Hateration

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in Fun as a Toddler Mom, New Mom Experience, TODDLER

{ All the photos in this post are from a recent Daily Mom get together and hope illustrate the point of the post of what women should be like towards each other}

I feel like ranting. This isn’t coming from anything particular, or a recent event. It’s coming from the thoughts I’ve had for a while but was never brave enough to write and publish. Since the days of worrying about what people think or say when it comes to this blog are long gone, I thought it’d be appropriate to finally get it out.

I find it funny that the mommy world is so competitive and guilt ridden that a simple observation of women at Whole Foods posted on my facebook page many many months ago ( “I love going to Whole Foods and seeing sexy fit crunchy mamas with their happy content babies in slings) gets all kinds of reactions from “Fat mamas have happier babies” to “How dare you say something like that”  LOL

It’s sad that people are so sensitive (insecure?) that you cannot say anything anymore without putting a mile long list of disclosures under it (” going to whole foods doesn’t make you crunchy”, “un-sexy un-fit mothers have happy babies, too”, “fit doesn’t mean sexy and sexy doesn’t mean fit”, “you don’t have to wear a sling to have happy babies”, “you don’t have to eat organic to have happy babies”. Did I forget anything? This is ridiculous!)

Women need to be more confident in themselves, their parenting and their babies!

  • You don’t shop at Whole foods? Fine!
  • You don’t wear slings? Fine!
  • You are overweight? Fine!
  • You have a fussy baby? Fine!
  • You’re not crunchy? Fine!
  • You don’t eat organic? Fine!
  • You don’t feel sexy? Too bad, but fine!

Women should not feel defensive or like they don’t measure up or need to defend their decisions and lifestyles. There are all kinds of women, parenting styles, body shapes and babies: heavy and skinny, fit and out of shape, high needs babies and calm babies, laid back mothers and structured mothers, attachment parenting and cry it out, natural childbirth and c-sections.

So why won’t women own it!? Own their body, own their parenting approach, own their baby’s temperament, own their decisions?

Why do so many women feel the need to prove to each other that THEIR way is better?

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I have never met such a catty insecure group of people until I got into the mommy world…. and the Internet.

Get your confidence back, girls!

The one you had when you were single, when it didn’t matter what people thought or did. What happened with that? Do you enjoy always feeling defensive, angry, righteous?

I just cannot IMAGINE living my life like that!

Stop looking at other people for approval or take everything as an insult! There are a million different people and different ways to do things, so be happy with yourself and what you have and work to improve the way YOU want to improve, not the way other people think is right.

I guess after looking around I realized that it might not be exclusive to mommy circles only. It’s just that I have strangely never experienced it until I entered the mommyhood.

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I was cruising Facebook a while ago and clicked on the link to a Victoria’s Secret new PINK photoshoot with adorable girls goofing around in their undies. The photographs and the girls were gorgeous and I was enjoying paging through them. For some reason I decided to look at the comments and I was absolutely appalled. I’m never one to read comments or what other people say or think when I read articles online or look through photos, so this was one of the first times that I have encountered such nastiness towards a completely non-controversial subject. I mean they were comments (mostly from girls/women) that the models were ugly, hairy, stupid looking, commenting on one model’s tooth gap, no boobs, supposedly hairy armpits, hairy arms. Those girls were picked APART! Anything that could be taken as a negative was brought up by various people continuously. And I bet those are the same exact people who will have no problems calling models vapid or stupid or obsessed with looks while THEY are the ones focusing on nothing but the flaws in LOOKS.

My God, there’s so much hatred in some people!

When has our society become SO NASTY? How have girls learned to put down other girls? Is it a recent development? Or is it exclusive to American culture? I must have been living in a bubble all these years because only by starting a blog and encountering these kinds of people that I have become a witness to the horrible way women treat each other.

Growing up in Russia, I’ve always had super nice smart friends. I never saw anyone being put down, commented and criticized for their looks. We had our click of popular girls all throughout high school, but we NEVER picked other girls apart . Of course, there were occasional harmless jokes, but we were friends with all kinds of people Yeah there were girls who were less pretty, less smart, less popular, as well as prettier, smarter, more successful, luckier, but we never made nasty remarks about their “flaws” or tried to make ourselves feel better by putting down girls who we thought had it better than us.

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Even upon moving to America, I must have surrounded myself with only like-minded people because I had NEVER, truly never experienced anything of this sort until I started a blog and got exposed to millions of people.

So I guess it still shocks me when I see beautiful models and find out that girls out there are outright hating on them. Hating on them for being unique, for being beautiful, for working for Victoria’s Secret. One of my model girlfriends from New York recently signed with Victoria’s Secret and I can feel nothing but excitement and joy for her.

None of those comments had any merit. So the girl has a gap in her teeth? So what? I am sure I can find A MILLION more significant flaws in the commenters’ looks. It’s fine that you might not think a gap is attractive, or brunettes aren’t pretty or girls who are skinny aren’t hot, but where does the need to let them know of that come in? Where does the nastiness and hatred start? Is it maybe that the jealousy, and your own inadequacies are being brought up by that person? Maaaan…

I didn’t think the gap was attractive, but not in a million years would I write about that and in a nasty way. It’s not my business what she does with her gap. It is not my business how she looks with her gap. If anything, it makes her unique!

