Tuesday, July 31, 2007

If you can't say something nice...

Usually I am delighted to discover that someone has linked to one of my posts, but for the second time a particular blogger has written a very negative attack of me on his blog. Since his comment policy is too blatantly delete anything that makes him look bad, I don't see much point in commenting on his post. But I will respond here to the post titled: "Science Woman committed to the demise of her kid." (No linking, he doesn't deserve the readership.)

The blogger (we'll call him "Bob") takes a selective quote from a post of mine from a few weeks back:
"Finding a home-based daycare (or any care, for that matter) on two weeks notice is *tough*. I called ~10 places this morning and found four *big* centers with openings. We’re touring them this week. We might just have to settle on something for now and continue to look for a smaller, better place as we can."
Bob claims that if he were a parent he'd be ashamed to admit such information. He goes on to say that obviously I just wanted a "toy kid so that she can play mother", that I am willing to treat my "kid like an animal", and that if he were my husband, he'd be a stay-at-home dad. Bob admits that he is neither married or a parent.

Well, Bob, you admit you don't know what you are talking about, so why do it?

But since you did, here's my reply:
  • If I wanted to "play" mother, I wouldn't have tried for 17 months to conceive, given birth without drugs, worked part time for the past six months, had no more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep for the last six+ months, or agonized quite so much about not being able to find the perfect childcare. (All of these stories can be found in my blog archives.) I love my daughter more than words can describe, more than I ever thought possible.
  • You assume that sending daycares treat kids like animals. Maybe the one your mom sent you to did, but the good daycares try really hard to give kids individual attention and love. They have well-trained staff, lots of toys, outdoor playtime, etc. It's hardly like throwing your child in a playpen for 8 hours a day.
  • You also implicitly assume that staying home with a child is the best care a kid can receive. And I think that I give my daughter pretty darn good care. But what about the 60% of 3 month olds who regularly watch TV or videos, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of no TV until age 2? Those kids aren't watching TV in a daycare (it's usually against regulations); they're watching it at home.
  • You seem to fault me for settling on the best daycare I can find now, and continuing to look for a better place. What am I supposed to do? Ask the university to nicely push back the academic calendar because I haven't found a competent, experienced, loving nanny willing to work for less than a living wage?
  • You fault my husband for not staying home, because he's not "subservient enough" or we're not willing to "do without" [luxuries]. Both my husband and I are required to work by economic dictates; neither of us makes enough to support the whole family. We're not taking luxury cruises or buying new Mercedes; we're just talking about paying the mortgage and buying groceries.
  • When you fault my husband for not being subservient enough to be a stay-at-home dad, what you are really saying is that I, as the woman, should be subservient to my husband's career and should stay home with the kids. Barefoot and pregnant, I presume?
  • I can turn the other cheek, Bob, when you pronounce that I haven't got a shot at tenure because I'm a mother and I don't want to work more than 60 hours per week. But I can't stand that you would dare to assert that my husband and I don't have our daughter's best interests at heart when we make the agonizing decision over who to trust her with for 6-7 hours a day.

26 comments:

Sarabeth said...

Ah, judgmental people. I've been insulted before because I was a stay at home mom. Apparently, that makes me stupid.

twirled said...

ahhh that just made my blood boil...

Veo Claramente said...

Horrendous. Its hard to ignore him, but you do not have to defend yourself to an uninformed bigot. He is trying to hit where it hurts the most, trying to imply that you cannot take care of your child. Ignore him, live your life and please keep blogging. Good luck with the new job.

Heather said...

oh my gosh. I'm a casual reader of your blog (a grad student as well) and I am appalled. You've never posted anything on your blog that would even hint that you were that kind of mother. Shame on him.

ceresina said...

I don't even understand that comment he made. Why would he be ashamed? What's shaming about acknowledging reality, and bemoaning the necessity of a stop-gap measure?
I don't mean you have to explain him; I mean he's ridiculous.
And what Veo Claramente & Heather said: you're doing a great job.

