Monday, February 18, 2008

You've Got MORE Hate Mail

What I've learned from the extremist viewpoints as of late (see prior post if you have no idea what I'm talking about) is that you can't please the world.

As I mentioned to Cecelia earlier this evening, my only real frustration with the crazies is that they read into stuff that wasn't there. I feel compelled to explain/defend myself. But then I stop. Because really, what's the point? In a way, it feels good to get these letters and still go on with my life, because it shows that I really do have a thick skin.

Someone in the prior post asked about how to toughen up. I'd love to hear your thouhts on that. For me, it's just getting to know who I am more and more. As I get stronger on the inside, outside influences affect me less. A few arguments with people over the past year really got under my skin, but I walked away with a better sense of self. Every fight or bad circumstance doesn't have to be the end of you if you attempt to find some insight from it.

Though I'm having a hard time finding insight from this next comment. What could it be? I can only imagine it gets heavy holding that torch of anger. I wish her luck.


I thank God that I am neither callous enough to nickname my howling, ignored, screaming child “the Howler,” nor cavalier enough to post an entire comment about neglecting one’s child at night for a week so they will learn that Mom and Dad aren’t coming when she cries. To me, this excerpt from one of your posted replies says it all: “…I put my emotional stability first - not theirs.” Perhaps if you weren’t emotionally stable enough to care for your child, you shouldn’t have had them.

That was really lovely, don't you think?

I had to laugh at my friend's Cecelia's take on this. She defended my honor with this:

Alright, I will step in here and assure the masses at large that Andrea’s children are well-cared for and deeply loved. I know this to be true, as I have been to her house hundreds of times and have yet to witness any child abuse, other than the fact that she keeps dressing her daughter in leopard prints. Andrea and her husband are doting parents. The kids are doing great and will make fine additions to society, unlike a majority of the posters on this thread. Have a nice day, everyone!

More of my writing can be found on Goodhousekeeping
& Babycenter. I write under the name Andrea Frazer. Drop me a note! I’d love it! Or don’t.


liv said...

A, I've got something for these haters:

Dear Haters,

You don't know Andrea. Hell, I hardly freaking know Andrea, but from what I can tell from the lengthy emails and offers to call and commiserate about MY needs, she is not selfish. Andrea frets over her children's needs and happiness. She tries her best to earn money while being with her children for the maximum amount of time.

In as much as your views on parenting do not match up with Andrea's, perhaps you'll note that being militant and angry about attachment parenting is the antithesis of what William Sears, MD would have ever hoped when he developed his loving philosophy on baby care.

Your extraordinarily high level of vitriol is unseemly, unfeminine and flat rude. If you have further issue with Andrea, kindly direct your correspondence to madnessisay at gmail dot com.

thanks, lovey.

His Girl said...

oh, my dear friend!!!

what hateful, nasty words!!!

I know you're not, but don't for ONE MINUTE let those horrid women get to you. Do your children enjoy you? Do you enjoy your children? Then clearly you are doing something right.

I would LOVE a follow up from these 'ladies' when they have teens. It would be hard not to be smug when they have neurotic children in their homes, and they're wondering where they went wrong.

flutter said...

oh you MUST be joking. People are nuts.

freefalling said...

Last night a comedian on TV here, told the story about how
she accidentally left her toddler in Liquorland!
(it was hilarious)
Some people just have no sense of humour
and I don't think there is a thing you can do about it!

Monnik said...

ha. People have no sense of humor. Well, except for Cecelia. 'dressing her daughter in leopard prints.' Funny stuff!

I don't know how you get a thick skin, but clearly the whackadoos/haters are in the minority, and all of your fans have your back.

Gretchen said...

If you don't put your emotional stability first, how are you to care for your children?



Self righteous people suck.

Evenspor said...

What I have noticed is that these comments seem directly correlated to the links ParentCenter puts on the tops of the page. The link randomly chooses from a list of headlines someone puts in. I know that person's job is to attract more readers and controversy attracts people, but I kind of wish they would just stick to the headlines the posters come up with (which tend to be very clever). Titles like, "Is attacment parenting too clingy?" "I let my child scream." and "Is Hanna Montana evil?" put people on the defensive before they even read the articles, causing them to see things that aren't really there.

