Look, I get it. It’s four am, your kid won’t sleep, and your boobs are so full of milk they feel like hot balls of lava that might burst into your chest cavity at any second.
You just need sleep, you’re Netflix queue is empty, but Facebook is there on your phone with an endless stream of cute cat pictures, memes you don’t quite get, and parenting articles. Everyone you know is sharing parenting articles on all different ends of the spectrum. Some are crying it out so their kiddos learn to self start and motivate while others are sleeping with their babies in a pouch so they learn to love and be loved.
I don’t care who is right, I don’t care who is wrong, what I do care about is how we are treating each other. When I read the comments on these articles, these articles that another human being with thoughts, feelings, wants, and desires wrote, I want to cry. I want to cry for the mom who admitted her teenage son had to be sent away but is being ridiculed in the comments for giving up, I want to cry for the mom who’s daughter was caught sexting, but is being told not to raise such a slut, I want to cry for for the mom going through a nasty divorce being told she has ruined her kids lives, and should just give them up, and most of all, I want to cry for the mom that never will be, but had one particularly terrible commenter tell her that if God had wanted her to have children, he wouldn’t keep making her miscarry.
Keyboard confidence is a real thing. We’ve all said things behind the guise of a computer screen that we would never say to someone in real life, but as real life and online life merge more and more into one, this has to stop. We are so lucky to live in an age where we have other moms at our fingertips willing to write about their experiences, their hardships, their misgivings, willing to share their daily lives so we don’t have to feel so alone at 4:00am. These moms aren’t sharing for validation, they write their stories, tell their tales, in solidarity. They have been there, they know what you’re going through, when every shirt you owned has spit up stain on the shoulder and you still can’t fit into your pre-baby jeans, these woman are there for you to laugh, smile, and even commiserate with.
Next time your husband gets on your nerves, and you hole yourself up in the bathroom with your phone for a little while to unwind, when you come across a parenting article you hate,
Don’t lash out at them. Thank them. Thank them for being brave, beautiful imperfect women, with big, beautiful imperfect lives they are willing to share with other mothers who just need to see someone out there somewhere is going through what they’re going through.
And if you just can’t do it. If you really can’t do it, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
You might just learn a lesson all on your own.