Monday, June 17, 2013

Please don't belittle my feelings.

Last week, I hit a major "mommy wall". I took some time to vent about my feelings of being mentally exhausted on my blog. For me, writing is a stress-reliever, and I find therapy connecting with others after I post something people can relate to. I've always been open to any and all comments, and welcome the positive and the negative. I willingly put my life out there, and judgement is something I've subjected myself to. We're all entitled to our opinions, and I want people to feel free to make comments on my blog postings. HOWEVER, I REALLY don't appreciate when people anonymously belittle another person's feelings. 

In this case, I'm talking about myself... and my feelings.

The following chain of comments occurred after Saturday's blog post...

- Original blog post I wrote on Saturday: "Hitting a Mommy Wall"

- Two comments made by anonymous viewers (I have literally copied and pasted these comments below):

"Why don't you just feel fortunate for all that you are given, there are so many parents that are out there with kids that have life threating diseases and they are praying and waiting for a cure that will help there kids be back to normal. I think you need to take a step back and realize just how you sound? I would be embarrassed if I was your husband and reading this."

"I think you need to look outside of your world and look at other parents who have children that have passed away way too early in life, and they are wishing and suffering everyday that they could give their kid a hug and kiss everyday and now they can't. After reading your blog post about how you are tired and can't take this "lifestyle" anymore I think you need to realize how you sound and you need to look outside the bubble you live in and think about others who are suffering whether it's through death, divorce, sickness etc. you need to appreciate that your husband works his but off to give you this "gifted" lifestyle that you constantly brag about on all of your posts that you always update everyone with."

I was shocked to read these comments, belittling my emotions, and I wrote this in response to these two people who have decided to remain anonymous:

"First of all, I really appreciate when people take the time to read my blog posts, and I welcome all types of feedback, questions, etc. It's why I put my life out there for all to see. However, if you're going to take the time to make comments directed at how "ungrateful" you feel I am, the least you could do is leave your name, and not leave anonymous notes. For those who know me, they know that I am VERY grateful for all that I have. As I mention publicly in almost all of my blog posts (including this one), I am so thankful for my husband and this experience that he's given us. We are VERY blessed to be where we are today. That in no way means that I don't have problems, feelings, and emotions just like everyone else. As I wrote in this blog post, I have an amazing husband who helps me out in every way possible. But, like many moms, even with help from our husbands, we can still feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of being a housewife. Please DO NOT undermine any woman's role as a housewife! I take much offense to that. No matter what kind of a lifestyle people live, no person should ever feel ashamed to admit that they are feeling overwhelmed. I am so very lucky to be living where I am living, and to have what we have, but I feel very offended that you (the first two people to make comments on this post) feel the need to undermine my feelings. No, I have not experienced the loss of a child (God forbid). No, I do not have a child with a life-threatening disease (God forbid). And yes, there are many mothers out there who struggle every day to put food on the table, find jobs, etc., etc. Just as these people have their struggles, I have mine. We ALL need to count our blessings, as we ALL have so much to be thankful for, no matter how difficult we may think we have it. Just because I wasn't talking about death or illness, doesn't mean I don't have feelings. And when I wrote this blog post, I was feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and sad. Although I am very lucky to be able to stay home to raise our daughter here in Singapore, I am still away from my entire family, I am responsible for my family's well-being, and I have a LOT of responsibilities being a mother and housewife. As ANY mother will tell you, raising children is HARD WORK, and sometimes we hit a "wall". Just because this "wall" isn't death or illness, doesn't mean it's not an obstacle to overcome. Thank you Heather (Bellina's Mommy) for reading the true meaning of this blog post, and thank you for saying these words without hiding behind your computer. My heart goes out to any person dealing with struggle, no matter how "petty" others may think that struggle is. I hope no one ever feels ashamed talking about their person struggles, for fear that "anonymous people" might undermine their pain. YOU ("anonymous people") should feel ashamed for undermining the personal struggles mothers face, including THIS mother... because every woman deserving the title of "Mom" deserves some time for herself. I for one, will never be ashamed to admit it. - Melissa Saigh "Mama Saigh"

After reading my blog post himself, and seeing the comments made, my wonderful husband shocked me (he had me in tears) by writing this:

I am far from embarrassed when it comes to my wife telling me or others how she feels. If you compare our problems to those of a family dealing with health issues, financial issues, or abuse issues, our problems do not seem that severe. We understand how lucky we are and we are grateful for that. However, to discount her feelings because you feel they don’t measure up to a certain physical or emotional extreme (i.e., cancer) is very unfair and thoughtless. Missi works extremely hard as a stay at home mother and receives very limited help on a daily basis. The emotional stress created by being responsible for another human all day long is a stress I personally do not have the mental capacity for (and I would say most do not have the capacity for). In addition to raising our daughter, she also devotes significant time and effort to her blog. She is extremely dedicated to the blogs success. She is extremely passionate about letting other mothers or fathers know it’s ok to be stressed and it is ok to step away if they are upset or over-whelmed by the stresses of raising a child or running a home.

Every day you hear a new story about a school shooting or a parent/guardian abusing a child severely enough to cause death. The reasoning these individuals tend to give as to what caused their harsh actions is that they were too over-whelmed with the stresses of their situation and they didn’t have anyone to vent to. So now, when someone (Missi) does express that she has hit a wall and needs some additional support, you attack her with a surge of comments bringing to question her character. You should be shaking a finger at yourself for your lack of empathy as a fellow parent or lack of sympathy as a fellow person. 

