I shouldn’t let this kind of shit bother me, but when you read a comment like “I question how much she really loves and nurtures her children. Why did she choose to have another, and heaven forbid she does it again. What will her boys think of her and how she feels about them when they are old enough to read what she says about them?”, it really sort of drops a wet turd on your morning. Not because I believe this to be true in any way shape or form, but because I feel unhappy that people like that have access to the stories I share about my life and my children’s lives.

I read a great quote recently that had to do with sanctimonious parents who say they feel bad for other people’s kids — kids whose parents make different choices than the person doing the judging — it was something like, “I won’t feel sorry for your kids if you won’t feel sorry for mine.” I admire that, because it’s a taking-the-high-road sort of response, and I wish I could feel that way.

But you know, I don’t. I DO feel sorry for kids whose parents act like the people who take the time out of their loving, nurturing lives to write cruel comments about parents they don’t even know, because those children are being raised in an environment of intolerance. They’re going to learn that it’s perfectly okay to call names and to treat each other like crap, all because someone’s lifestyle isn’t the same as their own.

It’s the same old story, we’ve heard this junk a million times before, I know. I’ll just never understand why we can’t disagree with each other without resorting to below-the-belt behavior.

2977402342_95a0fba42a.jpg
(Portrait of a resentful, unloving family. If seen, please report to the nearest authority. Possibly a hairstylist, because WHOAH.)

Comments

244 Responses to “Nurture”

  1. Gina on October 27th, 2008 6:46 pm

    WTF??? To each his own, as far as opinions go, but I don’t get why anyone would have an entire post on why they aren’t reading someone else’s blog anymore. Just don’t read it. By making a grand statement about it, as well as making such ugly accusations, seems a bit like attention- and drama-whoring to me. It’s clear to anyone with half a brain that you are a good mom and love your kids, so fuck em, I say.

  2. Hotch Potchery on October 27th, 2008 6:52 pm

    I read your post, then the linked post this morning. I got so upset that I couldn’t even rationally type out a comment to you and had to wait until I got home from work. I am sure my sentiments have been echoed in the 200 other comments, I just had to offer support. I know when we put things on blogs we are leaving ourselves open to criticism, because we can’t always convey tone electronically, but that was nasty to post those words about you and your family.

    Don’t feel sorry for my kids, and I won’t feel sorry for yours…words to live by!

  3. Jenn Perryman on October 27th, 2008 7:13 pm

    You make me proud to be a mom. Because I was never cut out to stay at home, cloth diaper, breastfeed, co-sleep or wear my baby 24/7, but I love my kid more than life itself. And I know that love and a good sense of humor is all it takes to be a fantastic mom. Don’t let the closed-minded people get to you. (And thanks for the link, I love me a good trainwreck.)

  4. April on October 27th, 2008 7:16 pm

    Jeez. What a judgmental bitch. I like your blog because you show both sides of parenting. The love you have for your kids is completely obvious, even when you are complaining about them not sleeping or whatever.

  5. that one on October 27th, 2008 7:21 pm

    Dear TypeAlice,

    Please feel free to continue living within your bubble of hate and judgment. I much prefer my world of compassion and choice.

  6. Maureen on October 27th, 2008 7:30 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments, so I apologize if someone already mentioned this.

    Long ago (I’m almost 48) I decided that the only opinions that would matter to me are from the people I would like to be my friend. So, if I really admired and respected someone, I would listen to their input, look at my own behavior and see if I needed to make some changes.

    It is amazing how much that narrows the field.

    Linda, I have read you forever, way before the kids were born, and though we never met-I think I have an inkling of the kind of person you are.

    If I ever met you, your opinion would matter to me, and that is high praise indeed. As someone mentioned above, a harsh word stays with you forever-but please look at the source. She is a mean spirited person, and that is someone who’s opinion you don’t have to value.

    I wish you the very best, and I know your boys are lucky to have you.

  7. Aubrey on October 27th, 2008 7:32 pm

    Delurking here to say that I’ve read your blog for several years because you’re honest, funny, inspiring, and a great mom. I hope when I have kids they will have the same contented smiles and happy giggles that yours do. The hate is hard, and hits where good parents are most vulnerable – you all want to do the best thing for your kids. Obviously that is different for everyone. As an outsider, but one with a lot of experience with unhappy children, let me say that yours are a beautiful example of how to do it right. You rock, Linda.

