The Perils of Mommy Blogging

And so it has begun.

I love sharing my life and opinions with you, but we’ve entered a new realm of the blogging world and I confess I’m having a hard time coping with the adjustment. Previously the criticisms felt easier to write off, because they were often a matter of “well that’s your opinion and this is mine, let’s agree to disagree.” Now though, the attacks are starting to revolve around my ability to properly care for my son, most certainly my second favorite person in the entire world (TH is numero uno of course).

I desperately want to be a good mother and give him the best start in life (and I know that this post and the sentence this aside is embedded in will likely prompt many to write and let me know they think I am a good mom — thanks in advance for that!)  but man, I can already tell I’m going to be making a lot of mistakes. And those mistakes are sometimes going to get posted on the blog. And unless you’ve personally make that mistake yourself, or one similar to it, it’s going to be easy for you to think to yourself If I were in her shoes I would do it so much better.

But could you? Let me tell you, this parenting thing is hard my friends. 8 weeks in and I’m just now celebrating a nighttime ritual where if I’m lucky I go to bed around 11, wake up at 2 for 30 minutes, wake up again at 5 for 30 minutes, and wake up again at 7:30 for the day. And this sleep schedule feels like a luxury! My husband is sleep deprived as well, which means more petty arguments between the two of us. I rarely can do one thing at a time for more than 2 hours. It can take 45 minutes to get everything packed up, him dressed, fed, and changed, and in the car seat so we can go somewhere (and that didn’t even count the time getting me ready). My life revolves around him, in wonderful ways of course, but he also leaves me feeling at times like screaming GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK.

And now I kind of want to yell that at some of you. And I might do it sometimes. Because I was struggling before to remain calm and not get snarky with the commenters who feel they can cancel out all tactlessness by starting out their comment with phrases like Not to be rude or anything but, (Here’s a hint: If you start out your comment with that phrase, it’s probably a rude one and you should just go along on your merry little way. Rarely do constructive additions to a dialog start with such phrase.) and now I’m feeling myself begin to overanalyze and question and wonder how much of my life I want to share and cheeky/brusque Jenna hops up on my shoulder and whispers things in my ear that I type out and then regret after the reply button is pressed. Maybe it would be easier for all of us if I carefully worded my posts and photos to make sure my life looked sparkly and happy and easy, and that I looked like A+ Super Mom on steroids, then there wouldn’t be anything for you to criticize. It is possible, you know, to present yourself that way if you really want to.

I don’t want to do that though. I like to be me, and what you see on That Wife is 100% what you would get if you met me in person (except if you met me in person I would probably get dressed, something I don’t always do when writing my posts… that’s pretty much the only difference though). As I attempt to adjust to this new stage in life, you’re often going to see a snarky defensive side come out, at least in the beginning. I see the comment trolling for replies and I tell myself to leave it alone, that they don’t deserve the attention, but sometimes my ego wins out and I have to engage in a stand-off with the often-anonymous troller. Sometimes I’ll be mistaken and think an innocent commenter is a rude one, because it’s so easy to misread tone in print. I apologize if this happens to you and I hope you will give me the benefit of the doubt and come back again. Give me another try, and hopefully you’ll see some improvement over time.

It’s not going to be easy for me to adjust to this thing called Mommy Blogging though, and I hope you’ll have patience with me as I wriggle and squirm my way into this new capacity. If you stick around, you’re going to see my son go from baby to boy, and maybe, if I write that long, to man! (That’s weird to think about though.) Often, we’re going to have to agree to disagree (don’t we often do that anyway though?). And please, always keep in mind that I love my little screaming mass of terror and joy and am working to figure out what’s best for him. As my first, he’s a little guinea pig to my parenting undertakings, and it’s going to get messy at times. But hopefully he knows that is what he signed up for.

82 thoughts on “The Perils of Mommy Blogging

  1. Amen sister. Its why my blog is private. But somebody is always going to have an opinion about basically whatever. Its human nature to want to prove something, I guess. Just keep being you, and keep being the mom you want to be. it seems like you are doing a pretty great job already.

  2. Yes, this parenting stuff is a roller coaster. The people who have all the answers are the ones who have never tried it. But hey, now you know why the whole “climbing the mountain child birth analogy” came across so negatively. Just do your best!

  3. I know this isn’t for everyone, but you can always copy other bloggers such as Dooce and turn the comments off. This is your blog, and it is a perfectly legitimate way to cope when there is too much negativity or criticism. It’s wonderful to have debates and conversations online, but there are also times when it’s okay to post, and leave it at that. I love reading all the comments, but there are times when I would be 100% supportive if they were disabled. Your blog, your choice!

