Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baby Talk

Today my latest Huffington Post blog was published on baby speech development, Baby Talk.  It is the third piece I have written for Huff Post Parents, and while I am very excited about all the exposure I am receiving, I am still adapting to reading all my negative comments.  Eh, 'tis the life of a blogger, right? 

Anyone out there have advice for thickening my skin when numerous readers call me a "bad mother"?


  1. Rhiana, would you do anything as a mother differently if given the chance to do it over again? I suspect not. Why? Because you know what kind of mom you are, you know you are a good mom, and you can stand strong in that. Re-read your Why We Judge piece and apply it to the readers who are bad-mouthing you.

    The bottom line is that no matter what you say, you are ALWAYS going to have someone who disagrees with you. You are never going to make everyone happy; that's impossible. You are never going to get someone who has a different parenting style to agree with yours - like trying to convert a Republican to a Democrat, a pro-lifer to a pro-choicer, it's never gonna happen. So try to do what those readers are NOT doing with you: understand and respect that people have different styles, beliefs, and life circumstances, and they are saying theirs and you are saying yours.

    Believe in yourself, in who you are, and know within yourself that you are doing the right thing for you and your family. Those people have no idea who you really are and are taking everything they read too seriously. Don't be like them; don't take what they say too seriously. When you read something bad, think to yourself, "well, that's their opinion". That's not to say it isn't still upsetting, but hopefully it will help you move past it quicker. And know that you have lots of moms out there who are right beside you.

    Down the road, I plan to write a several-part piece that I know without a doubt I am going to get absolutely crucified for (assuming anyone is even reading my blog!). While it's going to suck to read people tearing me apart, I know that I am firm in my beliefs, and nothing anybody says can change my mind.

    We'll see then how easy it'll be for me to follow my own advice here. :)

  2. Another thing (I'm sorry, just ignore me if I'm buggin') is to know (and I think you do) that you're not a perfect parent or writer, as nobody on Earth is, and that you are going to make mistakes (like everybody does) and people are going to call you out on them - either because they would rather acknowledge and address everybody else's mistakes instead of dealing with their own, or because maybe they are right. Try to look at what they are saying and see if perhaps there is anything that might be correct, and use it to learn from and grow from. Put a little "constructive" into their criticism! Also, these people (kooks) are your audience, like it or not, and they are technically providing you with feedback. Find a way to use that in your favor. They say "know your audience", so there ya go. Perhaps Huffington Post readers are generally very sensitive and serious and that's just the way things are. Not your fault.

    Plus, try to change your perspective on what they are saying. Is something someone says technically true? Okay, so be it. No big deal. They might be meaning for it to be an insult, but if you can try to adopt a, "well, that's probably right, and oh well" attitude, it can take you a long way. It may sting for a bit, but eventually, you'll be over it. Like, before I started commenting on this, I looked back at some of the comments on your Huff piece and one person said that the baby probably learned to talk because her sister was talking to her. They probably meant for it to be an insult, but really, if you remove the insulting aspect of the comment, they are right, and who cares? Every second child does not get the same attention as a first does, every second child learns a lot from their sibling, more so in some areas than from their parents, and so what? Do those people insult parents for sending their kids to school to learn from the teachers? It's the same principle. So, OWN those retarded comments! Think to yourself, "Yeah, she DID learn from her sister, and I fucking love the fact that I had someone else around the house helping me out!! So go suck it!"

    So do your best to weed through the crazies and see if you can find anything of value. If not, ignore it, or accept it as it wasn't something that was going to work for you (like giving the same amount of verbal and cognitive attention to the second baby as the first. Puh-lease. Not realistic). Stand firm in knowing that you don't always do what other people say is the right thing to do, and who cares? I mess up with my kids all the time, and that's just the way things are. They'll live.

    I respect you for being strong enough to be honest about what do, or don't do, as a mother.