A reader sent me a link to this awesome article describing the phenomena of social hatred. One definition stuck with me:

“Hateration” (as Mary J. Blige so brilliantly labeled it in her hit song “Family Affair”), is an ego-driven response to shame: our feelings that we haven’t lived up to our own standards, and that therefore we aren’t good enough. As a result, other people’s success, efforts, and good deeds make us feel smaller. When we have that gut-level, animalistic reaction of wanting to hate on something, it means we’ve triggered an area of self-loathing within ourselves. But most of the time, we’re way too afraid to go there and admit what it is that we’ve done to disappoint ourselves. It’s easier to blame others for our bad feelings and make it about their failures rather than our own.”

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I don’t get bothered by other people’s opinions or criticism especially when I can so easily see through them. Bloggers who have a large readership usually have enough confidence and a thick skin that they laugh at those hiding behind the nasty comments. Those who don’t, tend not to survive emotionally and stop blogging.

However what does bother me is the environment that has been created as those angry emotionally immature people rear kids who are also unaware of their feelings. Those are the people my daughter will be among and God forbid have as friends. I mean what kind of example do those mothers set!!! It makes me shiver just thinking of that. It makes me sad and scared for Lexi. I just hope that we can do a good enough job with her that she is prepared for the world and is confident enough and aware of her emotions that whatever nasty hags she meets along the way won’t bother her one bit. I can just hope….

That’s all…

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Comments (65)

  • Andrea

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    Thank you! I have been reading your blog for some time and I only sometimes read the comments because they enrage me. Thank you for writing this, I’m sure the same insecure people will have a problem with it.

    Reply

  • Sarah

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    To some extent I think it’s American (or maybe others too, I don’t know) culture and the way girls deal with each other. Then it gets compounded by the anonymity of the internet. Things you wouldn’t dream of saying to someone’s face can be thrown out with reckless abandon behind your little 1inx1in picture of yourself on a comment form or message board. It doesn’t take a particularly brave or intelligent kind of person to say something they never have to be accountable for. It always reminds me of people who shout things out their car window as they speed past. They’re really brave until you pull up next to them at the next stop light. It’s sad. And I agree, I hate the idea of my kids growing up with these kinds of people as friends. I want to teach my kids to make informed decisions and be confident in them so that they can focus their energy on supporting and helping other people. Anything else is just a waste of time and energy.

    Reply

  • Mrs Loquacious

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    Totally. Agree. I think there are far too many insecure women out there whose defensive (and offensive) reactions are borne out of their own insecurities and baggage. I don’t agree with 90% of the mommies I know when it comes to childrearing but I don’t feel like I need to attack to justify or validate my own choices. I just *know* what is right for me.

    That said, sometimes I like to poke the bear when some chick gets her panties in a knot for no good reason. It’s not very mature of me but it is so amusing to watch the vitriol fly as the freakout commences. I’m a bit of a troll that way 😉 I will try not to hijack your posts with it though!

    Reply

  • KS

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    I agree with you that people should be nice to each other. No doubt about that. And of course that includes models…there’s no need to be nasty. But the thing is, models are in a business that is known for criticizing bodies. While I do not believe that that should be an open invitation for nastiness, I do think there’s a MUCH bigger problem out there than models getting picked on. Kids are picked on for their weight, their appearances, their clothes– everything. They didn’t ask for any of that. They didn’t put themselves out there the way models do or bloggers do. They grow up feeling insecure and lacking self-worth.

    As far as the mommy stuff goes, I don’t really care what other moms think of the way I parent. I have twins and I have a job, so not only did I feed them formula, I also do not make their food, do not carry them around in slings (I don’t even know how to do that with two), and yes, I sleep trained them. And I will admit that when I read all these mommy blogs and talk to AP moms, I do feel like I’m being judged. And as much as I’d like to say “I don’t care!” I have to admit that it does kind of wear on me. Maybe that’s not something that could be understood by the other side, but it’s the honest truth. I try not to be defensive, and hopefully I never am, but sometimes it can be hard. So, I’d suggest just keeping that in mind if you ever feel like someone is being defensive.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      See, I think there is so much wrong with the thinking that just because a person is a public figure, that they “asked” for it.
      It’s like saying that just because a woman is walking in the dark, she deserves to be raped. Or taking the school bullying you brought up which is a huge issue, using your logic you can say that because they are in school and wear clothes, they can be criticized for who they are and picked on. That’s ridiculous. Models didn’t become models to be picked apart, bloggers don’t blog to be criticized, actors are not in the show biz so that tabloids could digest every aspect of their lives. Those are the dark sides of the business that they deal with, but there are in NO WAY any more deserving of bullying. It can’t be justified that way. As soon as you start segregating a part like this, you allow for more room to justify to bully other types of people.

