Sunday, October 31, 2010

Minor illness and other physical issues in our household

Here is what I've noticed about how men & women handle minor illnesses, like colds.  Women just 1. suffer in silence or 2. go about their business and men either 1. whine or 2. maintain this look of "Good god I'm this close to death."  

On Thursday, Oct 21, G and M started with cold symptoms.  When G was 2 and got a cold he whined and whined and whined, screaming "Nose tuffy" when he wanted me to wipe the snot dripping out.  At age 3, he is only slightly less annoying.  Now he screams, "Wipe my nose!"

M is uber-clingy and fussy and an even shittier sleeper when he is congested and has an ear infection.  

D, who now has this same cold, doesn't say much, but he drexes around the house with a look on his face that borders on catatonic.  And he has required an afternoon nap both yesterday and today.  


I'm not denying this particular cold is a bitch.  I had it last week.  My nose ran and ran, and I felt extremely congested and was going to bed quite early in a vain attempt to get some sleep (which M screwed up because he was extremely congested.) 

Moms don't get a pass due to illness.  A month or so ago I had a stomach bug.  And guess who sat in the rocking chair, nursing M at 11:00 at night, with her head hanging over the side wretching onto the carpet?  And had to clean up her own mess the next day when she still felt like poop?  

Just sayin.  

Ok, so this cold has now made it's way around the house, resulting in 1 day off from school for N, an ear infection for each boy, 2 naps for D, and an even more irritable than normal me.  

And cold & flu season has only just begun.  Huzzah!

M is scheduled for his tubes on Tuesday.  I am praying for a miracle of lots of uninterrupted sleep as a result, as well as fewer visits to the clinic. 

And my ovaries are alive & kickin' once again, dammit!  In the last 46 months, I'd had only 2 periods due to back-to-back pregnancies and breastfeeding.  

So now in addition to fussy males with colds and a continued lack of sleep, I now have to deal with PMS.  


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some more about mothering--staying at home and seeking more

After I wrote yesterday's post about who I would (me) and would not (anyone else) want raising my kids, as well as after some friends brought up some points about my comments, I decided to write a little more on the issue of me staying at home, and staying at home with kids in general.  I can't guarantee the lucidity of what is to come.  So I will at least group them by topic.....just to keep things straight for myself.

Mothering in Past & Present

Awhile back I read the book "Perfect Madness:  Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety" by Judith Warner.  I am now currently reading "Wet Nursing:  A History from Antiquity to the Present" by Valerie Fildes.  And it is interesting what these two books tell me about mothering in the past and present.

I tend to romanticize the past....back in the day when people lived as hunter/gatherers, all the women were together and helped each other watch the kids and cook the food while the men hunted monkeys.  Or in pioneer days, when children stayed innocent much longer than they do now.  When all women breastfed and took care of their babies....blah, blah, blah.

The past in my mind often equals "natural" which often equals "the right way of doing something."  Maybe I think this way because in the grand scheme of things, modern life as we know it is like a dot compared to the thousands of years humans lived as hunter/gatherers or since the beginning human adoption of agricultural practices.

But reading Fildes' book on wet nursing has been a surprise because many women throughout times past did not nurse their own children.  Upper classes and royalty used wet nurses so that women could become pregnant again quickly in an attempt to ensure that some of the infants survived to adulthood.  Poorer women nursed their own children as well as the children of others (the upper classes) to have bread to eat.  If wet nurses could not be located for foundlings, they were sometimes suckled by goats or given goat/cow milk or paps (a mixture of grains and water).  Infant mortality was much, much higher than it is today.

In times past, life was about survival.  Meeting the most basic needs--food, water, shelter, clothing.  So my romantic notions of moms nursing their own babies, caring for home and hearth, are tinted (or tainted) by the reality of the past.

Modern life makes most moms bananas, and I think this is because we aren't worried about survival.  If you have a refrigerator, a Kroger down the block, vaccines at your pediatrician's office, etc, you worry about other things beyond the basics.  You worry about making your children optimal human beings---smart, emotionally intelligent, well-adapted, successful, happy.  You worry about undoing all the slights/wrongs/failings from your childhood with your own child.

Maybe this is why scrapbooking and blogging about one's family is such a big honking hobby for a lot of moms.  Because we can edit out the unfun, unhappy, unsatisfying parts and just show the great trips and neat school activities and silhouette pictures of our wonderful families.

