Today we released our book into the world. I realize saying “the world” is a bit optimistic (and possibly unrealistic), but the fact is this: everyone who reads our book will now know the grit; the details of our darkest, ugliest parenting moments. It was one thing to admit them to one another and a small group of friends. Putting them out there to be criticized by strangers is a whole different ball of wax.
Friends who’ve read the book have said, “I hope you have thick skin. You’re going to get bashed.” I know this, and have always known it. I’ve even lied to them (and myself) by saying, “I can take it.” But the truth is – I can’t. At 47 I’m quite confident about myself and happy with the person I’ve become. I won’t change my basic personality at this point and I feel my stories reflect that personality, to a tee. So if people reject and dislike my stories, essentially they’re rejecting and disliking the core of my being.
Do I care? Hell yeah! I don’t care the way I did about wearing Levis over Toughskins in sixth grade, but I am feeling prickly at the thought of being on the receiving end of harsh criticism and name-calling. I know it’s inevitable. In researching this book, I read hundreds, if not thousands, of blog posts, and was struck by the volume of nasty comments, even on the most benign writings. Why do people feel the right to be so cruel to one another online? I know it’s the anonymity, but jeez…we’re still people over here on the other end of this computer.
Those comments, though disappointing, did provide much of the impetus for our book’s conclusion. We humans need to be kinder to one another, in person and online. For that reason, we won’t accept nasty comments to our blog posts. We still have to read them though when we monitor them, so they’ll still hurt. If we’re not friends (yet), you might not really care about my feelings, thinking, “hey, your choice to put yourself out there.” While that’s certainly true, it doesn’t excuse nastiness and judgment. We can respectfully agree to disagree and have thoughtful discussions about our differences, instead of calling one another out as selfish, neglectful parents or morons who can’t write.
So, if you read our book (please do!), kindly write a thoughtful yet honest review. If you visit our blog, please send us your comments as we’d love to hear from you. If you hate us and want the world to know that we’re bitches who suck at parenting, I’m sure you can find an outlet for those words. If you respectfully comment here, however, know you’re in a safe place – no matter what you say.
Happy reading, and commenting,