31 July 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'truth, lies & blogs'

Greetings all,
This week's Social Commentary Sunday i've picked a topic which i ponder - the truth & lies on blogs - does it matter if what you blog is the whole truth or a white lie??  Really, is it hurting anyone if you gloss over the stress & kitchen disasters to pull off a flawless dinner party??  Or post an imagine of Johnny winning a race, but you omit it was D division & his competitors were on crutches??  Whatever, don't you think it's your blog, you can be/ say/ share whatever you want??  I notice may bloggers suffer all sorts of illnesses from depression to physical inabilities & blogging is their connection to like minded people & the big wide world, good for you, if it captures the most important feeling in the world - acceptance - fantastic!!  Your readers' perception is their reality anyway!! 
My blog is about my family life & design work, i use my own images with a good dose of sunshine & happiness.  I've had negative comments & emails referring directly to posts on themes like "my fabulous children running free" or "all the things i do for my children's schools" . . . like i'm some kind of hyper-over-achieving-A-type-personality who tries to make other mothers look bad.  Ok, i'm all of those things except i would never try to make another mother look bad . . . it's not a competition ladies!!  Everyone is in a different place/ stage/ family situation, there is nothing to compete against.  Funny how 'good parenting' is completely different to showing off a fantastic cake or amazing knitting!! 
MY facts, i would never knowingly lie on my blog, i want an honest account of who i was during my 'blog years' as i'll refer to them to bore my grandchildren, but i'm not going to publish every dirty look my teen gives me, if my twins have wrestled over a piece of clothing, or my son is in a huff because none of his sisters want to play with him.  It's not relevant to what i want to blog about - i blog so my husband can keep up with his us while he's posted to an Army base 1300km away for 3 years 4 years!!  Yes, a life anyone would envy, right??  I'm not a whinger, i support him, this is what he is doing for our family & financial freedom - like a working mum - every family is different & circumstances are constantly changing. 
I spend 90% of my time alone with the children; when my husband is living with us, he'll be away 40% of the time; he's just so damn handsome, i can't resist loving him unconditionally!!  He goes to war, it's what his job requires; we have lots of children to keep occupied; i am a housewife; they are all in school now; they keep me busier than ever with homework, sport & social events; i have zero desire to go back to being a pharmacologist in a lab!!  Ok, i'd have the prettiest Amy Butler patterned lab coat ever, but it wouldn't make me happy.  Yes, my husband does say i 'pimp him out to war zones' so i can continue on as a housewife. 
I can't imagine anyone wanting my life, but if you did, i'm pretty sure you'd find my attitude the only way to go . . . to deal with this lifestyle 'situation'. My husband won't be in the Army forever, but we'll always have these sporty, smart, social children to nurture, so i am dedicated to all of them, it works, it drives better behaviour from all of us, 'tis how this family rolls & it suits my personality, i LOVE being a wife, a mummy & at home.
Some of my favourite people like Corrie from RetroMummy blog have closed off anonymous comments as they have negative stalkers & the sweetest Tina from Rubies' Place blog shut down for a while, as mean emails put her off blogging & nearly stopped her altogether!!  These are not shock jocks with wild views to provoke extreme reactions, they are beautiful mummies blogging from home about pretty craft projects, delicious baking & happy days with their children.  What on earth is there to attack??
Shockingly, i have 4 children who get along really well, they have to, sometimes when we arrive in a new city, they are the only people they know.  See how holding our family unit together tightly is incredibly important to us??  They are very social & always the class captain, so i rest easy knowing they are fine.  It's not boasting to say they don't have learning or bullying issues, honestly, if they did, it would make my life just another degree more challenging as i have zero back up resources like family close by.  I've had to make them strong, independent & resiliant, as sometimes they need to support me!!
My message . . . embrace your fellow mummy blogger, some of us do find parenting easy & stimulating.  I had babies who fed & slept, entertained themselves = starting off this motherhood role on the best foot possible, energised & not sleep deprived.  I know i'm lucky, it's not lost on me, i'm no faker, this is my real life, i hope i give mums not having such an easy ride, some hope & blink - your children are in highschool - they don't do anything but sleep!!  My children are my full time job, i've made many changes to the balance with my design work over the past decade, like life, their ages, needs & desires constantly change, as does my work.  I refuse to ever have to defend my life or choices on this blog again.
Thanks to Gill over at Alice Becomes for suggesting this as a blog topic, who agrees - does it really matter if blogs are a little glossed over with some fairy dust sometimes.  Love Posie

46 comments:

Anne said...

