Friday, June 27, 2014

Mess With the Bull and You're Going to Get the Horns

Here's the deal folks. I consider myself to be a feisty little seniorita. I don't know if it is the Irish blood pumping through my veins, or if it is because I was raised to speak my mind. (Maybe a little of column A, a little of column B) But that's the way that it is.
 
I've learned over the years that there are sometimes when I need to bite my tongue. That it isn't worth it to fight every single battle that comes at me. That some people aren't worth the effort. It's a learning process. And I do try and reevaluate often to make sure that I'm going down the right path.
 
As a known hot head, who used to have a passion for spouting off my big mouth, I've learned long ago that I need to think before I speak. I run off of adrenaline and my first reaction is to respond. Immediately. (Actually, my first reaction is to tell the person to go fuck themselves, which isn't really constructive.) But, I can't. I know I will say something that I regret. So, I often take a beat and consult someone (usually my mom or N, sometimes both) to see if my level of crazy is justified.
 
I explain the situation as unbiased as possible, trying to state the plain facts and then to describe how I feel. I then give them free range to tell me I'm a blithering idiot or a whacked out psycho. I may not always like what they say, but I NEVER respond until we have come to an agreement on what should be done about it. Sometimes I need an outside party to help me remain grounded.
 
Usually, they fully agree with what I feel and we come up with a way to attack the problem together. I usually run things by them before I send them, keeping them informed during conversations. If I'm sending an email or a text, I send it to them first for approval. We edit, delete, substitute, until it is as perfect as can be. I truly, TRULY try to handle everything as rational as possible. I have no time in my life to start wars over ridiculous bullshit, but I also have no time to let people walk all over me. Chances are if I sit on it for awhile and it is still bothering me, then I HAVE to say something. I have to. If I can't brush it off, I refuse to sit and stew over it.
 
Every so often though, you get a situation or a person who just rubs you the wrong way. And continues to do so. Repeatedly. For years.
 
I'm currently in a battle over posting pictures of Baby J on the internet. It's no secret that I took this page private shortly after he was born and before I started posting more about him. Chances are, if you are reading this right now, it is because I trust you with my personal information and pictures of my family. (And there's a small enough group that I could hunt you down with the quickness if you try and steal my shit) The only post about him that wasn't private, was the one announcing his birth. And seeing as how he looks nothing like that now, I'm cool with that. From the beginning, I was nervous about posting pictures. A fellow blogger experienced some heinous human being stealing her pictures and creating fake Facebook pages and such, not once but twice. I can't even imagine the violation that she feels. I know that I never want to feel that way.
 
From the beginning, I requested that the amount of pictures posted of him be limited. I said one or two every so often, but please ask my permission first, and tag me in them. This way I have a heads up about the whole thing. Unfortunately, some people couldn't respect that and time after time I was scrolling through my newsfeed and would see a random picture of my son that was taken and posted without my knowledge. Or I would get a text from someone telling me they liked the picture. Each time it was up for a considerable amount of time before I was aware of it and countless strangers had seen it, liked it, and/or commented on it.
 
That bothered me. There was just something about scrolling through your newsfeed and seeing pictures of your infant son taken without your permission or knowledge and posted for god knows who to see. It made me extremely uncomfortable. Especially since I posted maybe one or two pictures, max, of him on Facebook, but they were all over the place.
 
Instagram, and I may be naive for thinking this, seems a little less scary. I remember when I was younger, you would add everyone you JUST met on Facebook. And then you would have hundreds of people, most of them complete strangers, who could see all sorts of personal information. I spent a lot of time going through my friends list when I was pregnant, but I have no clue who is on someone else's list. It could be anyone. On Instagram, I have a selected group of people that I have allowed on there. I post pictures of Baby J almost daily, but I know and trust every single person that follows me on there.
 
Once again... I have no idea who is following someone else.
 
I tried, numerous times to compromise and nothing I had requested was being respected. So, unfortunately, I had to tell everyone that they weren't allowed to post any pictures of him on the internet. Everyone was pretty upset about it, but most of them respected it. Except, one person. I have been having this issue repeatedly with her. She thinks that she has a right to post whatever she wants of him.
 
I tried to explain that as his mother, the final say goes to me. I get to pick and choose every single thing that has to do with him. Whether people like it or not. That's what I get for growing him inside my body for 9 (million) months and giving birth to him. Alex, also has rights to Baby J as he makes up half of his DNA. Everyone else, while family or close, does not. And this is a precedent that I am going to make sure is quite clear.
 
