Friday, August 04, 2006

Responding to Criticism

I once read that people shouldn't waste time responding to their critics. It sounds good enough on the surface ... but it's really a lot harder said than done. Believe me ... I have tried.

Now, I'm not talking about 'constructive criticism'. When criticism is intended to better a person or situation, and is delivered in the spirit of kindness, I have no problem.

However, there also exists 'negative criticism.' This is the kind of criticism that does nothing to "improve" a situation - and it's intent is to cause hurt. It is these critics that I probably ought not waste my time responding to.

But like I said ... I'm not too good at that.

Today during my late lunch hour ... I was checking my e-mail and as is always the case when I receive e-mail from my blog ... was excited to see what kind of comment someone left for me. When I opened the e-mail ... I first felt a wave of shock ... then embarrassment ... then mortification ... and then ... I was angry.

I logged on to my blog, deleted the comment, and stewed over what I perceived to be, negative criticism for the rest of the afternoon next 5-minutes.

Charlie and I went for a walk this evening and I blabbed on and on talked to him in great depth about the first negative comment I had ever received on my blog. I mulled over what it could mean. Was it possible that somebody had tapped in to my brain and accessed some of the very things I subconsciously torment myself over?

Could it be?

Was it me??

Did I unknowingly log on ... leave myself a comment ... cleanse my mind of the memory ... only to be surprised moments later when I received an e-mail message that someone had left me a comment on my blog?

Is that possible???

Charlie convinced me it was unlikely.

After some soul searching, I've decided to post the comment and examine it in it's entirety. The anonymous person who took the time to post, obviously felt compelled to express their opinion ... so I am going to try and address the cynicism and answer the questions that they have posed.

This comment was left in response to my "Daddy Duty" post, from yesterday.

"Sounds like Daddy is doing more work then mommy?? When does daddy get a break??? I think parenting should be 50/50. This is what happens when you get IV!!! Good luck and we will see how long your marriage lasts!!! Where's the sex???"

Let's start with the first sentence:

Anonymous Commenter Says: "Sounds like Daddy is doing more work then Mommy??"

Jen3 Says: (We'll ignore the fact that "then" should be spelled "than"). I suppose it could seem from my post that Daddy is in fact doing more work than Mommy. But, I think that it is also important to note that Mommy was not sitting on her duff all week watching soap operas. Alas, that would be nice, provided I enjoyed soap operas.

Rather, Mommy was leaving the house every morning at 6:30 AM, and returning home every evening at 6:30 PM ... with only 30-minutes to enjoy her children before they went to bed for the night and she opened her requisite bottle of wine to enjoy with Daddy while watching the sun set.

For those 12-hours that Mommy was away, she was participating in very important (as in multi-million dollar important) business meetings. After having been a full-time Stay At Home Mom for the first year of our children's lives ... I wouldn't dare suggest that being at "work" is any more difficult than being at "home." However. The importance of insurance coverage - which is supplied through my employer - and bringing home a paycheck to support our family of five (5) ... cannot be overstated. Especially when you consider that three (3) members of our family go through an average of 135 diapers a week.

We use to only go through 84 diapers a week. But since our kids have become aware of when they are going "pee-pee" they insist we change their diaper for every milliliter of "pee" that is released. Even with the addition of toddler training pants whenever we are outside playing in the yard ... our diaper count has gone up almost 2-fold.

But I digress.

What really struck me about this comment is that I have on more than one occasion, almost been successful at convincing myself I don't do enough around the house. But, that's only because my husband is amazing and does a lot to contribute to our household.

One hundred years ago ... heck ... fifty years ago ... women were home with their children. These women did everything domestic related, including, raising a family ... by themselves. They didn't even have the benefit of disposable diapers.

Thank God in Heaven above ... those days are past.

I would be absolutely flat on my ass if I was entirely responsible for raising three toddlers ... all by myself ... hand washing 135 diapers a week ... and keeping up a house in the midst of it all. Are you kidding me?! It would take a lot more than a bottle of wine to get me through the night. Elephant tranquilizers ... that's what I'm talking about.