  8. trope on October 27th, 2008 7:35 pm

    I’m with Stephanie #1: TEAM LINDA FTW!!11!!1!one!1!

    –with love from Elizabeth, a baby-wearing, breastfeeding, didn’t-turn-the-carseat-around, non-CIO mommy to my pwecious widdle angel Douglas (insert cute pic here)

    ***
    Seriously, it is so cathartic to read your blog, Linda, and hear your sense of humor in the face of the weird and difficult stuff that befalls all of us while we parent. You are inspirational when you talk about your love for your kids and your ability to put your head down and get through it. Reading what’s-her-name’s blog, I felt strangely uninspired. Rather, I was inspired, but inspired to some pretty uncharitable things.

  9. lindz on October 27th, 2008 7:45 pm

    man, that bites, to openly know that someone is judging you and so hardly it is hard to take.

  10. cynthea on October 27th, 2008 7:47 pm

    I’m happy so many commenters came out to support you, and I’m not talking about the commenters here on your own blog. Way to go to everybody that put that lady in her place with inciteful, intelligent comments.

    So JB is a Beaver’s fan? Huh.

    Love ya!

  11. anna on October 27th, 2008 7:49 pm

    Fuck that noise. You know what child abuse is? Not allowing your kid to learn how to put himself to sleep. There is a reason that people sleep train their kids and it is not based on their own comfort–it’s based on the kid having healthy sleep habits that last a whole lifetime! Ugggh! I know you’ve heard it all before, but I sleep trained my son and he is so happy and healthy and a GREAT SLEEPER because of it.

    Anyone who reads your posts can tell your cherish your kids and your time with them–screw those people.

  12. Joan on October 27th, 2008 8:07 pm

    Lesley,
    I gladly would have but her comments were turned off by the time I noticed the childish attacks going BOTH WAYS, but since you seem to be seeking a reason to pick an argument with me for having my opinion I will gladly inform you that I did indeed send Gillian a copy of what I posted here

    My post was not to attack Linda, or to defend Gillian nor to even voice my opinion on the CIO issue, it was merely to point out that it takes away from anyones argument, intelligent and well thought out or even off the cuff when it is interlaced with childish schoolyard name calling and lowbrau attacks. I think it’s redundant to repeat the point again, since several of the posts since mine, not only prove my point but sadly re-enforce how even the most intelligent person will sink to attack dog tactics when they want to be the voice heard above all else.

    I just wonder when they are trying to rise above with their words, many seem to sink so low

  13. Melis on October 27th, 2008 8:20 pm

    Wow. Just….wow.

    So Linda…have you made any of that fantastic sounding squash soup yet this autumn? (I never was good at changing the subject.)

  14. Lisa on October 27th, 2008 8:59 pm

    Someone commented how you take the difficult moments of motherhood and make them humorous– that is such a perfect way to put it. I LOVE reading your blog because I feel like you do such a great job articulating some of the exact same things I deal with day in and day out.

    Anyone who has read your blog for awhile knows you love your kids and you take great care of them. :)

  15. Tammy K on October 27th, 2008 9:14 pm

    Oh, I’m going to have to take 3 tylenol pm’s to be able to go to sleep now. Linda, I’m delurking just to tell you to rock on. I think you’re amazing. I love your blog and your such an ispiration to me. I’m so pissed I could die!

  16. Sarah on October 27th, 2008 9:29 pm

    Sheesh, I go away for a few days and the world blows up…it’s happened before…and now this! Goodness.

    Well, I won’t toss my hat in the ring…but I will tell you that I love reading your blog and I’m definitely not stopping!!

  17. Kathryn on October 27th, 2008 9:35 pm

    Well this is one pissed off “Walmart Mom”. That woman is not just spewing her self-righteous junk onto you, Sundry, but to all of us moms who don’t subscribe to her brand of parenting. I’m sorry, but as a single mom who was completely alone in taking care of my child, some of the things that woman said deeply offended me. “CIO” was my port in a very stressful storm and it only took two nights for my son to “get it”. As a now almost 3 1/2 year old, he is happy, well-adjusted, intelligent, and most importantly, LOVED.