While I love a good battle, I usually end up dropping shit pretty quickly if it seems to be spinning out of control. I try to get my point across, but sometimes people don't understand it and I can't make them and it isn't worth continuing on. I, however, refuse to submit to this one. I am well aware that this has gone WAY past the posting of a silly picture. I don't fucking care about the pictures. I wouldn't have cared about the pictures. All I wanted was for my rights as a parent, as a Mother, to be respected. I will NOT spend the next 18 years having this battle. So I'm fighting it now. Tooth and Nail.
 
I have dug my heels in so deep into the ground that there's NO way that I'm moving.
 
And it's sad really, that things have to be like this. I wish my mother could post the occasional picture to show off her grandson to her family and friends. I wish my brother could show off his nephew because it is so incredibly cute how much they love each other and who knew he was into babies at all. I wish I could post the occasional picture on Facebook for the family that isn't on Instagram. But, unfortunately, this apparently has to be an all or nothing sort of thing. And even more unfortunately, it's nothing.
 
I know some of this may seem petty. I know people might not understand it. And that's fine. I don't need you to get my crazy. I just need my main point to be clear. No one, and I mean NO ONE other than Alex or I has the right to decide something for Baby J without our permission. And YES, you need permission. No one, and I mean NO ONE other than Alex or I has the right to go against something that we have discussed and decided for our son. I don't care what it is.
 
If we decide that he is Vegan, don't give him meat. If we decide to raise my child without ever giving him sugar, that's our prerogative. If we decide that we're going to shave his head, dye his eyebrows blue, and start calling him Yamalamadingdong, unfortunately for you (and him...) you have to go along with it.
 
You don't have to agree with us, but you have to respect it.
 
And that's what this all comes down to. Respect.
 
Who knows how long or far this battle will go. It's already gone on too long and I am way ready to move past it (like I thought we had, thirty thousand talks ago...) but I can't. There's no compromise with this anymore and I won't settle until this precedent is set.
 
Call me crazy, but I think it is up for the parents to decide what is best for the child. Not everyone else.
 
So that's where we are in life. Mess with me and chances are I will be too exhausted to fight you or even keep it up for long. I'd much rather just stop talking to you than to try and change your ways to fit mine. Sometimes people just don't agree. And that's fine. That's your right to have your opinion and it is my right to disagree with it. I get that.
 
However, if you mess with my kid? Then it's on.
 
 

4 comments:

  1. I soooo totally get this. I would be flipping the hell out too if I were you. I don't understand where people get the balls to think they have the right to do something like that. It's *your* child. If you don't want photos of him on social media, then that is 100% you and Alex's choice. If people can't respect that, they need to GTFO. I think having a baby melts down your friend pool even more because you get to see in even closer light what people are really like. Some people might think it's silly but they should be able to respect your wishes and move on. Why would it be so important for some rando to post photos of your kid? It makes no sense.

    This particularly pisses me off when I see a friend from high school who nanny's. She takes TONS of pictures on her own public IG of the kids she watches and I just want to be like, do the parents even know you do this? I would be PISSED.

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  2. I'm so glad you posted about this. I worry at times if family will listen to the "rules" we put in place especially when it comes to privacy and feeding. I don't think people have bad intentions but no matter what the parents make the rules and you need to follow them. It would drive me crazy if I were in your situation. I say good for you

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  3. Completely agree. Whatever the parents say is what goes for the child. I think it's messed up that someone close enough to you that visits you and your baby has the balls to disrespect your wishes on posting pictures of John.
    When my best friend had her son I went over to visit and took about a million pictures of the little guy. When I got home I was flipping through them and thought I can't post these anywhere. He's not my baby to decide if his picture is on social media. I wanted to post them so badly because she is my very best friend and I was so proud of her for becoming a momma and her son is absolutely adorable, but I have ZERO right to post a picture of him unless asking first.

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  4. Hey! When you switched your site over it quit showing up in my reader.. and I've been so busy with work and everything else that I didn't check your site specifically and thought that you hadn't been updating. Needless to say it's like Christmas in July.. lots to catch up on :-).

    #1- Your son is freaking adorable!
    #2- I can't tell you how much kudos I wanna give you for this! He is your son and you should damn well have the final decision on anything regarding him. It's just amazing to me that you have asked someone repeatedly to stop posting and they continue.. I am a lot like you (quick to react) and I have to say good for you for running your comments by Alex and your mom- that is definitely constraint that I couldn't promise to sow if I was in your situation. People can be so irritating! Uhg!

    Jen
    Jen.amileamemory@gmail.com

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