Hi Posie
I spent nearly 20 years being a full-time mum, baking, sewing, running around after kids, going on all the school camps and excursions, etc because we wanted that for our kids. Occasionally I felt shunned (especially from the sister-in-law-from-hell) because I couldn't possibly have anything interesting to talk about because I didn't DO anything!! However I've been doing part-time work for the last 5 years now and our 3 kids are all in their early to mid 20's, happy, healthy, working and studying. The best bit is that they all WANT to spend time with their parents. One is about to spend his months holiday back here from interstate and 'chill' with us and we all plan to spend a couple of weeks together in July next year visiting Vegas, LA and Disneyland!! YAY
Keep doing what works for you and your family and never worry about other people and their issues!
Cheers
Anne

Anne said...

Hi Posie
I spent 20 years being a full-time mum, baking, sewing, running around after kids, going on all the school excursions and camps, etc. Occasionally I felt shunned (especially from the sister-in-law from hell) because I couldn't possibly have anything interesting to say because I didn't DO anything, however I've been doing part-time work for the last 5 years now.
Our 3 kids are in their early to mid 20's now and are all happy, healthy, working or studying and the best bit is that they all WANT to spend time with their parents. In fact one (living in Canberra) is about to spend his month's holidays home here just 'chilling'. We also have a plan to spend 2 weeks together in July next year where we will visit LA, Vegas and wait for it, Disneyland! YAY
Keep doing what works for you and your family and never worry about other people and their issues.
Cheers
Anne

Makeminemidcentury said...

Posie,
people should be able to write whatever they want on their blogs. If it's not the truth, well that's a choice of the author. If a reader doesn't like a blog, don't read it and don't comment.

Of course blogs are edited by their authors, but then so are newspaper articles and reality tv shows.

And I don't read blogs I don't connect with. It's that simple.

I had an extremely nasty comment from an Anon once. I suspect most Anon comments are by people the blog writer actually knows, and the Anon authors are jealous and too gutless to reveal their identity.

I've decided nasty Anon commentors should be treated with the contempt they deserve. Don't acknowledge them!

clare's craftroom said...

The next nasty anon comment you get send them to me I'll sort them out for you as I've had lots of practise with the meanies. I love your blog just the way it is and your life is your life . Keep up the great work xxxxxx

The Handmaden said...

Wonderful post!
You know, I hadn't really thought about sharing a bit of good parenting as being as interesting or valid as showing off physical things, hmm, something for me to think about with my blog. Sometimes I don't feel inspired to blog because I don't have anything to "show".
There is a big difference between lies and positivity. So yes, I skim over the 101 things that may go wrong in one day and focus on the things that went right. I want to help and inspire readers so being positive is really important and helps me in my attitude too.
Thanks for the good (positive, happy) read!

by marie-nicole said...

Posie, Jennie, gorgeous women, proud mother of 4 (and rightly so)... what a great post! Blogs have become sources of inspiration for so many readers and if 'Anon' commenters can not own up to their opinion then they should just keep their to themselves.

I believe it is not always easy at times for readers to think that everything so wonderful for all the lovely bloggers especially if they are feeling low themselves... I myself prefer to focus on the positives in my life when I post as it helps me take stock and appreciate the blessings that I have rather than dwelling on my misfortunes. I figure if I can bring focus to my blessings then I may actually inspire others to tune into their own.

Thank you for sharing your lovely life with everyone, I regret that lately I have not been able to sit and enjoy reading every post... there are a lot of time consuming activities that I have been involved in that have prevented me from doing so!