Warner's premise is that the social science (and social experience) on motherhood has dovetailed with politics and social anxieties throughout the decades.  As the US moved into the 2000s and the age of hyper productivity, so too did moms....."the state of being 'almost always on-duty'," (p. 116).  Attachment parenting is an example of this.

And modern life gives us the luxury of having books like Warner's that discuss how motherhood is impacted by society at large.  I can think about what society means for my mothering and my view on mothering because I'm not hell bent on making sure I have gruel for my family to eat once a day.

Mothering Choices

My mom doesn't have a college degree and hadn't traveled or done any of the things I had done by the time I had my kids.  So what does that say about her mothering?

She was a good SAHM....because she wanted to stay at home with her kids.  And I think overall I am a good stay at home mom because I want to be at home with my kids.  And there are some moms who don't want to be home all the time with their kids.

I suspect many working moms, and many SAHM moms for that matter, would like a better balance.  They'd like to be able to work a little outside the home....maybe 15-25 hours a week and be paid and make them feel like they are still using their brains and skills.....but still be able to have ample time with their kids for zoo trips and picnics in the backyard.

But the reality is that it simply isn't worth one's time or energy to pay for quality childcare for multiple kids given what little money most moms can make.  And/or most businesses are not interested in offering such situations to workers because it means more HR hassle.

Since this better balance is nearly impossible to find, it means sacrifice of some kind.

If you stay at home, you may sacrifice having extra money, being able to do vacations every year, being able to buy your kids close at Justice for Girls.  You will definitely sacrifice some self-esteem, some mental capacity.  (I know of no 37-year-old woman who would, on her own without anyone else around, play Barbies.  Some things are just not fun for grownups).

If you work, you sacrifice time with your kids and the leisure of a slower pace to life.  You spend more money across the board since you don't have the time to shop consignment sales or cook dinner every night or shop multiple stores to get the best deals.  You meet yourself coming and going because you are trying to maintain a home and family (laundry, mopping, etc) plus do all the fun "family" activities and spend time in the presence of your children.  

A FB friend brought up the point about quality time versus quantity time, which I think about a lot.  I think delineating time in this way is a ruse, regardless of which side you prefer to be on.

Time is time.  We call it quality time or quantity time to make ourselves feel better about whatever choice we have made.  What we as moms think of as "quality" may not actually be what our kids think is "quality," just as their version of a good movie might be "Karate Dog," while we as moms would definitely have a different view.  And I know I sometimes use the fact that I am "with my children 24/7" as an excuse to spend probably more time than I should "checking out" via Facebook or a magazine or just zoning.  Being there but not really being present in the moment.

And the point of this is......?

There is no point.   I'm just rambling.
But at some point my kids, and particularly my daughter, might want to know why I stayed home with them.  And what I thought about it.  And I don't want them to have this glorified idea of "mom" that I have/had of my own mother.  That she was perfect.  That I am perfect.

I want my daughter, who may one day become a mother, to recognize that there is always a sacrifice to mothering, to being a woman.   Just as I have my opinion as to what I think is most important as a mother, she will have to decide for herself what kind of mom she wants to be.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A reminder to myself ---Why I am doing this

My mom was a SAHM, and I knew I wanted to be a SAHM if I ever had kids.  Because I really believe having a parent as constant, consistent caregiver during the first 3-5 years is best....for the child.  

However, I totally, totally get why many women want to work outside the home.  Because being a SAHM is draining, boring, and psychologically exhausting.  (Sometimes it is tremendously rewarding, but often a SAHM doesn't reap the benefits of what she sows until many, many years after the tantrums and discipline and care.)  

I say this after still being submerged in a sick-fest that began last Thursday with G and continued today with N staying home from school and M being put on yet another antibiotic for ear infection #7.  

I say this after having N hand me a note Friday afternoon that said, "Mommy, you yell too much."  (Nevermind that it was because all 3 of them were making numerous and loud "I want" demands as I was trying to fix their dinner, unload the dishwasher and get them snacks.)

I say this after feeling guilt because I would rather dork around on the computer than sit on the floor with my kids and dress Barbies or read another Caillou book or be snotted on when the baby wipes his nose on my pants.....again.  

I stay at home because I am a control freak.  I would resent someone telling me that my baby can't eat baby food anymore because the center only feeds table scraps once the kid reaches a certain age.  I would resent someone telling me my child needs to be potty trained to be allowed admittance into a certain "room."  I would resent my child being given a nap when that means my child wants to stay up until 10:00 each night.  

