I want. I think people that do these things are those that are so jealous and bitter in life. #bigpinklink

  23. September 12, 2016 / 1:47 pm

    It’s so easy for people to sit behind their keyboards and be all judgey but we can’t win really can we! People moan if you’re too smug, they moan if you rant too much – there isn’t really a happy medium! #bigpinklink

  24. September 12, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Well said. I do believe I know what article (although I am sure there are many) that you are referring to and it is a load of tripe. A way for someone to make a story from nothing and if the only way you can write an article is to throw down your fellow females in the process then it’s a little desperate. But I fear haters gonna hate – especially if it gets them noticed. I think I am like you I so want to be a stylish and crafty blogger yet I also need a bathroom beer to get me through the day – all of which comes out on my little space. I’m sure my time to face the music (hate) will come as I have thus far avoided it but hey I think that hate says more about the people giving it out than those receiving it xx #bigpinklink

  25. September 12, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    When hid behind a computer screen people seem able to say stuff they would never dare say to your face. At the end of the day these people aren’t worth engaging with or even taking any notice of. Everyone parents in the way that works best for them and as parents I think we should all be supporting each other as best as we can. I can have a completely different opinion on a parenting topic to someone else but that doesn’t mean we have to be mortal enemies! he more people that start building others up then the less obvious the TWATTs will be. Great post! #BigPinkLink

  26. September 12, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    So true so true!!! I just hope karma comes round and bites them on the arse! Bloody keyboard warriors….really pisses me off. Right, got to go pour a gin!! #bigpinklink

  27. September 12, 2016 / 3:24 pm

    I love reading happy posts. I love reading about other people’s crafts and baking (especially if there are photos of cakes) and seeing their holiday posts. I also enjoy reading about the days which leave us looking forward to wine o’clock as it makes me feel like I am among friends! #bigpinklink

  28. September 12, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    There are TWATTS everywhere. Totallyagree with you that the best thing to do is ignore them completely and get on with it. Thank you for your positively. I really appreciate your positive instagram comments 🙂

  29. September 12, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    Hear hear. Exactly this. We all need to stop giving each other such a hard time, since when was the default reaction to anything to find out how you can undermine it and retaliate? These days the norm is reacting more with aggression than with compassion and it is sad and scary.

    But I’m with you. Less of the giving a fuck, we’re all doing our best.

    Katie calling in from the #BigPinkLink

  30. September 12, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    Great post. I hate all the judging that goes on between women, there is no need for it. I’m such a sensitive person, I let everything get to me unfortunately, it would be easier to just ignore negativity x #bigpinklink

  31. September 12, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    I agree with you! unless there is abuse or neglect involved, parents have the right to parent their way. I, for one, sometimes like to look good when I go out. Of course that mostly pertains to putting my hair up and slapping some eyeliner on and that’s it but kudos to the moms who are able to get themselves dressed up nicely and wanting to look and feel good. There is nothing wrong with that. I occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner, while my kids are eating. It’s not that big a deal and the internet just needs to take a chill pill. Great post! Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  32. September 12, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    Well said. Down with TWATTs! You have to feel sorry for them really if they have nothing better to do with their time.
    The more people admit it’s not easy, the easier it feels to me. Because it really is not. Thank you. #bigpinklink

  33. September 12, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    No one is perfect, we all have shit days as a parent, we all have really awesome days as a parent. I hate seeing so many parents judging other parents and their choices, I am a firm believer in happy mum, happy baby, if that means chilling with a glass or bottle of wine on a wednesday evening because the kids have been awful, then fine. go for it! wake up and know that tomorrow is another day. #bigpinklink

  34. September 12, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    I am new to this blogger lark so am yet to receive hate mail… look forward to that one!! On another note, my sister was told to drink Guinness when she was pregnant because she is anaemic and iron supplements aren’t absorbs by her freaky body. Pint a day! #bigpinklink

  35. September 12, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Absolutely fantastic post! I couldn’t agree more. Just because someone parents differently to you doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong. We are all very different and so are our kids and lifestyles, there is no one best way to do everything, what works perfectly for one parent could be a total disaster for another, he’ll, anyone with more than one kid will tell you that things that worked for child one did nothing with child two. I was always taught that if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all. If these TWATTS (love the acronym by the way) don’t like what they see/read they could just move on and find something more to their taste, no-one is forcing them to look at those pictures or read those posts. There is enough hatred in this world, we should definitely be focusing on lifting each other up not tearing each other down.
    #Bigpinklink

  36. September 12, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    The Daily Fail get their clickbait by acting like the worst of all playground bullies. The only real answer to them is not to read that rubbish. Totally agree with everything you’ve said, and love Mary and Margaret! #bigpinklink

  37. September 13, 2016 / 8:11 am

    I never cease to be amazed at how mums can bash other mums. They do it as if it’s their right – but it’s wrong. We all judge, but we should keep our judgements to ourselves and not use social media to voice our negative opinions about others. Of course, karma will come along and bite these trolls in the bum, but meanwhile there are mums feeling shit about themselves – it can really adversely affect them, especially when they are tired and stressed out anyway. Well done for highlighting this issue and yes, we must try not to give a damn. Alison x #bigpinklink

