Family Nature

Facebook Strikes Again

Don’t get me wrong. I love Facebook. But every once in a while, I am reminded that it can be a pain in the ass – kind of like the feeling of 10 feet up my ass, to tell you the truth.

Recently my Facebook status read, The nice thing about Facebook is that old friends from 25 years ago can find you. The bad thing about Facebook is that old friends from 25 years ago can find you. Good thing they can be gone as quickly as they came.”

Here’s why: a couple of weeks ago I was the target of a Facebook attack. It’s not the first time this has happened. Both times it was as a result of a link I’d posted. Most recently, it was a link to an article written by Dr. James McKenna on the Mother-Baby Behavioural Sleep Laboratory website about the long-term effects of bed-sharing.

Well, one of my newly added Facebook “friends” took issue with this link and a bit of a back-and-forth ensued. This woman is someone I knew for a few years about 25 years ago. It is someone I never thought I’d hear from again, but alas, she popped up as a friend request a few days before this incident. Needless to say, we are no longer Facebook friends.

I had to restrain myself. I mean really restrain myself from posting the entire exchange here. It was actually really funny. She spewed these long, ranting, stream-of-consciousness comments all with a clear message: co-sleeping bad. I responded a couple of times – trying really hard to do so in a respectful way, without name calling or attacking – but I soon realized that it was pointless. She had her view and she was not willing to have any sort of intelligent debate about it. So I just stopped. I told her she was insane and I asked her not to contact me again.

I wish she could have seen all the comments before I defriended her. There were more than 50 comments in all; my real friends spoke up in support. There were also endless jokes about sex, poutine, cupcakes and me going to bed with feet up my ass. If nothing else, I should thank this old “friend” for the entertainment value we all got out of it.

Instead of posting the whole ridiculous back and forth, I’ve chosen just a few gems to share with you here:

(As a side note, I was trying to find the rules around using the term sic when there are multiple errors and I couldn’t find any. Everything I read said that you should use the term after each error. If I had done that I would have used the word so many times it would have been ridiculous. I’ll just take this opportunity to say that these are direct quotes from my “friend”, all the spelling errors and grammar atrocities are hers.)

“How old are the children? How’s your sex life?”

“Maybe you should take a look at what needs of yours your tring to fill…How do you feel about nursing babies past the age of 2?”

“When do you draw the line..Imagine your 12 yr still wanting to sleep with mommy and daddy because that’s all they know..Trust me Independence is the key!”

“Numerous health conditions, in regards to anyone in life, under many circumstances, shows that people who don’t get a proper sleep can become sleep deprived which can cause heath issue’s”

“Breast is best..But again I’ve seen many woman breast feed at 3 and on..who’s needs are those..Most of society weans their babies as far as 2, and that is perfectly acceptable.(by the way children are certainly already bonded with you!).Mothers who nurse past this age have the excuse oh the breast milk is the best thing for children..Absolutely.. I agree with that…SO PUMP IT OUT!”

“Are your kids allowed to get dirty at the park?”

“What happens when your kids hit teenage years and you yell at them..which will happen guaranteed, are your children going to call the cops on you for yelling..You see parents in this day and age have all the power taken away from them.”

“I’m sure your kids are going to turn out just like you..Scary!If I am such in the wrong about the topic, why is there so much literature out there opposing co-sleeping…Boy have you got a lot to learn…”

“why am I insane because i don’t agree! that does not make me insane, in fact you look like the crazy one, you can’t handle a little constructive criticism”

“Your the insane one to allow 10 feet up your ass, every-night”

“I didn’t have 2 be like this if your hormones weren’t so out of control”

Um, hello. UNFRIEND.

Y’all know my motto, right? Living the family life that comes naturally to me. I know it doesn’t work for everyone. I know that not everyone would make the same choices. I am doing what I’m doing because I think it’s best for my family. I would never, ever say that co-sleeping is for everyone, because it just isn’t. I believe, in theory, that babies belong with their parents. I believe, wholeheartedly and without any doubt, that my babies belong with me. But I can also accept that there are many people who don’t co-sleep for good reasons; I’m cool with that.