Rebecca said...

Phooey, what an obnoxious troll! I'm sorry that you were targeted. I don't think that any reasonable person actually thinks you're not doing your very best.

Amelie said...

I'm sorry, this is so stupid and you really don't need it right now. You're trying to make the best out of a situation with some difficult constraints. And really, "playing mom", that is ridiculous, isn't it?

Annie said...

I probably should have been outraged, but instead I laughed. What a f*ckwit, as a buddy of mine says. He spent his (obviously incredibly valuable, important dreadfully serious) time on THAT? He used an entire blog post on HIS page to go after YOU? If I were Bob-level ridiculous, this is where I'd put my thumb and index finger to my forehead and shout, "LOOOO-SERRRRR!" Laugh, dear girl, and don't waste a speck of energy on being mad at one such as he. (Oh, PS, watch your mail...)

working said...

Ugh, what a jerk. Oh well, Bob clearly has issues.

BerryBird said...

Yikes. I have been fortunate in my forays into this blogging world not to run into any trolls. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this crap.

Saoirse said...

Ugh, how horrible. I'm sorry you had to read such nonsense.

Jenn said...

What a jerk! Sciencewoman, don't let him get to you. It's just not worth your time!

Writer Chica said...

Bob's got problems. But they're his problems, not yours.

You're a wonderful mother, scientist, spouse, friend. I know.

Chuck said...

Dear Sciencewoman,
I just posted the following comment on "Bob's" website. Let him use his decision to moderate toshow the world whether or not he has a sense of humor...

Dear Bob,
I’m afraid your article has misidentified the science blogger who practices bad parenting. The blogger who lets work and lifestyle get in the way of parenting is not Sciencewoman. It is me. After all, I perform scientific experiments on my newborn baby, and then post the results on the internet for the entire world to see (refereed papers have ethical guidelines).

I could give more examples, but I have to go. My darling child has been crying so long that the batteries in my noise-cancelling headphones have run down. I suspect she wants me to put another porn flick in her VCR, get her another packet of ciggies, or feed her a bottle of insecticide-laced, genetically modified cow’s milk formula made up with a mixture of gin and typhoid-infested sewage.

Ellinoora said...

So... how badly did they reject him for the position you are now holding?

Am I a woman scientist? said...

Just back from Bob's... How is it fair that your blog gets an entire post over there, and mine isn't even mentioned? I mean, hell, I'm just as much a professional female scientist as you and I'm going to be a single mother *by choice*! And the kid's going to be born *gasp* in Europe!! Doesn't that qualify me for at least an anti-Christ label or something? Is there no justice in this damn blogosphere???

Brian said...

There's a word for "Bob" that I haven't used in a number of years that perfectly describes him:

dickhead

Zuska said...

Bob's a piece of chickenshit. I wouldn't even waste a shoe-puking on him. Though I probably would stop to back my truck up over him, if I were so fortunate as to inadvertently run over him.

Sorry, let my fantasizing run away with me there...

Super Babe said...

Wow. What a jerk. Sadly, people are like that. And he is probably just a macho guy who cannot understand why a woman would get out of the house in the first place.

I think it is best to not even bother explaining yourself -- I doubt he has a brain that could process things and think through and be rational about other people's opinions.

I think you do an awesome job to keep up with being a professional and a mother and I can only hope I can be like that when my time comes :)

Tucowed said...

SW, you're much too kind: Bob is a m0r0n and a c0ward who won't defend his own ignorant statements (because he can't). I know his type: they're very brave behind a one-sided curtain of anonymity, but they fold like paper in person. It's not hard to imagine why he's not married and has no kids.

Julie said...

No offense, but I just casually read your blog, and I completely see Bob's point. You admitted yourself that some days there is no quality time spent with the kid--is that quality child raising? Don't think so.

Paul said...

My mother was a widow who worked full time all the years she was raising three children. Despite that she wasn't home during the day micromanaging our lives, all three of us seem to have turned out all right.

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