Let’s remember kindness during the storm and on the blog

I wasn’t sure what to write about for today. With a giant hurricane bearing down on our friends and family all along the East Coast, Halloween costume choices and seasonal Count Chocula cereal seems trivial.

But then I got a note this morning from one of the regulars on our blog. She was letting me know that another regular had left our group because people were always so mean on the blog.

It makes me so sad that people don’t feel welcome on the blog unless they’re ready to duke it out or have a thick skin. We’ve talked in the past about people on the mom blog being meaner than the people on the sports blogs, and it’s just not right. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Moms and dads should be able to turn the blog for news about parenting and family life, a lively discussion and even support. They shouldn’t feel attacked just for commenting or afraid to comment.

I have been thinking about Hurricane Sandy and in my mind picturing images of people helping their neighbors during Hurricane Katrina. I hope the damage isn’t severe, FEMA does its job efficiently and that people are kind to each other during this crisis.

I also hope that maybe we can turn a new leaf and people also can be kind on the blog. Think twice before you zip off your snarky, oh so witty comment that you know will actually hurt someone’s feelings. Let’s stop all the negativity and be kind and supportive to our fellow parents. Rearing kids hard enough without parents being mean to each other.

44 comments Add your comment

catlady

October 29th, 2012
11:30 am

I hope those who made fun of and cursed the people of New Orleans during/after Katrina get a new perspective as they watch the people of the northeast deal with the predicted terrible mess.

Mayhem

October 29th, 2012
11:34 am

I don’t know why people feel the need to attack and be mean to others.

If everyone practiced ONE random act of kindness every day, the world would change.

But there are so many bitter people out there who feel the need to take others down. I guess it makes them feel superior. I don’t get it.

We are all in this life together, and we just have to get along. Try to say or do something positive every day. If not for you, for others around you. We all have our troubles, and our problems, and no one escapes this life without some hurt. We have all lost loved ones, we’ve all lost jobs, but there are people who simply cannot function unless they are being hurtful.

If everyone threw their problems out on the table, you would gladly take your’s back. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, and quit judging a book by its cover. You don’t know what has happened to the stranger you see today.

You see a homeless person, but you don’t know their story, their history.

Let’s think of someone else besides our selves. Give someone a smile today. Help the little old lady at the grocery store.

Practice Random Acts of Kindness every day. It will come back to you!!!

MelanieL

October 29th, 2012
11:56 am

Well put. I am a fairly regular reader but I barely ever comment, mainly because of the meanness you spoke of. People are nasty because they CAN be; they are hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet. It’s a shame, really. I hope your post today hits home for some of your readers/posters.
And I, too, have my entire extended family and many close friends in the MD/DC/NY area and am just worried sick, especially about my grandparents, ages 91 and 94. Talking about parenting — these two people practically raised me and they are so precious to me. My grandma says they are “fine” (they live on the bottom floor of a high-rise so they have lots of neighbors around them, the building has a back-up generator, etc.) but still, I feel helpless. Let’s hope that when WE get that old, OUR kids/grandkids care enough about us to want to help us more than 800 miles away!
And I hope YOUR family/friends stay safe too, Theresa.

Techmom

October 29th, 2012
12:20 pm

I promise I’m not being mean TWG but your last sentence needs a question mark.

I’m all for a lively discussion but the judgement on this blog is incredible to the point that I purposely avoid commenting anytime the topic involves religion, politics or gender. Unfortunately when the closed-minded people simply take over, it’s not even worth reading their comments.

I’m hoping for the best for the folks up north. My parents, several family members & friends live in the DC area and I have lots of friends and co-workers in the NY/NJ area as well. I hope they all heeded the warnings are prepared for several days without power.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 29th, 2012
12:35 pm

Hey Techmom — i rewrote it — thanks!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 29th, 2012
12:42 pm

If we had registration where people had to be identified as themselves through FAcebook or other mean the conversations would NOT be so mean and judgmental. I really like the Momania Facebook conversations because people are real and behave as such. No trolls on there. I wish we did have registration for the blog. There is a lot that I don’t share because of people being mean.

