So the other day on my blog’s Facebook page I shared an article from ScaryMommy on MLMs and those annoying private messages I get on an all-too-regular basis. I think a lot of ScaryMommy posts are funny, and I know a lot of the posts are done the way they are for the laughs. And well, it works on me.
I had previously shared (a few years ago now) on my personal Facebook page how annoying I find MLMs to be, and I’m sorry, but you will not convince me otherwise. I have been burned by them. As a rule I find them to be expensive, the business models to be predatory, no matter how good the products may be, and friendship is already hard enough that I don’t need selling and recruiting to become an added layer of difficulty. In my experience, many of these MLMs prey on new moms who stay home or desperately want to be able to stay home, and it all just makes me sad.
Anyway, this post isn’t about my dislike of pyramid schemes, even though the link I shared laid it out pretty clearly. What I thought was a funny truthfully blunt article turned into a discussion in the comments about a group being supportive, and how one follower felt attacked by the fact that I shared the article. Yikes! Cue sick feeling in my stomach — that was NOT my intent.
At first I wasn’t going to engage because I didn’t want to get into a fight. I’ve shared things on the importance of vaccinations too, and either lost followers or just not engaged with antivaxxing commenters because it’s another one of those things I’m not going to be convinced on. However, when I read her comments in response to another commenter’s feedback I realized she felt unsupported in a place that claimed to be aiming for encouraging one another.
Oops. Like, BIG WHOOPSIE-DAISY.
She got me. I definitely didn’t intend that when I shared it, nor did I see it that way until she mentioned it, and while I don’t agree 100% with what she said, I do see her point. I wondered how to recover. (For futher clarification: my church’s mothers ministry was called “Mission of Motherhood” in its first year, and we changed it to Mothers Ministry before I started a blog, but I wondered if she mistook my blog’s Facebook page for the church group!) Bigger oops, if that’s the case, because I definitely don’t want to be misrepresenting church in a negative way. “People may hate us because of Jesus, but people should never hate Jesus because of us.”
While I don’t believe in having a separate public life and a private life, and I believe I should always behave as though I am an ambassador for my family, my church, and my God, I’m wondering if it’s still okay, as a personal blog, to use this as a creative outlet to share things I personally find funny/interesting/encouraging, to process thoughts and struggles and life, or if it’s only appropriate to post things related to the mission of motherhood (which potentially looks a little different for everyone).
Let me be clear that I’m SUPER embarrassed. I did apologize to her (though sadly it was too late and she unfollowed me), and I genuinely feel bad, so I took the post down. I definitely don’t want my feisty and aggressive personality traits to deeply hurt anyone, friend or otherwise, but this creative outlet is new to me and I’m trying to navigate my voice, my presence on this here internet, and my abilities as a writer/encourager.
So: what are your thoughts, as a reader? Do you think it is okay to share potentially controversial things (admittedly, I didn’t expect controversy when I shared it, so do be fair this time)? Is it okay to speak freely about other things? Or should it always be related to how to posts encouraging other mothers along the multi-faceted journey of motherhood?