Earlier this month, I wrote a post about my view on parent blogging. It seems to have attracted more controversy than I was expecting, and I must admit some of the responses I saw got me down a bit.
I must point out here that the responses to that post were not only comments on my blog, but also tweets, subtweets and even the odd passive-aggressive blog post. These ranged from “if you don’t like it, don’t read it” to the full on “who are you to…” kind.
Interestingly, the positive responses I received were mostly via text or private message. People didn’t seem so keen to agree with me wholeheartedly in public, for everyone to see.
Someone did write a piece for Tots 100’s “Secret Blogger” section almost echoing what I said, but perhaps more viciously – since it was anonymous. It seems to have received the same sort of backlash as I had – only people commented on the post. They may well have subtweeted or whatever else, but I’ve not seen anything.
I wrote my post fairly quickly, as the points came to me and with little revision. Perhaps I was not diplomatic enough in my language. Either way, I got a few backs up. I was expecting it I suppose, but I do not revel in such attention. I know there are people out there who will court controversy or play the bitch (perhaps not even playing) in order to keep people coming back to read their writing, but I’m not like that. I don’t expect people to agree with everything I say, but I dislike the sort of disagreement that turns into bitchiness and unpleasantness. That response is something I should have anticipated in a post about other people’s blogs.
Last week, I wrote a post about spelling and punctuation. I have a fairly unpopular view on that; I believe if you can’t be bothered to learn correct grammar, use a spell checker and proof read, you probably should just do vlogging instead. It bothers me that there is so little attention to detail, not just in what people are publishing, but also evidently in how they have been educated. I don’t like it, and I cannot read a book or blog that lacks this attention to detail. I don’t understand why anyone would just let such things slide, and publish something that made them look like they didn’t know what they were doing.
When I wrote my post though, I found that it took me several hours. I can type fairly fast, and usually once I have the thread of an idea, it doesn’t take me more than half an hour or so to get the first draft one. The reason the post took me so long was that I was trying to re-word every sentence, so as to be more diplomatic, less controversial. Less likely to incur the wrath of barely-literate bloggers who took offence to my opinion.
I talked to a friend who has published a fair few inflammatory blog posts, as well as a couple of outbursts on Twitter. I always admire people who can just speak their minds, knowing they’re leaving themselves open to a shitstorm, and yet will still keep going. I asked if he worried about the response to his posts. His response was basically “just write it and publish it, then f*** em.” He did counsel against being deliberately provocative though.
Eventually I published the post, and didn’t receive a backlash, which was not surprising, since I’d spent several hours cutting out anything I thought might offend someone.
And then, over the weekend, apropros of not a fat lot, I gave myself a bit of a talking to. On Saturday I had a bit of a situation with S, which involved her screaming all the way around town. During the episode, I was self aware enough to see that people were walking past us and trying not to stare (they mostly failed at that one). My child was screaming, with tears streaming down her cheeks and snot all over the place. I remember thinking it was weird that I really didn’t care what anyone else thought; I just wanted to make sure my child was ok. At one point I sat on my knees on the floor in a department store, talking to her soothingly, wiping her nose, cuddling her and whatever else I could think of. We walked across town on a busy Saturday morning and I was not at all bothered whether people thought my child was having a tantrum, or had fallen over, or I’d hit her, or whatever else.
Once we got home and everything was ok, I realised how odd it was, that I hadn’t been concerned. Normally, where S is concerned, I am always worried about what people will think; the situation with the ex means that I am often paranoid that “news” such as this will get back to him and be used as “proof” that I’m a bad mother. It’s taken two and a half years, but I don’t care what gets back to him now; I don’t care what strangers in the street think.
… And if I don’t care what a stranger in the street thinks of the most important part of my life – the parenting of my child – why would I give a hoot for what people I don’t know think of my opinion? So go ahead. Tweet me. Subtweet. Write your passive-aggressive bullshit blog posts. You can even comment on my blog. But you should probably try to spell your bilious, defensive bullshit correctly.