I want to make the decisions about my child's daily life....because all too soon I won't have any control.

I also stay at home because I am a snob.  I have a graduate degree.  I have traveled internationally.  I am fairly well-read.  I know the difference between and can successfully demonstrate the difference between their, there, and they're.  And I just don't want someone with barely a GED taking care of my kids.  

In my heart of hearts, I think I am best for this job....even when I'm occasionally yelling because of the 3 little Napoleons in my kitchen.

But sometimes I don't know whether this job is best for me.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What I need as a SAHM--Ambien for infants & Prozac for preschoolers

The past few days have been rough.  G had a muy terrible night on Wednesday....he was up every 2 hours crying.  So in addition to M's normal wakenings, I got like zero sleep.  Finally in the wee hours of the morning, I saw that G's ear was draining.

Thursday night was only slightly better---G was in bed with me and D, which meant that I had like a fourth of an inch of bed and what sounded like a train snoring next to me with his knees in my back.  And M woke up a zillion times as normal.

By Friday G had a full-blown cold...snotting, honking, sneezing and being downright miserable and miserable to be around.  He is the classic case of "Male With Cold=THIS Close to Death."  And on top of it all, he is 3.  Whoever said "Terrible Twos" was a complete pussy because age 2 is a fucking pic-a-nic compared to the hell that breaks loose at age 3.  The cherry on top of it all is that he is the middle child.  If you look up the word pathetic right now, you will see a picture of my son.

By yesterday afternoon, M was starting to become snotty.  Today he had a gusher coming out his snout.

Once I started Ciprodex drops in G's ear his sleeping improved...but now M is showing the ear pulling evidence of ear infection.  I had told myself that if M got another ear infection before Thanksgiving I was gonna schedule tubes for him.  This makes an ear infection in late December 2009, January 2010, May 2010, June 2010, July 2010, September 2010 and now October 2010---7 infections in 11 months.

My great hope is that placing tubes in M's ears will result in him sleeping 8+ hours per night, every night, as it did with G within 48 hours of the surgery.

Whenever I start to decorate for my daily pity party, I really wonder why I think this is so hard.  And then I realize that, "Hey, this is effin hard!!"  When N was 3 and I had JUST HER, I thought it was hard dealing with a 3-year-old's tantrums.  And now whenever my current 3-year-old is having his every 12 minute tantrum, I've got a baby pawing at my leg.

I have been telling myself lately that I will only have to deal with 1 more 3-year-old after this.
I hope I can make it.
How many more cold & flu seasons is that????

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Anxiety and the inability to sit still

When I complain about not having enough opportunities to relax, I have to remind myself that part of this inability has absolutely nothing to do with the kids.  I was a fidgety person long before my kids were ever part of my life.  I have a terrible, terrible time sitting still.

Friends and acquaintances have asked how I have time to blog or scrapbook or keep journals for the kids.  And the answer is that I don't watch tv.  Just about every weekend I sit down with D to watch one Netflix movie.  That is all the tv viewing I can tolerate.  I would say that the only time I can be found watching tv is when I am sick, but I am a mom of 3 kids, so I don't get to lay down on the couch and watch the boob tube even when I'm honking, sneezing, snorting or puking.

I guess it is the anxiety that makes it hard for me to sit still, although I don't consciously feel anxious a lot of the time.  As soon as I sit, I immediately think of something that needs to be the laundry that has been sitting in the washtub over night or that I need to jot down a supply I need to purchase for N's Girl Scout meeting.  When my mind is blank I find that something pops in there, something that I had been wanting to get done, had thought about repeatedly and been unable to write down because I forgot it before the pen was in hand.  This usually occurs when I am lathering up in the shower.  By the time I get out to jot down what I remembered needing to do, the thought is, alas, gone again.

I would like to be more mindful of stillness, of quiet.  But it honestly requires that I be in a class.  Be forced outside of my home, in a warm, silent room with strangers.

This may be why I sometimes feel a longing to be back in a church.  Not to participate in services or hear a sermon, but just to sit still in the quiet.

It has occurred to me numerous times that some of the best moments I have with my children are when I am alone with one or the other of them in a physician's exam room.  Because when it is just me and N or me and G or me and M in an exam room, there are no distractions.  There is no laundry that I can do.  No Facebook.  No meat defrosting in the refrigerator.  I can just focus on my child.  Talk to him or her.  Really look at his or her face.  Enjoy the moment.  