  4. Jenna, as a soon-to-be mom, I just wanted to say that I appreciate your candor on your blog. I really hope that the nasty comments you’ve gotten don’t ultimately cause you to stop being so honest. It’s totally crazy to me that people feel entitled to lob criticisms at parents who are clearly making well-informed choices for their children. There are plenty of problems in the world, but parents who are making thoughtful (if sleep-deprived!) decisions on how to raise their children are not one of them.

  5. I am so glad you aren’t going to try to make yourself look sparkly and happy and perfect all the time because that is just not real life and I have been reading your blog everyday since I found it because you are so real. Please don’t change! Love you just the way you are and that’s just the way it should be.

    I work with children and I see what mothers do to each other, to impress and tear each other apart and I think it is really sad especially since the children get first hand experience in how to be dishonest and cruel. shame shame!

    Keep your chin up and blog on!

  6. Also, If you love your child you are not a bad parent. If you love your child that is the most important thing and you are doing the best you can and I am sure that to little T1 that is all that will ever matter anyway, even if he is the guinea pig :)

  7. Hi Jenna,

    As a mom to be I a can only imagine how hard it is to take care of a newborn. Anyone who says it is easy is lying or hasn’t done it yet. Keep giving us you sassy opinions and telling it straight. It is your honesty that makes your blog and gives it a personality, your personality.

  8. You can’t please everyone, and there’s no right or wrong way to raise your children. I think people need to remember that – and stick around to support you, not harass you.

    For what it’s worth, I’m not a mum – but I enjoy reading your experiences because you write in a very ‘real’ way, and I like to get different ideas of motherhood while I’m not in a position to experience it for myself. :)

  9. No one does mothering perfectly. NO ONE. If there were a way to be perfect at it, we would be living in a very different world!

    You care and that is the most important thing. You are carefully considering all the choices related to your son and he is so lucky to have you.

  10. i read your blog a lot but have not commented. i am really, really sorry to hear that people are making judgmental comments about your parenting style. help, advice and support are one thing, and i know people are allowed to voice their opinions on a public blog, but i do very much wish that people would think very carefully about how they voice their opinions, and whether to voice them at all considering that there is a real person writing this blog, and raising a child is fraught with enough psychological and emotional difficulties as it is. and i know it’s so much easier said than done to “ignore the haters”, because really you’re doing this for the first time, and what mom ever really knows what they’re doing, and what mom wouldn’t take any kind of criticism personally? anyway, enough rant–it’s clear that you love your child and that you’re smart and responsible, there are plenty of us out here who trust you completely to raise your child well.

  11. I’m just going to have to tell you what my aunt told me not so long ago, and I’m translating it and changing the girl to boy, but that’s it. It touched me beyond words and it’s something I want to remember when I have children too:
    “When your turn comes, you won’t be a perfect mother (thank God!) and you son/daughter will ask him/herself the same deep questions regarding the meaning of life; what matters is that he/she continues to turn to you in moments of crisis and then, you’ll be able to say: I didn’t mess it all up!”
    It’s one of the best things regarding parenting that I was ever told, along with my grandmother’s “You know us women, we tend to become 100% mothers when children come in, but we need to remember to be lovers too.” But that’s more regarding relationships than parenting.

  12. Jenna, you seem like a great mom. And people just need to get over “Haircutgate.” It’s hair! Somebody else’s child’s hair! Gimme a break! Don’t take it personally–these people seriously need to get a life!

    ps- And I personally think T1 will thank you someday when his (professional quality–lucky him!) baby pics are mullet-free!!

  13. I know exactly where you are coming from and I’m sorry you are having to go through it. Although, for me it’s a much much smaller scale and not about my parenting (b/c that blog is private, but if it weren’t – I’m sure I’d get that, too).
    I think you are doing wonderful with what you have been given. It sounds like T1 is really Colicy and it’s so incredibly hard to stay sane with a constantly screaming baby. Naomi went through a brief stage of that and I cried almost on a daily basis. I commend you for going on with your life.
    It get’s so much easier as they get older. Eating takes less time, you will begin to get more sleep, they develop a schedule and regular naps and life is even better. You are amazing, though, you get out a few times a week and I just stayed home because it was easier. Oh wait.. and 10 degrees outside. :)

    I hope it lets up for you and people go on their merry way (love that phrase).

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