      As far as you feeling judged by AP parents, the sad truth is probably that you are by some, and that’s what I was talking about. We all need to feel confident enough in our decisions that the fact that other people might or might not silently judge us should not matter. And it should never be an excuse to attack. People will always judge, I don’t think that can be changed. But what we CAN change as mothers is teach our children to not FEEL judged over every little innocent remark, to feel confident enough in your own abilities and decisions to not feel bad about other people’s decisions and successes, as well as not to attack other women even if you feel they deserve it/asked for it, but i think that last part would come if the first two things are taught.

      Reply

      • KS

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        Oops…typo. I meant to say that I do NOT believe that should be an open invitation for nastiness. Definitely, I do NOT believe that people should act that way. And the point I meant to get across was that, right or wrong, I think most models, bloggers, celebrities, etc. accept that it comes with the territory. I would never say things like that, and I wish no one else would either, but I don’t know if it’ll ever change. Certainly doesn’t make it ok, though.

        In response to your second paragraph, I find it odd that when a model is being criticized for her looks, you rush to her defense. But when I say “it sucks to feel like you’re being judged by other moms” your response is basically that I need to get over it and be more confident in my decisions. I am confident in my decisions. I don’t feel guilt over anything. I have AP mom friends who would never make a remark to make me feel bad. But, I’ve also heard people say “why would you have kids if you aren’t even going to breast feed.” I think that’s hurtful. I don’t dwell on it, but I do think it’s hurtful and not at all an innocent remark.

        I think what’s important to remember is that the vast majority is good. At least, that’s what I believe. You aren’t always going to hear them, but they are there and they aren’t out to make anyone feel bad.

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I didn’t rush to a model’s defense, in fact I specifically focused on the people attacking rather than people being attacked. I think a lot of the attacks come from the feelings of insecurity, and that’s where it needs to be changed at, at the core.

          Don’t get me wrong, I often feel like I am being judged, but it doesn’t matter to me, it’s not pleasant, but it doesn’t really make me feel bad about my decisions because I know without a shadow of a doubt that what I am doing is right. And if I start doubting it, I go back and analyze my feelings and my decisions and come up with either a better decision or a better attitude. So what I was saying is that we all should feel confident.
          Once again you took my words and inserted your own feelings of being judged in it, rather than take them at face value.
          I am not talking about the victims here, I am talking about the attackers and the twisted reasons behind their attacks.

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          • KS

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            Gotcha. I did misunderstand what you were saying there. I wasn’t trying to react defensively, I guess I was just confused by what you were saying. I know that people will always judge and that’s ok (I mean, try as we might, we all do it to some extent). Sorry for the confusion, but it sounds like we agree on the overall point– everyone should just be nice, keep their judgement and criticism to themselves, and give others the benefit of the doubt. Simple as that!

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      • Corinne

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        I don’t see it so much as public figures are “asking for it” but they are definitely opening themselves up and putting themselves out there for people to criticize, as well as compliment. I think it’s extremely distasteful to compare being criticized like that to being raped. It’s almost expected you’ll be criticized when you’ve got a nation (and world, really) with so many different opinions and ideas. But I don’t EXPECT to be raped walking down a dark alley at night.

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          And yet some people use that as a justification a rape. That or that a woman wears suggestive clothes.
          It’s the same thing. It’s as ridiculous to say that celebrities open themselves up for negativity and are supposed to expect getting criticized just as it is to assume that just because a woman is walking down a dark alley that she opened herself up for trouble.
          Having a differing opinion doesn’t automatically turn into a need to be nasty or offensive, so to say that just because people differ in opinions celebrities or bloggers should expect being insulted is silly.
          You can disagree or disapprove someone without spitting out venom at them, calling them names or pointing out physical flaws in their appearance. It’s bullying in the best form.

          The only reason you don’t EXPECT to be raped walking a dark alley is because our society made rape unacceptable no matter what. Yet bullying, nastyness, underhandedness, name calling, etc is considered so acceptable that you and other people would say public figures “ask for it” or “open themselves up to it”. That justification is mind blowing to me.

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          • Corinne

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            Nope. I’m done. I just can’t look past you comparing RAPE to having your feelings hurt.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            And I can’t accept the fact that there is ANY justification for bullying.
            I am not comparing the two, they are two different things, but having one that is worse than another doesn’t make it more ok. Attempted murder is just as unacceptable as murder, shooting someone is just as unacceptable as hitting someone. Obviously the outcomes are different and the level of offense is different, but it doesn’t make it any more ok just because there is a worse offense out there. As soon as you try to justify one thing, it opens the door to eventually justify another thing ( the whole “asked for it” phrase just gets me angry, because unless a person actually vocalized in it in words, they DID NOT ask for it). You can go ahead and get offended at that, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is NEVER ok to justify an act by saying that a person opened themselves to it.

