Mel @ Stirrup Queens wrote a post yesterday about PAIL wherein she said “I found the creation of the new blogroll confusing because it was literally a replica of what already exists, with the same people on both lists.” I don’t agree with this at all, as I know for a fact that I have never been on her parenting blogroll (and didn’t even realize it existed). People that joined PAIL did so of their own volition – it was never a copy/paste from Mel. Yes, her blogroll is a cornerstone for IFers (and a wonderful one at that – her work is definitely to be commended!), but does that mean that all other IFers should have to consult her before creating new blogrolls? I’m not sure. I’m curious what will come of all this.
At any rate, I was debating writing a blog post about this, but after writing a ridiculously long comment on Elphaba’s post about it today, I realized that I might as well just print my comment here as well. You know me, I’m long winded and opinionated. Take it or leave it. 😉
I know that the majority of my followers are TTCers – I’d love to hear from YOU about what you think of PAIL. I 100% truly hope that you weren’t feeling “excluded” when I wrote about it last week. I have just felt so lost in the ALI community since my BFP and subsequently since having Stella, and I was excited about finding other bloggers who were at the same place as me who could give me advice. Like I mention below, I love following all of your blogs and have zero intention of no longer supporting you, reading about your journeys, and cheering you on. I just know how damn hard it is to reciprocate at times when you’re TTC. Some of you are amazing at still writing supportive comments on my posts, and some of you have gone silent. I recognize and appreciate the reasons for both decisions – I’ve been there, and I did the same thing.
Below is my comment in response to Elphaba’s post. I love to hear your thoughts!
Love this idea! I was just working on my post about breastfeeding this week actually – perfect timing.
Honestly, I was pretty taken aback yesterday while reading everyone’s comments on Mel’s post. Some points were valid and I really do feel badly that Mel feels hurt by the whole situation (she is a huge cornerstone for the IF community for sure!), but I also felt as though many commenters were “jumping on the bandwagon” so to speak and just saying mean things about you and those of us who have been craving a space like PAIL without really reading about what PAIL was about or HOW it came about or WHY so many of us felt so lost.
Just as the IF journey is different for all of us, so is parenting after IF, and just b/c you’re not someone who felt insecure about posting after IF doesn’t mean that PAIL isn’t filling a void for many of us.
It isn’t about being part of an exclusive group – it’s about feeling like we’ve already been simply existing on the fringe of the ALI community and wanting a space that would help us find others who understood that writing about having issues breastfeeding or what have you didn’t mean we weren’t 100% grateful to be HAVING that problem.
I LOVE all of my TTC girls and have zero intention of not being a loyal follower to any of them and to keep cheering them on. At the same point, I GET IT that maybe cheering ME on with my parenting problems just isn’t in the cards for them right now. I get that. IF is a fucked up, hard journey, and what feels okay one week might not feel okay the next week.
Like a few of the commenters mentioned, there are MANY groups/blogrolls/message boards that exist on the interwebs related to IF and parenting that help so many of us – and none of them are coming under fire. That is intriguing to me. Maybe it’s because of the LFCA submittal, maybe for some other reason, I don’t know. I hope that this whole “issue” has brought to light that Mel needs help revamping her parenting after IF section. It must be a monumental task to keep 3,000+ blogs organized. That is yet another reason I like PAIL – it’s comprised of a much smaller group of bloggers who are all actively parenting babies/small children after IF right now – this very second – and I find that incredibly helpful.
Thanks again for taking the initiative for starting this group Elphaba – I think that much good will come of this, both for those of us who have felt lost and for those who needed a kick start to volunteer some help for Mel!