  38. September 13, 2016 / 9:02 am

    Positivity is a win. There is enough negativity in this universe to cause us all sorts of ailments and behavioral derailers. I’m for joining forces and bossting eachother up — celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly, because that what our lives are filled with. I know that no one photoshops me as i walk around in life! Great post and great host. TY and M’wah! <3 <3 <3 #bigpinklink

  39. September 13, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    I love your passion and whit – everyone has an opinion right?! But with you on we should building ourselves up not pulling each other down! #bigpinklink

  40. September 13, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    I’m yet to receive my first rude or negative comment but I don’t think I post anything too inflammatory, although mind you, i’m sure plenty of people roll their eyes when they see I’ve posted yet another Mummy blog to my Facebook feed. Oh well, they can burn me at the stake if they like. I’ll just stand smug against a wall as I go up in flames. I might just flick them the V whilst I’m at it! Good for you! #bigpinklink

  41. September 13, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    I haven’t experienced this but I’m very aware of these people. They are the reason I try to have an online presence that is as innocuous as possible so that no one can take issue! I might start to actually say what I think one day!

    #BigPinkLink

  42. September 13, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    My life, my kids, my choices; They are just a pack of twatty hyenas! #bigpinklink

  43. September 14, 2016 / 9:03 am

    Some people are so insecure about their own decisions and lives the only way they can make themselves feel better is by trying to make others feel worse. If I was ever likely to be a TWATT then having children with autism would have cured me; there’s no way I’d ever judge another parent now considering the sorts of things I’ve had to do to get through the day!

    #bigpinklink

  44. September 14, 2016 / 11:38 am

    Urgh there will always be people in life just waiting to tear you down, whatever you do! It’s a reflection on them not you. If they want to spend their lives slagging other people off that’s their choice – sensationalist bullies. I think this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt is worth bearing in mind should you ever find yourself on the receiving end of of this nonsense: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 14, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      Oooh I love that!! That’s another one I’ll hold onto for when I need it!! Xx

  45. September 14, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    Oh I admire you the ability to not worry about what others think! I know you haven’t specifically aimed this at bloggers, but I often worry that I’m putting us out there too much and about any negativity it may attract. Luckily I haven’t received *too* much, but that that I have really does knock you down. #BigPinkLink

  46. September 15, 2016 / 6:50 am

    I think people who feel the need to be horrible to others or put them down are in some way inadequate themselves. Either that or just horrible (which I suppose is in a sense the same thing). Great post! #bigpinklink

  47. September 15, 2016 / 6:54 am

    I’ll try and do the same. It is sad when women tear eachother down rather than build eachother up. Let’s support other women and mums and celebrate the diversity #bigpinklink

    Nadia – Scandimummy x

  48. September 15, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    There has been a fair amount of nasty stuff flying around recently, not just in such bastions of journalistic integrity as the Fail but between fellow bloggers too. Sometimes people disagree. Sometimes people have different ways of doing the same thing – but it doesn’t mean either of them are wrong. Sometimes people choose to say/write spiteful things simply because they know that’s great clickbait.

    I’ve got pretty thick skin so criticism and personal attacks tend to roll off my back but it can be so hard not to get upset. I always say it says more about the attacker than the attacked, though. I don’t write for the approval of others, or their agreement. I write because I want to write, and if people have a problem with that – well, that’s *their* problem. #bigpinklink

  49. September 16, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    I recently wrote a post about it being harder being a mum today than it was for generations before – I definitely think there’s too much pressure & social media has a lot to answer for! #bigpinklink

  50. September 17, 2016 / 7:20 am

    Brilliant post I found my self nodding along and agreeing with everything you said. It really is ridiculous they way people think they can say whatever they want with no regards to anyone or anything else because they are typing it on a keyboard and posting online as oppose to standing in front of the person! #bigpinklink

  51. September 17, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    Very very well said hun. It is so easy to let these critics make us feel bad, when really we should be ignoring them as they hide behind their computers xx #bigpinklink

  52. September 17, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Perfectly put, and definitely needed considering some of the negativity people have been receiving lately. I honestly cannot and never will understand why someone would take joy in ‘bashing’ someone else for their parenting, life or opinions. I find it particularly upsetting when its parents attacking other parents, we should all be in it together supporting one another through the ups and downs not putting each other down at any given opportunity. There needs to be more love and positivity for one another- Negativity can do one! Thank you for having me with you on #bigpinklink again 🙂 xx

  53. September 20, 2016 / 11:11 am

    Great post, and comforting to be reminded that these trolls are just causing trouble for troubles sake, bank rolled by total numptys to upset the status quo.
    I love seeing photos of achingly cool looking Mumas – something to aspire too for me! and as for craft, well I have the imagination of a Nat, so any ideas are welcome to keep my girls from tearing strips off each other for 5 minutes.
    If only these trolls could just get laid and be done with their frustrations!
    Big love, L
    xxx
    #bigpinklink

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