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Painful words and the scars they leave.

Warning, rant following.

There are social norms. There are things we “don’t” or “shouldn’t” say. Hell, don’t even think them. We have progressed as a society since the obscene act that was slavery, racism (at least I like to think we have), sexism (in general), etc. The point is, terrible acts have been committed, terrible things has been said and we, as a people, have taken great strides to not repeat history.

I have been incredibly taken aback by the inappropriate comments that I have received on social media about travelling for my profession on a long-term assignment. Social media is so unbelievable for keeping up with people that you may otherwise lose track of. HOWEVER, social media also can lead to comparison (something that steals our joy), and it also gives a false sense of a meaningful relationship. People think, because they read my blog or see snippets of my life through Facebook status updates, that they know me. That simply is not accurate.

I attempt to be as transparent as I can be. My life is in no way perfect, it is pretty perfect for me, but by no means, perfect for someone else. I do NOT claim to have a perfectly manicured house or child, to have achieved the balancing act that is managing my professional goals with my very important role as a parent, have a flawless marriage, etc. My point is, while I am transparent, to some extent reading ABOUT me is not knowing me. Some comments I have received have made it so explicitly clear that there are individuals out there who do not know my boundaries, triggers, etc. I have been hurt to hear that others feel I am putting my profession before my family, that I am making the “wrong” choice by accepting the position in New Hampshire, and that my priorities are in some way incorrectly organized.

New Hampshire was an absolutely life-changing, incredible experience. I had an incredibly rewarding professional experience, explored another section of the United States, learned to swim, gained an appreciation for yoga, etc. I also missed Aiden so much it was hard to breath, bawled through Mother’s Day and spent so much time completely alone while I struggled with extreme morning sickness. New Hampshire has made me a stronger person and, I believe, that strength will make me a better mom. I truly believe that our normal, comfortable life can only result in growth if we seek it. New Hampshire DEMANDED growth. In every way, I had to throw aside my comfort zones, to survive an extremely difficult situation.

Let me also say, I could not have experienced this incredible experience without a huge support system, an incredible spouse and a very tolerant child. They are saints, saints who I missed dreadfully.

I do not regret leaving my family, my life and Washington for three months. I truly feel I had the rare opportunity to make a difference somewhere. The comments I have received have hurt me, and just like any painful word, leave a scar that cannot be removed. For those that have been supportive, thank you. My hope, is just like other societal norms that have evolved over time, I hope the stigma of the working, professional-minded mom will continue to evolve. I should say, every hurtful comment I received was from a female. I would have expected that females would bind together and help to lift each other up; however, that has not been my experience. I hope in 20 or 30 more years, we truly will be farther as women. Stay at home mom, working mom, woman that wants to be a mom, woman that does not want children; all deserve love and support, not judgment. I assure you, that is what you will receive from me.

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16 thoughts on “Painful words and the scars they leave.

  1. Hi y’all! I don’t know if any of you have ever met my girl Katie, but she is one awesome, powerful human being who enjoys being a mom, being a wife and being kickass at her job. She took an amazing opportunity for a long term assignment in New Hampshire for a few months, and some cowardly commenters on this blog started hating on her. I read this entry and was immediately infuriated that anyone would say something negative about her rock star status on this earth.
    Here is the thing: a man would never have been treated this way for his professional choices. He would have been cheered. Katie, though she missed her lil’ munchkin and hubby dreadfully (and was suffering morning sickness from baby number 2 who is currently residing in her womb), still managed to successfully complete her work on the East coast because she accomplishes anything she sets her mind to. Katie also has a support system full of people who are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure one another reaches their goals, be it professionally or personally. K-Mama is also fortunate enough to have a pretty chill husband and an exceptionally bright son who totally are cool with her being a real person in the world. Had the roles been reversed, she would have gladly helped her hubby to do the same thing. That’s what we call a healthy and supportive relationship.
    Working women, and especially working mothers, are often vilified by others because people have dumb, assbackwards notions of what the role of a mother is. It is 2014, haters. Get the eff over it.
    Katie, you do you, honey!

    1. I am so lucky to have a friend as supportive as you are Natalie. I feel bad for those that don’t have you as their cheerleader. Thank you so much for your thoughts. I realized how messed up the comments were as I was writing about them, until then, I just internalized them and let them hurt. It is so freeing to have them out there. I love you!!

  2. K-money:
    You had the courage to do what many women today would have passed up simply out of fear for how other cowardly people would have judged them – you did something to better yourself and your career. (And hey haters, last time I checked, doing things for YOURSELF actually help make you a better mother, wife, friend, etc.)

    I so admire you for doing something many people would kill for. You are showing your little man that women are strong and successful and can do anything they put their mind to. Aiden will grow up with more respect and appreciation for hardworking ladies because he has a strong-willed Mama.

    I’m sad to hear that you even have to remotely question whether or not what you did was the right thing because it WAS the right thing FOR YOU!! If everyone took the easiest path through life, where the eff would we be?

    Round of applause girl – not just for choosing to advance your career – but for making those who feel qualified to judge you, burn red with shame after reading your post!!