Hope you're having a beautiful weekend.
xx

dear olive said...

I had a nasty anonymous commenter recently too. I was surprised at how hurt I was by it at the time (I'm over it now). I think it's unreal that you so clearly love being a Mum, a lot of people focus so much on the negatives (like me probably!). You look like you've done an amazing job with your family. Kellie xx

Lisar said...

One thing I don't understand and my motto when I comment on blog posts is that if I don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything. I think a lot of people can be jealous of what they may percieve as another persons "easier, better, happier...or whatever" life. I myself wish to be honest when posting...which basically means that I don't always reveal everything that is happening in my life...I basically want my blog to be a place where people can be uplifted, challenged perhaps and basically feel good from a visit....

Felicity said...

Bravo wonderful you!
This is beautifully penned from the heart Jennie and I concur with your sentiments entirely.

There are so many challenges in the world already it would be nice to think that in our blogging lives we could lift each other up rather than seek to find fault or criticize....perhaps I'm too much of an idealist though.

Sometimes it takes a while for people to gain confidence with their blogging community to share the less than glossy elements of themselves.

I know that this was the case for me with my depression but I've been overwhelmed with the care and support and understanding that I've received from my followers.

Thank you for sharing this post and to Gil for the original concept - wonderful Blogeristas both of you!

xx Felicity

PS: Am transfixed by the concept of an Amy Butler lab coat = wowsers!

My Love is..... said...

Perfectly said! Blogs are jsut a glimpse into the bloggers day/life.... so who cares if we sit down to blog at the end of the day and prefer to remember the highlights of the day rather than the tears and frustrations.

Cate said...

I love reading your blog because I know just how much heart, soul and love you put into being a mother - and most of the time a single mother! I think a blog is your own record too - if other people have a problem with the way someone writes their blog - they should get their own and write about it there!!
hope you had a great weekend lovely mummy :-)
xxxCate

Amanda said...

Write what you like Posie it is your blog after all and those who don't like shouldn't read it, they can unfollow or just stop visiting. I think there are always going to be gutless people who hide behind anonymity to give an opinion that they aren't prepared to share out in the open.. that's life I'm afraid

Posie Patchwork said...

I'm so loving THESE comments. I have plenty of confidence & can brush off whoever misinterprets my happy take on life as showing off, that is their problem & no doubt, issues with their own perspective. I just feel for those who don't quite have the same gusto as me & really do get hurt by the negative comments, i have been shocked by how some truly lovely honey sweet bloggers have been attacked, why?? Happy weekends everyone, i've just collected my twins from a friend's farm & spent my day baking cookies & cupcakes for the coming week inbetween finishing off my tax, exciting stuff, love Posie

Thea said...

Amen! I certainly don't blog about all the boring crap going on in my life - who wants to read that? It's all about inspiring and supporting each other. I LOVE your blog because it's real and you are exactly as I imagined from reading it.

I don't know who these blog trolls are who leave negative comments but they have serious issues. They need to get a life. Keep these posts coming. xxx

Sarah of 'Catching the Magic' said...

Bravo!!! I LOVE, LOVE this post!

I write to record the magic moments of my family for us to look back on in years to come.

I find writing about the positive fulfills me and my family to live positively. Of course we all have not so good moments and days (and nights) that are challenging, but I don't wish to linger on them. I'd rather focus on the good times and step forward with positivity and optimism.

Being a full-time Mum is a full-time job. It's a shame so many of us are made to feel that it's not and that we ought to be earning a wage too.

I applaud you.

Take care and best wishes x

Tammy said...

I love you Jennie! I admire all you do and I don't aspire to be like you as I would die of fatigue! But I certainly don't begrudge you that and I certainly love and admire what a dedicated Mummy you are! I don't use you as a measure of my own success. :)That's a tip for the haters BTW ;)

Seana Smith said...

