In a previous post (here) I have written about allowing my daughter, Flash, to compete in an athletics carnival while she was sick. As I sometimes do, I shared this post on my personal Facebook page. I then received a very surprising comment on my FB page about that post. The comment came form an extended family member…the person who married my partners brother.....
I have deleted it now but it went something like this:
I will visit her in hospital when she has collapsed from exhaustion exacerbated by illness..
Not only was this written on my FB page, but as her own status upstate was written
A family member is trying to live her own ambitions through her children. The rest of the family think so too but I’m the only one willing to say anything…..
I could write forever about how inappropriate, disrespectful and hurtful I found these comments. Specially since a non-private medium like face book was used.
This commenter does not even really know Flash or myself. She lives hundreds of kilometers away and she does not see my family apart from rare family gatherings, about once a year.
What affected me the most was her assumption that I was trying to realise my own dreams through my children. It appears that she believes that allowing Flash to participate when she is sick is to fulfill my own ambitions for sporting grandeur. There is no way I would ever, knowingly endanger the health or well being of my child. Flash did have a bad cold for those recent competitions but was still desperate and able to compete.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to defend myself against such outrageous allegations. I will just say here that these allegations are categorically untrue!
If you knew Flash, you would know that the drive and motivation to train and compete is all hers. She may be just 8 years old but her dedication is all hers.
|Perhaps this picture is worth 100 words|
It has me wondering if other parents of sporty children are accused of living their dreams through their children. I wonder if these accusations increase as the children become successful? I wonder if the same is said about the parents of Olympic athletes or does the effort made by the parent to get heir child to competitions become ‘heroic’ rather than ‘abusive’.
These comments have directly attacked my ability and authority as a mother to make decisions for my children.
Comments such as these are so hurtful because I have poured every thing I have into my job as the mother of my children. It is something I am fiercely proud of. What sort of mother would I be if I did not provide the opportunities for my children to reach their potential… Weather it be sport or any other interest.
The decision to send Flash to the sports carnival was her parents….and us alone. Nobody has the right to question this decision.
I would love to shout to the world just how disrespectful and condescending I found those comments…or perhaps I just have J
However, I refuse to dwell on this attack on my parenting. Instead I am determined to be thankful….
I am so thankful to my amazing friends for their comments on FB and kind and encouraging texts.
I am also very glad that the school district swimming carnival was held on the day these comments were made. I was surrounded by other parents who patiently listed to me and offered words of support and encouragement.
My friends and parent colleagues know Flash and myself and they know there is no way I would, or could, ever force her into competition, They know that Flash is herself driven and enthusiastic. I am so thankful for this support.
Perhaps it is this SportyMummy blog that has created a perception that I only care about sport….but sport is what this blog is about! It is fair to say that at the moment sport plays a big role in our families life. But sport is certainly not the only thing in our lives. Please...If you do not like the SportyMummy Blog, then don't read it!!!
I would so love to know if any other parents of sporty children have been accused of putting their own desires for success above the welfare of their own children??
In all honesty, I expected this blog to generate comments such as those made here by my children’s Aunt. I believed that I was equipped to handle them. However, having the rug pulled out from underneath me by a ‘family member’…with other members of the family implicated as well….. the very people who are supposed to care and support my children and myself as actually stunned me!
Although I have received words of support and encouragement from my friends….I have never felt more alone on this SportyMummy journey…..
For thankful Thursday, I’m linking up with Kate Says Stuff. The writing prompt for this week is “a picture is worth a thousand words”.......... I guess I’ve decided to write a thousand words instead!