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          • KS

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            I’m really not sure if the “asking for it” quote came from my original comment, but I do want to make sure it’s clear that I never meant to imply that a person asks to be bullied. I said that models, etc. “put themselves out there,” meaning that they make choices as adults that might make them to be vulnerable to criticism. I was trying to point out the difference between an adult who chooses to be in the public and a child who is just trying to go to school and not be noticed in a negative way. And I have to agree with Corinne…rape probably shouldn’t be used in the same argument. I don’t think you’re trying to compare the two, but still…

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          • Corinne

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            I don’t agree with the “fine line” theory. This is not in relation to this, but an example of the “fine line” bs, some say there is a fine line between allowing gay marriage to be legal and allowing incestuous relationships legal. One does not lead to the next. I don’t think there is a fine line between hitting and shooting. Both are unacceptable but one is MUCH worse than the other. And I didn’t say bullying is okay. It’s not. It’s unacceptable. BUT, especially after SEEING it happen, when a person chooses to become a public figure, UNFORTUNATELY part of that is being criticized. Doesn’t make the act of bullying okay. But comparing being bullied in school or, again with the rape, to being publicly criticized as a public figure is so far fetched.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Rape, murder, hitting, bullying is all abuse. One is worse than the other, there is no argument there and I never compared the two from the level of offense standpoint.
            I just will never accept someone saying that one of t`12hese is to be expected because the person chose to do something, so therefore other people are justified in attacking them. Yes it’s expected, but does it make it right? It’s not really far fetched that if you go to a bad part of town where lots of crime happens at night, you might get stabbed, murdered, etc, but that doesn’t make it ok and offenders are still persecuted, even though “it was expected”.
            I am not exactly sure why you don’t see what kind of comparison I am making, and not that rape and real life or online bullying are in any way equal in the level of offense.

            In any case, thanks for hijacking the point. It wasn’t about whether bullying,rape, criticism are ok and its victims, but about the type of people who dish it out and hate/ anger that is so apparent and sad and our society at large. Again, great example of picking apart every single point and sentence, reading into things rather than just react to the actual post at hand.

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          • Corinne

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            Except I did respond to the topic in a later comment. And I also sai it’s NOT okay, but it happens and is expected. So, with your logic thr rape is expected in a high crime neighborhood and street, criticism is expected in a highly publicized life.

            Again, I’m done now.

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          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            You’re making no sense. You said that these things are expected. I’m just using your logic to show that it doesn’t make any of it right or that it SHOULD be expected.

            And with that I am done.

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          • Mrs Loquacious

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            Any act of violence, whether it is psychological, physical, emotional or verbal, is not okay. Whether the various kinds of violence involve adults, public figures, women, men, visible minorities, people with special needs, kids, gays or straight- it. is. simply. not. okay. And though sometimes we want to put hierarchies on which types of violence are more severe or heinous, it nevertheless cannot excuse or justify the offense when perpetrated against anyone.

            People have an innate ability to adapt to ever-changing climates and environments. This is what allows us to survive, but it is also what allows us to become desensitized to increasingly-awful things and minimize their impact. Not unlike the story of the frogs that jump out of boiling water vs. the frogs who boil to death in room temperature water that is heated slowly, so too our society can (and does) become morally eroded when subtle, but awful, things become “acceptable” or normalized over time. I think Elena that this is what you are referring to about slippery slopes, and I tend to agree with you.

            And ironically enough, this thread is just more evidence of mommies attacking other mommies for the stupidest things. Obviously the nitpicking about Elena’s words is just another way to make oneself feel more righteous, powerful, and/or vindicated in their opinion and make Elena feel bad or embarrassed or wrong about hers. The comments really haven’t contributed much in the way of thoughtful, productive dialogue, which is too bad.

            Keep it classy, keep it positive, and if you don’t agree and are so personally offended by something, send Elena an email or stop reading. But let’s stop the “hateration.” Elena is a huge advocate for mommies and certainly nobody’s enemy. :)

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  • Amy

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    What an excellent post, I needed this read today. Sarah said it perfectly- I have found it has gotten worse, especially now with social media being so huge.

    I have found myself reading blog posts, tweets, etc and have thought to myself ‘what are they thinking, you can’t parent that way!’ then I think to myself, ‘every parent is different, every child is different, they’re scenario is not the same as yours’

    Thank you again for this post.

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  • Kristen

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    Amen! I came across this blog while looking for healthy preconception tips. I am in the preconception phase and I get excited about all the stuff I am learning and things I can be doing even now to give my future baby a healthy start. I’m not even pregnant yet and when I share something I’ve learned I am already getting ” Well my children turned out just fine and I ate whatever I wanted while I was pregnant”. Hello? I’m doing this because it is what I feel will give my future child a healthy and happy head start, not to judge you for what you did. Unless you are supporting and encouraging me, you’re comments do not add value. I’m glad you stick up for yourself and this blog stands out from the others because of it. You don’t make excuses for doing what you think is best and I’m sure there are a lot of others like me that appreciate your healthy, natural, green approach and that you’ve done a lot of the research work for us. Attractive people with happy children at Whole Foods are an inspiration!