But, TWG...

October 29th, 2012
12:48 pm

…what about those of us who refuse to use Facebook? But, as controller of your blog, you can choose with whom you want to communicate…

jmb

October 29th, 2012
12:48 pm

I’m another one that’s a regular reader but don’t comment very often because of that one person waiting for someone to make a typo or not agree with them on here ready to pounce. I do feel though that some of the bloggers take things others say way to seriously though. The people posting here don’t know you or anything about your life so please don’t take anything they say mean to heart. If anything, it makes them look ignorant more than witty.

catlady

October 29th, 2012
1:00 pm

While there certainly are people who are mean, there are also folks who might see this blog as more of a therapy session. If it is meant to be that, someone should say so. It seems like to be we can support each other while pointing out concerns about someone’s thinking/reported actions. Maybe I am offbase?

At any rate, Theresa, thank you for reminding us all about keeping in mind those who are suffering with this storm, as well as those who suffer daily.

When my son was little he suffered a traumatic brain injury (many of you know this). He lost brain tissue, his eye was damaged, and the doctors were pretty sure he would have seizures and perhaps be blind. At one point during his recovery, I took him to Scottish Rite to consult with both head reconstruction and eye folks. It was an eye opener for me. So many terribly hurt kids with so many problems–we were lucky!

“Give thanks in all things, for this is the will of God” (1 Thessalonians)

Judge Smails

October 29th, 2012
1:03 pm

I’m a regular reader and sometimes poster. I think the topics presented by Theresa are generally presented as “sunshine and fluffy bunnies” and therefore will encourage the “meaner” of posters to be just that…

JOD

October 29th, 2012
1:20 pm

I’m sure I’ll get blasted for this, but I noticed an uptick in the snark factor after the AJC’s format changed and Momania moved to the ‘front page.’ It’s great for hits, but it seems like there are more random commenters and fewer regular comments. There’s no reason we can’t disagree, as long as we respect each other.

I’m praying for everyone in the storm’s path, especially our family and my coworkers. This is some scary stuff! Anyone with wind damage so far? The wind has been unbelievable here…

mom2alex&max

October 29th, 2012
1:30 pm

If this was tied to FB, I wouldn’t post anymore. I would create a “fake” account on Fb to post. My FB is PRIVATE- and I don’t want to share it with anyone I don’t want to.

In regards to the topic, I find this SO silly. People are mean? On the internet??? You know you can just shut down the web browser right? How can it affect me what some stranger says on the internet? Who CARES what anyone says about me in HERE or anywhere on the internet? They are strangers for pete’s sake. Who cares!!!

When someone I know and I have to deal with in real life and/or I care about that is a different story. But I don’t care on bit what anyone says in here about me or about what I post. If a topic gets ugly, I just freakin leave for the day. Good grief!

Where is "here", JOD...

October 29th, 2012
1:31 pm

Enter your comments here

TaraTall

October 29th, 2012
1:59 pm

I completely agree with mom2alex&max. If you don’t like what’s being said, leave. I would also venture a guess the people on the receiving end of “mean” comments may have flung a few mean ones themselves.

I can’t think of ANYTHING I would say on here that would garner a “bully” type response from someone and if it did, I would likely be rethinking what I posted in the first place.

jarvis

October 29th, 2012
2:01 pm

F-other people. I could not care even a little about what the trolls think of my posts. I share my own experiences and my own opinions.

I will admit though that your anomymous bullies do seem to have a masculine tone most of the time, and they tend to only crap on the women on here most of the time.

I’m sorry MJG won’t be returning to the blog though. She seemed to be the focus of most of the harrassment. She seems like a nice lady, and that has a tendency for people to think she’s an easy target.

jarvis

October 29th, 2012
2:05 pm

@mom2alex&max , you need to look at the posts on Friday directed at MJG. The a-hole had clearly Googled her (many pictures online of her working at schools), and then he was taking clear shots at her appearance over and over again.

