Is this the price of writing publicly?

October 12, 2011

I’ve posted many times on wanting to be more me on here. More real, more open. More opinionated. Sunday I wrote a post that was straight from my heart, no editing or anything. I set it to publish that next morning and went to bed.

In the past 3 days, I’ve learned that when people encourage you to, “Write what you want!” they often mean to add, “As long as it’s something we agree with!”

I’m not going to sit here and say that some of the comments made on my posts or spin off posts from it didn’t hurt. They did. It wasn’t easy to see people get their feelings hurt and become offended. It certainly wasn’t my intention, and I wrote it with no one in mind but myself and a random Pinterest pin from someone I don’t even follow.

I’ll be real honest – that post brought in a lot of traffic, both that day and the ones that followed. Obviously it touched a nerve in the mom community – from housecleaning to childcare to what our roles are as mothers in the home. I had no idea it would really piss so many people off, or have people accuse me of being judgmental. I feel like a LOT of readers simply skimmed it through and came up with this:

“She thinks she’s a better mom because her home may or may not be cleaner than mine.”

Um. No.

It wasn’t about how clean my house is. Or yours, although based on the comments I got detailing your cleaning regiments it appeared I needed that information. It was about something that bothered me – the fact that I’ve had someone point blank say I can’t be an attentive mother with a happy child and have a clean home, and those stupid pins just go right along with that line of thinking.

What I’m left with now is this: is this worth it? Is writing a blog post that drives traffic and spurs conversation worth it if you piss off people? If you find that it isn’t really being read but being skimmed and then conclusions are drawn? If you think that everyone who knows you will understand where your thoughts are coming from but instead they misread it?

You may be thinking, “But you got a ton of comments! So why complain, take what you get.” But how is that worth it when half of them were angry and upset?

Is this the price of writing publicly? The price I’ll pay for speaking my mind? If you don’t agree, I’ll have to deal with angry comments and unfollowing and backlash? Who wants that?

Yet who wants to write happy, pretty posts all day that have to do with nothing I care about? I can’t find a balance. Where is the line between “boring” and “too much”?

This is my dilemma. Is this worth it? How do I make you see my posts aren’t simply me trying to make an income and get noticed no matter what the cost and not something that is written from the heart? That it isn’t EVER personal or directed at you? How do I convey that to you?

36 Comments

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    October 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I had two posts in the past year that BLEW UP. The comments were so nasty that I turned the commenting portion off and eventually made the posts private. I was sick over it for days each time it happened.

    I actually went back and re-read both posts by chance last night and I’m so proud of what (and how) I wrote those posts that I made them public again.

    I made a promise to myself last night that I will write and post what I want, when I want, readers be damned. If you don’t like what I’m writing tell me but unless it says “Diana, this is a post specifically about you” don’t take it personally.

    1. Blair@HeirtoBlair

      October 14, 2011 at 8:52 am

      p.s. I’ve done that SAME EXACT THING with a few posts of mine that just went bonkers.

  • Amber

    October 13, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    At first when I read that blog post the other day I felt a little like you were saying i was a bad mom because I don’t keep my house super clean. But then I remembered that I am crazy and there was no way you meant that. I did leave you a comment but not an angry one. Also if someone posts something I don’t like I just don’t follow them or read that post. I am really sorry you are getting such flack for stating your feelings. You can post whatever you want and I will read it and not get offended. Promise.
    Amber

  • Blair@HeirtoBlair

    October 13, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Swear to God, I could write “I love kittens” & SOMEBODY would get their panties in a twist because they’re allergic to kittens & can’t have one & WHY DO I RUB THAT IN THEIR FACE?!

    Or I could write that I will never have a cat because of my allergies & someone will comment that IF I LOVED ANIMALS ENOUGH, I would find a way to overcome my allergy by 10 shots per day but IT WOULD BE WORTH IT TO A GOOD HUMAN BEING.

    So…yeah. I just figure we all have different perspectives & stories to tell & that’s what makes blogging kick ass. I do my thing, I delete cruel comments, & I figure folks have the right to disagree, even if I think they’re wrong 😉

  • Lauren @ Hobo Mama

    October 13, 2011 at 4:16 am

    I’m not sure why people have to be mean. I guess it’s the internet, where people think they’re anonymous. No one would say things like you’re implying to your face, but they think it’s all right if it’s online.

    I wrote a jokey comment on your post, but I really did mean it as a joke. Except for the part where I said we’re slobs (we are) and bad parents (because I was busy writing comments instead of playing with my kids, dontchaknow). I don’t know — I totally got your point: Having a clean house doesn’t make you a bad parent. Absolutely. I think where people had their feelings hurt was where you said that if you had a messy house (emphasis on “you,” personally), it meant you were being lazy. It sounded like, then any of us who have a messy house are also lazy. But that’s probably just our slob guilt rearing its head, yes?

