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Category: Rants, vents, temper tantrums

Fight the good fight, not the dirty one that hurts your community and your fellow mombloggers!

Fight the good fight, not the dirty one that hurts your community and your fellow mombloggers!

Rarely do I use my blog to rant and vent when it comes to other bloggers.  However, what I saw go down last week on blogs and on Twitter has me rather irate.  What am I talking about?  I am talking about the #nestlefamily blogger junket.  I watched on Twitter as the chaos and mudslinging occurred.  I stayed out of it.  I know most of the bloggers that attended and I know they do not support “baby killing” as it was so often referred to.  I do understand that many people have issues with Nestle.  I read posts and followed links to see what the firestorm was all about.  I saw the outrage and anger towards Nestle- some backing up their outrage, some just jumping on the bangwagon.

But here is where it went too far:  When other bloggers went as far as to slam, criticize and be downright cruel to the bloggers in attendance. Seriously?  That is just uncalled for when you attack the attendees.  Some of the bloggers were very hurt by the accusations and cruelty thrown their way. And some of this venom was by other blogger they respect(ed).   Did those of you who attacked the bloggers personally approach them in a respectful way or just throw stones?

You see, as one of the pioneers in mommyblogging, I have seen how far we have come.  We were once at the bottom of the blogging ladder.  We were the ones at the back of the list when it came to asking opinions of us or looking to us to educate and inform others about a product or service.  We (including some of the bloggers in attendance) fought hard to gain respect in the world of social media and with corporate America.  It was through our hard work, quality writing and open mindedness that we opened doors to major corporations to reach out to us.  Yes, we opened the door to gain access to these companies.  We earned their respect and therefore they have seen the power mom bloggers have online.  Believe it or not there was a time when there was no such thing as a blogger junket.

I remember one of the first held was Johnson’ s Baby Camp.  Yes, there was a blow up over that one. However, when bloggers were upset, they went to Johnson’s.  I did not see the actual bloggers being attacked personally.  Since then there have been many, many blogger trips to corporations where mom bloggers can learn about the companies, their practices and what they stand for as a company.  (Disclosure: Yes, I have been on some of these.  Yes, I do enjoy going. And, YES, I have learned more about these companies from attending.  It is not about a free trip and swag.  Do I enjoy going on these trips?  Of course I do.  A prime example is the trip I took to Hallmark.  I learned so much there and met amazing creative people.  I did have fun but more than that, I learned so much more about the company itself.   I do look into the companies when I am asked to go on one of these blogger junkets.  Just for the record.  The majority of us do not just get an invite and automatically jump for joy and attend. We attend for a reason.  We attend to hear what they have to teach us and show us about their company.)  For the record, Johnson’s did learn from the constructive criticism they received.  I worked with the PR person on this and saw it from their side as well.

Some of these women were at the forefront of mommyblogging.  They were ones that (even if the term mommyblogger made their skin crawl) fought to be heard and respected.  They are not into blogging for free trips, swag or bragging rights that they have been able to go on these trips.  They are the ones whose quality of writing brought these trips to you. (Yes, you who have been on them yourselves and enjoyed them.)   They helped show that we are powerful, useful and want to learn more about the products they may (or may not) be buying for their families.  To suggest anything else is not only inaccurate but cruel.  These women were blogging about their lives long before there was any monetary compensation or free trips involved.  Long before some of you were even blogging.

I saw and heard many women I respect personally attack these bloggers and frankly, it pisses me off in a big way.  I lost respect for women I had admired who used social media as a way to attack the attendees themselves.  What do you hope to gain doing that?  Do you think that by attacking their ethics, motivation and character makes you look more informed and a better person/mom blogger?  Well, it doesn’t.  It makes you look foolish and immature.

If you have a problem with Nestle, bring it up with NESTLE.  You want to boycott them, you go on with your bad self.  You want to tell Nestle off, do it.  It is well within your right to stand strong in your beliefs when it comes to a company and their practices.  I applaud you being an advocate for what you believe.  I seriously do admire those of you who stand up for what you believe and fight to see that injustices you hear or learn about are dealt with.

However, the moment you made it personal towards the mombloggers (and dad blogger) who went to this event, you lost your credibility.  At least with me.  It amounts to nothing more than school yard bullying.  Not to mention bullying some of the very people who have opened doors that I know you have enjoyed walking through yourself.