I also think there are all kinds of variations of co-sleeping: side car, crib in the same room, co-sleeping with siblings, etc. There are also people who co-sleep when there is a special need. Here’s what one of my real friends, Rhondda, had to say:

“I also like his [Dr. McKenna’s] air quotes around “never” co-slept. Many children who did not regularly bed-share with parents (or whatever words you want to use) still have had experiences of sharing sleep or bed with a parent – during illness, coming into parent’s bed after a bad dream, parent falling asleep putting child to bed, etc. My own parents definitely didn’t consciously choose to co-sleep (that would have been interesting – there were 6 kids), but I have many lovely comforting memories of being in my parent’s bed with them.”

People do what works for them. The most important point, I think, is that we continue to meet the needs of our children 24 hours a day.

So, I couldn’t really care less what this “friend” does with her children. The thing that bugged me is that she was someone from my very distant past, who popped up out of nowhere and tried to tell me that what I’m doing is wrong, or somehow harmful. No thanks.

There are some people who devote a lot of time debating different parenting issues. People get all bent out of shape and offended. Others are passionate about spreading the word about co-sleeping, breastfeeding and other hot-button issues. I have nothing but respect for these people. Me? No thanks. I mostly stay out of it. But know this peeps: Disagree with me? Sure. Respectfully tell me what you do and why it works for you? Okay. BUT, if you’re going to tell me that what I’m doing is wrong, or that I shouldn’t be doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with you, I’ll probably just tell you to fuck off. Then I’ll unfriend you. Then I’ll happily go off to sleep with 10 feet up my ass.

29 thoughts on “Facebook Strikes Again

  1. Chris

    Amanda, you are awesome! That exchange was very entertaining, but I’m sure it caused quite a bit of stress for you. That she would say you’re doing it all wrong without ever seeing your children makes no sense. Trust me, you are doing many things right! I am guessing that she is very insecure about her own family relationships. I never really understood the “…kids allowed to get dirty at the park?” question. I’m sure “10 feet up the ass” will be the running joke for a long time!!

  2. Winston

    Part of what made it so surreal is that she had clearly not read the article she was supposedly replying to. e.g. The article said that the research indicates that kids who co-sleep tend to be more independent and she came in saying how important it was to help kids be independent (assuming everyone on both sides of the issue agree that co-sleeping hurts independence). Not that she needed to agree with the article, but she was starting the conversation a step behind (saying the things the article already responded to) and never caught up.

  3. AlbertaMama

    I would’ve have quickly unfriended this person too. It’s one thing to have a different opinion than someone, but it’s not okay to attack someone’s parenting style because of it. Good for you!
    We co-sleep on occasion and it’s what works for us. Morgan goes to bed in his room, but most nights comes into our bed. We always co-sleep during illness, because that’s what helps him and me too and everyone feels better faster. Then there’s some periods of time, where he’s going through something or is having a hard adjustment and he sleeps with us for a few nights. It works for us and we love it. I know some people who co-sleep all the time and I know others who have very strict, no bed-sharing policies, ever. I figure whatever works for you and your kids is what’s best for all involved!! i haven’t read studies or articles for or against the other. I just go with my gutt for what feels right for my little man and i think we’re doing awesome!!!

  4. Meredith

    I just liked the madness she spewed, and all of our funny comments. It gave me lots of shits and giggles and made work interesting for those couple of days.

    Why does everyone feel like they are a better parent to YOUR children than you are? boy oh boy. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…

  5. Karma

    Although I appreciate and “respect” that no two people parent the same and can feel very passionate about their beliefs,rightfully so!. What I don’t understand about all this and no matter what your feelings are on either topic, why after such a debate( much missing from the highlights?) and a mutual agreement to not contact each other further would this continue and why send her an inbox on face book about it. Is this negative behaviour healthy, I cant help but think that boosting oneself up at the expense of others is not a practice that I would want to teach anyone. And such negativity is a really bad energy to hang on too. I will reiterate what she said I too hope that you “don’t take this post” or one’s ability to articulate their opinion as a personal attack.

  6. Amanda

    @Karma: This is my blog, and I write about stuff going on in my life and stuff that is important to me. You know — free speech and all that stuff.

    I think calling it a “mutual agreement to not contact each other” is a bit of a stretch. I asked her not to contact me but she still did — two more times, THEN she wrote at least one not-so-nice Facebook status about me. You might want to have a conversation with your “friend” about negative behaviour and bad energy. She can use the advice more than I can.