Totally agree that there's nothing wrong with a sunny, positive attitude and it's inspirational to read. Why can't people just read and leave if they don't like something. Just like TV shows, newspapers and magazines. I really believe in the : 'Take what you like and leave the rest' idea.

loulou said...

Hello Miss Posie

Good grief!
Are you serious!

What is there to b#*ch about with you.
You are a true "sister, doing it for themselves".

ALL of the negative comments are coming from frustrated, self combusting, small time rednecks.
There - I said it.

You keep on going exactly the way you and god intended - and that is up.

I am only new to your blog as you know and love them thoroughly.

you keep strong always and thumb that nose at the plebs trying to take away your sunshine.

x
Loulou

Sam said...

It's shocking and sad to hear you have had negative comments. I guess a blog could be interpreted differently by different people depending on where that person is coming from, but nastiness is definately not necessary. I think as long as you are genuine and speak from the heart, that's all that counts. Keep being positive, there should be more of it. x

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Well said! I for one love visiting you here and seeing all the wonderful inspirational ways you are bringing up your lovely children.

I can't imagine why anyone would direct any negative comments to you! Glad to hear you had an enjoyable and busy weekend.

ally said...

Great post.
Your honesty, love and pride always shows through - and so it should.
I think those old-fashioned (and not so old) mothers had a point - "if you don't have anything nice to say - don't say anything at all".

Taylor Made said...

We can only be true to ourselves as it is ourselves that we have to sleep with at night.....
Keep up the writing about your life and we will continue to enjoy reading about it.

themodernparent said...

Fabulous inspirational words! You do an amazing job that should be admired and embraced. I too have thought about this for my own blog which whilst honest in many of it's personal examples I do not feel the need to air every bit of our family life. Like you I am proud that I am doing what I believe to be a pretty good job of raising my children and am more than happy to share that with my readers & help out where I can. I think we should all be wise enough to know that no person nor situation is perfect and thus it is with that in mind that we do and say what we need to in order to get our views across.

Bindi said...

I love your outlook on life and especially that you share all of the happy things! I have no interest in controversial or depressing blogs. I check daily and have fun seeing life back in the good old 'Berra. I can't wait to return home soon (we are at the end of an overseas posting) and actually see your stall at a market too. I will be the one embarrassing my husband by going all fan-like!
Cheers,
Bindi

Lizeylou said...

Posie ... I love your post. Its just what I needed to read today - Thank you!

dixiebelle said...

There are plenty of blogs I read for the 'fairy dust' view on life, but I also LOVE, and relate to, and am so glad for blogs like Calamity Jane's Apron Strings. I am all for some blog-gloss, it's good escapism and can be inspirational, BUT I am also want people who read my blog to know it's not always easy, it's not all pretty photos and happy-happy-joy-joy! Just like glossy magazines have their place in life, but I think they can give warped views, esp. to those who are influenced by such 'snapshot' views of life. By blogging, I hope I am sharing enough of the good & bad to help people make changes, or support them in what they are doing...

I don't understand the blog-hate, and lack of support shown to some people (I am not surprised, I've seen cyber-bullying firsthand) but I don't understand why they keep reading, or they feel they have to comment. How awful. Obviously everyone has different reasons to blog and to read blogs, and I don't understand the need to 'hate' on anyone. If you don't like someone's style, stop reading!

TexWisGirl said...

i'm not a mom but admire those who can do it - and do it well! i don't allow anonymous comments either as there's just no room in my world for snarky comments or haters. life's too short. and hey, if we gloss over or omit the bad stuff that occurs in our daily lives, then so be it. perhaps we give a little joy to someone else who needs it that day instead of wining from me. :)

The Provincial Homemaker said...

I totally agree with what you have written here. I think there is scope for a little editing. I have expanded at some length on my blog - some may even say ranted:).

Tiff said...

Hi Posie,
Well said!
I think those negative people are just jealous. They want to knock people down for strange reasons of their own.
We should enjoy our lives and a positive attitude is so important (as a great thing to teach our kids!) So why not share positives and gloss over the negatives?
There are so many wonderful, sweet creative ladies out there in blogland, like you, just getting on with life and sharing experiences.... I think it is great and I enjoy the friendships I have made online... I am always thankful meeting lovely ladies like you!
Happy week! X

Beck said...