And, yes, I know that not all of the people who are anti-Nestle berated these bloggers. I know that.  Enough did, though, that I feel it should be addressed.

Those of you who did make it personal with these bloggers, the next time you decided to throw stones at these people, you think long and hard about what stones could be thrown at you.  Their attendance did not mean they support Nestle’s practices.  Do you know why they went?  Did you ask them what their motivation was to attend?  Did you find out if they wanted to become better informed on the issues you brought up?  Or did you assume their attendance automatically made them the bad guys?

With social media such as Twitter it is so easy to sit behind a computer and hurl your insults and make these people feel bad.  Are you using social media as a tool or as a weapon?  Think about it.

Had I been able to go, would I have gone?  Probably.  Not because I discount the research done by many bloggers on the company.  Not because I wanted a free trip. And not because I will blindly go anywhere I am asked to go.  But because no matter how much research I read from you, I want to get my own answers.  I want to see both sides.  I want to educate myself.

I am so disappointed in how my fellow mombloggers were treated personally. It infuriates me.

I fear that behavior like I saw will drag the mom(my) blogger name into the mud and shove us back into the depths of “we don’t want to hear from them” because dammit we have worked too hard for too many years to gain respect.

And, no, I am not talking about speaking out about your feelings, research and ideas about Nestle itself.  I am talking about the rude, mean spirited attacks against women I know to be admirable, respected and intelligent well educated bloggers who have done amazing things when it comes to blogging–namely momblogging.

Shame on those of you who saw fit to attack the attendees themselves.

Use your anger and your outrage over the company to open a dialogue with Nestle or use your words to educate those who do not know what you have researched.

And for the love of all things community, back the hell off of these bloggers.  They are good people.

/ end rant

My blog, my friend. My blog, my enemy. MY BLOG. Period.

My blog, my friend. My blog, my enemy. MY BLOG. Period.

I have had so many things to say but have found myself in a position I swore I would never be stuck in with this blog.  I find myself needing to censor myself.  I mean really, when do you ever see me put an “*”  in the middle of a word so it suddenly is not such a curse word after all.  I mean, really? (That is my next post but this one became too long.)

I guess it started when I found more and more people in my real life reading my blog.  Now, I was outed  years ago by a friend who loved the blog and shared it with friends at school.  That did not bother me.  They commented or admitted to reading it or just flat out didn’t care.  I could be myself.  That is what this blog is all about.  It doesn’t bother me that people I see on a daily basis read this.  I have nothing to hide.  Not exactly.  It is just that it becomes a one way street.  They are allowed into my private life and into my thoughts but I am not privy to theirs.  It seems…off balance.  You can know me, but I cannot know you.  That doesn’t so much work for me.

Oh, but on the humorous side of this, I did have a mom from the school who emailed me a few days ago.  You see– for those of you just joining us– I am the PTA president at the school of one of my kids.    Now, if you have been here for a while that statement is STILL making you laugh.  I get it.  I do!  But this email was classic.

Dear Jennifer, PTA President,

I came across your blog the other day. (It wasn’t hard to find.  You might want to think about not being so visible if you are taking on such a big volunteer role.  Especially when the kid is so young.)  However, I found a few posts that made me wonder how you must be feeling about your words now.  These posts are not very flattering to the PTA and now you stand up as their president. It seems a bit hipocritical [sic]. I wanted to know how you feel about the PTA now and if you take back what you said now that you are “the leader” of the “Stepfords”.

From,

A Mom Out To Cause Trouble

Well, in answer to your question, pretty damn good.

Here is my response:

Dear Mom Trying to Cause Trouble,

I have two policies on my blog:  1) I do not delete a post UNLESS I have directly inflicted pain on someone unintentionally and 2) I do not say anything on my blog that I would not say to someone’s face. (Oh, and let’s throw in #3: No nude pictures. Of me.)

Thank you so much for pointing out these old posts!  I mean it!  It really reminds me what it felt like to be treated so badly and to feel so unwelcome.  Your email helps remind me I never want to make anyone who volunteers at the school feel that way.  You must be very caring to ensure that I am reminded of that bad time so that I can avoid it while I am in a position that holds at least a little bit of power.