Kristy said...

I can't believe the nerve of some people! I thought that your article was humourous.I identified with so many things even if I have dealt with them differently.Anyone who actually stops to think, and actually write,about their parenting can't be doing that bad a job.There really is no right way to raise kids we all just have to do our best for our families and that includes mum and dad.You look like your doing that to me!

BethAnne said...

I found your blog through another one (if I had all my brain cells left I would remember, but I dont). I had to laugh at the comment sent to you. People are nuts, arent they? I bet that woman really doesnt have children of her own.

Steph said...

I applaud the way you handled that train wreck, Mama P - well done!

I have to say that was some nasty business that left me feeling completely unsettled - and I can only imagine how it made you feel. It probably didn't help that I had a stomach bug over the weekend so was feeling vile and disoriented anyway, but I agree with the writer who said she felt beat up! Mommies in attack mode are just, well, frickin' scary!

So what are you going to write about next on BC? Perhaps bunnies and butterflies and flowers? :) Seriously, keep up the good work - writing AND parenting!

Ed said...

Hey Even, tell me how you would tease content on our site to make it more even-handed and still attractive to readers.

Also, I choose Andrea's content because she has a strong opinion and believes in herself. And truth be told I think she represents a lot of moms out there. And, also, always know that more people read then comment.

Maybe I should write a teaser that goes "You've got hate mail" but and see what kind of response that generates.. ;)

God's Guitar Girl said...

I have a friend that says, "Some people are too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good," for people who are so heavily religious that they almost cannot function practically with the rest of society. Some of these parenting nazis can't detect some dry humor when it's tapping them on the self-righteous forehead!! And for the record, I call my kids Heckyl and Jeckyl... (sure dates me, huh?!?)

Valerie said...

will you be my mother? because i'd love to be 'ruined' as you are ruining your babies.


it still bears repeating: mean people suck. and stupid people suck even more.

Susan said...

Hey Sweetie:

Just wanted to let you know, I still check in here with you, and your goings on. Love that you are writing on BabyCenter, and by the way, I am checking that out now a days, since I am almost 18 weeks pregnant with twins!!

Love ya,

Evenspor said...

Hi Ed. My big mouth gets me in trouble again. I do understand why you guys have to do what you do. It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it, eh? Like I said, I would try using the same titles the bloggers use.

I can't blame you for picking Andrea's posts. I would too!

TroyBoy said...

Life it way too freakin' short. Move on. Really. Move on.

Evenspor said...

Wow. I'm struggling for speach over here after reading the latest. Wow. That's really.... wow.

If you have a differnet kind of love for your kids than me, Andrea, I can only assume it's a more sane (read: less masochistic) kind of love.

And I don't mean this in a bad way at all. *cough*

Talk about a blow below the belt. (Although, since we're not guys, is a blow below the belt as bad as one to the chest?)

kristina said...

Hi Andrea -- It's Kristina, from Momfo.

Hope all those comments aren't getting you down. Some of the people writing are a bit off kilter (I'm trying to be nice here).

Anyone who reads your stuff knows you're a great mom. There's nothing wrong with CIO and your parenting viewpoints; in fact, being open-minded is your biggest asset. I fear for the kids whose parents are not open-minded.

And I agree with Evenspor (is this our friend Arwen?) regarding BC taglines. Saying "I let me child scream" automatically makes the reader mad (in some cases). I know BC is doing those headlines to get reader interest (it's working) but it doesn't exactly convey the whole story.

Anyway, take heart. You have a lot of friends. And happy birthday (you did say your bday is this week, right?).


BethAnne said...

Mama P,
I think there must have been some confusion about your comments on my blog. I deleted your first comment because in your second you said "thank you for deleting that first comment". I assumed you had written it in error or wished you had retracted it. I apparently offended you in some way and for that I am sorry. I truly did not mean to offend you - and I truly did delete your comment becasue I thought that is what you wanted me to do.
You may be right about us having different opinions and ideas, but doesnt everyone? I truly am sorry for offending you.