While I think that being "on top of things" as I am is a good quality to have, there is something great to be said for being able to totally enjoy one's slugness.  I imagine I will be on the quest for my inner slug for many years to come.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda.....Didn't

Everyone has their tipping point, the point where they think, "I have completely had enough.  I can't go on anymore."

If you're a mom, this point comes at least once a day.  Which means that, "I can't go on anymore" is pointless.  You have to go on, and so you do.  But sometimes you need to vent.

I don't want advice.  I don't want suggestions.

All I want is for someone to just say, "That really sucks ass, Carrie."

Today I vented the following to some lady friends:

*M is a crappy sleeper.  Has slept 2 times through the night (8+ hours) in 12 months.  And I think on those 2 particular nights my other two children woke me up, so I didn't even get to enjoy it.  And now he is waking at 6:00 a.m.  The crack of dawn would not be a problem if I hadn't gotten up with him twice between 11 - 5.  I KNOW why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.  I totally get it.

*It occurred to me this morning, after having been woken up at 6:00 a.m. and being in a piss poor mood, that I remember going off with girlfriends for a day of outlet shopping when N was about 2.  We were gone pretty much all day, from 9-6 or so.  And that is the longest amount of time I have been away from my children to do something fun.  I'm sorry but giving birth to another sibling doesn't count as fun. Nor does grocery shopping.

One mom mentioned that she used the book everyone hates......Babywise.
Another said she had to lock herself in her bathroom far away from her kid while he was screaming and screaming.
Another suggested I break out my breast pump.

And I know their intentions are good.
But they are pointless.

Because I cannot tolerate allowing M to scream and scream, and that is what he does.  If he does it at 7:00 p.m., he will do it at 4:00 a.m.  And if I'm going to have to be awake at 4:00 a.m., I'd prefer to nurse him and get him quickly back to sleep rather than lock myself in my bathroom to not have to endure his screaming (and then have to deal with cranky hubby who also had to listen to M scream, and possibly cranky G and N, who might awaken due to M's screaming.)

Because I hate pumping.  Because M will not take a bottle.  Twelve months of age is a little late to be introducing a bottle.  And the boy won't accept cow's milk as a substitute.  I'm continuing to offer it but he rejects it every time.

Because I only know of like 1 other lady who has 3 children the same or similar age and spacing as mine, who also breastfed and didn't have caboodles of opportunities to get away.  Otherwise we're comparing apples and oranges.  All moms have it hard, but unless you're situation is pretty darn close to mine, I'm not sure you totally get where I'm comin' from.  

I just want to vent.  I just want someone to reassure me that one day soon M will sleep better.  And I will sleep better.  And I won't end up pregnant one month after he starts sleeping through the night and then be all fatigued and pukey (which is what happened when G started sleeping better).

And I think that is the toughest part of this and why I am so flipping worn-out.....I didn't get a break between G and M.  I did pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and rolled right into another pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

And anyone who knows me at all knows I have never been a fan of the 2-year or less spacing and never, ever would have done this to myself if I'd had any say in the matter. I said I just gotta roll on.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is that Harry Potter?

Ok, dumb joke.

M's scar won't be that bad......

Can't believe it took almost 7 years for this to happen....

This afternoon, I was trying to get the kids ready to take a walk through the neighborhood.  Now that it is getting dark at 7:30, our days of playing outside after supper are coming to an end.

And, of course, in the 12.75 seconds I was not paying attention, G managed to shove M's head into the corner of the stair (where there is no carpet), cutting a vertical gash over his eye.

M cried really, really hard for a very short time and settled easily, but I took him to urgent care anyway because the cut was vertical, deeper than I felt comfortable with just leaving alone, and right over his eye.  (And why, by the way, does this kinda junk happen at 5:01 pm after the doctor's offices have closed?)

The doctor cleaned him up and closed the laceration with Dermabond.  M will have a scar.  His first of many given to him by his terror of an older brother.

I know this will be the first of many encounters my boys will have with Dermabond, sutures and scars.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two weeks shy of 13

On Nov 1, D and I will celebrate 13 years of wedded togetherness.  I would be insane to call it bliss.  Not that our marriage isn't good.  But bliss simply has never registered with me.

Neither has the idea of soulmates.  Maybe I have read too many interviews with celebrities like Melanie Griffith who have had numerous marriages to their soulmates?   Maybe she and others use the term more loosely than I do?