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  • Rachell Edens (@RachNole20)

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    Moms would be a much happier bunch if we all just supported each other instead of tearing each other down. Even when I see something and feel like I would handle it a different way, I always remember that we are all just doing the best we can with what we have and what we know to get through each and every day. 99% of parents are just trying to make it work for themselves and their family; just like I am doing for mine. Different doesn’t mean wrong; it just means different. Plain and simple. There are many different ways to parent and we should all just relax a little bit and just help each other out. It would make all of our lives a little bit better and set a much better example for our children to see us working together instead of tearing each other apart.

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  • Krystina

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    I see your point and I think it’s important we start being proud of who we are. Here’s the thing….you didn’t say “I love seeing all the mamas with their babies”. You said you loved seeing sexy and fit ones. I guess see where that would easily come across as a diss on women who are not as fit.

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    • Sarah

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      No, “I feel sorry for all the sad babies of fat parents” is a dis. I would say feel free to get mad about that kind of statement. What she said was definitely not. Stop looking for things that aren’t there. That was her point. Don’t look for reasons to be outraged. There’s enough in life that’s actually offensive without reading between the lines and putting words in someone’s mouth. It’s exhausting.

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      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        That’s my biggest pet peeve. Taking someone’s and adjusting them to make it ok to be angry.
        I read plenty of anti-breastfeeding, anti-co-sleeping, anti-AP parenting articles and posts. I walk away from them at most shaking my head (depending on how they are written) and never think of them again.

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  • Greta

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    All I have to say is Thank you, thank you, thank you! Well said.

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  • Rainy

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    Thank you so much for this post! My son is 6 months and I was expecting to enter a whole new world of possible mommy-friends only to find out that it is largely made up of people looking to compare quick “facts” about their kids to see who wins in which areas (eating, sleeping, milestones, you name it), those looking for confirmation that their parenting approach is “right,” and those that are wanting to negativly warn of things to come. Of course I’ve found a few secure and open-minded mamas but I was a little caught off guard by the attitudes described in your post.

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  • Ashley

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    “•You don’t feel sexy? Too bad, but fine!” <— That made laugh! I do agree with you. Its hard to just make a comment without having to pat everyone on the head almost as if you are say "yes sweetie, you too!" or ending everything with "That's just my opinion"

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  • Sonya Morris

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    LOL! I have noticed a lot of hateful comments/criticism on your posts since I have been following. I kept thinking of how rude they were but you always responded with such grace!

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  • Maria

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    Hi Elena thanks for your thoughtful and thoroughly researched blog. I’ve always wanted to post a comment but this article prompted me to go ahead and do it. I’ve followed you since I was 7 months pregnant and my son just turned 15 months today. He’s a high needs baby and still breastfeeding. You are absolutely right on nasty comments people make have to do with their own insecurities. After all you relate to other people the way you view and relate with yourself. If you look down on yourself you’ll only look down on others. Trust me this is a human being thing, not exclusive to Americans. I grew up in Africa and believe me the exact same thing happens. But take heart, like attracts like. If you bring up your daughter Lexi with love she will attract people with love to her. That’s why your friends have always been loving people who are secure with who they are.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Thank you! That is very insightful! You’re right. I can never imagine being friends with a hateful gossipy person and that’s what I managed to avoid all these years.

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  • Veronika

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    I have written a similar post about knowing what to ignore when you’re a blogger. I have always been a pretty confident person as an adult and it still shocks me how many women spend their time trying to tear down and critique other women. I personally don’t have the desire or time for that. I am a new mom, I work full time and I have a blog that I’ve been writing for nearly four years. I too haven’t ever encountered so much hatred/criticsm before I was a blogger. And though I know that “putting myself out there” means some people won’t like it, and I’ve fully accepted that, it still stuns me when I read some things people write about me. From malicious lies to rude criticisms, it feels so strange to read it because I literally cannot imagine spending my time/caring enough about someone’s life to write things like that.

    It took me a long time to stop caring and to stop feeling hurt by those comments. Sometimes, certain comments still annoy me or upset me. It’s hard for them not to, even when you are a confident person who is happy with their decisions. Now that I’m a mom, there’s even more to judge and it’s disheartening to read negative or unkind things, but like you, I know I am making the right decisions for my family so it’s a little easier to brush things off.

    What gets me is that I don’t understand how things became this way. It seems like most women who are successful in the blogging world have their own group of “haters” who critique every post, every comment, every photo. I wonder doesn’t it get tiring? Doesn’t discussing the same annoyances over and over become boring? I wish women would support and admire eachother—and fortunately, that’s what I find in the blogging community. It’s outside of the blogging community in the online world where there seems to be so much negativity.

    I think the important thing is to remember your priorities and focus on your goals and dreams for your family and your life…and ignore the noise as best as you can because there will always be someone who’s your critic and there will always be someone trying to tear you down. The best thing women can do is stive to find happiness for themselves and let all of the other stuff just be the noise that they shut out, because at the end of the day, it exists, but it’s not important or relevant.

