I hate that they’re proving me wrong

This week, there’s an excerpt from my book up on Yahoo! Shine’s parenting page. It’s an excerpt from a chapter called “Pretty,” where I talk about the joy I take in dressing up my (then) 1 1/2 year old daughter, and in telling her how pretty she is– but then, of course, in a typically modern mothering way, then worry that I’m doing the wrong thing by doing that. 


I am slightly annoyed that Yahoo! ran the article without putting my NAME anywhere on the page, let alone acknowledging that it’s an excerpt from a book. (Lesson learned: they inherited this content from another site, and no one asked me before this happened. I will hold the reins to what I write much more tightly in the future.)


But in the end, I am quite happy that my name isn’t on there, because at last check, there were 95 comments, most of them to this effect:

You are creating a child nobody will want to be around. Not many kids like a Princess.

or

You need help. Going to church on Easter Sunday in crappy old clothes and unwashed hair because you spent so much time focused on your daughter’s outfit? Really? What is wrong with you? Did becoming a mom suck out every last ounce of self esteem? Get a grip. Your husband is married to you, not your daughter. 

or

This woman needs psychological help. She has no self esteem and it is pathetic how little she cares about her own appearance. She is raising a self centered brat who will be embarrassed by her in the future. 

or

This woman is a good example of why becoming a parent scares and sometimes flat out repels me.

I’ll stop there. You get the drift. There was also some stuff about how my daughter was going to turn out like Paris Hilton, and how my husband was going to leave me because I don’t take care of myself, but after three pages I got sick of looking for it.


I really don’t want to dwell on the trolls. It’s not worth it, and I shouldn’t be feeding them. Since none of them have found their way here, though (again, thanks to Yahoo! posting my work without payment and without attributing it) I’m probably safe.  And hey, if Dooce can monetize the hate, why oh why can’t I? They’re even kind of fun to read, in a totally masochistic way. 


Mostly, I just want to say: ladies, you are making us all look bad. In the last couple of months, when I’ve had a small soapbox to stand on, I have tried to make one thing clear in every interview I’ve done: the mommy wars are bullshit. We don’t stand around judging each other. We’re far too wrapped up in our own neuroses to judge anyone else. Our worst enemies are ourselves.


Now I’m not so sure I was right about that. Certainly the anonymity of the internet seems to bring out the worst in many… but are there really this many mean mommies out there?