Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Mom Pledge: I'll Meet You in the Field

My bloggy friend, MandyE wrote this great post the other day about being supportive to mamas, whether we agree with one another or not--avoiding the "mama wars" that are out there.

This led to me Holly's post about The Mom Pledge (see below).

BWS tips button

The Mom Pledge

I am proud to be a mom. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my online activities. I can lead by example.

I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, "right" way to be a good mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.

I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.

I stand up against cyber-bullying. My online space reflects who I am and what I believe in. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful.

I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks with no mention or response. I can take control.

I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.

I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference.

Isn't that lovely?

So, I have to admit. When I first read it, I was pumped and enthusiastic. Mama cheerleader. I quickly tucked my pompoms away in shame when I realized that I had broken this:

I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks with no mention or response. I can take control.

I've written two separate posts calling out my anonymous commenters. I, not only gave them a platform, I gave them my time, my emotional energy, and I added negativity to my niche of the Internet and just to the world in general.

Don't get me wrong. I believe everything I said about saying negative, hurtful things under the guise of anonymity. Those people are bullies and jerks.  

But--fighting negativity with negativity is wrong. I was a jerk. I was wrong.

So--I am pledging. All negative comments will be deleted without acknowledgement or blog post :)

I pledge to be kind.
I pledge to do no harm.
I pledge to love.
I pledge to try super hard not to be a jerk.

Whether I agree with you or not.

We all share in a common experience: mothering.

Cloth diapers vs. Disposable
Breastmilk vs. Formula
Sleep training

There are so many things to think about when you're a mama. It's overwhelming and exhausting. But--we all, every one of us, is doing the best we can for our families. We're all connected by strands in this big web of mothering; we belong to each other.
Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there. ~Rumi
Will you join me, and take the pledge too?


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I was actually thinking about you when I wrote that post a few days ago...NOT because I thought you were a "jerk" (!!!), but because I remember you'd faced a couple of negative comments. I respect you as a mom so much, and it hurt me to see your views being attacked, and by an anonymous commenter, at that.

I haven't gotten any such negative comments on my blog for whatever reason, but I'm not sure I would delete them. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, but - without having had that experience myself - I tend to think I'd let the comment stand. It's sometimes a tough thing to do, but I think that most people can discern when someone else is being unfair (with an attacking comment, in this case), and can see that the bigger person is the one who just walks away, her head held high.

When I wrote this post, I was also thinking about your preemptive note when you mentioned about your girls having had their vaccinations recently. I could feel the sensitivity in your writing to that subject...which I hate we have to enumerate...but I thought what you wrote was very poignant.

I'll stop typing, because I could go on and on (in circles, no doubt!). I do love the idea that Motherhood is a Great Equalizer. In my experience this journey has been a challenging one - albeit amazing, of course - and I hope we can all support each other, at least on some deeper level.

Beautiful post, Julia! :) :)

The Mom Pledge said...

Thank you so much for taking The Pledge! I understand your responding to anonymous attacks on your blog. It is natural to want to defend ourselves. I have had to fight the urge to call people out many times.

The goal of The Pledge is to silence them by not giving them a voice. With more and more moms joining our movement, I know we can make a difference!

Welcome to our community! Happy to have you!

Julia said...

Hi Julia

Nice to meet you too! Thank you for commenting on my blog. I LOVED this post. I am lucky enough never to have had an ugly, negative comment on my blog but I honestly would not hesitate to delete it. I'm all for people disagreeing with me in a mature and respectful manner.
Your kids are just gorgeous.

Once Upon A Time said...

I have had 3 ugly (anon) comments in the history of my blog. The first one, combined with other stressors, helped put me in the hospital at 26 weeks due to preterm labor. The second I called out, the third I deleted without a mention, and didn't allow anon comments from that day forward. I don't think you were wrong to stand up for what you thought, but I can tell you that simply deleting that comment did actually make me feel better than spending my (precious to me and limited) time typing my thoughts about the comment made. While I hope you never get another ugly comment (because I love reading your posts!), if you do, I hope you get the same feelings that I did by simply hitting delete instead of wasting your brainpower and your (precious and limited!) time as well.

I enjoyed reading the Pledge. Thanks for sharing!

MultipleMum said...

This is an interesting post. I like the idea of the pledge - we certainly need to learn to respect other people's choices as well as our own - but it is such an 'American' concept to me! Funny huh? How cultural something so simple actually is! Good luck with it - I hope your trolls leave you alone x

Corinne Ritz said...

I've seen other friends take the pledge, andI've been meaning to tell you about it because of the stuff that has happened on your blog.

Guess I'd better take the pledge as well!