Yesterday I checked out to read about the separations of the Cox/Arquette and Aquilera/Bratman duos.  I'm not surprised, nor am I upset.  I don't know what I would call that sinking feeling upon hearing that any married couple is splitting up, either temporarily or forever.  Disappointment?

It's like what I feel whenever I hear of a child who has been diagnosed with cancer.  The thought crosses my mind, "That could happen to MY child!"  Not that I necessarily think it will, but it could.  It is within the realm of possibility.  And that is scary, even if it is unlikely.

I am proud that D and I have made it almost 13 years.  Because 13 is really close to 15, which sounds like a lot.  And 15 years is very close to 20, which sounds like a lifetime.  And it is.

So what have I learned about marriage in 15 years?

I've learned that if you think there is something better out there, you're probably right.  At least momentarily.  I've had my share of Daddy crushes, but it doesn't take too long for me to realize that my crushes have some really annoying habits.  Like being Republican.  Or sleeping around on their partners.  Or watching ESPN constantly.  Or being overly gregarious (which would interfere with me be gregarious).

And so it doesn't take very long for me to be extremely thankful that I am married to D.

I've also learned that the sucky times do pass.  Every couple goes through such spells.  Our crappy spells have usually been the 12-18 months following the birth of a baby.  The sleeplessness, the fussiness, the inability to get anything done because you've got a baby howling or needing your constant attention.  But it passes, and life gets easier.  Or it becomes the new norm.  Whatever.

I've also learned that just as a parent picks his/her battles with a child, so too does a spouse with his/her partner.  This doesn't mean a certain behavior is no longer highly irritating or that you stop rolling your eyes at said behavior.  But it means you don't say anything about it because 1. it ain't gonna change, and 2. there are bigger fish to fry.

D has a habit that drives me nuts.  Whenever I purchase something or items are delivered to the house, D enjoys opening it all up.  He is really like a kid (and N takes after him).  But then those items just sit there and would probably sit there forever if I didn't put them somewhere.

Of course, one of my habits that drives D nuts is that I move stuff around constantly in a futile attempt to find the most efficient means of running the household.  So maybe he figures why bother putting it away because wherever he would put it, I would eventually move it?

After nearly 13 years of marriage and 15 years together, being with D feels like home.
And home is a very nice place to be.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What I want to be when I grow up

My friend K recently blogged about finding herself again now that her 3 kids are getting a little bit older, doing things she used to enjoy doing before stay-at-home motherhood became her life 24/7.

I am completely guilty of allowing motherhood to swallow me up.  I think if a woman stays at home it is easy to fall into this, particularly if you also have a tendency to be one of those "I give everything I do 110% or I feel like a failure" types.  Which I do.

My mom and MIL help me out, but I honestly need them so often while I do things like run to the grocery or take kids to doctor appointments that I can't justify calling on them so I can do something fun for myself.  And given that I earn no money, I can't really justify paying someone to watch my kids.  I mean, isn't that what I'm supposed to do as the stay-at-home mom?  (I don't necessarily agree with these lines of thinking but it is the rut I am in and have been in for almost 7 years now.)

I have thought about finding someone to co-op babysitting for, but I am so flippin' tired from taking care of my own kids, I really don't want to watch someone else's.

So I just sometimes daydream about what I will do with myself once my kids are all in school full-time.  Although I even feel a little guilty doing this, as if I am wishing their young childhoods away.....and it is so fleeting as it is, I really don't want it to be gone.

At one point I said something to D about going back to work when M is in 3rd grade or so.....because I'd want a couple years to do things to the house and volunteer at the kids' school(s).  His response was, "Well, who would get the kids off to school in the morning?"  As a middle school teacher, I'd be out of the house at 6:30ish, so I replied that he would have to do it.

I don't know if he gave me a look or actually verbally responded, but the jist of it was......

It is nice not to be pressured to go back to work by the hubs.  It helps that I do the budgeting and pay the bills and am frugal to a fault most of the time.  D knows that I am not blowing money on shoes and dresses and manicures.

But there is something about earning one's own money that I miss.

I imagine I will probably substitute teach, limiting myself to schools in which my kids attend or where I have friends and former colleagues who still teach.  That way I can work 1 day a week at most, if I so choose.  And it will give me a little money.

When I do start to daydream, as I am now, I do get a little freaked out.....because it is hard to imagine my children not as needy as they are now.  Hard to imagine when they are all in elementary and middle school....what they will be like as they grow up.  And even harder to imagine what I will be like as they grow up.

