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Writing My Blog Requires a Very Thick Skin

I wrote a book and then started a blog—in that order. I wasn’t sure if I’d like blogging, so I started off slowly. I didn’t put the blog URL in the book, and I only told a few people about the blog.

Then, I realized I really liked writing a blog, and that the blog, Beyond The Brochure, would be a great place to write about topics that were not in the book, due to space limitations or other reasons.

Well, it’s been a year and a half since I started Beyond The Brochure. It’s a blog for parents applying to private elementary schools in Los Angeles. It’s also about my life as a mom at private school in a city obsessed with the best schools (and, of course, real estate).

Up until a few months ago, I got a few critical or negative comments here and there, but mostly support from Beyond The Brochure readers. That was, until I got tangled up with a celebrity mom. Then, all hell broke loose.

My guest blogger, Jenny Heitz, wrote a very funny piece about Perfect Mommy Syndrome at Los Angeles private elementary schools. Trust me, it exists! At the top of the post, I used a photo of actress Mayim Bialik (Blossom and The Big Bang Theory). She is a strong supporter of “attachment parenting,” and has given interviews to People magazine among other magazines. In her comments, she said she gave birth to her second child at home, while her three-year-old watched, eating homemade granola. She makes all her own eco-friendly cleaning products, homeschools her kids, and on and on … Sounds perfect to me. I also quoted supermodel Gisele, who advocated a mandatory worldwide breastfeeding law.

So, I wrote the title, “Are Celebrity Moms Too Perfect?” to accompany Jenny’s blog piece.

The you know what hit the fan! Mayim responded with her own blog post on a site called The Holistic Mom’s Network, for which she is the spokesperson. She defended her parenting choices and said she’s not a perfect mom.

Suddenly, my blog was being hit almost nonstop with the nastiest, meanest, personal-attack comments aimed at me and Jenny. They were all from members of the Holistic Mom’s Network. A few of them were too vile for me to publish (I moderate all comments, thank goodness). In the blogging world, I think these are called “trolls.”

I only found out that Mayim had posted a response to my blog when one of her followers left a comment mentioning it. I clicked onto Holistic Mom’s Network and read her response. It was perfectly professional, but her Holistic Mom’s couldn’t contain their rage. Interesting, this was coming from those who call themselves Holistic Moms.

I felt I had no choice but to respond to the personal attacks. So, I wrote a blog post about my hippie, vegan, homeschooling, no TV, no sugar, childhood in Topanga, California.

The response from Holistic Mom’s Network? Silence. Radio silence. I waited. Nothing. They had no idea who they were attacking. They didn’t know I lived the life they want their children to live!

I left a comment on the Holistic Mom’s Networking saying I found it interesting that as soon as their membership learned about my upbringing they fell silent. The founder of Holistic Moms wrote a comment on her site denying the comments came from her members. However, I use Google Blogger and I can see where traffic is coming from. They were hers. She owned them. 

Then, it got crazier! E! Online did a story about the controversy and linked to my blog. But, the tides turned on Mayim. E! readers attacked Mayim and Gisele without mercy. I stayed out of it. Most recently, Mediabistro/Fishbowl LA wrote a story about the controversy and mentioned my blog. 

So, if you blog about a celebrity, even a D-list actress, please be aware they may go after you through their surrogates. That’s okay. It’s made me have a thicker skin. Apparently I need it if I’m going to blog about private schools and perfect moms in Los Angeles!

Oh, and I’m still waiting to hear from Gisele.