Keep on doing your own thing Jennie and don't worry about those negative types out there. Perhaps they are unhappy in their own lives..who knows. Your blog is a lovely record of your life, and as you said, a great way to communicate with family & friends. So keep on being you and enjoy every minute of life with your gorgeous family - I always hearing about what you are up to. Take care x

Tammi said...

I love your honesty and positivity Jen...you are genuine and down to earth and keep it totally real.
Why on earth people bother to leave negative comments is beyond me...it's a complete waste of energy.
Keep on doing what you do :)

x

Tina said...

Dear Posie...how I love you for saying what I wanted to, but just couldn't express myself. I cannot fathom how anyone would have a negative thing to say about you, my dear! You are an inspiration ... whether you want to be or not:) Your children are so lucky to have such an amazing Mama...and you are such a lucky Mama to have such amazing children. You keep on being you, lovely...because we would not have you any other way. It makes me so angry and very sad, to think that you have received any negative comments. I love your attitude, to these ridiculous and insignificant comments!! Much love and hugs my friend ~ Txx

Catherine said...

I think that you're great! I love how enthusiastic you are about life, I only wish I had some of your drive;) And I think you do a great job being a Mum to 4 children, a wife to a hubby in the forces and running a business. LIfe can be hard and if we think it's easy for others all the time we're not being realistic. I like to focus on positives not negatives life is too short to worry about the bad things. People who say negative things about others I believe have their own issues are a truly unhappy and jealous. Love reading your blog always Jennie. xo

brismod said...

I don't get it when people write slack comments on blogs. But they say you've made it in the blogging world when they do! And I don't subscribe to the theory that you have to reveal every single detail about your life to be authentic. Good post. xx

Mel@georgicapond said...

I keep hearing about this kind of thing going on, and to be honest it makes me a bit nervous. I haven't had any nasty comments on my blog yet, but then again I'm only relatively new and clearly not a threat to anybody! I don't see the point of them. If you don't like the blog or the post, then don't read it and go somewhere else. It amazes me how some people who follow or subscribe to blogs feel that gives them a sense of entitlement over the content and the right the complain or bitch it if doesn't meet their expectations. Bugger off I say! Get a life - it's a bloody blog, it's free, it's created by someone as a kind of online diary so they should write what the heck they want to. I get so sick of hearing this and wonder where blogging is going to end up if it gets so competitive and bitchy that it people have to resort to attacking innocent bloggers just trying to do their best. Keep up what you're doing Posie and enjoy it.

Mama of 2 boys said...

Oh Posie, I think this post is fantastic! Not for one second do I ever think you are trying to make anyone feel bad! I love your blog, the way you write and I think your topics are always straight from the heart and totally true to who you are... I can just tell! I think you're an amazing Mama and I'm in awe of the way you handle your family and your business, virtually on your own! I find the Mummy blogs so incredibly inspirational and a bunch of them I'm addicted to reading regularly. Everyone is different in their approach to motherhood and I think that's a great thing... who ever said we had to be in competition with each other anyway?! Much like yourself, most of the time I choose to write about the good things in my day with the boys, occasionally I have a whinge, but I'm always honest with what I do write. People have to remember, it is not dishonest if you're not writing down every single thing that happens, it's merely choosing the things you wish to remember at the particular point in time. Good on you for staying true to yourself Posie, no one has the right to make you feel any other way xo

supermac said...

I agree with you that your blog is your life and if you choose to fill it with positivity, it is your choice. I am applauding you from here.

Ruby Star said...

