I am not a divisive blogger.

I am not a divisive blogger.

Last week I was asked if I would like to go on a well known morning TV programme to talk about a post I wrote over a year ago. It was shared by another blogger and obviously the powers that be at the TV station got wind of it. The post was “Being a SAHM is not a job”.

This post, though shamelessly click baiting with its title, is a post about two things that bug me. One, societies determination to undermine parents to the point where we feel we need to justify just raising our children as a “job”. It’s not a job. It’s hard work, but again, not a job. A job is something you are paid for – a job is not an adequate description of what a “stay at home” parent does or is. Two, I resent the term “full time mummy” because it implies that someone is a part timer somewhere, and that just isn’t true. We’re all full time parents. Whether we work full time or remain unemployed to raise our children, we’re all equally valid.

I was asked to explain the post, and as I did I could hear the disappointment bleeding down the phone… “So… well if that’s your take… um… so you’re not taking issue with stay at home parents, but you’re not taking issue with working parents either… it’s a very rational and clever argument, I’m not sure that would work for our TV show.”

Now I don’t know about you, but I take exception to the implication that the audience wouldn’t be interested in something that would seek to bring parents closer together or that they were, in fact, too thick to grasp the concept that someone wasn’t playing the Daily M(f)ail game and trying to put the cat amongst the pigeons. A bit of positivity on TV when relating to parents? Yikes, we couldn’t have that. Here’s the thing:

I am not a divisive blogger.

The word controversial was bandied about in that conversation, but the truth is, I AM a controversial blogger at times. I’ve written about my views on abortion as a women’s rights issue, transgender equality, the impact terminology has on how our sons view rape, why we shouldn’t teach our children to be colourblind and racism and talking to children about sex, death and political issues. Controversy is the bacon to my sarnie ladies and gentlemen.

But I am not a divisive blogger.

When I do write a post that people have strong opposing views to, I do not write it to divide. I write it to share my point of view, usually politically and in relation to my children. I do not intend to drive a wedge between mother and mother. I will never intentionally play a parent off against another parent because, ultimately, we’re all in this together. Parenting is tough, do we need to add judgement and reproach into the mix? No. My most controversial trait is my unwavering determination to remain as liberal as possible in as many situations as possible.

Ultimately, I couldn’t change my take on the post and I was unwilling to make my focus that being a stay at home parent wasn’t a valid use of one’s time. It meant I lost the opportunity to be on the telly-box, I lost the chance to fling open a potentially career changing door… but I’m not sad that I did. If I had dragged myself to London, slapped my mush onto the not-so-big screen and demoralised someone purely for the career boost, that wouldn’t be me and it wouldn’t be in keeping with how I’ve managed to grow a wonderful following the way I have.

Everything about Toby & Roo is designed to bring parents closer together, and people too. To help us support one another. From the mum getting ready to take the kids to school on a morning before she goes home to tidy the house and take the baby to play group, to the mum who is glupping down coffee at the rate of knots before she speeds off to work. It doesn’t matter, we should all be supporting one another.

I am not a divisive blogger. And that isn’t going to change.

22 Comments

  1. March 26, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    The one principle I am trying to follow, the one thing, is that when I blog I want to enlighten. I want the person that reads the post to come away from it with something they didn’t have before. Its about sharing our point of view. What would get me frustrated is if, in the situation you described, if someone tried to use that post to do something lieuse it as an argument against something. My thought is, its not arguing with a point, its sharing a view.

    It’s great to read in this post, and the comments, that we all share this idea.

  2. August 16, 2017 / 1:49 pm

    You totally did the right thing. This is why I gave up on the idea of being a journalist. It felt so immoral to me. Spinning stories to make them sound more juicy for readers/watchers. Why do we have to feed off that shit. Why couldn’t they have commended you for being a decent human and bigging up a little bit of everyone. For crying out loud! Huge respect for turning them down. As would have I (should I ever get that chance pah!). Morals are much better things to have than pound signs xxx

  3. February 22, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    Good for you Harriet! I wholeheartedly agree with you. Our role as a parent is unpaid and hard work, yet incredibly rewarding. No matter how we choose to raise our children we do it with their interests at heart and every mother deserves the right to raise her children HER way and not feel belittled by the media x

  4. February 20, 2017 / 11:44 am

    You’re so right… we need to stick together and support each other. It’s not about one-upmanship or point scoring. We’re all just trying to do our best. 🙂 x

  5. February 20, 2017 / 9:37 am

    I love this and I love you!! (Just realised that upon seeing the start of this comment it might look like one of those “great job” non-committal, but I stick with it!!)

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a different POV to someone else, that’s normal. But when the media and society expects us to therefore despise those with a different opinion, well that just is wrong! There’s enough division in the world, and building ourselves up on the waves of that can only lead to destruction further down the line… So I’ll always read posts like yours above watching TV battles with strong personalities vying for control 🙂

  6. February 19, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    Claps hands in admiration! Yes! You are a controversial blogger and so what, surely like you said it is good to encourage debate and the fact that these TV type people were so quite ignorant makes them completely irrelevant. Point being is if you have something to say people will be interested x

  7. February 19, 2017 / 12:54 pm

    Good for you lovely! Fancy having a rational and clever argument being a reason for not wanting you on their show.. What, they prefer irrational stupid people!? Bizarre.

  8. February 19, 2017 / 10:58 am

    well said hun!!! I bet a few others would have lied about their opinion to get on the show.

  9. February 18, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    I totally agree with you on your viewpoint here. Us women sometimes don’t support each other enough and we should

  10. February 18, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    I totally agree with your thoughts! I am not a mum yet, but those are surely great inspirational words. xx

  11. February 17, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    What I find so disappointing is that this story lost it’s appeal to the show the minute they realized that your post wasn’t meant to pit mother against mother, rather bring attention to the fact that whether you are an employed parent or a parent who is not employed outside the home, you are all valid. As you say, can’t have any positivity relating to parents on TV! As for you being unwilling to change your focus on the post, well done!

  12. February 17, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I love this! I am a stepmum so can only partly give my opinion, but I love your overall thought process. It’s a bloody shame that they (the telly head honchos) weren’t able to for once think outside the box and give things a different spin – I am sure they would have been inundated with positive feedback from mums in all walks of life. Good for you to sticking to your principles! x

  13. February 17, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    I don’t have kids myself but I do agree that everyone with kids is a full time parent because even if you work full time you’re doing it to help provide for your family x

  14. Lyndsey
    February 16, 2017 / 12:00 am

    I’m not a parent but I agree fully with everything you said, and you are so right! Good for you for speaking out!

    • Harriet February 17, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Thank you lovely x

  15. February 15, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    You bloody marvel. I reckon you’re in the minority and no, similarly, I’m not trying to be divisive saying that. Fact is, a lot of us would have been swayed by the bright lights, TV sofa and all that it could potentially lead to. How do I say well done and I admire you without sounding like an **** licker? I dunno but anyway well done and I admire you. xx

    • Harriet February 15, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      Ahh lovely lady – thank you so much. You don’t sound like that at all! I guess you could argue it’s also a bit of self preservation as opposed to just “doing the right thing”? If my followers saw me being a fuck knuckle on TV then, well, they’d wonder what the hell had happened to me, hit unfollow and be pretty disappointed (or so I like to think) so I think that played a part in my decision xx

  16. Liz
    February 14, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    Just fabulous! ?

  17. February 13, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    brilliant post. I love this! That’s what blogs should be about, supporting each other as parents!

    • Harriet February 13, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      Thank you lovely x

  18. February 13, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Brilliant post! I love this.

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