When I first became a parent I had problems. Big ones from my point of view. I engaged in (online) communities and provided helpful (well I intended it to be helpful) information to people who were asking about similar issues. I experienced judgement, harassment and general meanness as a result of my problems and my openness about them. I cried a lot because people were mean.
I started a blog about my issues and had a lot of motivation to ‘spread the word’ initially. Then I attracted a crazy or two, was personally harassed by another mommyblogger and just decided I didn’t have time for that kind of bullshit.
So now? I do not care. Occasionally I am moved to provide someone with information on a casual basis, but mostly I am just getting on with my life and hoping that no one decides to harass me again. What the hell happened to me? Is it the prolonged lack of sleep? Am I traumatized by casual cruelty, made gunshy by hostility? It’s rather that I no longer have that fire in the belly. I am not evangelical, and perhaps I never was, but I just don’t have the drive to add my voice to the mix any longer.
I was approached a while ago about becoming a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and my response was unhesitantly absolutely not. No time, and no interest. Though I liked having breastfeeding support I find the attitude of breastfeeding supporters fairly tiresome eventually. There’s always sniping about ‘Those Women’. The ones that lack education, initiative, motivation or whatever else they obviously lack (sarcasm– because they must be lacking something if they don’t want to) to breastfeed and fight for it. I fought for it but that was my struggle. Let them have their own choices based on what they know at the time. I don’t have it in my to argue over people who mean well but have their own agenda to push, nor do I want to become someone who means well but does harm by not listening or having my own interests to push. Similarly I was approached to promote my other blog and I declined and even eventually shut that blog down. Even though it’s a good resource, in my opinion, and I still link it when people ask about something I wrote up at one point, I just can’t be bothered with the hassle that comes with promotion (harassment, potential stalkers and doxxers, not to mention regular contributions).
I am a part of an online group for a fairly specific ailment. Though I can now probably diagnose it myself and haven’t ever really gotten help from the group, for some reason I haven’t left. There’s a fascinating thing going on where I can see overly crunchy, image concerned mothers with an issue preventing them from leading picturebook lives ‘doing their research’. And it’s freaky. I mean, lots of grasping at straws, no medical help, bizarre conjecture, pseudoscience being passed around as fact, self blame for the issue (that comes up a lot), and just people woefully educated in the ways of reason. A lot of the time it seems like a frenzy of the blind leading the blind and jumping to conclusions, which then are paraded as fact. It’s very surreal to watch. Some sort of groupthink problem solving because of a vacuum of medical assistance in an age where people have come to expect distinct diagnoses for every bump in the road.
But people there have passion. They want to understand and fix, prevent, and educate. I used to feel like that. Even about this specific issue. I just can’t get that drive back. I think going through two children, looking for help and not getting any has drained me. We are working toward another one and I have the intention to make one last ditch effort to get some understanding for my problems. But I also have a sense of how and when to cut my losses and make do. It’s what I did with Thing 1 and 2 and things haven’t worked out storybook, but they have worked out better than other people expected because of my education and effort. I feel like it’s more than good enough given everything. I like to think that having a science education I can evaluate information based on source and methodology and not just believe in crackpot things emotionally, but I may be mildly deluded.
I like to say that now I finally have my ‘fuck you judgy-mcjudgerson’ big girl pants on, though I worry that it’s really me not getting too invested in anything so that people stay out of my business and stop casually hurting me over something I’m doing my best with. Such is modern parenting. Put your big girl pants on or go home and cry.