I read a post from a stranger's blog yesterday. One of my social media friends "liked" it and it sounded interesting so I followed the link, but I ended up having an immediate visceral reaction to it. The gist of the post was the author launching into an extremely honest diatribe about her life and her feelings about being the mother of four whose husband travels; about the ways the system is unfair, and how she was lied to about "having it all." Nothing we haven't heard before, and there were valid points about society's failings. The bottom line is it was a personal blog post, and even if I didn't agree, I can't actually refute someone on the way they feel. But it came across so bitter and resentful to me. She made a point to say something to the effect of, "I made my bed, I'll lie in it," and also that she adores her kids, which I am certain she does, but despite her disclaimers I felt like she was actually blaming THE MAN for her unhappiness. And more than anything I was shocked that the reaction in the comments was so positive and "yeah, you go girl!" There was one thoughtful critical comment, but it got swallowed up in defensiveness. I just wanted to write in and say, yeah, parenting is hard. Adult-ing is hard. You never know what it's going to be like until you do it, and everyone lies about it because if we knew the truth, who would sign on? But it doesn't mean that anyone owes you anything or that when you're dissatisfied with the life you chose that it's anyone's problem but yours. Sure there are factors beyond your control. But everyone--EVERYONE--is in the shit sometimes. It's life. It's fine to vent and share. It can save you. I think I was just so far from relating to the author that it actually blew my mind that so many people agreed with her.
I won't link the blog here, nor will I add my two cents in its "comments" section. I ascribe to the old "if you don't like it, don't read it" school. I don't have to read this blog again, and so I won't, or maybe I will out of curiosity. It's cool either way. My point of this act of (admittedly rather unfair) criticism is probably akin to what that blogger was trying to do. Get a community to rally around. I know if I had four kids, I'd probably be losing my religion as well. That's why I don't have four kids. That's why I don't have... two. I am sure there are times when I get real about parenting, when I say something about my child that could come across as unkind, or announce to the world the myriad ways that I am an ungrateful assbutt, probably without even realizing it. But every time I come out and complain or let anger take the wheel, I want it to be said that I own it. I rail against things that are beyond me (a la the post-Oscars meltdown), but any time there's something in my own life that's placed a bee in my bonnet, I know that it's something I can choose to attempt to change or make the best of. I want you to know that even when I go a little nuclear, I won't hide behind a "I'm just being honest" curtain. And I won't bring my kid into it because he didn't ask to be here.
There's a lot more going on in my brain here clearly, a clanging nerve set off for some reason. Why would I even care what this woman thinks? Enough to write the near-equivalent of a dreaded open letter in my own blog? It's so weird. But it got me into a writing place, and however I got here, I'll take it.