Monday, December 5, 2011

The Problem with Pedestals

Sometimes I think our expectations for bloggers can be a bit too high.  I mean, we don't agree on every single issue with our real life friends, do we?  Variety is a part of life.  Can we really expect a blogger, some person who's likely thousands of miles away, to meet some perfect standard?  

I'd hate to burst any bubbles, but as those of you who know me in real life and as those who have gotten to know me via my blog over the past few years have likely already figured out, I'm a pretty regular mom who likes to write, and I happen to share my thoughts here.  They reflect my journey as a Catholic convert, wife and mother, doing my best to live out my vocation. 

Because I write here every day you sometimes you get to read about my better moments and my not-so-spectacular moments.  Most of us who are down here who are members of the Church Militant haven't quite achieved the level of sainthood that bloggers are apparently expected to have before we begin sharing our thoughts in the blogging world.  It's pretty obvious that my posts aren't authoritative.  They're based on my experiences.  

Thus the subject matter here on the blog springs from my experiences.  I write about our faith, and our various choices, not to insult others who've made different decisions, but because I'm writing about our life.  And for the most part I know that I can describe a choice we've made, and you can make a different choice, and you don't have to feel insulted because we don't agree on what's best for our individual families.  So I can write about being a stay-at-home mom, without having to add that I know plenty of great working moms after every sentence I write, just in case someone imagines that my being a stay at home mom is an affront to all the women who've made different choices.  

I have to say that I have thought it was odd in the past when I've written a post about something that's happened in my life only to have it met with a response from some outraged reader somewhere, who's pretty certain that my post was an insult to women everywhere.  I was baffled when I posted something once about making it to the whatever-month-mark nursing only to receive a note from a friend about how not everyone could breastfeed.  Because that wasn't even close to the point of my post.  

Apparently at least one reader thinks that I spend a lot of time thinking that my lifestyle choices are the only ones that could possibly be right.  While I'm pretty absolute in terms of right and wrong on certain moral/religious issues, imagining that I think our way of sleeping, diapering, educating, and generally running our household is the only way to do it, is simply not true.  I do what works best for us.  I share it here because, well, this blog is about the things that I know.  I'm not going to judge your way of sleeping/diapering/educating/running your household because... well... I can't imagine having the energy to even think about doing that... and to be honest, those aren't the kind of differences I care about.  They aren't questions with a wrong or right answer.

Anyways... I hope everyone understands that this is the blog that I write, often late at night when I should be sleeping, or early in the morning when I should be washing dishes, so I really don't have the time to pour over every single word that I write, to see if someone, somewhere could possibly be offended by it.  I'm pretty sure quite a few people could (and likely are).  

Still, despite my blogging and real life short comings, I don't plan on throwing in the towel any time soon.  

So... if my blog is a near occasion of sin for you, if reading it makes you see red and if you'd like to read the worst possible intentions in every word I write, and click away to post a comment that you and I both know I won't publish, then maybe it'd be best to take a deep breath and click the "close" button.  Maybe you could say a prayer for me and for the flaws you've found here and we'll both be better off as a result.  After all, the last six months haven't been the easiest (you know, four trips to the hospital in three months, the loss of a child, that kind of thing) and carefully pouring over my words after being attacked on what I felt was a pretty mild blog post probably isn't the most important thing in my life at the moment (nor is responding to angry comments that knowingly flout the few combox rules I've asked you to respect).  

And for those of you who don't think my blog is the worst thing you've read all week, or who at least understand that I'm human, and don't need to be lectured and accused of being and insensitive, judgmental shrew, thanks for sticking around!  I've appreciate what I've learned from you over the past years and the friendships I've discovered!  


  1. I very much enjoy your blog! Keep writing!!

  2. We're all different, one from another, and we're not meant to always agree. How else would we ever learn or change or grow? One sign of maturity is the ability to accept each other's differences. Been keeping up with you for a couple years now. You are a wonderful wife and mother. I admire your patience. Wish I'd had more of that when I was young.

  3. I wouldn't fret over it. People do secretly judge others in real life, but are usually too afraid to say anything to the person's face. It's easier to do that over a blog.

    I also tend to think people see red because they've heard it all before from someone in real life and they are just venting.

    I imagine my friends have been gossiping about my nursing while pregnant or wanting to tandem nurse. I'm sure they think my son will grow up with a warped sense of sexuality or is being babied too much. But you know what, I don't care. This is my life and I'll screw it up the way I want to. It shouldn't affect them. It's not a real moral issue and shouldn't be.

    Same with the whole homeschooling debate (which is why I think you wrote this post). It's your family's decision and why should it really affect them? Or is it because someone they know in real life has snubbed them because they don't homeschool? Either way, I'll say a prayer that whatever's eating at them will subside.

    And I'll say a prayer that you'll be able to keep above the fray.

  4. It is a process and not an event.

    I too had a similar feeling today, and I summed it up with a quote from Matthew.

    "Let the dead bury their own dead, you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God."

    Cam, you keep doing what you are doing. Your best works are in your love to your husband and children. Keep blogging, and thank you for all you do... for the Church Militant!

  5. I think your fine Cam. Some people will find fault no matter what you do. You can't please everyone.

  6. Simply amazing. Paul must have an incredible ability to concentrate on his school work, knowing what a gorgeous woman is waiting for him at home. You take the most flattering pictures.