    Anyway, I don’t like controversy. I hate mean comments. I delete them if they land on my blog, because I don’t think they add to the discussion. I know some bloggers court controversy, but I’d rather have community. But it’s tough sometimes, feeling like you can’t speak what’s on your heart without potentially turning that community against you.

    1. Blair@HeirtoBlair

      October 13, 2011 at 9:25 am

      “I totally got your point: Having a clean house doesn’t make you a bad parent. Absolutely. I think where people had their feelings hurt was where you said that if you had a messy house (emphasis on “you,” personally), it meant you were being lazy. It sounded like, then any of us who have a messy house are also lazy. But that’s probably just our slob guilt rearing its head, yes?”

      READING COMPREHENSION WIN.

      I think a lot of butt-hurted-ness comes from folks internalizing your dialogue on yourself into commentary on their life.

  • Jen

    October 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I read all the comments on the other post and I didn’t think anyone was pissed off. Yah there were lots of comments but nothing got heated so I don’t see why it is making you write this post? I think people were identifying with what you were saying on the topic from both sides of the laundry pile. That is a good thing IMO.

    1. Diana

      October 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      It wasn’t this post on particular but another like I said. Where things did get nasty. I guess because people figured they could say what they wanted if they didn’t think I’d read.

      1. Jen

        October 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm

        Well than that is shitastic!

  • NikkiG

    October 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I read that blog and I took offense. It felt like to be a great mom, I had to also have a clean house. I don’t work or stay at home, and I look around at my mess, the undone laundry, the pile of dishes, the slew of papers that have seemed to take over my house.

    I didn’t respond to that post because I knew you weren’t attacking me or my mom skills. It was my inadequacies, my thought that I couldn’t do it if I had the opportunity. See, I’m pregnant and we’re considering me staying home. I get very overwhelmed with tasks, in the home. (for some reason multitasking at work is easy). But overall, my feelings had nothing to do with you.

    J appreciate your honesty and your willingness to share. Please keep it up.

  • Madonna

    October 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    You can’t please anyone but yourself when it comes to your blog. And not everyone is going to agree with what you write. But you are entitled to your opinion just as I am to mine. It is America.

    My mom always told me that if i couldn’t say anything nice, then dont say anything at all. Even if I don’t agree with something that I read on my blog roll, I usually just don’t leave a comment. I dont need to be a hater.

    And after I read your post, I was a little jealous that you found time to keep your floors clean enough to practically eat off from. Heck, I’m the working mom looking for a house keeper solely so I don’t have to spend all weekend cleaning. Props to you for multi tasking!

  • Alena

    October 12, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    People that were/are offended are that way because of an issue they have. Because they feel guilty that their house looks that way, because their husband is upset that their house looks that way or because of something that happened between their parents that made them take offense.

    It’s part of MY job description to have a neat house. If it’s not part of someone elses…awesome for them. I am blessed that my husband is a clean FAREAK and so he comes home and helps because he likes things a certain way, and he knows it’s unrealistic to expect me to get them done that way and care for Sophia.

    PS:

    AHHHHHHHHHH-HATERS-AHHHHHHHHHH! 😉

  • Bethany

    October 12, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I think those who became offended at your post showed their immaturity, self-consciousness, and in some cases, guilty conscious. Instead of taking what you said as what it was: a non-judgmental opinion, they instead chose to judge you and take their guilt and self-consciousness out on you. It’s always the lowest form of pride to lash out at someone else because of what you are feeling inside in order to make yourself feel better.
    Maybe some of those who disagreed or were more critical through other blogs needed a fire lit under their you-know-whats to get to work. Or maybe someone needed to hear that it’s OK to take pride in your home and to make the time to keep it presentable – especially when you are a SAHM and it’s your JOB to make a home for your children and S.O.
    I love that you write your mind. That’s what blogging is all about. You’ve inspired me to not be so “careful” on my own blog and to pursue writing about the things I want to talk about and not just the things people want to hear about. You’re a great mom, and I’ll take the things you’ve written about on here into my Rolodex of resources when I become a mom.
    You’re awesome. Keep it up and don’t worry about the haters. =)

    1. Janelle

      October 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Would be a boring internet if we all agreed. Like Madonna says below, if I don’t agree, I don’t tend to comment…but if I like the person, the content, and the feel of the blog, I come back. I didn’t necessarily agree with your post the other day – so I didn’t comment. But it made me think – a lot – and I appreciate that. And I’m back today, to encourage you to keep writing! I love stopping in.