    To say that CIO is tantamount to child abuse and neglect is just ignorance in it’s truest form. All one has to do is buy a paper, or watch the news or go on to the internet to read, or see, or hear the kind of atrocities that are afflicted upon children on a daily basis. It’s sickening, and it’s sad, and it’s heartbreaking; and for someone like you – or me – to be compared to that is just…wrong.

    I applaud you for standing up for yourself. I applaud you for being a strong, intelligent, independent, loyal woman. I applaud you for being a wonderfully loving, devoted, fiercely protective mother.

    I say “CIO” your ass off!! Because, really, when all is said and done, your kids aren’t even going to remember being “CIO’d”. What they’ll remember is the huge amount of unconditional love you lavish upon them, the warm and stable environment you provide for them, and all the support you give them that they need to thrive. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

  18. Misti on October 27th, 2008 11:13 pm

    Wow. I called my mom to ask her about this “CIO” thing. Apparently, my brother and I were both left in our rooms crying and it lasted a few nights before we figured out, “Shit, it’s night-night time.” (My mom’s words, by the way.)

    We’re both normal, functioning members of society. He’s an accountant and I’m a teacher.

    It’s that over-protective parenting thing that makes my job way more sucky, because those babies grow up to be pain-in-the-ass high schoolers!!

  19. Ariel on October 27th, 2008 11:24 pm

    Is ‘lowbrau’ like Lowenbrau? :-D

    Linda, honestly, reading your blog is just about the only thing that makes me consider ever having a child. (I’m 29 and still happily child-free.) Your family is beautiful and it is obvious that Riley and Dylan are loved, healthy, well-adjusted and super cute. Reading the other blog makes me feel like childrearing is a sad, lonely burden. It seems someone “doth protest too much.” It probably all stems from being naïve, though. Don’t give it another thought, if you can help it.

    Thank you for sharing your life with your readers. Please continue to be just as kick-ass as you’ve always been.

  20. Donna on October 28th, 2008 1:54 am

    Some people will never get it, but I do like the slings, especially when traveling, they free up your hands and are warm in the winter. Other than that, I don’t find much to recommend her blog, but I find ALOT to read here. And laugh at.
    Now can we just go back to talking about how you abuse dog? LOL

  21. Lisa on October 28th, 2008 4:32 am

    Hi Sundry,
    I’m sure several others have said this already, but (Gillian is it?) really seems to have intentionally taken your comments out of context, and overreacted. To me, that takes away any power her comments might have had. (Arguing points out of context = weak arguement.) Your point about disagreeing without character assasination is spot-on. Try not to let that stuff occupy your mind (easier said than done). I did read the post you linked to, and on the same page, her identity statement. Both read unpleasantly holier-than-thou. Take care,

  22. Lisa on October 28th, 2008 4:36 am

    Unrelated, but other people unwilling to indulge in character assassination: http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/10/dozens_of_call_center_workers.php

    so cool!

  23. Pam on October 28th, 2008 5:14 am

    Screw ’em. The rest of us think you are great.

  24. JEN on October 28th, 2008 6:13 am

    Who cares what she thinks? If I cared what every single person thought about me, or my family, I’d be stressed out 24/7. I’m sure she’s NOT holier than thou and has many of her own parenting “flaws”.

  25. Heather on October 28th, 2008 6:29 am

    What you write makes you real and I think you are very brave to be honest about parenthood and what it does to you. I often tell my one year old he might end up in a give away box on the front porch. Of course that would never happen but it is a means of venting. I’d rather be funny and honest and talk about the challenges than every hurt my child. People need to get a life and worry about their own issues. I mean, my god, of horrible of you to WRITE your point of view. Morons.

  26. Operation Pink Herring on October 28th, 2008 7:05 am

    Just adding my support, Sundry.

  27. Tara on October 28th, 2008 7:18 am

    I won’t comment on Gillian’s blog, but just wanted to chime in that CIO is NOT abuse, as you know, and it is important to teach your kids how to sleep on their own. I had to do it, and I’m glad I did. I spent 11 months getting up several times a night with my son until we finally did CIO for 3 nights–something I’d never wanted to do. But since then (my son’s 3.5 now), we BOTH sleep very well.

    All of us as parents have to figure out what works for us and for our kids. The solutions we find may not be someone else’s first choice, or even on their list of options to consider, but if it doesn’t actually hurt anybody (in the eyes of the law, and perhaps your pediatrician), no one else has a right to judge, period.

