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I have broken the cardinal rule far too many times, and  have read so much infighting among women I want to vomit. Online bullying is not only a teen problem. The club of motherhood is divisive and filled with haters. So my question is are you one of the haters?

Target eliminates gender designation signs for bedding and toys.  Female trolls, yes female, use the words “pussification of America” while voicing their opposition.

A highway sign reminds parents not to leave children or pets in hot cars, and Mommy trolls decide to put themselves on the ‘that could never happen to me’ pedestal.

A child is missing. The trolling mothers think it is time to discuss how well they supervise their children and blame a mourning mother.

Women around the world drop the towel to empower body positive shifts in the media. Trolling women choose to spew insensitive remarks.

A popular birth control has a 10% adverse reaction rate. Female trolls spar on the subject of using permanent birth control.

Kids are sick with whooping cough. Vax and anti-vax moms push their own versions of science upon each other.

A contrived video mis-construes one doctor’s awkward conversation about fetal tissue donation, trolling women decide to attack funding for low income women’s and children’s medical care.

And, frankly, I’m just not sure why it has to be this way. Stop the nonsense.
Some people don’t deserve to have children? Really? Which people?
Who decides? Do you? Do I?

Are we not better than that? Are we still in the days of blaming Autism Spectrum Disorder on refrigerator moms? Are we regressing with the veil of so-called anonymity the web provides?

Before you jump to trolling and smearing other’s consider these questions.

1. Will I really change someone else’s mind by being self aggrandizing?

Honestly, I rarely read opposing views and when I do it is to try and understand others not to change my mind. I read similar views to better inform my own beliefs. So you think because you never have your children out of your eye sight nothing could happen. Probability has been kind.

2. Could it really never happen to you?

We make split second decisions many times a day as parents, as professionals as people walking or driving down the street. Maybe shitty probability still hasn’t caught up to you either… but really I suggest we never say never unless we have a view into the future. There is a reason accident is in the dictionary.

3. Is your way really the best way?

I, myself, have strong opinions on just about everything having to do with my children. And even your children if they went to my early care programs. But that is my job as parent and parenting mentor. I’ll defend my parenting decisions, even the ones I regret because they were made with the information and instinct I had at the time. Otherwise, I try to stop myself if I go beyond where my practices effect my own children or the program I administer. Ultimately, my children are my expertise, your children are yours; my body is my expertise, your body is yours. While presenting a very difficult case study a few years back a Mentor asked me; “What will you do if they don’t take your recommendation?”, the answer was easy “I’ll support them with their decision as best I can.” Because ultimately I do not get to decide for others and neither do you.

4. Do you really have all the answers?

Each of our opinions is based on much more than truth. Our opinions are based on life experience, deep seated core beliefs, fears, traditions, and only sometimes on irrefutable fact.

5. Create your own opinion inventory. Choose your contentious subjects which potentially pit women against each other and have a go;

I’m a vaxer, nursed but really didn’t enjoy nursing, use essential oils, but believe in better living through pharmacology so medicate when meds are needed, support progressive education, am also pro common core, pro traditional expectations, pro choice, pro family, pro divorce. I have leaned in, leaned out, leaned on others, and as well as being pro multi child family, pro one and only, pro no kids at all, pro marriage equality, pro birth control, pro justice, I have at times been pro death penalty. I hate competition, but am proud of my children when they achieve their goals, I trust but verify, I believe in God but hold science to be true. I am complicated. Aren’t you?

Are we really so far apart as the trolls would make us out to be?

I hope not. At the core we all agree much more than we realize. As a woman I hope collectively we can find a third space of shared expertise, learn to hold our tongues and choose kindness over ego. If it serves no other purpose but to somehow aggrandize our own opinions, (yuck someone else’s yum), then follow the golden rule and; don’t. scroll. down.

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Featured Photo: Flickr user Eirik Solheim via Creative Commons
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Tanya Swezey Stabinsky is a Silicon Valley native who jumped states to light fires from the desert. Having studied Human Development and Infant Parent Mental Health, Tanya is a child advocate, parenting mentor, feminist Mom of 5 with expertise in mental health, family life, body positive parenting and relationship based leadership as well as best practice in early care and education. At 24, Tanya was considered a young mother; at 39, considered old. In between she has been a single mother, stay at home mother and working mother. She has divorced, remarried and blended an incredible family of activist kids to whom she owes much of her ability to remain relevant and keep asking questions. After years on the floor living her passion through direct work with children, parents and teachers, Tanya is taking a hiatus to write about the real world of parenting (no sugar coating here) and issues closest to her heart via WYV and her own site www.downtoearthparenting.com. But watch out because she is keeping things real and isn't afraid to use bad words to get her point across.

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