You would assume that I’ve learned my lesson over the years. Not everyone is going to like you, especially when it comes to social media. But, that has never stopped me from reading the comments on articles and blog posts I write. I recently glanced through the comments about my article on a major website’s Facebook page. The story was about my daughter’s prematurity and the extreme caution we had to take in the early days due to her health. A few comments in, my eyes grew wide and my jaw dropped in shock. “She is a psychopath helicopter mom,” the lady typed with exclamation points. I’ve been called many things in my life, but this was a first. As a blogger, it’s my biggest pet peeve–people commenting without reading the entire story.
I’ve received my fair share of criticism over the years. As a television news anchor, I’ve been called fat, ugly, dumb…you name it. And as a blogger, I’ve been told a slew of adverse one-liners. It doesn’t come as a surprise and I definitely don’t take offense to the negativity. I signed up for this. Being in the public eye, I open myself up to criticism. As much as my own mother would like to believe that 100% of the population adores her daughter, that just isn’t true. People are allowed to have their own opinion and they are allowed to share their distaste. But, thanks to social media, the hostility has reached new heights. It’s so easy for people to hide behind a screen and spew foul-mouthed comments.
In recent years, I have found my niche. While I share plenty of parenting stories, I know that I can help others by being an open book. That especially holds true when it comes to speaking about difficult, taboo topics. Ever since my triplets were born in 2013, I’ve become a voice for infertility, premature birth and child loss. By pouring my heart and soul into my writing, I can share with the world what so many people struggle with. It’s my therapy. And each time I receive a message or a comment from someone who was touched by my words, my heart swells with pride. I love how my writing can help others heal. Plus, it’s a beautiful way to honor all three of my children–my two triplets in heaven and my lone triple here on earth.
I waited a few moments for that negative comment to sink in and then I let out a hardy laugh. Sure, this lady is allowed to share her opinion, but it was obvious to me that she had not read my story. While the first few lines mentioned that my daughter lived in a bubble the first year of her life, the remainder of the article was about why doctors insisted that I keep my child at home and how we overcame the fear of the unknown. When my surviving triplet arrived home from the NICU at four months old, she was attached to an oxygen tank and under constant supervision. As her neonatologists drilled in our heads, the flu or even a simple cold could ultimately kill our medically fragile baby.
We all parent differently and we learn what’s best for our child. What works for you, might not be my cup of tea. But that’s OK. In the end, we’re all just doing our best as we try to stay afloat in a sea of parenthood. As I began reading dozens of comments, I found more and more people saying the same thing–you should read the entire article before you decide to comment. I smiled as I read each note, but I never replied to that one negative message. That’s the beauty of the internet, you have the freedom to voice your opinion and I’m not about to try and fight that. But, I think I speak for all other bloggers when I ask this one request. As we pour our blood, sweat and tears into our writing, please read it entirely, before you write.