I am proud of Missi for having the courage to let people know how she is feeling and I would only encourage this openness in the future. -AJ

I want to thank my friends, blog followers, and family for taking the time out to support me... especially my husband. I truly appreciate each and every comment I receive on my blog. I think this should serve as a reminder that we ALL deserve to be able to express our feelings and emotions, without the fear of others belittling them. Instead of putting people down for having the courage to openly talk about their feelings, maybe we should applaud them for bringing these emotions out into the open, in hopes of helping others. 


Mama Saigh


  1. I support everything you are saying, Missi! It can really be so difficult to be a stay at home mom. It does take a village and I can't imagine how strong you must be to be so far from family and friends and to be doing it alone when AJ is at work. I often am belittled (usually unintentionally) by family and friends for my role as a SAHM also, and it can be so hard to take. If only they could spend a few days in our shoes! Enjoy your time home in MN!
    Abbie Weerts

  2. Thank you every so much for sharing your experiences with all of us in the blogospere! I remember very acutely how it felt to be a stay at home mom, with very limited social support but an extremely loving and supportive husband who worked very hard to support our daughter and me. And I felt TERRIBLE for feeling hopeless and alone; I knew absolutely how good I had it compared to so many others and which made me feel even worse that I felt so sad and lonely. And yet these were also such good years and my daughter and I have such a strong and loving (I hope!) bond forged in that time.

    I admire your grace and courage to write honestly about loving your family ever so much and still feeling like you do. I understand completely. Know that we in Minnesota love hearing about your adventures and hope to see your honest writing continue. Cheers!
    Carolyn O'Grady

  3. Hey Melissa,

    I just wanted to let you know that after I started reading your blog I was amazed with all of the things we experienced in common having babies just two months apart. From food struggles, to sleep ups and downs to how to keep up with everything a family needs. I commend you because I honestly feel that going to work every day is what keeps me sane! I don't know how someone does it 24/7 and in fact I think all of you SAHM/WAHM's are much more brave than I am! I hope you know you have helped me when I see something you are experiencing just like I have, I know I'm not the only one out there. I have read your blog for nearly two years now and if those "anonymous" folks had, they too would know what a REAL person you are and what you do for others by sharing your life and your world and your ADORABLE little girl. Thanks for all you do.

    Sunshine from MN on a perfect MN day!


  4. Thank you Abbie and Carolyn! Tricia it's so funny you say that, because before I became a SAHM, I just couldn't understand how moms could EVER go back to work after having a baby! Now, however, there are days where I WISH I was at work:) Just as I feel that way, I'm sure working moms are wishing they were home with their kids. The grass is always green, eh?! ;) Thank you all for your kind words and support. It makes me feel so happy to know other moms are experiencing exactly what I am at times. Xx. - Melissa Saigh

  5. Keep up the good work! AJ's response brought tears to my eyes! I know I am a sap...pregnant with #2. I have a 15 month old and can relate to everything you post. I appreciate your posts. It makes me feel okay and that my parenting frustrations are normal. Great response to the anonymous posters who obviously are to embarrassed to even post their own names. - Ann in St. Louis Park, MN

  6. It takes guts to tell people we have a problem. And to acknowledge we need help. We are only human.

    Of course we should count our blessings but are we able to do it every minute of the way? NO. I doubt your anonymous commenters are able to be grateful all the time.

    Anyway, it's through this episode that AJ managed to emerge as the valiant hero! :)

  7. Annie, when I first read it, I teared up too... and I'm not pregnant:) And yes "h o b o m b o", AJ is my super hero;) - Melissa Saigh, Minnesota Baby

  8. Internet trolls are everywhere! They want to upset you, make you feel guilt and question your values. Don’t let some angry and clearly jealous person upset you, nor should you justify your thoughts with such a humbling response. I suspect both comments are from the same person as the wording/writing is very similar.

    If this person or persons are truly in the situation they claim to be in, then they of all people should show some compassion as I'm sure it's been shown to them. However I think you are being attacked because of pure jealousy… they are not an expat living in a foreign country without their family network dealing with the challengers we expats face every day!

    My husband and I are an "Executive Couple" in our mid 30's and very happy without children (does that make me horrible as well?). My friends tell me how much hard work parenting can be (and I see it). They keep it real and don't glorify what is a hard and sometime thankless job!! If I was a mum I would hit "The Mummy Wall" all the time!

    BTW have you worked out who this is yet Mama Saigh ;) I'll give you a hint...I love Champagne :)

  9. Melissa, I just want to say that as a Minnesota mom I really love reading your blog. I enjoy the tips, the giveaways but most importantly, I appreciate your stories of being a mom. As moms we need to be honest and support each other through ups and downs. My 3.5-year-old daughter sleeps on our floor every night. I've been at a loss as to how/if we stop it and embarassed to talk about it. Recently I told another friend about it and guess what? Her daughter is doing the exact same thing. I felt comforted by her honesty and she mine. I guess I just want to say, being a mom is the hardest job there is, we all need help and we can support each other as moms and share tips and even just listen to help get through the tough patches, but not criticize or put down, there's no place for that. Thanks for your great posts. Alice Seuffert, St. Paul, MN