A Lesson In Kindness

(You can be our “Raise Them Kind” tee HERE)

There’s been a lot of pressure to come to this space and sort of explain myself in regards to the HuffPost article I wrote.

And by “a lot of pressure” I mean that I’ve had like two people tell me to. But I value those people’s opinions, so I’ve been having anxiety over it.

Writing that piece was one of the most controversial things I’ve ever done, right up there with calling a guy in my Sophmore math class an asshole—landing me in-house detention for the period.

I’m not much of a pot stirrer in my everyday life, but I do stand up for what I believe in and I believed in what I wrote. Should I and could I have been gentler in my approach? Absolutely. I see that now. I was trying to use wording that was captivating (because hi, I’m a writer) and theme appropriate. But for the people closely tied to my words, everything came off as an attack rather than a humorous take on a serious issue.

I found myself being called a hypocrite by some, and I thought it weird that standing up for others and myself was seen as that way. But then I thought about it again.

I had a woman approach this space to defend someone she loved who she felt was being bullied by me. Wasn’t that the same thing I had done in my article? She used choice words that weren’t always kind. I did too. And I couldn’t be mad at her. In fact, I related. All she wanted to do was defend her friend from a bully— me too.

But where does it end? When is it okay to fight back and when isn’t it? And who decides that? Everybody applauds a woman who speaks up and isn’t afraid to call people out— that is of course, unless it’s them or someone they know that are the victim of that call out.

And I say everyone, because I mean that. I would have done the same thing as this woman, had it been about someone I loved.

In the spirit of good writing, I allowed myself to detach from humanity a little bit. I allowed myself to stumble off the very pillar of motherhood that I pride myself on protecting. It’s not up to me to decide who needs a slap on the wrist and who doesn’t. And while I know my article helped to open the eyes of some who didn’t realize that they themselves, may be part of a bigger issue here in mommy wars— it also made some women feel bad about themselves, put them in a dark place over being publicly ostracized. To them, I am sorry. I’ve personally expressed that to them, but I feel that I need to say so publicly as well. There’s a difference between writing something that is going to bring on criticism and straight up hurting people’s feelings. This piece got hardly any criticism. But it did really hurt some people, and that’s where I seriously missed the mark.

Raise them kind, I say. Well, I  learned a new lesson in kindness and have been humbled by the reminder that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. – Martin Luther King Jr.

I burned a few bridges last week— may those flames light my way. May walking through the waters, refresh my soul. May I start again on land.