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Grow Up -- Or At Least Log Off!

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One mom is sick and tired of the haters and complainers on Facebook.

woman using computer

Naila Culpepper: It seems to be the norm now. Unhappy with your court-ordered judgment? Twitter your pain. Celebrity? Perfect! Or even better, dedicate your status on Facebook so all eight hundred of your friends and fans know the one thing you know for sure:

Your ex-husband/boyfriend/baby daddy is a deadbeat dad.

After all, he deserves it, right? He doesn't love your child, doesn't pay what the court ORDERED him to, never sees your child, and has replaced you. Why shouldn't you let cyberspace know there is yet another deadbeat walking?

Because you are the mom, and you know better. Because what's best for your child is more important than you getting even.

At one point in time, you at least liked him. Granted, it may have been before prohibition, but you DID get pregnant -- with HIM. So somewhere between conception and present day, things have run aground. You yell instead of purr, your calls that used to get answered on the first ring now go straight to voicemail. You maintained your composure for the first few go-rounds, and figure a day-long Twitter rant will show him.

Wrong.

I get it. I have children, and I have had days when the thoughts that invade my head would make a crazy woman look sane. Only difference between us is ...

I keep them in my head. Or I scream it out in the shower/car/empty house. Okay, sometimes I tell my mother and my best friend.

But the first moment I held my children in my arms, I made a promise to them that I would never do anything to intentionally harm them.

That includes speaking badly of their fathers, no matter what. Hear that? NO MATTER WHAT! When I hear women talk badly of their babies' fathers, with so much emotion and venom, I always leave imprinted more by the behavior of the mom than the actions of the dad. If the father is all the awful that you are professing him to be, I'll take an educated guess that he won't be moved by your public outrage to do better.

Which means it's really all about you. And isn't it supposed to be about your child?


next: Worms in My Stocking?
182 comments so far | Post a comment now
Rachel December 22, 2009, 5:32 AM

Great post. As the adult child of divorced parents, I can tell you first hand that this strategy backfires. As the oldest, I was the sounding board, pseudo-therapist, etc., for each of my parents when they divorced. At 16, it was inappropriate for either of them to be revealing intimate details of their relationship - like Mom having multiple affairs, or Dad going to strip clubs and not coming home until 4 in the morning. Fortunately, I was the only child they told this to, and I will take these inappropriate “venting” sessions to my grave. It permanently altered my view of my parents, and I still have a bit of resentment due to it. Grow up indeed. Take the high road! Regardless of what they did, at the end of the day, that child is just as much the other parent as you - meaning genetically, etc. When you bash the other parent, in many ways, you erode the self-image of your child. Even if you don’t have a connection to that person any longer, your child always will.

Annie @ PhD in Parenting December 22, 2009, 8:17 AM

I agree 100%. In addition to not bitching about my husband, I also don’t speak badly about my mother, sister, brother, sister-in-law, etc. online. I don’t say anything about anyone online (except maybe a random stranger) that I wouldn’t say to that person’s face in public in the presence of their loved ones.

Sherra December 22, 2009, 8:26 AM

i agree. when i heard melrose place was coming back on TV i put it on my status. there was a comment left to me about going out to have a life with melrose place moments instead of sitting on my *ss watching them. i responded that i have plenty of melrose place moments in my life, but i refuse to broadcast them to 300 of my closest aquaintences. ive defriended or hidden a few womens status updates in my feed bc it was like reading a badly written soap opera, most of which pertained to deadbeat dads and bad relationships. there were even a few people whos relationship status would rivel erica canes on AMC, every other week there was a different name on their relationship status’s, then 2 weeks of whining about how men are all jerks when they broke up. some of these women have children, i cant imagine the damage that these womens actions are doing to them.

Pamala December 22, 2009, 9:40 AM

I’ve complained about how I’m not feeling good in regards to my situation but I’ve yet to post anything that calls my husband a name or bad mouths him. I don’t know, I don’t see it as productive. We’re currently separated, divorce is on hold, but I still do things with him and our child, he comes over for holiday dinners and so forth. I just feel especially for my child that us being civil is very important.

tennmom December 22, 2009, 1:46 PM

As far as “dead-beat” dads are concerned… One of the local businesses in our town employs over 300, a bit over half of which are divorced men.
The employer, although deducting child support from the employee(s) checks, has NOT been giving the money to the court system. At least 3 men have been jailed for contempt b/c of not paying child support. They did have it taken from their checks, the employer just wasn’t paying it in. I don’t think he has done a minute of jail time.
This employer is also under investigation because the federal/state withholding he has taken from his employees’ paychecks isn’t making it where it needs to go either.
So,parents are in trouble for not paying child support they actually had deducted from their checks and I hate to see what kind of trouble they will have with the IRS next year. The employer will probably be frolicking off in whatever country he has stashed his money in.

Jen January 24, 2010, 9:15 PM

I guess I’m in the minority because I twitter whatever I am feeling. I will say this, no one I follow or follows me is someone I know in real life. It really is great outlet to sound off.

Rose February 22, 2010, 6:30 PM

Some women may not have anywhere else to vent and now that they have social networking, they have found a place where they can finally let off some steam. Not everyone has the luxury of a shower far away from the sleeping kids’ bedrooms or a car ride by themselves to scream out their pain. Not everyone has a friend or family member to can call when they are drowning in stress and frustration. Not everyone can cough up the cash to see a therapist when they feel like they’ve hit rock bottom.

Just because someone has some choice words for someone doesn’t mean they hate them, it just means they need to say SOMETHING to someone. Telling them to shut up is unfair. What if Facebook is all they have?

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