    She cannot write ridiculous, insulting, personal comments, asking me specific questions (like how old my children are and how my sex life is), making totally false, unsubstantiated claims and then call me a suck for taking it personally. It *was* personal.

    Believe me, I would be *thrilled* to post the entire exchange here. It will make her look even more foolish. You wouldn’t know, because you clearly haven’t read it.

  7. Alexandra

    I “love” the use of “quotes” to “highlight” some “features” of that “post” by “Karma.” (The only correct usage of quotes in this comment is around the word “Karma.”)

    It is very “ironic” that “someone” with the screen name of “Karma” would “attempt” to “correct” Ms. FamilyNature about her capacity to “not take things personally.”

    Mad respect for Ms. FamilyNature, and “respect” for Karma.

  8. TheFeministBreeder

    So I recently had to unfriend someone who’d been a good online buddy for 3 years. What she said to me was so viscous and uncalled for, I just couldn’t do anything but hit delete and remove her from my line of sight.

    I posted an article about homebirthing. Hi – anyone in my Facebook list knows EXACTLY what kind of birth junkie I am, and they know EXACTLY how badly I want a homebirth next time. This woman was a friend I made on my last Ivillage expecting club, and she watched me battle through my VBAC, and become the advocate I am, so she knew darn well exactly what my position on this stuff was.

    But she must have had a lobotomy because, on that homebirth article I posted, she called anyone who’d have a homebirth “selfish” and “endangering” their babies. I left the first comment, but then when my friend who JUST had a BREECH HBAC came to defend herself, the woman got even nastier, and I just couldn’t believe that crap was being spewed in my space. So I hit delete because it was clear to me she’d A.) lost her damn mind and B.) was NOT going to support me through the HBAC I’m trying to have next time! I’m not even pregnant yet and she’s ALREADY playing the dead baby card. I don’t need to listen to that nonsense for the next year.

    After I deleted her, she sent me a nasty note about how she expected that out of me because I won’t listen to anyone with a different opinion, and THEN she wrote a whole huge note about it, posted it on facebook, and tagged everyone we both knew. It was so childish. After that, my status update read:

    “If I delete you on Facebook, and you run around bitching to everyone on Facebook about it, you’re proving exactly why I deleted you. Cut it out, crazycakes”.

    That got some laughs. 🙂

    No sir, I absolutely will NOT listen to “friends” tell me I’m trying to kill my baby by having a homebirth. Nope! Won’t listen to it. Call me crazy. 🙂

  9. eds

    I dont know you but we have a mutual friend and i just wanted to say that i too agree with you and the “co sleeping” and breast feeding issue. I think the attachment issues stem more from the parent then the child. These women look at parenting as their career.
    I am old school too. Cheers to you for standing your ground. Lets keep this between you and me i dont want to start a facebook war!! Its was nice to see someone else who actually opposed this new age parenting, and wasnt afraid to voice it.
    I hope im not crossing the line by cotacting you.

  10. eds

    sorry to her they made you feel bad about a decision that was obviously out of your control…As long as the babies are healthy that is all that matters in the end! That is not a friend, a friend supports you and doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself..Even if they don’t agree they keep that to themselves..You can’t talk to people like that, they are overly crazy..They should ask themselves gee if I’m so perfect my parents must have done an excellent job, But everything according to them is wrong! Don’t get it! what an insult to all their parents.

  11. Karma

    I am glad that my incorrect use of punctuation was such a source of laughter for you and all your friends, It is not in my family nature to be so petty and purposely hurtful to others. But regladless my question was still not answered as to why you felt the need to send her a link to this blog, and what that would accomplish. I would like to think that it wasn’t to bait her to comment so that she could be a continued source of entertainment. I am curious what people will find to laugh about in this this post