You can say you don’t care what strangers have to say about you, but have one call you fat and say that you wear cheap shoes about 10 times in a day, and I bet that you would feel differently.

motherjanegoose

October 29th, 2012
2:08 pm

@ Mayhem, I am ALL about random acts of kindness and thank you for the reminder! This past week, I came home from my morning meeting and my room was not cleaned up yet, at the hotel. I had already put a tip on the counter. It was 1:30. Instead of getting mad, I stopped near the room where the housekeeper was working. ” Do you mind doing my room next, is that a problem?” She told me she would be happy to do it. I asker her name, it was Beth. I went down to the front desk and told them I appreciated the customer service from Beth. I spoke with the manager.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness every day. It will come back to you!! So true!

When I got to ATL yesterday, our flight was 90 minutes late. I remained in my seat, so that those who had tight connections could proceed on to their destination. Several asked me if I was getting off and I replied, “Later, I live here.” Hopefully it helped someone. Maybe it will come back to me!

@ catlady, I do enjoy tossing things around here and getting another opinion. I have enjoyed making new friends too!

Thoughts and prayers going up for everyone in the storm’s way. There were lots of people stuck in ATL last night!

JOD

October 29th, 2012
2:14 pm

@MJG – Glad to see your post…I was hoping it wasn’t you as others thought! It’s sad to hear of anyone leaving.

I suppose I will feed the troll. The AJC is an Atlanta paper.

FCM

October 29th, 2012
2:17 pm

@ TWG…I don’t use my name and would not register to protect my kids. I don’t needs some Mom that knows them to go OH! So that teacher on the blog must be Mrs. Jones…and so on. You have my real name b/c I have emailed with you before.

I don’t participate on the Mom Facebook, again so people cannot pin point the my eldest/my youngest stories back to my actual child. So to sum it up, using real identies on a national blog not what I believe to a good idea. (Trust me I can be just as outspoken in person too).

mom2alex&max

October 29th, 2012
2:18 pm

jarvis: I didn’t look at the blog last Friday, I busy. But if what you say is true, yet one more reason why I would NEVER use my real name on anything on the internet. And also, if they did it to me, I would just not participate in the blog that day. I still wouldn’t give a rat’s behind that some dim wit on the internet was calling me fat. Who cares.

motherjanegoose

October 29th, 2012
2:21 pm

@ jarvis…I am still here. I have been out with children today. I was frankly stunned by those comments and have no idea how to process them. I wear what is appropriate for my line of work. I have been doing this for 15 years and before that teaching. If I went along with the suggestions, I would not be hired as it would look ridiculous for me to show up in an $800 suit and try to sit criss cross on the floor with children. Doesn’t your wife teach Kinder? Does she wear an $800 suit?

Furthermore, I am all over the US and ( trust me on this one) there are more people ( in education) who do NOT wear $800 suits ( coast to coast) than those who do. I really do not get the shoes, as they are not typically in the picture. I am all about shoes and do not wear cheap shoes. Currently I am wearing Enzo Agionlini.

I always tell people, ” It is not about what I look like…it is about what I can do.” This has served me well for 30 years. I thought about those comments today, as I saw the smiles on the faces and the laughter of children, in private preschools. They really do not care what you look like. They care if you are fun and engaging. That is something I can do!

Voice of Reason

October 29th, 2012
2:31 pm

Hate runs rampant on the Internet. There are a lots of angry people in the world. Angry people who enjoy nothing more than ruining everyone’s day.

Those people suck……

It’s a side effect of never leaving their parent’s basement and being afraid of the sun.

mom2alex&max

October 29th, 2012
2:32 pm

Jarvis: I just read the posts form Fri. For me, personally, I could not care LESS. MJG has given this blog enough personal details that finding a pic of her on the web wouldn’t be that difficult. So what?