Critical parent genetics

N recently wrote a letter to Santa.   It read as follows:

Dear Santa

For Critsmas
I wold like
some Barbie clotse.
Some clotse for me.
A stuft anamal dog not to big
My own pen
Some kid girl's hi-heel shoes pink please
Hanna Montana sticers
Thank you

Now for a brand-new first grader, I think this letter is pretty darn good.  Heck, I used to teach 6th graders who wrote like this.  Words are misspelled, but you can easily decipher what she means.  (Recently I helped a bit in N's class where I saw a child write the word "nothing" as "nugn.")

I showed my parents and my MIL the letter because I thought it was cute that she wrote this herself, especially since last year I had to practically beg her to write a letter to Santa.  N is very, very into writing now, which I think is just great.

Nana and Mamaw were like, "That's great!" while my dad said directly to N, "You're going to have to practice your spelling."


When he said this, I quickly defended her writing, reminding him that she is a first grader.

But I felt deflated for her, and to be honest, for myself.  Because this reminded me a bit of what my childhood was like.  Forever trying to live up to a parent's probably too-high expectations.  And it is, to some extent at least, why I have spent my life driving myself crazy to be "perfect."

I recognize that I am a critical person like my dad.  I hold very high expectations for myself and everyone else around me.  But I really try to temper it when it comes to my kids.  Because they are kids. Because I don't want them to think they have to be anything other than their true selves, warts and all, to get my love.  

Therapy has taught me the pointlessness of blaming my parents for every little thing.  I understand now that as parents we bring a whole hell of a lot of baggage to the job.  And some parts of the parenting job are easier, more natural for us than others.

I work to find that balance between being my children's biggest cheerleader and encouraging them to do their best and give great effort in what they do.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bonus Baby is 1

Dear M,

A year ago today the doctor said, "It's a boy!" (Fortunately I was so overwhelmed with joy and love for your sweet newborn face, I didn't dwell too long on what having two boys two years apart might mean for my sanity.)

A year ago today I was savoring your newness, still a little stunned by my surprise baby despite nine months of carrying you.

A year ago today I fell in love all over again, for the third time.

A year has gone by so very quickly.

And now you are sidewinder crawling all over the house, intent on catching one of the cats.

Cruising along every piece of furniture you find.
Pushing the chairs across the floor as you walk behind them.

Eating table food with great interest.

Trying to say "cat" (dat) and "nap" (bap) and "snack" (nack).
Waving when we leave.

Giving kisses with your mouth big and wide.
Clapping your hands.

Singing "lalalalala" with your tongue wagging to the side.
Getting increasingly adept at holding your own when your brother tries to ambush you.

And every day I am so, so thankful I was blessed for a third time.

I love you dearest,

Incivility online (and that is putting it mildly)

I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw something about a baby who had died as the result of circumcision.  Being an "intactivist," I began reading which eventually led me to the blog Fierce & Fiesty.  

And it was there that my heart broke.  

Fierce and Fiesty is a mom who's son was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and who died shortly after his circumcision from cardiac arrest.  

And from what I understand, this grieving mother received all sorts of nasty comments on her blog from intactivists who gave her down the road for her decision to circumcise her son.  

And while I am not surprised that people did this, I am appalled.  

Because of the anonymity and distance that the Internet affords, some people think they can and should say whatever the heck they want, in whatever way they want, to whomever they want.  

And they are terribly fucking WRONG.  

If you wouldn't DARE say it to someone's face, then cease typing and think your thoughts to yourself
If you have never met the person to whom you are writing, then make certain your comments are neutral or positive.  Particularly if you don't have the BALLS to put your name to your statements.  There are plenty of people who want to remain anonymous because they can't "man up" or "woman up" to their statements.  They are ever eager to dish it out, but heaven forbid they actually put their name/face with their opinion.  

Some people say, "Well you keep a blog that is public so you are putting it out there for the world to comment on."  This is misguided thinking.  

Having a public blog is like putting a wreath on one's front door.  It is available to view by the public.  Any random person can drive by and see my wreath from the street.  But I don't invite every person who drives by onto my porch.  I don't take a picture of my wreath and send it to people's homes.  I don't run into the street and ask people to come give their 2 cents on my wreath.  

Respectful disagreement?  Fine.
Civil discourse?  Fine.
But lambasting a mother who's 7-week-old infant was born with a tremendous birth defect and just died?
I hope there is a ring of hell just for them.