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  • Ali James

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    Excellent post, Elena…that’s all I have to say! I’ve always been impressed with your ability to even take the time to respond to negative comments (I would probably be crying somewhere) and I think it’s great that you’re addressing this issue…the bigger issue at hand. Well said!

    Reply

  • Anna

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    Thanks for sharing. Can I ask? At the beginning of the post u mentioned u didnt want / were not ready to write this post. Why?
    Also im surprised you never seen the reality and very happy for you! Moreover, what u described in ur post was the reason i left Russia so im again surprised u havnt seen the reality there but im glad, truly :-) i thought i waa brought in a bubble but nah, it was you. I think due to YOUR positivity world around you is happy :-))) I was / am must be a bitch as my reality is sadder but im working on it 😉

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Anna, you’re not a bitch! Saying that about yourself isn’t helping either :) I truly never experienced it in Russia. I had a ton of friends, and I can only think of one who might have been a little bit mean at times. For a long time I thought that it was an American thing… But it just looks like a grown up thing.

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      • Corinne

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        It’s not a grown up thing. This bullying and judgement happens at a young age, too. And it started many, many years ago. Just getting worse. Called “keeping up with the Jones’s”. The people who are the ones judging are usually the ones worried about not being/having/doing the “best”. For example, your readers would see you as one of the “Jone’s” and if they don’t do/have what you do/have, they feel like you or anyone who parents “better” are judging them. And the kids of these people are seeing the judgment and in turn, judging and bullying other kids for not having “the best” or being “ugly” or being “fat”.

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  • Kate

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    I personally believe that the commenters that are nasty are, very simply and openly, showing their greatest fears. They are so afraid of being picked apart, and to avoid having that happen, they join the pack of fear-filled women and they tear someone else apart. I’m not saying its right. I’m not saying they should do it. I’m saying that deep down, we are all AFRAID. Fear is a great motivator. I’m sorry people have attacked you. It isn’t right, but at least know that is it a bunch of very fearful people trying to feel something.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Thank you Kate! However you should not feel sorry for me. I am very well equipped to handle it. This post isn’t about me, it is about people who do the attacking and how sorry they are

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  • Anna

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    When my partner and i got back home from Russia, among many other different comments he said that Russia was big in jealousy… He never felt this feeling but ive noticed that its pretty bad in Australia :-( I believe its a global “illness” and has old rooooooots

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  • Megan

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    I’m a hardcore hater. Of these pictures. Because I’m jealous and I want to hang with you gals!
    Also? The bra pic STILL makes me snort-laugh because A looks like she wants to murder someone for lunch.
    Also? Loved this. I believe I did comment that I was an original Whole Foods shopping trip hater as well, because I was jealous that you got to go grocery shopping, but then you clarified that it was with your tiny sidekick, and I suddenly felt pity. Because I truly get it. 😉
    xoxo

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Hahahaha! Well, you should be jealous we had fun! 😛
      And i don’t believe you’re thinking of the right Whole foods comment, it was something else!

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  • Melyn

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    You hit the nail on the head…it’s because people are insecure!! It drives me crazy too and I rarely read comments on anything because I know people will ultimately be negative. So sad.

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  • Kelly

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    Elena,

    Its not just America. A local blogger recently blogged about the increase in hateful comments she was receiving here in Australia. I believe that people that feel the need to be nasty, are only doing it to make themselves feel better… If only they would put this energy into something positive!

    I think people also are unafraid to say what they think behind the comfort of their keyboard… well i hope thats the case.. or there are far more cruel people walking around than i ever considered possible.

    Ive been reading your blog religiously for about 18 months now and i am always surprised at the commentors that try to run you down on YOUR opinion… I mean hello its YOUR BLOG of course you are entitled to blog your beliefs and values and its not sometimes that i think they just want to share their own opinions and beliefs its like they are trying to one up you all the time. Drives me batty.

    There used to be a local blogger that i throught was fabulous, she first of all was sick of nasty comments so stopped allowing people to comment and not long after that she gave up blogging altogether – very sad.

    Dont use your words as weapons people!!!!

    Reply

  • Mia

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    I usually don’t read comments either, until I started reading mom blogs and holy cow! People can be so mean! I remember being pregnant, hormonal, and so effected by these comments. I can’t believe how much hatred people have in their hearts. Oh and I love that you mentioned the ridiculous disclosures that we have to attach to everything that we say for the sake of not offending anyone and in the end you are still offending someone out there. I personally don’t get why that Whole Foods comment would offend anyone. Lastly, I absolutely admire that you don’t let people get away with their nasty comments!

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  • Oksana R

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    I just happened to come across your blog and love this post. Growing up in Ukraine, I find it interesting that you felt that there was no looking-down-your-nose. I didn’t get to go through high school there (instead was immersed in the joke they call school in Canada) but even in grade 5 (my last year there) I remember friends making awful comments about other girls. I just don’t think you realize what’s actually happening until you grow up and start looking at the world a different way. Hopefully, the reason you didn’t feel that happened was because your friends had grown up by that time.

