I was bullied during my childhood and adolescence. This bullying was rationalized away as being “just what kids do.”It’s not. It doesn’t have to be. Kids don’t just learn to be bullies because it’s in their nature. They learn it from their parents and the adults in their lives.
In my adult life, I’m sad to say I’ve revisited that sort of bullying on others. And thinking about that right now makes me kind of hate myself a little bit because that’s not the kind of thing I want to teach my son.
What made me think it was safe to hide behind a computer screen? What made me forget that there was someone on the other end of my remarks?
I don’t have an answer to that. But I do have a pledge to make.
The Mom Pledge.
I am a proud Mommy Blogger. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my blogging activities. I can lead by example.
I AM a proud “Mommy Blogger.” (I’m a Mom. I’m a blogger. I blog about my kid and motherhood. Ergo? Mommy blogger. And I totally don’t understand the issue people take with being called “Mommy bloggers.”)
I DO try to conduct myself with integrity. Will I be successful in this at all times? No. But I will strive to be a woman of integrity because my integrity is my name. It is all I have in this world and “I cannot have another in this life.”
I DO want to lead by example.
I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, “right” way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.
I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.
I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.
I’ve said it before. We’re all in this together. It doesn’t matter on which side of the issue we happen to fall, we’re all in this together. At the end of the day, we’re all mothers. And we all deserve the support from this sorority in which we’ve found ourselves. No matter what personal choices we’ve made.
At the same time, I do believe we can disagree. Respectfully. We can challenge each other to think through the hard things. To grow as mothers and as women. Because we are both.
We can challenge an idea without criticizing a person by asking questions in thought-provoking ways and not attacking with our words.
I stand up against online bullying. My blog is my space. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful.
I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks from my blog with no mention or response. I can take control.
I don’t moderate comments around here. So far. If you’ve got something to say, say it. But say it respectfully. Or don’t say it at all. This IS my space. My own little corner of the internet. A comfort zone that I’ve built to whine or cry or celebrate or post nonsense. Whatever I need at that time. No blogger should be afraid of being attacked in her own “home.”
I hope that I never get to the point that I have to moderate comments, but I vow that, while I may not remove comments that are rude, I won’t respond. At least not publicly. And I respond to nearly every comment left on my blog. But not if said comment is mean or hateful or spewing vitriol. I won’t respond to that. Because responding to that? Puts poison and meanness in my heart and there’s already enough of that in the world to last us all a thousand lifetimes.
I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference.
This? This is what I want. I want a community of mothers working toward the same goal. I want a community of mothers who stand together in the face of bullying. I want to make a difference. For the sake of my son and any future children I may have. I want the world to be better for them.