Wednesday, October 3, 2007

On the table

What I admire most about the bloggers I read is their honesty. These people lay out their lives on an autopsy table and let the rest of us look in at the blood and guts and imperfections. For most of the people I read this has changed their lives. There's Dooce, who lost her job, went into a mental institution after having a child, and now makes her living from her website. There's Rob Rummel-Hudson, who's daughter was diagnosed with an extremely rare and horrible brain disfigurement, and who has a book on it's way to bookstores based on his writing about his daughter's "monster." And there's Linda aka Sundry, who overcame alcoholism just in time to get knocked up, and writes about her changing life and imperfect mothering daily.

The other thing these people have in common is their membership in the parent club. They are all doing their best, and they all catch crap for their choices. I think that's shit, second-guessing someone's best efforts at this huge gamble of raising children. Especially when the children are smart, safe, well adjusted and loved. If it's not the way you'd do it, fine. Give some suggestions, or just shut the hell up. But no one seems to know what is right when it comes to kids and their weirdness, so there is no "right way." The kicker is that there definitely IS a wrong way. It's when you hurt your kids. Aside from that, pretty much anything goes.

When it comes to my online writing about being a parent, I am not completely honest and forthcoming, like the writers I just wrote about. They are the examples of how the internet can come back to bite you in the ass. Plus, I run a day care. So if I write about how I wanted to (hypothetically) just walk away from my life at points, or how I softly sang "Shut the fuck up and go to sleep" over and over again to my kid when she was 3 months old, well, then, who'd want to leave their kids with me? Clearly I'm unstable and can't be trusted. Except that's not true. I'm human, just like any other person who has popped out a wee one. And we're all flawed to hell in one way or another. It's when the judging happens that people forget that. People forget that they themselves spent exhausted nights crying on the floor out of desperation and despair. They forget those times because those are the Dark Times, and they hurt. But everyone has those moments. Some of us have them more than others, but we all get our share.

So if I'm a bit more honest here from now on, please remember that. Everyone needs an outlet, a place to vent what needs out to keep from blowing. I have a limited number of options in my life right now, so I've chosen this place as my pressure valve. My language has been misconstrued before and landed me with the shrinks. I've learned to be more careful with my phrasing. But for the record: I have never nor will I ever harm myself or others. I will put myself in the hospital if I ever even start to feel that way. To be honest, however, is not to be pretty. Honesty, like an autopsy, is not a pretty thing.

Caveat Emptor

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