At the end of the day you guys are strangers. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. We can have lively debates on proposed topics of common interest, but at the end of the day, what could it POSSIBLY matter to you what I think of you? It is irrelevant to your daily life. And that is tru og 99.9999% of internet interactions. If it gets ugly, I just leave for the day. Who gives a rat’s behind really. Pfft I say.

ssidawg

October 29th, 2012
2:35 pm

I love this! How much better the world would be if we would just Be Nice to each other. Many of the issues facing our country would be resolved with a bit of compassion and respect for those around us.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 29th, 2012
2:57 pm

I was out of town on Friday so i missed the attacks on MJG. I will back and look and will most likely ban the person. Personal attacks are unnecessary and don’t add to the conversation and that’s what we are here for.

FMC — I agree you don’t want your children identified in many cases. A good argument for not registering but i just wish people could be constructive instead of destructive.

jarvis

October 29th, 2012
3:09 pm

@mom2alex&max, I wouldn’t care, but I also understand that I’m not everyone.

Me

October 29th, 2012
3:28 pm

Well, I have posted as “me” for quite some time – and I use my actual real email address for every post. I also wish there were some manner by which to truly “identify” a poster and to also prevent the use of multiple “handles” and, of course, to prevent someone else from posting as another. I don’t use Facebook so that isn’t an option for me – unless I used my wife’s login. With all of that said, however, I know that I oftentimes have opinions that differ from the majority but I never intend these to be taken as an attack against someone with whom I disagree. Also, totally on-board with wishing the best to all of those being affected by the storm and related issues.

Tiffany

October 29th, 2012
3:31 pm

I for one would miss MJG if she were to leave this blog. She makes it more interesting! The main idea of a blog is to be able to share differing opinions. If we all agreed on everything it would be as dull as dirt! I really like to hear what other parents are going through- or have been through already. That is one thing we all have in common here- our interest in parenting. Every now and then a real psycho slips in and a perfect example of that was the blog from the other day. Clearly that person had some issues- or was merely trying to get a rise out of MJG. It made me wonder a little bit…who on earth spends 250.00 on a pair of shoes?

Mayhem

October 29th, 2012
3:49 pm

How about we change the title of this particular topic to “Let’s Remember Kindness” Period! Not just during this storm and on this blog, but Every. Single. Day!!

“If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.”

FCM

October 29th, 2012
4:09 pm

@ Tiffany, I hear you. I do not pay more than about $50 per pair of shoes (except athletic shoes, those about $75). I spent maybe $500 at store on clothes (Coldwater Creek was the store) and got like 5 outfits. Whoever said the $800 suits is not living in Middle America, which is where MJG says she resides.

I can think of others besides MJG who have left the board though. Shoot MJG goes toe to toe with most everyone at some point, I admit I went at it a few years back. MJG, I guess you grew on me? I use your “sidewalk” metaphor all the time.

I am over people calling others fat. Should we go back to the 80s when most girls had body issues and ended up bulmic or anorexic? Just what we need more people who die like Karen Carpenter, trying to live up to someone else’s idea of what they should look like.

Becky

October 29th, 2012
4:57 pm

Like Tiffany, I thought this was a blog to share differing opinions on the topic..I also would miss MJG if she left this blog..As I have said before, yes, there are times that she comments on something that I have no opinion on or that I might not be interested in reading her post, but I have never felt the need to be ugly to her.. I try to not be ugly to anyone one here..I know that I fall short on that at times..

I just went back and read the last few posts from Fridays topic..Mommy Dearest..I have MJG for lunch and she is a very wonderful person..She is very interesting to talk with..She has a beautiful family and home..If you think that a size 12 is such a bad size for women, I wonder, do you ever look around at most of the women in America.. As for not paying $250.00 for a pair of shoes or $800.00 or so on a nice suit, you would surely hate to come into the office that I work in and see the owner of the company.. I have been here 26 years and have only seen him in a suit twice..Both times were for funerals..He wears jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes..He has been known to attend meetings with lots of “Big Corporate” people in workout shorts and tank tops with a doo rag on his head..He says that you take him as he is or not.. His neighbor thought he was the gardener for 2 years, so he never talked to him when he saw him out in the yard.. Clothes do not make the person..Neither do shoes..