      I’m writing this as a reply to Bethany because, although I didn’t necessarily agree with Diana’s post, I don’t believe I fall under the categories of immature, self-conscious, or guilty. I work hard, I care for my kids, and I do my best to keep my home in order…but sometimes there isn’t enough time or energy left in the day to have it be neat and tidy. Disagreeing doesn’t mean we need a fire lit under us, it just means that perhaps those cutesy signs speak to us and reassure us that , when time is limited, it is OK to put our children first. And the wonderful thing about this whole “issue” is that every single one of us seems to put our kids first when we look at the big picture. It is just what falls under #2 in the priority list, and how close that priority butts up to priority #1, that seems to be up for debate.

      1. Cindy

        October 16, 2011 at 8:39 am

        Could not agree more Janelle! I think we are all allowed to disagree, and I do not think any of the comments there showed immaturity, self self-consciousness, and in some cases, guilty conscious, or things of that sort. I really think it came down to priorities, time, etc… and differences of opinions. A messy house does not make you a good mom, NOR does a clean one, that is TOTALLY not what being a good or bad mom is about.

        1. Diana

          October 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm

          We’re all allowed to disagree until it gets nasty. And then I delete. Which is what happened to a lot of the comments I referred to. 🙂 And I don’t think any kind of home “makes” a good mom. A mom makes a mom. A home/job/passion is simply the product of what we do in the time we choose to have for ourselves. For me – it’s a priority. For others, not so much.

  • Leighann

    October 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I always think you should voice your opinions on your own blog, as long as you aren’t spreading hate.
    I liked the post and I like your writing, that’s why I keep coming back.

  • Lindsey

    October 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    If I constantly agreed with 100% of what you (or any other blogger) wrote, I think I’d get bored. I read to learn, and lots of people do things differently than I do.
    This is your space; do what you like with it. I think though, that if you start writing sunshine every day you’ll lose followers.

  • Miranda

    October 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Oh, Diana. I love you, roommie.

    Here’s the thing: As a working mom, I read your post and I did feel bad because I can’t make the clean-house-working-outside-the-home thing work without spending all weekend slaving over my floors and my ceilings and my laundry. But I felt bad because the housekeeping thing is MY ISSUE. It wasn’t the intent of your post or the kind of person you are, and because I know you, I know that’s not what you meant.

    It’s my opinion that when things like this happen and people skim instead of reading (or when they read thoroughly and still don’t get it) it’s because they don’t know YOU. And if they do know you and still think you’d be purposefully mean, then that’s THEIR problem.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “eff the haters.” Like Topher’s said, people who come here because there’s a pot of shit being stirred likely won’t stay, so take them for what they are–a bump in that month’s traffic–and keep on writing what you write. Those who love you love you no matter what. And I love you.

    1. Suz @ Suz’s Treats

      October 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      Ditto this! I didn’t comment because the SAHM/WAHM/whatever doesn’t yet apply to me & I’m pretty sure my house is right up there as one of the messiest. I love you no matter what & will continue to read. eff the haters & please don’t let them change you or the fabulous way you write & share.

  • Sol

    October 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    You touched some nerves. You touched mine. I am now a SAHM and struggling every day to catch up with housework. My upstairs right now looks like an episode of Hoarders. (I’m in the process of decluttering so there is a lot of stuff out)

    But that isn’t your problem.

    I don’t see your posts as judgmental. Some of the comments you receive? Those are judgmental but you have no control over others. I want what I read to be thought provoking sometimes. I like seeing how others live and what they do versus what I do. How they feel about day to day things. And how they feel about major issues too. You have a good well rounded blog. Keep it up.

    Keep writing. Keep sharing. You’re good at it.

    And the fact that it bothers you when others misunderstand you or something you write hurts them? That shows you care. Also not a bad thing. But I hope in time you’ll be able to work through those feelings a little quicker and not let it get to you so much.

  • JM

    October 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I’m sure it can be hurtful at times, but honestly, please keep doing what you’re doing. I really enjoy reading what you write, even if it’s not the way I’d do something.

    I have no desire to surround myself with clones.

  • E

    October 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Maybe it’s just me but I went back and skimmed the comments and didn’t find anything horribly cruel. I thought it was a respectful discussion.

    1. Diana

      October 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      It’s people like you who won’t leave a name that make me wonder if you really understand what you are writing. I didn’t say things were horribly cruel. I said people were offended. And they were. And I didn’t mean for them to be. They were also a lot nastier on other blogs.

  • Amy

    October 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I say write what you want. Blogging is tricky, people get mad and it can’t be controlled. But, I would say it is a pretty good rule of thumb that any post that says “I’m a good mom because…” or “I’m a good mom and I…” is going to strike a nerve with people who don’t do whatever you are talking about. Because even if you don’t say it, there could be the feeling of implication that you are calling anyone who doesn’t do what you are talking about a bad mom. Even if that isn’t what you meant.

    Example: I am a good mom and I cloth diaper. This could easily be taken as bad moms use pampers. Even if it isn’t what you meant.

