Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Observe: My Skin Is So Thin

I periodically submit things I've written to I don't think they're especially picky about what they accept for publication on their site (everything I've submitted has been accepted), and there's no pay involved, but it's a way to gain visibility for my blog, and in the bigger picture, it's a way to gauge a larger audience's reaction to things I write. Because I have this niggling fantasy (that I've yet to really pursue, mostly because I'm afraid, and also because, let's be honest, I'm already juggling 89 plates at any given time) of being a real writer. You know, a freelance writer for parenting publications. Don't laugh.

Anyway, so most of the stuff I've submitted to Mamapedia, and which they in turn have published on their site, has gotten mostly positive feedback. Which boosts my confidence, naturally. Then there was my most recent submission, The Princess and the Hot Dog Bun, which I originally posted here on my blog, and which Mamapedia published on their site recently here. Look at all the comments! And the vast majority of them are positive, I-can-relate-type comments.

Isn't it funny, though, how the less-than-positive comments, no matter how few, tend to stick out far more than the positive ones?

Several commenters found themselves up in arms over my referring to my daughter as "Princess." Really? And quite a few seemed to take away from my little anecdote that I have accomplished nothing but teaching my daughter to throw a tantrum in order to get what she wants. Wow. And one commenter critiqued my word-usage in my bio. Geez.

Anyway, I guess I feel compelled to assure anyone who might wonder that I'm not raising a little diva. I do, in fact, on occasion, address Lilah as "Princess Lilah" because it makes her giggle. This in no way reflects an intention to raise a daughter who will sit back helplessly awaiting the arrival of Prince Charming. I'm actually fairly nauseated by all the Disney Princess crap, but I figure my girls will outgrow it soon enough. And tantrums in our house usually land the offender in his or her room by her- or himself to think things over and cool down. Isn't it obvious that I embellished my little story a little in order to make it amusing and relatable? My point was that sometimes I just get stuck in the "rules" as a parent, and that particular morning, I had something of an epiphany: who made up these rules anyway? Why can't she have a hot dog bun for breakfast? And who says that a parent should never back down when they realize they're sticking to their guns just for the sake of sticking to their guns, even if it's unreasonable?

And really, why do I care so much what other people think? Ahh, the insecurities of motherhood. Do we ever feel we're doing a good enough job? Do we ever feel immune from the judgmental eyes of other mothers?

The truth is, though - and I realize this - is that I need to grow a thicker skin. If I'm going to put stuff out there, I have to be able to take the good with the bad, right?


Stephanie said...

Don't worry about it. Most people are just jealous bc their articles aren't on mamapedia. Seriously, in my blogging "community" people are constantly berating each other usually but not always under the protection of anonymity. People are just generally self righteous and it's easy to critisize another person when there is no return dialogue or consequences. And what a stupid criticism it is! I call my kids "monkey" so I'd just love to see the comments on that one!
From what I know of you, you don't seem like the type of person to care what other's think of you. Sure it got under your skin, but you'll just keep doing what you're doing bc you're a strong, intelligent, strong willed, woman.

The Beers Family said...

I love reading your blogs and I think its wonderful you put yourself out there to be published. Its not an easy thing to hear negative things about yourself. I am a college instructor and at the end of every semester my students evaluate me. Not the old number values but actual comments and while most are positive there are some harsh ones and they HURT and are the ones I remember the most. My mentor told me something I keep in mind at those moments - that if everyone liked what you do you are not doing a good job! Kuddos to you for getting yourself out there - criticism can only make you stronger! :)

The Hapa Girl said...

Nah...just delete it and move on LOL! I totally agree, I hate reading one bad comment out of a million positive ones! And great job posting articles to mamapedia! I am far too lazy and have yet to submit one! I'm glad to see that they easily accept what you send, but I have absolutly are awesome!

Mumofone said...

To quote you: "The insecurities of motherhood. Do we ever feel we're doing a good enough job? Do we ever feel immune from the judgmental eyes of other mothers?" - Lisa I want to say this is why I enjoy your blog. Because you allow me to feel normal when I do feel insecure about my performance as a mum and by sharing your own struggles you somehow lessen my own.
As for other people's comments I think Stephanie said it best that it is so easy to be critical when you can be anonymous. One of the saddest things about the web has been the rise of people feeling it is okay to be racist/rude/self-righteous etc all because no-one knows who they are. I think if you would not say it to that person's face then you should not write it either.
Then again who am I to talk! I don't even have MY real name on this posting!!