@FCM..Love your comment about girls having body issues..As long as a person is healthy, does it really matter if they are a size 2? I have been there, it’s not a good place to be..

@jarvis..I read in the Vent this morning, someone was wanting to vote for jarvis jones for president, not knowing your last name, I thought of you..So, if you are running for president, you have my vote.. :)

Techmom

October 29th, 2012
5:10 pm

Becky – that’s my kind of boss! Almost all my co-workers telecommute and so we laugh every time we do have to go into the office or get together that the hardest part about doing so is figuring out what to wear. Why invest in a bunch of business clothes that never get worn? My usual attire is shorts or jeans. I always feel like I need to “dress up” for stuff at my son’s school though :)

As for MJG, I don’t blame her, why would you invest in even a $200 business suit if you’re going to be crawling around and playing with a bunch of kindergarten children? And what about the more important lesson of teaching kids that it’s what’s on the inside the matters more than the outside?

As far as the folks up north goes, I’ve heard from my parents in MD just outside of DC and they’re still doing ok and have power. My friend in CT however has lost power already. My company’s offices in NJ along with all the servers there were shut down at 5. Hoping & praying all goes well tonight.

Obviously, Mommie Dearest...

October 29th, 2012
5:49 pm

…did not know what motherjane does for a living as her post indicates she thinks she is in corporate
America…

Denise

October 29th, 2012
6:04 pm

@Obviously….that is what I was thinking!!! $800 suit and $250 shoes for kindergarteners? HAHA! I work in corporate America but wear mostly business casual (slacks/shirt). Today I have on jeans. If I feel “fancy” one day and put on a suit I’m asked if I have an interview or a date. :-) (Unfortunately the answer is usually “neither”. LOL)

Lockheed in the DC area did not close down but some folks were “allowed” to telecommute. The weather is bad but early this afternoon my friend still had power. She’s unhappy because she did not plan well for snacks (smile) but seems to be okay otherwise.

Another friend’s parents live in NJ and the eye is supposed to go right over their home. He’s pessimistic all the time so he’s already talking about how he KNOWS somebody is going to get hurt and how somebody definitely will have bad property damage. How about let’s not speak negativity into the situation, please and thank you! (I’m really working on NOT speaking so negatively about everything because, really, what you speak is what you get and I definitely cannot afford to have some of the things I say come to pass!) Also, I’m from Louisiana and have worried myself to death over hurricanes so I’ve been trying to keep his mind on the fact that his family has prepared for the storm the best they can and now they have to ride it out. (They didn’t have anywhere to go.) I’m praying too which is all anybody 11 hours away can do anyway.

Kat

October 29th, 2012
6:35 pm

Blogs are just ways for people to “bully” others. They have to be stood up to, because they are not going away apparently.

Glad to hear that MJG is still here. She may go off-topic sometimes, but who hasn’t. She may have lengthy posts, but they are usually interesting (at least they are to me). If you don’t like her (or anyone else’s) posts, then you don’t have to read them.

motherjanegoose

October 29th, 2012
8:02 pm

Thanks cyber friends. That is what I was thinking, when I read the post and the person said they knew me. Well, if they did then they would know that my clothes, hair and shoes are the least of my worries. I know of NO educational professionals ( who work with children) that dress this way, so why would I?
Have a great evening all!

DB

October 29th, 2012
8:43 pm

Busy day, so I’m just now reading this. Thank you, TWG, for the reminder to “play nice, y’all”. I suspect that the vast majority of the people that we “meet” on the blog would be perfectly nice people if you met them the market, at school or on a volunteer committee. But inevitably, the anonymity seems to bring out the worst in a small minority of folks.