    Now then, about your blog. It might be more entertaining for the rest of us if you would let all comments post. :)

  7. I really enjoy reading your blog. Don't worry about what other people say about what you write. It's your blog, not theirs. If they don't like what you write they're under no obligation to read it.

  8. Cam,

    I truly appreciate you and your blog. I love reading about your perspective on things, and really, that's what blogs are all about, online journals for personal reflections. I'm so glad that you're going to keep up with it, and will always be a devoted reader!

  9. Your blog, your life, your decisions... why is this so difficult for people to grasp? It's not like anyone is forcing them to read something they disagree with. I think people are just a lot more brave behind a computer screen and like to pick fights. Arghhh.

    I've told you this before, but you and I have different views on some things (despite both being Catholic moms) and that is exactly why I enjoy your blog-- because you give me things to think about. You keep doing what you do and writing what you feel... that's why many of us read here!

  10. Personally, I think a lot of controversy is the sign of a good blog! LOL You know your doing well as a blogger if people actually take the time to disagree with you. LOL

    And, I agree that people do secretly judge others in real life, it's just that the anonymity of the web makes it easier to post what they are thinking.

    I will admit that in my head, I am always checking myself for secretly judging others parenting and reminding myself not to look aghast at people who feed their kids certain things or make certain parenting choices. It's a pretty frequently confessed sin. LOL My choices tend to be more "alternative" and I have put a lot of thought and scientific research into them. I have to remind myself that other parents have likely done the same, even if they came to a different conclusion.

    And, I'm sure people judge me too...thankfully most of them are charitable enough to not say anything. LOL

    And this applies more to some choices than others. I think some parenting choices (like diapering or education) are lifestyle choices. I do think there are some parenting choices that are "wrong" although I can certainly respect how some very good, loving, wonderful parents may make those choices. And, there are many more shades of "gray" in there where individual circumstances make all the difference in the world, and I can't pretend to know what it is like to be in a certain situation or what choice is best in that situation.

  11. I always enjoy reading your blog, even though I don't always comment.
    For an example, by the time I read your homeschooling post, people had launched it far past the realm of regular conversation so I decided not to be comment number 50 or whatever.

    I think people in general get very upset about decisions or ideas that don't match their own. I really don't think it has anything to do with you and more to do with their own insecurities. I agree with Deltaflute about people venting because of something/someone else. I suspect some people are saying (meanly) to you what they really want to say to some sister/neighbor/cousin/coworker somewhere but can't.

    On a side note, I have to tell you that I feel like I often end up having to look things up when I read your blog (which isn't a bad thing). Today it was "Church Militant." :-)

    I love your blog, keep writing!

  12. Love your blog! Keep it up!

    BTW, I found out today that another blogger....Calah at BarefootandPregnant is moving to your neck of the woods!

  13. Hi Cam!
    I am a lurker, but today I feel like commenting: I love your blog and hope you will never be bullied into changing it!
    I should add that we have made some very different lifestyle choices and that we would probably not agree on very much if we met IRL, but I respect your choices and enjoy reading about you and your beatiful family. The dedication and love you show in your blog inspires me every time I read it! Your openness regarding the loss of a beloved child moved me, and also helped me to support a friend in a simmilar situation better. Thank you!

  14. I am glad you don't let the ugliness get posted. I find your blog a delight. I enjoy your sharing your thoughts and decisions and ugly posts by people who must respond with ugliness would just spoil your blog for me.

    I think that when any of us are serious about our vocations and sharing from the seat of our passion about serving in our own particular vocation that there are demons out there that just go around seeing who they can muddle into attacking us. I think this because it is so common and usually takes the same form every time.

    I used to knock myself out trying to fit all the boxes people said a person should fit until one day I realized that the biggest mistake I could make was to live with OTHER people's mistakes. Humans err, so I really only have the choice between living with my own mistakes or those of someone else. I decided that since I had to live with at least some mistakes I would rather live with my own. It was a good decision IMO.

    Just delete anything that breaks your blog posting rules and don't let it bother you. It is your blog. If they want to be nasty let them go get their own blog and blast away!

    Keep up the good work. Your blog is on my short list of blogs I check daily. It is a SHORT list.

  15. I just recently found your blog but I love the positivity! I think there is judgement everywhere in life but blogs seem to be the place people think it is ok to not use a filter. Keep being yourself, living your life in your part of this huge Internet world. There is room for all of us to make all of our own choices:)

  16. Hahaha! This post is awesome! Keep up the good work of keeping it real! You are still in my intentions/prayers, or whatever they're called now that I'm Catholic :-) I'm hoping more happy babies are in your future. Peace ~~~

  17. Hi Cam,

    I know it's been a while since I've commented, but I'm still around and I still love your blog. Things are just really busy here, and will be getting even more busy in about 8 weeks.

    Anyway, I wanted you to know that I'm so with you on your previous post. We stopped attending large group play dates when my then 4 year old was pushed down a flight of steps, landed on the concrete basement floor and was then jumped upon resulting in two black eyes and thankfully nothing more. Her older sister witnessed the entire thing and we know that it was no accident. The child that pushed her had pushed her around before and this was the last straw. I was only a few feet from her when it happened. Anyway, I do understand.

    Hope you are doing well. A blessed Advent to you and your family.

    Peklet Mom

  18. I admit I was afraid to start commenting on your blog because me being younger and still figuring things out I didn't wan to offend you. After commenting and being a regular reader I see nothing but a an amazing who makes me think more about my faith as a convert.


I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!