just because we don't parent the same doesn't make me a bad parent

The Day I was Trolled and Parent Shamed

It was bound to happen sooner or later… 

In my opinion, Camel City Dispatch is THE source for news in our town and the Editor, Chad Nance, will occasionally grab just because we don't parent the same doesn't make me a bad parentsome of my articles and use them in their parenting section. We’ve become friends over the past couple of years or so and share similar attitudes towards parenting and life in general and it’s an honor to me that he likes my writing enough to share it.

Last month when Chad published and promoted one of my articles, he prefaced it with this comment:

Heard a local Mom complaining that Kristen Margo Daukas writes about kids as if she hates being a parent… no.. that’s just stupid. Kristen writes like a parent who doesn’t feel the need to lie to themselves in order to make it through the day. Most important of all… she’s really funny.

Thanks for having my back, Chad but random, local mom.. Me? Hate parenting? Are you kidding me?

Apparently I really rub this random, local mom the wrong way because Chad’s informed me on the QT that she’s a pretty frequent critic of mine who thinks that my posts are full of teen-hate and why would anyone listen to someone who apparently hates being a parent as much as I do and blahblahblah.

Obviously I realize it was someone who doesn’t know me at all and while I’m fine with the fact that she doesn’t like my writing style – to say that I hate parenting is a pretty extreme statement (ironically, she has a long-running blog here in Forsyth County where she chronicles living a happy and kind life..).

Like I told Chad…

I was given the opportunity to write a rebuttal of sorts and I thought about all the things that I could say about our differing parenting styles, etc., but what I’ve decided to do is use it as an opportunity to share some of my favorite life lessons that I, “the person who hates parenting”, have taught my children over the years and also show them that when confronted with negative people and comments, I walk my talk.

  1. It’s none of your business what people think about you – People are going to talk about you no matter what you do. So as long as you are good with yourself and your actions, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
  2. People make fun of things they don’t understand – Sometimes people don’t want to take the time to think about a person’s story. It’s easier for them to brush it off and make fun of it because they don’t have the mental capacity and compassion to do more.
  3. Kindness always wins – When you have a choice between being mean or being kind, always, always choose kindness. It will always take you further and with a lighter heart.
  4. Haters gonna hate – There will always be someone jealous of you and your successes. A weak person is jealous – a strong, secure person is supportive.
  5. That is someone’s mother/sister/daughter – If you’re in a situation that you don’t know what to do, put me or your sister or yourself in that person’s shoes. How would that make you feel if someone said or did that to us?
  6. Not everyone is going to like you – And you’re not going to like everyone. It’s okay. There are 7 billion people in the world, 9.9 million in NC and 236,000 in Forsyth County. You are a beautiful, unique human being with so much to give the world. If someone doesn’t like you trust me, you won’t miss them.
  7. Don’t let people live rent free in your head – You might think the other person in the situation is sitting there wringing their hands but most likely they’re not. So why waste any more of your precious energy and positivity by thinking about them and the situation?
  8. We’re all different people – And we all do things a different way. It doesn’t mean that the other person’s way is wrong – it’s just different than how you do it. If we were all the same, think how boring life would be! I am lucky to have friends who come from all walks of life.. religion, political, sexuality and I love them all for who they are. Do I always agree with how they do things? No but that doesn’t mean that I criticize them for doing things differently than me.
Similar -   What do Parents Need to Know About Cyber-bullying?

I’ll admit that it bothered me for about 5 minutes when all this happened,  but then I went to the Board of Directors – the 3 people whose opinion that I care about the most – and asked what they thought of my job performance and got a resounding 6 thumbs up.let's bust a move for mom who got parent shamed

And that, my friends is the last time I’m going to think about this.

Oh and my list bit of advice that’s more a reminder for me than them?

Don’t feed the trolls. 

Kristen: 1, Mom wars: 0


March 17, 2015 at 7:04 am

Trolls suck! You’re awesome and this was an awesome list!
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March 16, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Kristen, loved your post/blog/Hateful-Parent-list! Especially #5: That is someone’s mother/sister/daughter” I’ve actually considered making a bumper sticker, something like that:
“What if I were your mother/father/sister/son… would you tailgate me?”
I’m open to any suggestions on bumpers like this – then we can produce them & start changing the world… one tailgater… at a time!

great stuff… Keep it coming.

March 14, 2015 at 4:53 am

Troll is a word that specifically means someone who is inciting displeasure by being purposefully and disingenuously provocative and rude…sarcastic insistence that is so inflaming and outlandish it’s difficult to tell whether the comment is sincere or not. This person is not a troll. This is someone who disagrees with you, and you find it insulting. Their criticism was vague, and having nothing to disprove their claim, since its subjective and general (the worst kind of criticism), you’re grasping at straws. You were criticized, not trolled, and apparently it struck a nerve…you mentioned not worrying about people that disagree, moving on, choosing kindness, etc…YET, you’ve written an entire post about someone else’s judgment of you, are continuing to comment and dwell on it, have alluded strongly to whomever this southern busybody might be…the hypocrisy is astounding. This is the first post of yours I’ve ever read, but the woman never said you hate parenting. She said you write like you hate it. Those are different statements entirely. The person you should be upset with is the loudmouth messenger, not the critic. If what other people say about you isn’t your business, why was it repeated and why are you condemning them for their (supposedly) private comment? Had she known you’d hear her candor, she probably would have kept her mouth shut. She didn’t troll you, and criticizing her as you have in the comments for not being more public is ridiculous. Anytime someone has a negative opinion, they’re obligated to notify you rudely of their every feeling about you? This makes no sense, as you just bullet listed points about how others’ criticisms are always wrong because we’re all different and we all deserve sympathy because we’re related to someone and someone will always dislike us. HUH? It would be interesting to see if these platitudes are applicable to parents you disagree with, or loathsome politicians…somehow I think they aren’t. Full disclosure, I have no idea who the other blogger is but this whole exchange is sad. This is time that could be spent with respective kids. Also, avoiding therapy is not a measure of success in life or parenting, for most people it’s the opposite. Happy blogging.

