single mom

Dear Anonymous Comment-Leaver

A few months ago, I began moderating the comments on my blog for a number of reasons. The first, was some of the comments were spam, but the greatest reason was I feel no need to have trolls leaving hateful messages on my blog – though the number of times this has happened has been fairly low. This morning, I received one of the ugliest messages I have ever received. Ordinarily, I simply delete comments such as these but today I decided to publish it in my own way. Below is the iPhone screen shot of the email notification I received.



Hi there, Anonymous.

Thanks for stopping by. I genuinely appreciate that you took the time to drop by my blog and read my words. I’d like to be able to appreciate your comment, too, so in an effort to be a better person today, I’ll focus on the fact that you took time out of your (no doubt busy) day to actually write a comment.

I’m sorry if my last blog post upset or offended you. That was not the intent. I wrote that with a smile on my face, while F played with his trucks at my feet. That post was a tongue-in-cheek, giggle and move on kind of mindless post that fits into the day that your head feels like it might explode. Raising kids is hard. I suspect you may not have one, otherwise you might have laughed at that post instead of being filled with the kind of rage you obviously were.

I’m sorry for whatever you have going on in your life today that has led you to spreading hateful, hurtful words. While I don’t think I’ve done anything to deserve this, I sure hope mine is the only blog you’ve trolled with your anger and unkindness. While I’m sure your words were supposed to hurt me, they didn’t. Jokes on you, I guess.

Now, before I go on any further I’d like to offer you a very sincere invitation to introduce yourself to me. If you’re so convinced of your words, how about say them to my face? Better yet, why don’t you come and stay with F and I for a few days and then tell me that I’m a terrible parent? I’d love to host you, and let you get up at 5:15 am and join me in making breakfast for F and I, cleaning our home and then getting everything ready for another long day. I invite you to stay up until 10 pm getting the cleaning done.

While you’re calling me a terrible parent, I’d like you to consider that I do this every day by myself. I put myself through school last year so that I could give the kid I “don’t deserve” and “don’t take care of right” a better life – one where college can be in his future. I bust my ass every week so that we can live in a safe neighbourhood, keep our car on the road, eat healthy foods and enjoy some of the finer things in life. Am I perfect? No. I sincerely hope I never am. Do I screw up? Yep. It’s called being human.

I’d like to invite you to work 40 hours a week in-office, taking your work laptop home many evenings and weekends to get stuff done. I invite you to spend your “down time” exercising, so that you can be healthy and strong to support your family. I invite you to try to find time to write because you’re trying to show your child the importance of practice, following your passions and pushing yourself. And then, I invite you to call me a terrible parent again.

After you’ve spent a few days with F and I, I invite you to look me in the eye and tell me that I don’t love my child and that I don’t take care of him. While you’re here, you’ll see that I occasionally raise my voice, lose my patience and that I often remain calm and logical while he’s completely losing his shit. You’ll see that the occasional swear word slips, and that I tell him how special he is and how much I love him approximately 4.3 times per hour. You’ll also see that he kicks me, tells me he doesn’t love me, throws stuff on the floor and occasionally kicks the cat. It’s called toddlerdom, and while it’s been known to drive me crazy, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.

Finally, I ask you to do me just one little favour. Go look in the mirror. Now, go look outside. Go to a public place, and watch strangers go by. Do you know their stories? Nope. I don’t either. I don’t know yours, and you only know a little bit of mine. You don’t know the stories of the people in my life or the people who come by my blog every day. For that reason, your comment which was aimed to hurt me could have hurt hundreds of other people and you were too careless or too callous to even consider that.

Did you know that about 1 in 5 women suffer a miscarriage in their first trimester? How about that one woman in 100 will experience a “late miscarriage”, one after 14 weeks? Did you know that I had an appointment to have an abortion? Nope, I bet you didn’t. I bet you also didn’t know that the woman who raised me suffered miscarriages, and that I lost my own son’s twin during my first trimester, or that I refused the D&C offered by multiple doctors when I landed in the ER for the second time in as many weeks with serious complications. I loved my baby from the moment I knew I had one, and I have cherished him every minute of every day since I was blessed to have him. Does he drive me crazy? Yup, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him or that I neglect him.

 If you want to attack me for being a shitty parent who doesn’t give a damn, you go right ahead but check your facts first, and don’t you dare tell me that I should have had a miscarriage or abortion. You know that line “walk a mile in someone’s shoes”? You wouldn’t make it out of the parking lot.

I know you won’t identify yourself, and I’m equally as confident that you won’t comment on this post, but I hope that you do know that I’m not angry or hurt by your comment, and I invite you to comment again. If you want to troll around the world spreading anger and hate, I suggest you prepare for a very sad, lonely existence. Let it go. Life is too short.

Sincerely,

Ashley

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