    “ENJOY” lol

  12. eds

    Well thank you Karma, As most people know, there are two sides to every story. Just like the paparazzi, they stock others, they catch their flaws, in the end to profit from….Just like the media they choose only what they think will get people frazzled, because they know it will get attention. Little do they know i don’t buy that crap nor dote on negative NEWS so to speak, but with every organization like that there are people who secretly back-stab behind the scenes…The funny thing is this news cast has turned into some sort of mystery game…Who is the backstabber? Who is the one who sits in my home and allows me the ramble on about my career, but really thinks your wacked! Of course I could post and quote more mystery people, but Why should I care..The pleasure in the end is that I know…. Quote: Mar. 28 2010, “I will not contact you as long as you don’t contact me!”….Apr. 8 2010…This blog arrived. I will REPEAT DO NOT CONTACT ME AGAIN! Im not in your world, I don’t know your people, you dont know mine…So I really don’t know who you are tring to impress? Other than yourselves….Your not embarrassing me, if anything your making yourselves look bad…Free Speak! You forgot the mention, that I to co-sleep with my son, however it didnt work out for me in the end….that is what my whole response was to an article, my personal opinion. YOU does not necessarily mean you personally…It is politically correct to use this words in general terms when addressing a topic that obviously has a large fan base…And bye the way karma knows and sees everything! Their opinion is justifiable… So spend more time figuring out who’s the back stabber rather than, what I think..Like who cares get a LIFE! I don’t need to post things public, I don’t need high fives. I don’t need my fan club to build me up…There is only one in the end that’s matter’s,it is the big man up stairs! God Bless…Love your children the way you want to…there is no set rule, just make sure no matter what decisions you make they are best for your kids, life is too short. Now go have fun playing the mystery game!!!!

  13. Amanda

    To answer your question, Karma, I sent her the link because I thought she might want to read it. I think I’d want to know if there was something out there written about me. I didn’t use her name, so she never would have seen it otherwise.

    I also thought it might clear up my opinions on co-sleeping. I never, ever said it was the only way and I never said people that don’t do it are bad parents (which, for some reason, is what she thought).

  14. Amanda

    Oh eds, you sneaky thing, you! You thought you had me fooled, didn’t you? I was wondering when you’d weigh in. I’m happy to post your comments as long as they aren’t nasty attacks. You didn’t have to use an alias and pretend to be other people to make a comment. (“I don’t know you but …” in your above comment). You must have been sitting at your computer with bated breath waiting for me to approve those comments.

    I’d just like to point out that you never actually asked me not to contact you until after I sent you the blog link.

  15. Scatteredmom

    Um, Wow.

    I am a firm believer that people drop out of our lives for a reason, and “friending” them on facebook years later is playing with fire.

    Which is exactly why I don’t facebook.

  16. eds

    Well the above is not my alias. ” You don’t know me,” that actually is the person who messaged me…Cut and paste is a great thing…I dont need the hide behind anything…Why would you post this to me if you werent tring to be a you know what…Won’t call you names! Im not the one with the bated breath, your the one who created a blog…..I have not said not one thing about you anywhere, since Mar.28 in a private message not public….Despite our little disagreement within a couple day span, I would never slander some child’s mother. You’ve been the one sitting around this whole time making this blog which most of it was directed at me. I’m telling you whether you believe me or not I don’t care, there are people that have actually made comments in support of you, in regards to our depute that have turned around behind your back and messaged me privately, talking smack about you…I would have kept this to myself but you continue to be so self righteous…and make blogs…..Dont tell anymore lies you are shit disturbing…and i did ask you not to contact me again on Mar 28..I have the proof amanda…Grow up and just stop already… You not the only clever one in the universe!

  17. eds

    also, how did I get to this blog if you didn’t want me to see it…Because your harassing me….Out of now where more then 2 weeks later you pop up on my messages….Good Bye Amanda, Like I said I wish you well, do what you feel is best….Im glad your created some entertainment for yourself, I’m surprised actually that you have time to waste on this stuff considering you have 4 children….Mom’s work hard, they usually don’t have time for this… God Bless.

  18. Amanda

    Um, I actually *did* want you to see it. That’s why I sent it to you.

    And, no, you did not ask me not to contact you on March 28th. What you wrote was “I will not contact you as long as you don’t contact me!” You even wrote that quote in one of your comments above. It wasn’t until after I sent you the link to this blog that you asked me not to contact you again — which I haven’t.

  19. Stephanie

    A) Amanda, I think you did the right thing by sending her the link. I, too, would like to know if info on me and my opinions was being shared.

    B) EDS, for the love of all things Holy, PLEASE check your spelling. I know, I’m a NUT for spelling. It’s MY issue, but I feel like I’m reading a text from my 13 year old.