  • melissa

    October 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Anything you put out for the public to see will get allot of judgement and unwanted opinions. It’s the name of the game. Your blog is written by you, about you. You are a good momma, and you know it. That’s all that matters!

  • Noelle

    October 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Diana, your post was thought provoking and got people thinking. Writing your opinion means people will share theirs even if they disagree with you. I like your blog and occasional rants 🙂 even if I may disagree with you from time to time.

  • Diana

    October 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Hey Diana, well I know we haven’t met nor even talk once but I love reading your blog. Yesterday when I read your blog I knew u where gonna get some people angry but in my case I actually looked at my floors and knew I had to vacuum and mop ASAP… hahaha… Here I can’t do anything while Matteo takes his nap because we co-sleep (big taboo, right) so I rather stay there with him that him felling out of that huge bed cuz I’m doing chores, so I clean a bit with him yesterday in the afternoon and I know I’m teaching him to be clean and to organize with mommy. So keep writing without editing and JUST BE U!!!!

    1. Diana

      October 13, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      I love that you took my post the way you did – not that it made you feel guilty 🙂 – but that you read it and understood it was about me. Hoping to meet you in a few days!

      1. Diana

        October 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

        Yes, I hope we can get together, I have heard great things about u… I hope everything goes well in t plane with Bella 🙂 Good luck and see u soon

  • Leila

    October 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    A blog is a place to write about our opinions, thoughts, feelings, expressions, etc. Frankly, there is this thing called free choice. They have the choice to read it or not. Plain and simple. If they do not like it- they have the choice to not read it. They do not need to be immature and “unfollow” you because you voiced your opinion on a post. That’s what blogging is all about.

    Personally, I enjoy reading things you post on Facebook and in your blog. It generally brings a smile to my face. I am offended easily, but have never come across something that offends me on anyone’s blog because I keep an open mind. Its nice hearing other people’s point of views.

    Just keep in mind… Opinions are like @$$ holes, everyone has them. =0)

  • Jen

    October 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I have soooooo been where you are. I posted once about how I didn’t think the homeless man with the golden voice was a big deal. I mean, he was a DJ, of course he had a great voice. People were beyond outraged, and were incredibly nasty to me about it. They told me I was jealous (of a homeless dude), that I don’t know anything, and even that I am ugly. What really upset me was the fact that I felt like none of them actually read what I was trying to say – they took bits and pieces and ran with it. But in the end I was honest with how I felt, and that is enough for me. The truth is, this is the internet. If you aren’t pissing people off and starting conversations and making people think, then you aren’t doing it right. Vanilla is death on the internet, and perky posts that aren’t real aren’t going to make people any happier.

    The bottom line is that we all have opinions, and anonymity promotes animosity. Let them get upset. They will keep coming back if they like your content. And if they don’t, well, buh bye.

  • Mae

    October 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    You just keep doing what you do. The people who don’t read you regularly already and came in response to the DRAMA bat signal will hang out for a while waiting for you to do something else controversial. They’ll either be disappointed and leave or won over and stay because you’re cute and funny and have opinions but are still kind. I wrote a post once that somehow got about 700% more hits than I typically experience. Some stayed. Most didn’t.

    Seriously, just be you.

  • Nikki @ from MRS to MOMMA

    October 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Oy vey! I haven’t gone through and read all the comments, but as I wrote in my email to you, this is YOUR blog. & it was obvious (at least to me) that you weren’t starting the good ol’ formula vs breastfeeding or staying at home vs working roles. From what I gathered it was just a post saying that clean house does not = bad mom and that dirty house does not = good mom, am I right?

    ((hugs))

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    October 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    In the end, sweetheart, there will always be people who disagree with you. But that’s the beauty of our society! We are allowed to have opinions and disagree! You want people to understand where you are coming from, but you also need to voice your opinion.

    It’s your opinion, on your blog. If people don’t like it, they don’t have to read! If people want to add a thoughtful comment in support or contrary to what you have said, that’s their right. You may have trouble reading some comments to the contrary, but don’t ever stop writing what you want because of a few meanies! I hope you keep opinionated over here – it’s partly why I love you.

  • Law Momma

    October 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    LOL

    I’m not laughing AT you, I’m laughing with you. When people get mad at me on my blog it hurts my feelings and so I’ve shied away from anything I thought was “controversial” in any way. But still, people get angry. And still, people say things that hurt my feelings. You are entitled to your opinion on your blog, the world be damned. (Easier said than done, but as my Ex always said… why write a blog if you can’t say what you think.) I didn’t necessarily agree with what you were saying but I respected the fact that you said it and respected your opinion. If people DON’T respect your opinion or what you had to say, then they can leave your blog for another one.

    Love to you, friend!

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