    Love your blog. You always tell it straight, but funny, and you try very hard not to stoop to judging other moms, even when they go out of their way to judge you. I applaud you for that.

  28. mel from australia on October 28th, 2008 7:20 am

    i am sitting here trying to get my 7 week old to sleep but in between the crying outbursts and shoving the dummy back in her mouth i just wanted to say that people like that suck. and i admire you. i think you’re a great person and love reading about your family. there has been so many times your entries make me laugh like mad on the couch and my hubby looks at me like i’m a loon. love you (but not in that way!!)!

  29. jodi on October 28th, 2008 7:31 am

    I haven’t read all 228 (WOW) responses, but I’m sure they all say that you’re a kick-ass mom and FUCK the haters. (am i right?) I say good riddance to typealice and her intolerant, judgmental readers. Oh, and if YOU are an abusive mom, dear Lord, what does that make the rest of us???

  30. Gillian on October 28th, 2008 8:18 am

    “I DO feel sorry for kids whose parents act like the people who take the time out of their loving, nurturing lives to write cruel comments about parents they don’t even know, because those children are being raised in an environment of intolerance. They’re going to learn that it’s perfectly okay to call names and to treat each other like crap…”

    Well said, Linda. I wish your readers would have taken this paragraph literally. I for one am thrilled to not have such hate-filled readers on my blog. You are all contradicting yourself by saying such hurtful things about me. I would NEVER let my son come into contact with people, parents or not, who feel justified saying such horrible things to someone, regardless of how they feel about them.

    Of course, it’s much easier to be mean to a computer screen than to someone’s face. You’re all so contradictory, I can’t help but sit here and laugh at all of you. T

  31. Robert Rummel-Hudson on October 28th, 2008 8:31 am

    Gillian, when it comes time to teach your son about irony, I hope you’ll share that last comment with him.

  32. Kelli on October 28th, 2008 8:44 am

    I am still continually shocked by how many people in the blogging world can actually take time out of their busy days to leave nasty and hurtful comments.
    Those people? Their panties are bunched up just a little too tight, me thinks.

    Keep up the great writing and great mothering, Linda! I know your boys are already proud of you.

  33. Jhianna on October 28th, 2008 9:28 am

    Your hair looks great. (Yeah, I’m copying Zoot :)

    You have such a cute family – love the picture.

    And now for the part I keep writing and deleting because I probably don’t need to join the torch brigade:
    I don’t have kids, so I don’t really have a dog in this fight. (Well, I’ve got you on my feed reader mostly because we share a fear/love of zombies.) As a semi-neutral bystander (and completely neutral on the child rearing options, because it’s all Greek to me), I’d have to call this one in favor of Linda.

    G/T – you can’t get judgmental on someone and then complain because you’re being judged. Either rephrase with less personal attack, or stand by your initial post and take your lumps. (That being said, really? You don’t think saying someone abuses their child is hitting below the belt? I’m not a Mom and even I’d say that child abuse trumps bitch any day.)

  34. Anais on October 28th, 2008 9:28 am

    I don’t have children of my own (yet), but I personally agree that no one should ever interfere with how a person raises their children. How you do your job as a parent is no one else’s business or concern. I have several friends who have kids and I don’t agree with a lot of the things they do, but I have never said a word to them about it, because it is not my place. We simply have different views on the whole parenting thing, which is perfectly fine, because everyone is different. Screw that bitch who wrote that blog. She’s nasty and ignorant.

  35. Shawna on October 28th, 2008 9:38 am

    This might sound like a strange question, but what is Riley standing on in that picture? I ask because long ago I’d seen an ad for a little step-like thing you can attach to the back of your stroller for a toddler to ride on but I’ve never seen it since and it would have come in handy this summer. Is that one? If so, does it work well?

  36. ML on October 28th, 2008 9:43 am

    Well, I haven’t read all these comments because I am a little late to the game..

    But, oh sweet friend (is it OK to call you friend? I don’t know you IRL but I’m just going to go ahead and take the liberty)… I just have to say mother to mother that I would be so hurt and I am just so sorry.

    You are a peach. Let it be known. The end.