Thank you so much for your concern and caring for our volunteers!

I look forward to seeing you at school,

~Jenn

For those of you who have been here a while, you are surely aware of what she is talking about.  For those of you who are new, here are links to the horrible, awful, no good posts I wrote.  Including trying to fake my own death to avoid the PTA.  (Again, I am not apologetic about my words.  I was working with women who were the Meanie Moms of the school and they had no problem excluding, belittling and bringing volunteers to tears.)

These posts (if you look at the year they were written) are old.  I still stand by them because I was treated in a manner that I hope a PTA volunteer at the school I am active in is NEVER, EVER treated.  It was a horrible time in my life and a horrible way to be treated by anyone.  Now?  Now I know I set myself up for mocking because of these old posts.  Do I care?  Sure!  I already feel like an outsider anyway. However, I am strong enough to take it.  I know that what I went through only made me more determined to make sure anyone who wants to volunteer is not only welcome, but praised for their work.  Whether it is one hour every other month or 15 hours a week.  They all matter.  They ALL deserve respect.  I am thankful for each of them!

So, Ms. Mom Trying To Cause Trouble, take your spite elsewhere.  If you want to volunteer, you are welcome to do so.  If you want to try to make me look bad?  Oh, honey, I do that enough on my own and really don’t need your help, thankyouverymuch.

Anyone else have stones?  Feel free to hurl them.  Trust me.  I can take it.



But you do have a pretty face

But you do have a pretty face

(Disclaimer: To those who went to BlogHer and felt that in anyway they were snubbed, hurt or brushed off by me, please email me. I was overwhelmed. I mean between my adhd and my anxiety, there were times that I had to mentally shut down. And, yes, there were times that I would be having an amazing conversation with you and then BLAM I realized that what blog you wrote for. I was just enjoying talking to you and it did not click! I just liked you. So I ask you in all sincerity, if I hurt you or made you feel badly in anyway, please email and tell me. I never, ever want to make anyone feel hurt or upset by me. I really am not a bitch. I am just too emotional and get overwhelmed too easily. With over 1,000 brilliant minds and women there, it is hard to not take it in and absorb all of that energy. So when I was barreling down the hallway, it was tunnel vision in survival mode. Forgive me. But please let me know!)

I can’t tell you the number of times I have opened and closed this browser trying to find the right words to talk about BlogHer. I am not sure there are any that will capture what this year meant to me. I am a four-timer, so I have all of the conferences to compare it to. I can say that I walked away from this one with the most positive attitude and best experiences of any of the BlogHerCons that came before.

This year I went with an attitude that i would take care of myself and have my own agenda rather than be at the whim of the crowd or someone who may or may not have the time to be with me. I wanted to catch up with old friends, meet people I have been emailing with for ages and have never met face to face and to make new friends.

I was able to catch up with some old friends. Some I was just able to only hug in passing but we both knew that it was due to the insanity of the weekend and not a lack of desire to spend time together. Some people that I really wanted to meet, I missed in the chaos. I hope we find time to at least stay connected online. Most surprising and wonderful was meeting people I thought I would “enjoy” but ended up absolutely adoring them. I mean, blog stalking (in a good way) adoring them.

I had deep conversations with brilliant minds. I had nonsensical conversations with tons of laughter. I had brief chats that I wish had been longer. I had long conversations that I wish would have never ended. I even got to listen to a most awesome Southern boy accent tell me not to take out my friends while driving like a maniac. (An under control maniac.) And I was able to be traumatized by the Michelin Man.

And then there was the book signing at Macy’s.

Wow. I mean, it was a surreal experience and makes me look forward to more of those and to my own book coming out. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and bought a book and got it signed. (If you didn’t and are interested, contact me.) I had a blast with the whole experience. Thank you for making it so much fun.

All of that I just mention? I will write about in more depth because I want people to know how much they touched me and for those who didn’t go, that it IS for you and YOU do belong if you can go next year.

But I need to get something off of my chest that happened. Something that slammed me against a wall. It had nothing to do with BlogHer the conference. But with one person. The shame of writing about it is so intense but I have to get it out so it doesn’t continue to eat me alive.