    Xoxo.

    1. Thanks, Crystal! Sticking up for myself has never been my strong suit and it took a while to realize how ridiculous the comments really were. I just wish women would treat each other as we demand men treat us. How counter-intuitive is that? We perpetuate the stigma, not men. I have to admit, while I did not write the post to make the haters blush with shame, it is definitely a benefit 🙂 Miss you so much, friend!

  3. Wow! Well said! I hate the mommy wars! You, and you alone know what is best for you and your family.
    One of the downfalls of social media is that people automatically think that if you’re “friends”, they automatically know everything there is to know about you and have leverage to speak into your life. People need to learn their boundaries in the world of the internet, and it’s so hard for people to draw that line because the beauty of it is the ability to be completely anonymous, and not consider that the person that they attack is in fact, a living, breathing human with feelings and emotions just like they are. On the flip side of that, you have the right to ignore said attacks from people that choose to criticize like that!
    You have your select close few that know you and that you allow to speak into your life. Their input should really be the only ones that matter. YOU know what’s best for you and your family, and forgive me, but to hell with the people that criticize you without knowing the full depth of the situation and the thoughts that went into making the decision that you did!
    Congrats on making it through your stint back east! I know I’d never be able to do something like that. I can’t even imagine how hard that was for you. I’m so happy for you that you discovered how much you grew through it. Doing things like that, hard add they may be, are always better when you have a family that loves you and supports you through it.
    Haha, forgive me for my rambling! I hope you got what I meant! 🙂

    1. I absolutely get what you mean! I have never heard the term “mommy wars” before! That seriously captures it perfectly. Work from home moms judging working moms, and visa versa. Instead of judging, why not just understand that you cannot possibly understand all that went into a decision? Definitely been a reminder for me to choose grace and kindness first! Thanks for reading, Erika!

  4. K-Money:
    You had the courage to do what many women today would have passed up simply out of fear for how other coward people would have judged them 0 you did something to better yourself and your career! (And hey haters, last time I checked, doing things for YOURSELF actually help make you a better mother, wife, friend, etc.)

    I so admire you for doing something many people would kill for. You are showing your little man that women are strong and successful and can do anything they put their mind to. Aiden will grow up with more respect and appreciation for hardworking ladies because he has a strong-willed Mama.

    I’m sad to hear that you even have to remotely questions whether or not what you did was the right thing because it WAS the right thing!! If everyone took the easiest path through life, where the eff could we be?!

    Round of applause lady – not just for choosing to advance your career – but for making those who feel qualified to judge you, burn red with same after reading your post!!

    xoxo.

  5. First, I would just like to say to those that hurt you and made awful comments to you – screw off! Those were not the exact choice of words I would have liked to use but I will keep it somewhat nice 😉

    Katie – cheers to you Mama! What you did, for you, your family, was absolutely, INCREDIBLY BRAVE! I could not for one second imagine the emotional situations you dealt with and it takes a damn strong woman to do what you did! So again, cheers to you girl! I admire you for stan

    1. Thank you so much, Caty! You are such a great example of someone who is so encouraging of everyone around you. I so admire your parenting and ability to balance parenting with interests, relationship with hubby, etc. We really must actually catch up at somepoint!!

  6. Well said! I have many scars from the “Mommy wars”, I am always saddened by the thought that even knowing how hard it is to be a mom, how incredibly judgmental the world already is about moms in general, that another mom would choose to judge another. I believe that we are all trying to keep this incredible balancing act, being our best for our family, bettering ourselves, and trying to keep up with all the mandates the world has placed on, only to find out while we are doing this balancing act we are being judged by another woman doing the very same balancing act. While I may choose to home school and my neighbor does not, does that make one of us better? I do not love on a farm, is a farming mother better? Aren’t we all trying to do the very best for our family? Last year a dear friend lost her young daughter to suicide, She battles internally (sometimes hourly) over how she failed as a mother. Now those that know her and her family know that this was in NO WAY a failure on her part. It was a tragedy, the product of a sad girl. but this mom on top of her feelings of failings deals daily with other women telling her how to move on. The idea of judging breaks my heart.

    1. How incredibly devestating for your friend. I can’t imagine how she must feel. Definitely deserves all of the love and understanding of everyone around her. I am so sorry to hear that you have been the victim in the “mommy wars” too. I will never understand why the impulse is to judge and not just support. This truly has been a good reminder for me to love first. Thank you so much for reading.

  7. I don’t need to repeat the wonderful words of your obvious support system, but only second and third them! Just remember there are more people in your world that love you than don’t as evidenced in these posts of support.

    As always, you have my love, support and hugs even if from afar 🙂

  8. Katie. I just read this incredible story and comments. I would like to give you kudos for being so willing to stretch not only yourself but your husband and child too! I was a working mom a lot of the time. I know how many voices one has to make to keep it all together. I also want to remind you that Proverbs 31 talks about the working mom. The Hebrew word for wife there is “valiant warrior”. And so you are. Still loving you. Millie

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