    I agree with other commenters – it’s a global illness. Being in a different city/country/continent doesn’t change what people think like. It became quite apparent to me on our last visit there (though I do think it manifests in different ways). People there are just as obsessed with appearances as they are here. I’ve lived in Canada for more than half my life now and my husband and I are expecting our first. It’s been quite interesting listening to the opinions of my mommy friends vs. my mother (full-blooded Ukrainian) vs. my mother-in-law (full-blooded Westerner). I really makes me thankful that I did grow a thick skin during my first few years in Canada and that, being in the medical field, I can either confidently go through baby/pregnancy conversations with them or at least know enough big medical words to end those conversations before I’m bombarded with parenting/looks advice. I think this is the start of “hateration” in the mommy world. There is so much pressure to do “right” by your child and so many people think that because they have given birth to one or more children who just happen to be alive still makes them experts on everything from baby furniture to how you should hold your boob to feed your child “properly”.Also, as I have learned, people (both strangers and non) are all too willing to bombard you with the “correct” information and the “right” opinions….. whether you need/want them or not.

    Reply

  • Kate

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This post hits the nail on the head with the way a lot of women are today. It’s incredibly sad to see women with insecurities try to tear down other women to, in a bizarre way, make themselves feel better. I feel very blessed to have been raised by parents who taught me to treat people the way I would like to be treated & own who I am as a person. If you are ugly on the inside you sure as hell are ugly on the outside. Let’s hope the positive women of the world can shed a little light for the haters that life is just better when you are happy with you. Thanks again for writing this post!

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  • Rachel m

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    Amen! Just because I say that I proudly nurse my preschooler does not mean someone needs to interpret that as a dis that they used formula. Just because I said “I could never let my son CIO” does not mean moms who use CIO techniques are *bad* moms. I swear that ppl read between the lines far too often!

    Reply

  • Sara

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    Recently I was reading an article that I thought was super positive & sweet. I continued to scroll down to the comments because I actually thought you could say nothing bad about it. Boy was I wrong! I really don’t understand. What happened to “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”?
    I will admit that I have been guilty of posting a few comments that were taken as being critical or judgemental. They were certainly not written to be taken that way, but like so many have already pointed out, women are quick to read between the lines or insert their own fears. So when a mom says “my baby won’t stop crying” & she posts this on a world wide forum I’ve had to learn that this is not a request for help or an invitation to share what worked for me. Which is really sad because we could learn so much from each other if we weren’t so afraid that because something didn’t work or didn’t feel right, somehow we’re failures as parents.
    In the end I’ve had to remind myself that even though every mother does things differently, when the end goal is the health, happiness & well-being of the child, then it doesn’t matter how or what manner it is that she gets there. We are all good mothers, with the exception of those few women who are abusing their children(and for some reason they don’t blog or share their parenting or lack therof).

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  • Ariel

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    YES! YES! YES! I agree with it all. :)

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  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)

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    AWESOME post!! I think you and I would get along as friends very well … I don’t have a lot of female friends, because I cannot stand the cattiness or gossip. I prefer to be friends with males.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I also always had a lot if male friends and often preferred their company but I was also blessed with some amazing girlfriends as well.

      Reply

  • ME

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    I understand not allowing hate on your own site. However as confident moms or moms to be it would be nice if you would allow comments with alternate points of view from that of your own. I know you do allow these comments here and there but several of my comments on the site have not been posted just because I did not agree with your opinion and stated it (in a respectful way) If you don’t care what people say stop filtering so many comments. Publish the ones that don’t agree with your parenting style and opinions. Of course I am not saying you need to post the blatantly abusive or cruel comments but it would be nice to get an intelligent conversation going with moms of differing opinions. A healthy respectful debate is what makes blogs interesting. Own your decisions enough to support them in the comments.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      And that’s exactly what I do. The thing is this my blog and it’s solely up to me whether I allow ANY comment or not. I always publish differing comments as long as they are intended to offer a different point of view. The only comments that get blacklisted (and it’s a very small percentage) are the ones that are outright rude, irrelevant or underhanded. Most of the time, I don’t have the patience or time to deal with someone else’s issues when it comes to rude or self-serving comment. It is what it is. If you want to be heard and raise a discussion, you’re definitely welcome to start your own blog where you will not spam trolls.

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  • Kay

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    Wow. What a great post. I will never forgef some of the posts I saw other women write after Lexi was born. I was horrified and disgusted with their rudeness. But you bore it all so well. I really admired that. I had a question though: you said as a model you didn’t encounter this sort of bullying and all this time I thought something like modeling would be extremely competitive and quite vicious sometimes? This post made me more curious about it.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      No not at all. We were all good friends, everyone I met in modeling was super friendly and open. It’s a tough business in a tough city, I don’t think there was room for nastiness. We sort of all just came together. Both girls and guys.

