I’ve gone back and forth as to whether or not I should respond to an anonymous comment I received last week on my “I Heart Tuesdays!” post. I can think of a few ways to respond, but I choose to say “Thank you” to the person who attacked me in such a way. Thank you for reminding me what a blessed life I have and what amazing, supportive family and friends I am surrounded by.
My very initial reaction when reading the comment was to call my husband and laugh about receiving my first anonymous hater comment from someone I don’t even know. It was a little initiation into a club of fellow bloggers who have gotten similar comments: judgmental words from a complete stranger. I suppose not a complete stranger considering I do put quite a bit of myself out there for all the world to read when I write my posts. I started this blog as a way to keep family and friends up to date on our lives and occasionally, I use the blog as a personal journal of sorts. And I appreciate everyone who reads my words, whether you agree or disagree with them. I read other blogs with opinions and thoughts I don’t agree with and would never think of writing something negative to them. Ever. Especially if I didn’t even know them.
My day-after feeling was gratitude towards all of my friends and family who came to my defense and wrote such kind words both here on the blog and on facebook. Reassurance that Anonymous is coming from a narrow perspective that in no way reflects our actual situation as a family.
Since then, I have had mixed emotions. On the eve of what was an extremely exciting day in our family’s history, this Anonymous person chose to call me whiny and accuse me of living an extravagant life. How sad. I agree that I can be a bit whiny sometimes, can’t we all to some degree? And if living with no debt (except a mortgage) and paying cash for everything is extravagant, then so be it. And just to clarify, a HUGE majority of my stress lately comes from homework and not from flying. I love being a mom, at home with my adorable kids and I love my job as a flight attendant. I love being home with my family a majority of the time, but I also welcome a break every once in a while. I have mentioned before in previous blog posts, I am a better wife and mother after a little break and some “me” time, even when it involves a few days away, a relaxing hotel room, meeting new people all across the country, In N’ Out Burger and maybe a movie. I would almost go so far as to say that I would enjoy being a flight attendant even if I didn’t get paid- the bonus comes as a paycheck twice a month.
Now, I hope I don’t get judged for being excited about time away from my family for the occasional break. Not every woman was made to be a stay-at-home mom. I may have talked in my post about this dream life I have to stay at home every single day and live a blissful, laundry-filled existence, but that isn’t completely accurate. I think I would go a little crazy. I also chose to get an epidural during birth, does that make me less of a mom? No. We all make our own choices in life about how we will raise our families. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all live out those choices without facing judgment by the people around us?
I have incredible friends who choose to stay home with their kids, friends who have to work for financial reasons (either because they are a single mom or for other financial reasons), and those who choose to work because they want to provide a certain lifestyle for their kids and family with a two-income household. Every single family has figured out what situation works best for them, as it should be- without judgment from anyone. A close friend of my husband just bought his dream car, a classic, merely because he has always wanted to own one. An outsider may look at his purchase as extravagant or unnecessary. What they wouldn’t know, is that this person has saved and saved for years, setting aside a little bit here and there while still paying his bills and saving for his family’s future, just to buy a classic car like this- and paid cash for it. We all have our “classic car”, the one thing we have waited and saved and planned for, until the perfect time comes along. Guess what our “classic car” is? Yep, a larger home, in a safe neighborhood, with great schools and a home our kids will be able to bring their own children back to someday to visit grandma and grandpa. What is your “classic car”, something you’ve saved and sacrificed for? For some, it’s a vacation to Hawaii or Europe, for other’s it’s new furniture for the house. Whatever it is, the satisfaction of reaching that goal is very rewarding.
It’s hard for me when anyone would look at a family and question why both parents would choose to work, rather than have someone stay home fulltime with their kids, to maintain a particular lifestyle. Or look at a family who is struggling financially, when only one parent is working, and question why both parents wouldn’t choose to work to bring in more money. Passing judgment on anyone else is a slippery slope, so be careful. You never know when someone is lurking in the wings (or blog-stalking), waiting to pass judgment on you for something you feel completely comfortable with as a family. I know I’m not perfect, but I try and be careful not too press my own views or pass judgment on others.
The “I Heart Tuesdays!” post wasn’t written from a negative place on my part. I don’t hate the other days of my life, I promise. I hope that I can continue blogging about my life and my family’s lives without judgment and negativity involved. I enjoy peeking in on the lives of others through blogging as a way to feel a little more normal in the midst of chaotic days. To feel like I’m not alone on days when I’m overwhelmed or to share in the joyful days others are experiencing. There are some pretty incredible people out there blogging- some I know personally and some I don’t- and I am thankful for their willingness to share a part of themselves with us all.
Which brings me to my next blogging adventure. I will be beginning a week of posts containing things I am thankful for, which might be tough while I’m on the road, but I will try and get something in everyday.