    P.S. I owe you an email about the new site, but we just decided to sell our house (fun and games!) and I am dying over here (but not killing my kids, no one take it that way!) so I may be a tad late…I’m sorry. That and I am stuffing my gullet with stress brownies. Not sorry.

  37. Andrea on October 28th, 2008 9:48 am

    As much as I would love (and planned) to be a 100% AP parent and be all hippy dippy natural and whatnot, it simply does not work for my family. In the 9 weeks that I’ve been a mother, I find more and more that you and I have in common.

    I’ve come to think of you as a Big Sister whose mothering style is something I don’t necessarily want to copy, but rather I find inspirational.

    You rock, Linda. Please, don’t change a thing.

  38. Shelly on October 28th, 2008 10:11 am

    Delurking even though I know that most of the hoopla surrounding all this has passed now and we’re moving on – but I just wanted to let you know how much I admire you. I don’t have kids yet, but my sister had her first last July and when she found herself struggling in the weeks after my nephew was born, I pointed her in your direction. She complained that nobody ever told her how HARD it was going to be, and she was so afraid to admit how much she was struggling. People like you have made it okay to talk about this stuff and I think that talking about this stuff is SO SO SO important so that new moms know that they’re not alone and they’re not awful. Because of you I have made a promise to myself that when I have kids, I will write about it honestly, and without judgement because – man, what an incredible job that is, and there just aren’t any standard operating procedures on how to do it which, I guess, makes it that much more incredible.

    You do, indeed, Rock. Keep your chin up.

  39. Denise on October 28th, 2008 10:22 am

    To be honest I have never read your blog or Type Alice until I saw the link to the most recent posts.

    All I have to say is “WOW, the nerve of some people”. I’m sorry and you know I have found that those who see themselves as “perfect” tend to have the most flaws.

    But, hey I like your blog! I will be back!

    Good Luck with this Junior High Gossip.

  40. Choices « It’s a Wonderful Life on October 28th, 2008 10:40 am

    […] This is the guessing game, the part where I think you are generally just rolling the dice and hoping for the best. Maybe as your parenting experience expands, you can see how these little pieces fit into the larger whole better, but I’m not going to bet on that happening. The bigger you go, the more people have opinions (like this little spat here, ouch!) and when you’re trying to make all these choices not having a real night’s sleep in months, well… who can really say, this was the best possible decision and I weighed all the factors appropriately and I stand by that? […]

  41. angela on October 28th, 2008 11:17 am

    Dear Lesley:

    I skimmed your response…

    A sanctimonious twat? Wow, never been called that before. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

    I don’t know about you, but it is generally understood, among my friends at least, that it is possible to disagree with someone but still care for and appreciate them. You consider yourself a “reader.” I consider myself a “one-way friend.” Differing opinions does not open up the flood-gates for name calling. Sanctimonious twat? Seriously? If that’s the best you’ve got, a four-letter word that I’ve not heard outside of junior high schools, then clearly what you have to say (and Ctrl+F says you did a lot of whining in this thread) is not worth my time to bother reading.

  42. Erica on October 28th, 2008 11:21 am

    People who DON’T let their kids cry it out are pussies.

    But I’m excited to find your blog through my friend PunkRockMom. And I’m not going to click on the link to that Gillian character. She’s had enough attention.

    Looking forward to reading your blog in the future! And hearing my children scream from their cribs while I do so! (jk)

  43. Lesley on October 28th, 2008 11:31 am

    Gillian writes: Of course, it’s much easier to be mean to a computer screen than to someone’s face. You’re all so contradictory, I can’t help but sit here and laugh at all of you. T

    ——————

    Where’s the money in your mouth you promised Gillian? At what point do you stop reading the blog you’re no longer reading because “child abuse @ eleventy!!!!”

    You seem to lack conviction.

  44. Lesley on October 28th, 2008 11:36 am

    Angela, for someone who claimed she no longer reads, links to, or comments on this blog because you no longer like Linda or feels she caters to your needs as a reader, you’re here a lot. Like Gillian.

    A person who “skims” has no credibility.

    I expected you to feel offended. I’m not bothered by it.

    Your initial post was just another variation of Gillian’s lame below the belt punch. Like most assholes, you’re totally keen on dishing insults, but when they’re lobbed back at you, you can’t take them.

    My advice? You don’t like a blog…change the channel.