    March 14, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for stopping by Mitch. I thought about going into a lot more details with your comment, but as I mentioned in my post, I’m done giving time and energy to it and it’s apparent the point of the post was lost on you – as it had more to do with handling negativity that we all face at some point. The person’s comment (that I paraphrased and didn’t put word for word) was simply the springboard for the conversation. Also, I’m presuming you are a male and thus, I doubt you have ever been subjected to your buddies judging how you parent (which I’m also presuming you are otherwise why are you even chiming in at all) which is an unfortunate epidemic with women that needs to stop.

      March 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      “Why are you even chiming in at all?” Sounds like exactly the marginalization that women and other disenfranchised groups in our country experience. I am confused as to how my gender conveys what type of experiences I have or haven’t had, since we have not met, but I do appreciate you posting and replying. I agree with you that the scrutiny and pettiness of judging how children are raised is problematic (especially given that so-called corporal punishment happens with impunity in many families, and is legal in several states, a much more concerning problem), but you are writing a blog about parenting, and gracious enough to allow for discussion. Craws will occasionally stick. I did “get” your post (I referenced it several times), and generally agree with much of what you said, and have muttered those same phrases to myself to begrudgingly move past an insulting annoyance. My points were simply what a troll is and the double standards we (self included) unintentionally have for other people. We generally think our opinions are valid without running down that list to avoid ever making a comment to someone else, much less if we think it’s been said in confidence. I think it is self-evident you are a caring parent, which is why I made no mention of it, I would agree with you that’s not my place, or a stranger, to say. I wish my tone had been more supportive, but I appreciate the brevity of what you’ve replied, that was my point about the original post, it is ironic to talk about and list coping strategies for something you are not going to dwell on. I think that moreso than snippy moms, uninvolved/apathetic (or as more often the case distant and authoritarian) dads are a major problem, and they would do well to read your blog or the like. Excusing their ignorance by assuming all males are brutes who should go lumber elsewhere won’t help anyone. Thanks again for your reply.

        March 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm

        I definitely see where Mitch is coming from here. I don’t really see how her comments classified as a troll or mom shaming when she didn’t even publicly express herself (someone else did that for her). Furthermore, you took the time to “size up” this woman on her own blog which was an interesting response to her criticism…people who write about living a kind and happy life are not perfect and not immune from falling into negativity. It happens.

        Writing a blog can be a rewarding thing. I’m sure you love being a mom and sharing your thoughts with others…but with that, you have to be ready to receive criticism. It’s going to happen.

        Your list of lessons learned is a good one…but following it up with an “I’m the winner” type statement…not quite sure how that fits into the motto of not feeding the trolls. Just something to think about.

        March 18, 2015 at 4:29 pm

        I”m a huge supporter of dad blogs Mitch however, I don’t see nearly the amount of dad’s who bash each others as the moms do. I would welcome you to post on this site anytime. Just let me know.

March 13, 2015 at 11:28 am

You are an incredible mom and a very wise woman. I love your witty, real posts. I am glad that you have the “can’t touch this” attitude! I feel sorry for the troll. She doesn’t have one iota of your joy and love! (Or smarts)

March 13, 2015 at 9:34 am

Well I won’t say I HATE being a parent at times but I certainly get aggravated. My head pops off plenty and I hate myself and beat myself up for it even though I get hugs and forgiveness and they just love me after like it never happened. This lady is lying to herself and her readers if herlife is so perfect and glad. I want those kidlets to go to bed on time so I can become “just me” for a couple of hours. But I miss them as soon as they are behind those doors, as soon as they leave for school, to go to their grandparents. I mean, I’d rather read something REAL like you write than all the here’s how to be the perfect wife and mommy with dinner and crafts and travel. And one of my favorite posts you ever wrote was the one where they went to a concert…it made me tear up a little. So you just keep being awesome 😀

    March 13, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Somedays, I just hate being an ADULT. And seriously, you’re right.. I beat myself up enough over the job I’m doing. I don’t need anyone else to throw their 2 cents worth in unless they are a product of my genes. Thank you, Kristi.. I really appreciate the love <3

March 13, 2015 at 8:53 am

You are right. Remember the analogy of opinions and certain body parts, everyone has one. You know best how to raise the hens. Go with what you know!
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March 13, 2015 at 7:59 am

Great advice Kristen. This troll is obviously neither happy nor kind, love that you’ve just put this out there and can be done with it now, they don’t deserve another minute.
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March 12, 2015 at 11:17 pm

Trolls are a dime a dozen. They’re usually not very interesting either which is too bad because they could be fun to play with. 🙂
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March 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

You’re one of the best moms I know. I also think I know who is trolling. The Troll can stay under that bridge when Super Mom comes trip trapping on over.
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