Susie Q said...

Whoa. I am so glad there are folks out there that are so much better at this parenting gig than I am. Self righteous folks are alway such good parents. And don't they send the most delicious comments?
You are so cool and calm...I am getting there. I so want to go after them FOR you but I know you do not need me to.
Your kids look pretty loved and cared for and sweet and good and very well
adjusted. I thought that was the idea to raising kids?
And, taking care of yourself so you can be a great parent IS good parenting.

I think you are just plain wonderful.

Am I gushing again??


Dapoppins said...

Dear Andrea,

You are a fabulous writer.

Your friend,


Dear Haters,

Don't you all have something better to do?


Dapoppins said...


I love the pic of the kids sharing the coloring book. Mine never do that with huge smiles.

Mama P said...

Hi all -

I'm doing fine.

Regarding Bethanne's comment, we had an interesting discussion on her point of view on something. I thought she had deleted my comment which was a contrasting opinion. Not true. While I don't agree with much of her take on life, I do like the fact that she followed up and allowed my viewpoint to remain. Isn't that all we can ask for? This is free speech, after all.

Everyone - thank you for listening to me. I want you to know, btw, that if at some point I write something that you disagree with it, you can tell me. I'm not going to go off the deep end. The only time I have ever cut someone out of my life is for attacking my family personally. That's a no-no. Other than that, have at it! Throw the tomatoes!

Thank you again to those that agree with me, and those that don't, but do it in a gracious way. That's all we can hope for - and how we learn, right?

Off my soap box now.

momma's heart said...

No, I won't go back to the thread. Tuskany summed it up pretty well.

It occurred to me that maybe my defending you was embarrassing? I doubt if anything like this will occur again, but if so, and you'd rather not have such sappy, emotional defenses, let me know. I will stay on the sideline next time.

I don't think I know how to not be sappy, if that makes any sense.

Ann said...

I read your article and then this post. How awful! I'm so sorry you had to receive such a hurtful comment, and it's awesome that you are letting go of your anger and moving on. It's okay to disagree on stuff, but to say it in such a hurtful way is just uncalled for.

mel said...

hi again - thanks for visiting my blog -- which started as a type of therapy and scrapbooking for just my family and me. i appreciate your comments you left on my site -- YES we should all keep learning, esp. about each other. my blog now seems to be a place to state who i am -- and meet new people -- and challenge us all to *think*. your babies are beautiful, too!

Ashley said...

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. I'm so sorry you're continuing to get hate mail from people who want to tell you how to parent your children. You're handling it with much more dignity than I would, though, and I love your writing!

ms chica said...

I read an excerpt in a short story once that said something to the effect of, Anyone who publishes a book (i.e. short story, novel, or column) is just standing in public with their pants around their ankles waiting to see what happens.

I guess hate mail is an unfortunate thing that happens. I try take into account the context in which an article is written...I guess many women don't have that luxury.

I still believe on you and support you.

Blog Mama said...

Man...I've really missed a lot with my blogosphere hiatus as of late. Just tuning in now...Isn't it ironic how the people who are always preaching loving, nurturing ways are often the most judgmental? So sorry about the hate mail, but comes with the territory I guess. This is the exact thing that paralyzes my writing. I'm afraid of too many people reading me because I don't have thick enough skin to take the criticism.

Anyway...I jumped over to Babycenter to read your post there. Here's a few rambling thoughts: I read Dr. Sears' attachment parenting book. I liked the theory, but in practice I picked and chose what would work for me. I didn't co-sleep unless it was an accident. I breastfed, but I didn't love it and found it very trying. I walked around with Ry in the Baby Bjorn, mainly because he had acid reflux and being upright was the only thing that kept him from crying. Then we got RX for Zantac and the Bjorn use lessened and my back thanked me--alot.

I started off in motherhood with a lot of ideals, and the more time passes, the more I realize that I just don't have a clue of what I'm doing. And everyday, I just try to do the best I can for me and my kid .