Sk8ing Momma

October 29th, 2012
8:51 pm

A great rule of thumb regarding civility on blogs or in on-line forums: Do not say anything you wouldn’t say face-to-face in someone’s living room.

Stephanie K

October 29th, 2012
9:56 pm

Would love for you all to join us in the Be a Blessing challenge http://www.B2Challenge.com

freedom lover

October 29th, 2012
10:00 pm

We have a society in which the same people who believe that it is wrong to steal from someone else, have absolutely no problem voting for someone who will steal on their behalf or on behalf of things on which they wish to see money spent. They justify this behavior by hiding behind laws that are passed by the very people they vote for. They are not content to start up an organization that seeks voluntary contributions to further their cause. They are not content to go door to door asking or even begging for voluntary contributions, but would rather rely on the efficiency of force and a method that keeps their hands clean of the direct act of theft. This method also insures that there can be no rejection of their request as might happen if this relationship were voluntary.

The monies that will be spent helping storm victims will not be voluntarily collected by government – they will be stolen. Those who showed careless disregard for their own safety will still be helped, and will no doubt repeat this reinforced behavior again in the future.

The anger and hostility that is so tangible in our society today is a direct result of this robber/victim relationship that government fosters (for that is the foundation of government after all – force). It is unfortunate that this hatred exists, since most people, left to their own devices, and without someone to steal on their behalf, would generally get along quite well and would work voluntarily together to achieve greatness.

So in this relationship, where do you stand? Do you look for the voluntary solution, or do you look for the politician to steal on your behalf, control others behavior on your behalf, restrict businesses on your behalf, punish people in other countries on your behalf? What are you contributing to the anger equation?

freedom lover

October 29th, 2012
10:03 pm

By bringing government, its laws, its taxation, its regulations, its restrictions, etc. into the equation, just remember, it is YOU that showed up with the guns. Civility is a difficult thing to maintain when the gun of government is pointing at you. I know it is very difficult to look at things this way, but there is ultimately no other way to look at government. Government is not about voluntary cooperation. Either you do as they say – or else.

BlondeHoney

October 29th, 2012
10:29 pm

MJG, count me as another one who is glad you are here. Like others, I read but don’t post when the topic is likely to draw the crazies from Kyle & Jay’s blogs. Love those blogs too but I don’t post there for exactly this reason. Momania has for the most part been a safe space and let’s keep it so

Becky

October 30th, 2012
8:59 am

Techmom..I forgot to mention that as I am posting to this blog, wearing shorts and t shirt (normal work gear) that I am wearing my Halloween slippers..No shoes..I love my job and the company that I work for..Basically if I have on clothes, I’m good..Be it shorts & shirt or dress and heels..The owner and VP (all managers) wear shorts, t shirts and very casual wear..Heck, the owner came in one day this summer wearing two different shoes..They were both sandals and he said he just didn’t realize it when he left..

As, I said yesterday..I may not agree with everything that some post on here at times, there may be times when Theresa has a topic that I know nothing about or have no interest in, but as a general rule, I like everyone on here..LIke MJG says, others know a lot about things that I know nothing about and I enjoy reading and learning things on here..jarvis and Mayhem usually always make me laugh over things that they say..Jessie’s Girl also when she is on here…MJG and catlady, I am always learning things from them and lots of others..So hopefully we can all start getting along..

As a side note..Prayers to my sister and best friend who are just about in the middle of the storm..Sister in VA, just outside of DC and friend in Maryland…Blessings to all…

Wayne

October 30th, 2012
2:33 pm

I was very thankful that we didn’t get as hard hit as we were supposed to. I had geared up pretty well (gas and oil for the generator, batteries, radio, wood etc.) but didn’t need them. Woo hoo!

But, hearing some of the stories of folks that did get some damage – I wish them the best.