Kids can smell different. They didn't know why I used words they didn't, or why I preferred to read during recess instead of play handball. They couldn't understand why I didn't enjoy group sports, or why I didn't always understand their non-verbal social cues. So it was on. I was teased mercilessly and frequently emotionally toyed with. School became torture.
By middle school I had decided if I was going to be considered different, I was going to be really good at it. And I was. I reveled in everything that set me apart, and began to find others like myself.
In High School I became one of the only openly practicing Pagan students. It was the grunge era, and it fit me just fine. I was emo enough to fit in great with long black tee-shirts and flannels. I wore different like a suit. If I was going to be bullied, it would be on my terms. Somehow, that didn't make it hurt less.
I survived my bullying, and it did get better. But I thought when I was a grown up, the bullying would be over. I was shocked to find that the mentality was alive and well on the internet. Women with the benefit of anonymity and a keyboard could say things they'd never imagine saying to someone's face. Moms turning against moms. I can be like childhood all over again. Just with a much better vocabulary. It turns out, I'm not the only one who's bothered by that.
We're focused as a nation on changing the culture of bullying in our schools. It's time to do it for grown-ups, too.
So I've taken the Mom Pledge:
I am a proud Mommy Blogger. I will conduct myself with integrity in all my blogging activities. I can lead by example.So, who else wants to take the Mom Pledge?
I pledge to treat my fellow moms with respect. I will acknowledge that there is no one, "right" way to be a good Mom. Each woman makes the choices best for her family.
I believe a healthy dialogue on important issues is a good thing. I will welcome differing opinions when offered in a respectful, non-judgmental manner. And will treat those who do so in kind.
I stand up against online bullying. My blog is my space. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful.
I refuse to give those who attack a platform. I will remove their remarks from my blog with no mention or response. I can take control.
I want to see moms work together to build one another up, not tear each other down. Words can be used as weapons. I will not engage in that behavior.
I affirm that we are a community. As a member, I will strive to foster goodwill among moms. Together, we can make a difference.
Read the pledge for yourself, here.