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      • Tarynkay

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        That is interesting. I worked one season (just helping out a designer friend, not modeling) of LA Fashion Week. I remember thinking, wow, these are the cattiest cats I have ever met! The way the models sniped behind each others backs was unreal. They were very saccharine sweet face to face with other models, but wow, once a girl walked out of the room! I remember thinking, hey, if they are saying that about other models, I wonder what they are saying about me when I am not here? I mean, just picking apart each others looks, calling emaciated girls fat, stuff like that. I decided that it was probably b.c they were so hungry. And there is all of this competition to be the prettiest, which is an insane competition. Physical appearance is the least important thing about a person, after all. To be clear, I like the way that I look, and the older I get, the more I like myself. But I am definitely not a model and never aspired to be. So, come to think of it, probably I was not even on their hater radar.

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        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          This is interesting. I have absolutely never witnessed that kind of behavior in the model world, definitely not among girls and boys I socialized with. This could be due to the fact that I was in NYC and every market is different. We didn’t have any LA based girls, so I haven’t had experienced with them. But I can tell you that every single girl that I was relatively close with or chose to hang out with more than once was absolutely the sweetest girl ever. I am still in touch with most of them and they are all just really really nice. It could be due to the fact that everyone who comes to NYC comes from somewhere around the US and the world and they try to stick together and in LA a lot of models are “natives”.

          I’d say Miami market was a little more standoffish when it came to girls that worked there. But I’ve never heard anyone gossip or be nasty behind anyone’s backs. Maybe again it was the case of similar people getting attracted to each other, so the reason why I was never friends with catty girls is because I was never catty myself… But all the models I’ve ever worked, lived or was friends with were great people. They really don’t deserve the bad rep.

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          • Tarynkay

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            It could be a difference in markets, sure. Then again, all of those online model-haters could be LA based models! There is no way to know that they are unattractive people. They could be totally gorgeous and insecure- the girls I met definitely were.

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  • Katelyn

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    Just an observation: it’s kind of mean-spirited, in a post all about supporting women and celebrating all of our differences, to point out that you could probably find lots of physical flaws among the women who criticize models. On another note, Lexi is completely adorable. I always look forward to reading about her antics.

    Reply

  • Julie

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    I used to visit this blog often but stopped for two reasons: the site takes too damn long to load (because of the ads?) and the drama. Sadly, not much has changed.

    I honestly feel that blogs and Facebook often bring out the weirdest, skankiest, worst, and most dishonest parts of people. I kicked Facebook almost two years ago because it made me judge people in a way that I am never compelled to do in real life. Maybe it’s too voyeuristic for me. I also think its the lack of personal connection the web provides that makes people feel that they can safely spew off anything they want.

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  • KJS

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    First a disclosure. I’m part of the baby boomer generation.(53 yr old). I stumbled upon your blog when reading my daughter’s Face Book new- mommy group. I wasn’t trolling, I just love to see and hear about the babies. Plus while taking care of my new grandchild, learning about how the next generation is caring for their infants. Without going into details about what I read, I was prepared for a narcissistic, self-important, photo-shopping perfectionist. Boy was I wrong. I don’t read your blog on a regular basis, but I enjoy your toy reviews, and reading about your beautiful family. I, like you noticed a change in the new generation of Mommas. Actually a new generation of all around hatefulness. Some of the comments on yahoo news stories are terrible. No matter what you do, someone, somewhere is going to take offense to it. Maybe commenting under the guise of internet anonymity gives people the courage to spew what they would never say in real life. Not sure my generation was any better, but we were technology free. I will say that as I grow older, I feel the women my age are much more supportive of each other. (at least in my friend group) I can’t imagine any these commentator’s ever looking remotely like a VS model with, or without a tooth gap. I truly believe that the most hateful remarks come from an unhappy, unfulfilled person. The more popular you are, the more people will try to pull you down. I guess the purpose of my comment is to tell you that I, and probably many more do not pick your commentary apart.

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  • Nikk

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    Elena, our girls are nearly the same age! I have been following your blog since I was halfway through my pregnancy. I am going to hang my head in shame and admit that, despite how much I enjoy your blog, I found myself reacting to some a couple of your articles in a negative way. When it happened, it was something along the lines of, “Well it’s easy to raise a child the way you want when you have all the means and luxuries of life!”. I would never in a thousand years comment to tell you that. What would be the point? It certainly would not make me feel better. In fact, reacting that way/being of that mindset only made me feel bad (after reading about special things you give your daughter that I cannot). The point is, that is not YOUR issue. It’s mine. I need to work on that! This article really should be a reminder to us to stop with this comparing non-sense because it is not healthy to feel so negative so often. So reflecting on my behavior and trying to be better, I found the one stand-out (and consistent!) theme in ALL of your articles is you LOVE your your daughter with all your heart. That is something ALL moms have in common without a doubt and the most important ingredient to having a happy kid. THAT is something that makes me feel HAPPY! :)

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      You know what it IS much easier to raise a child when you have a comfortable life ( not that our life is always comfortable). However that does not make anyone a worse or better mom, because like you said LOVE and attention and ALL that matters :) Thank you for the comment!

      Reply

  • Joy

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    Excellent post…… Agreed!

    Reply

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