    C) EDS, it was very easy to detect your alias. Again, the same spelling errors followed you and gave you away.

    D) EDS, I hear you loud and clear on your opinions regarding co-sleeping. I would love to know what your opinions are based on. Do you have access to research that we fellow co-sleeping Moms should read that indicate we get less sleep? Everything I have read RESEARCH wise says that parents who CHOOSE co-sleeping and create a family bed (meaning enough space that all sleep well) have very successful families and sleep habits.
    I have read research on sleep deprivation leading to higher levels of stress, lower immune systems, and definitely impact on the sexual life. It is NOT often that co-sleeping is the cause of sleep deprivation. If it is, then we need to help that family find a way to co-sleep better or decide if it’s right for that family as a whole.
    Yes, I’m a research junkie, paper writer, family advocate. I’m also a Doula. This is how I get down.

    Happy sunny Saturday from another Mom of 4 who co-sleeps (sometimes), Facebooks, car-pools, runs a business and generally loves her life. When my ass isn’t broken. Yup, broke my ass.

  20. ed

    Hi Michelle,
    I dont know you but we have a mutual friend and i just wanted to say that i too agree with you and the “co sleeping” and breast feeding issue. I think the attachment issues stem more from the parent then the child. These women look at parenting as their career.
    I am old school too. Cheers to you for standing your ground. Lets keep this between you and me i dont want to start a facebook war!! Its was nice to see someone else who actually opposed this new age parenting, and wasnt afraid to voice it.
    I hope im not crossing the line by cotacting you.
    XXXXX [The name was removed by Family Nature to protect the person’s privacy]

  21. ed

    agree. I have tried talking about different issues with her also regarding “parenting” and i feel so out of place…
    The continual talk about breast feeding and unnecessary c-sections. I myself have had two,not by choice…but i have learned to live with it,….she cannot come to terms with it..Anyway im glad im not the only one who felt the same way, except i wasnt able to express it for this reason exactly.
    It always boggles my mind when people choose a friend based on how they parent.
    Take care
    XXXXX [The name was removed by Family Nature to protect this person’s privacy]

  22. ed

    Ha haha, very true. Its nice chatting with you.
    Where did you go to high school? I’ve noticed a few people on your friends list. Are you in scar?
    Chat soon

  23. ed

    I’m not a fake, but apparently some of your friends are, sorry XXXXX [Name removed by Family Nature to protect this person’s privacy] but maybe your in no position to be commenting on facebook about me! But also thanks, maybe the drama will be put on you now, and Amanda can’t start a new blog about TWO FACED PEOPLE…..

  24. Chris

    I wouldn’t call parenting my career, but I do believe it’s the most important job that I will ever do in my life.

  25. Jessica - This is Worthwhile

    There are two things going on here for me. 1) You know a person who likes to think they’re being helpful when really, all they’re doing is being ignorant, and 2) Social media confuses people into believing they have a right to oppose you in “your space,” i.e., your FB wall.

    The first issue has already been addressed by you in your post (and well said, I might add), the second is something new that’s been coming up a lot for me (and my friends). It’s appalling to me the rights people think they’re granted because I allow them a tiny little peak into my world. Saying what your friend did (and the way in which she said it) is tantamount to her coming to your house and crapping on the dinner table and telling you it’s flowers. We need to all realize that, unlike a blog which has a different public flavor to it, a FB page is a personal space (especially if it’s a personal account as opposed to a fan page) and is not up for crude debates (unless, I guess, that’s your thing).

    I recently had a cousin of mine scold me for swearing on MY WALL. Mind you, I haven’t spoken to him since I was 5 (I’m 34). I immediately invited him to drop or hide me. He retorted that he’d rather have “meaningful conversations” with me and how was I doing? I emailed him the following day to tell him he had absolutely no right to rebuke me like that in my personal space and that he was responsible for what he viewed in his life, not me. In the end, he admitted he was mostly taken aback because his 6 year old daughter was looking over his shoulder when my “Holy fuck. I accidentally bought decaf” status popped up. I refrained from telling him he should keep his daughter the fuck away from the [very] adult site of FB, but that’s just between you and me 😉

    Anyway, good for you for upholding your boundaries and good riddance to that icky, icky person 🙂