Oh my goodness Posie, what have they done to you! Ignore my love and don't wate your breath.
If any one actually believes that all there is to you and your life is all that you share in your blog then they are underestimating themselves and possibly even life.
I fully understand the military lifestyle, I'm living it too, a lot of the time alone and without family support close by. It's a hard gig but sadly a lot of the time civilian peeps don't get it, i even have family members who don't get the realities of it all. Eather we're super mums or someones not getting the bigger picture.
I love the gloss... gloss me up baby cos I love a happy story and that's one of the reasons I visit your blog. Not because I think your supermum, well you are but I know we all have our days, and I also know how full on it is making sure the kids are happy and settled and have everything they need wether Papa is home or not. You go girl, block your comments if you have to but please don't let them bring you down. Hugs xox

greta @ topography said...

Wow, I can't believe someone would actually spend their time trying to make someone else feel bad about something they obviously enjoy doing... everyone has different reasons to blog and they should be left to do so in peace! I read your blog (and Corrie's!) for fun and happy stories, and to know that my friend with 4 small children will be fine :)

Tas said...

I just can't imagine posting a negative comment on someone's blog. It just shouldn't be done. And to it anonymously...seriously?)

If you don't like what you are reading, "change the channel" It aint hard.

Sarah said...

Posie,
I serioiusly dont understand why people have to be mean to others in the blog world as
a) if you dont like it dont read it
b)who has the time to write nasty comments (half the time I am flat out finding the time to write nice ones)
c) My mother always said if you havent got anything nice to say about someone THEN dont say anything at all.

All I can say is I love your blog, you inspire me and live a life similar to how I want mine to go (long term stay at home mum)

notquitecrafty said...

I find your blog to be full of happiness! Life is tough and there are plenty of people complaining about their life on their blogs. So it is lovely to read about a happy family doing family things - makes me think about what I can do with my children if we ever have a spare day or two.

And it also helps me to think about the good things in my life & look for the bright side on some of the not so great days.

monkeemoomoo said...

What a great post! I have had this conversation many times with a friend. We all gloss over the facts: the dishes not being done for days or that we screamed at our kids (when really they didn't deserve it!) That is what my blog and many others are all about. The good bits! To look back one day and see things we may have missed during the daily bump and grind of life. And perhaps inspire another. I am a better person and better mother because of blogging mummy's. I cannot believe people out there are posting negative comments:(

AllIsClear said...

Hey Posie - I'm so sad that you even had to write that post... isn't it just the most stupid thing to get fussed about and, really, a bit like people complaining about stuff on TV, if you don't like it why watch/read. Your life is yours, you share a little of it with us and those of us who hav followed you for a while come back because we like it - I for one am inspired by lots that you do both 'work' and 'life' wise and hope very much that you keep doing it!

I've had my solider back from the war for a couple of weeks and if I had to blog about that I wouldn't mention the fight about which way to get to the beach or the up-the-backer nappy that my son produced whilst facing outwards in the carrier so that it was all over me too (!) or the 2nd daughter screeching with anger at her sister. I'd write about the sun shining off the sea, giving a glow to my husband as he walked hand in hand with the girls or the beautiful rock pool we found the crab in or the simple joy of holding hands with him the way we always have. Blog on the happy stuff and know that we are here for you during the bad stuff, even if you don't tell us about it! Alice

AllIsClear said...

If I was writing a blog about the last 12 days my ok-looking soldier was back from the war I wouldn't mention the pointless-but-nonethless-fiercely-contested fight we had about which was the best way to get to the beach or the screeching-with-anger 2 year old tantrum or the up-the-backer from the 8 month old that went all over him and me too as he was in the carrier facing outwards! I would talk about the sun shining off the sea giving a glow to my husband as he walked hand-in-hand with my daughters along the beach or the excitement of finding a crab in a beautiful rock pool or the feel of his hand in mine as we walked. Would that make it 'false' or would it make it readable?!! Goodness me - the newspapers wouldn't sell if they told stories of the every day events most of us have and no one would ever buy an autobiography that described someones life in minute detail... keep it up Posie, we're here to support you and appreciate a bit of inspiration from your life into ours!! Alice

AllIsClear said...

Whoa, two posts of the same thing from me - thought one had got lost!! Which is better?