And then there was after Macy’s. When I met the meanest blogger of the weekend. All I can say is I am glad that her nametag was either hidden or not on because I would call her out for her rudeness. Our conversation went a bit like this:

Her: HI!! I loved meeting you. I just love your writing. Your personality is even bigger in person than online! You look like you are having so much fun! You are awesome.

Me: (blown away by such kindness) Thank you…

Her: You totally don’t look like your pictures. I didn’t expect you to be fat. You really don’t look it. I mean, you never talk about it. It really surprised me! Really. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Your face and all is so pretty.

Me: uhhhhhhhh……

Her: I hope you don’t take that wrong or anything. *giggle*

Me: uhhhhhhhhh….Yeah, I have to go meet nice people in the bar now.

Seriously? Yes. Seriously. What do you say to that? I immediately went to the comfort of my friends (hoping to find one of them who would want to kick some ass) but I never said anything because really? Who wants to repeat a conversation like that after being devastated by it? I didn’t want to relive that humiliation.

I get it. I know that between my meds, my depression and my thyroid, I have put on way more weight than I want. More than I am comfortable. I have a mirror. I get it. But to have someone say that to me. Well? It absolutely crushed me. Ironically, my biggest fear about going to BlogHer and what really almost kept me from going until 2 weeks before was my weight gain and the fear that I would be judged harshly. I was assured no one was that mean. (WRONG!) (I don’t blame you kind people who convinced me to go. I am glad I did. And who knew someone like this would be there and be so mean??) I am going to hope and pretend this woman was high or drunk.

Why would someone do that? Answer me that. Why?

And if it was you who said it, email me. Because really? I need to know why you did that.

I promise, the good stuff is coming next. I just had to get that out. The inner turmoil of it was eating me alive. I may delete this as soon as I hit publish but maybe if I put it out there, it will take away the power that awful woman has had over my mind. Let it go. Move on. Right?

I am a woman. So what? Give me issues.

I am a woman. So what? Give me issues.

If I hear one more woman say or read one more woman write that we “as women” need to vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman and it is about time “to have a woman in office”, I am going to burn my bra and mail it to them. I am just as offended by any woman saying that they would vote for a person based on gender as I am a man saying do not vote for Hillary because she is a woman. Would it be good to have a woman in office? Of course. History making. Will I base a vote on GENDER alone? Hell no!

Is that how we want to vote? Seriously? Then, let’s just take all of the names off of the ballot. We shall vote Penis or NO Penis. (Dangling Chad or No Dangling Chad)

My point, any person– male or female– who would base a vote for the President of the United States based on gender (or race or looks or anything that has nothing to do with issues) really needs to re-evaluate their reasons for voting at all.

I am not Hillary bashing here. I am “Woman Power Hear Me Roar Without Looking at What Issues Are Important To ME but At Gender Alone” bashing. If Hillary stands on the issues where you would like your next president to stand, vote for her. If not, take that damn gender card and throw it out and vote for the candidate that YOU are most aligned with when it comes to ISSUES.

Vote for the issues, people. Not the Penis (or lack thereof). I work with many Democratic, liberal feminists who are very intelligent and well spoken. I have even heard a few of them say they would/should vote for Hillary in order to get a woman into office. I sincerely hope I am missing the part of that where they add….”because I agree with her on her politics.”

I don’t get into politics here on this blog. I don’t want to argue them. I am more angry about the fact that I am hearing intelligent women saying things that shock me. I am not a political blogger or a political expert. In fact, I can honestly tell you that I have no idea exactly whose ring I am throwing my hat into right now. Given a choice and having to make that decision RIGHT THIS INSTANT, I know who I would lean towards, but that is my decision. And guess what? I am basing it on the issues that are important to me. Not on woman power. (Hear me gag.)

Seriously? Stop.

Seriously? Stop.

Dear Stomach,

Disregard any kindness in my previous letter.  I hate you.  I would claw you out with my own fingernails if I didn’t think you were already trying to do the same thing from the inside.

In pain and fatigue,

~Writhing girl

enough!

enough!

Dear Stomach,

We can handle this one of two ways.

Either you just empty everything you have right now and stop this cramping and teasing as I writhe in agony either on my bed or on my bathroom floor

OR

I am going to flood you with so much Pepto Bismol that you will think the Barbie Dream House vomited on you.

I am over playing nice.

Sincerely,

The Person Begging the Porcelain Goddess to make you give it up already