My job as a full time writer has been both a blessing and a curse. I'll never forget my first published piece of work. I was so excited and so proud, but like a rookie, I read the comments. One commenter hailed me as their spirit animal, and the next accused me of being a hygienically challenged mother who needed to seek treatment for anger issues. That was just the start of it. My job has made me quite familiar with the rules every mom should follow when commenting on parenting articles and, honestly, the fact that some of these rules even need to be said is a little disheartening.
I've got thick skin, so I assumed I would be immune to the unfair judgments and assumptions of strangers pertaining to my parenting or other life choices, but the comment section of my first published article has admittedly scarred me. I kept feeling the need to explain myself to the women who were coming at me with their metaphorical pitch forks and condescending comments. I wanted to tell them the whole story; to make them aware of satire and sarcasm, and to tell them to honestly just chill out.
I don't get why people get so worked up over a stranger's words, and I definitely don't understand the benefit of handing out verbal lashings to complete strangers. I started writing so that I could share my experiences with people in the hopes that they might be able to relate and be reminded that they're not alone in their parental struggles, but instead, some of my words have been met with hostility, name calling, and absolutely insane accusations of torture and neglect. One time, for example, a fellow mom made a comment that a "snake would make a better mother" than me, and that I should hand my kids over to the government. Oh, the comment section is just the most fun.
Mothers need to feel supported, and social media can be an invaluable gift when a woman feels isolated by parenthood, but it's also a double edged sword. For every supportive comment, it seems like there's four more hateful ones that will inevitably follow. For that reason, I've come up with some rules that moms should follow when commenting on parenting articles, because we're all in this together and bashing someone behind the safety of a keyboard just isn't cool.