Now a days ... many women are career women. But, they are also moms. This is where it gets very challenging. At least for me. Because I think that as women, we have this built in expectation ... on ourselves ... that we can do it all. If for some reason we can't hold it all together (i.e. have a perfect house, raise perfect children, cook perfect food, have perfect sex 7 nights a week, maintain a perfect figure, do volunteer work, attend church, participate in play dates, read books, knit blankets, update our blog) we are deficient - on some level. What's really awful is that this is a self-induced deficiency.

Better stated - we are our own worst critics.

The problem is ... many women compare themselves to this "prototype" of "Super Mom" or "Super Woman" that doesn't really exist. And if she does exist ... I guarantee, she is a walking time bomb who gets a shot of elephant tranquilizers in her hip, every night before bed.

In our home, Charlie does primarily all of the cooking and laundry. Although I may not write about it much on my blog, the reality is I have been known to cook and do a load of laundry. Sometimes - I'll even cook while I'm washing clothes. That ability to do more than one thing at once is called "multi-tasking" and I'm getting pretty damn good at it. Minus the time I almost caught our house on fire making toast, and the time I turned all of Charlie's white undergarments pink ... I navigate around a toaster oven, washer and dryer with ease.

Quite honestly, I wish I knew the gender of the anonymous commenter. I'm really interested to know if it is a sexist male that thinks I should be doing more work around the house ... or ... if it is a jealous female that thinks my husband is doing too much work around the house.

Anonymous Commenter Says: When does daddy get a break???

Jen3 Says: This is a great question. Charlie and I both try to be extremely cognizant of each other's needs. Sometimes that "need" is fulfilled by sitting in a hot bath with plastic "Nemo" fish bobbing around and Jimmy Buffett playing in the background while we pretend that we're in the Bahamas.

We both recognize the importance of "ME" time. Taking time for ourselves is extremely important because it rejuvenates our body, spirit and soul.

Since we don't have a lot of friends in town, and since we don't live near family, our "outside interaction" requires work AND persistence. This past Christmas, I bought Charlie all new tennis gear and have been chasing him out of the house for the past 8-months, every Sunday morning, so he can play doubles with a group of guys. I've also convinced him to play golf - two times a month - with a neighborhood friend. Charlie goes to the gym, at least three days a week, and has recently started running at night - and bicycling in the morning - as a means of training for the upcoming Los Angeles triathlon, next month.

Me on the other hand ... I haven't been to the gym in over a month.

Anonymous Commenter Says: I think parenting should be 50/50.

Jen3 Says: You and me both, BABY!!!

I think that a marriage should be 50/50, not just parenting. Sometimes, however, there are times when the split of responsibility might be 30/70 ... 20/80 .... 60/40 ... 90/10. Usually, those times coincide with when one of us is sick ... or ... swamped with work. As much as possible, I try not to keep tabs on "who did what." I don't think that mentality is very healthy in any relationship. We both know what needs to be done at home in order for our family and marriage to remain strong - and we work together as a team.

Of course ... in our situation the amount of energy required to raise toddler triplets is more like 150/150. If there is any question just how much effort and energy it takes to raise toddler triplets, you need to check out this post. And this one. And this one. And this one. Don't forget this one. Or this one. I could go on ... or, I could just direct you to the archives on the left side of this blog. Pick a story. Any story.

Anonymous Commenter Says: This is what happens when you get IV!!!

Jen3 Says: I'm not sure that I completely understand the comment. Do you mean, this is what happens when you get "In Vitro"? And if so ... I don't understand the origination of the "this is what happens" part of that sentence.

I'm going out on a limb here ... but I think it's important to make something clear.

There is no doubt in my mind, that being a parent is the hardest job on the face of God's green earth. But the hard work of parenthood is easily offset by the fact that there is no greater blessing in this world, than children.

When we struggled for years to have a baby - I felt like I was dying inside. Now that our children have finally arrived ... I have no doubt that THIS is exactly what was suppose to happen. Knowing what I know now ... I wouldn't trade our years of infertility for anything. Because had we not gone through IVF ... I wouldn't have been blessed with triplets. And quite honestly, I'd chose my life over any other ... every single day of the week ... and three times on Sunday.

So if "this is what happens when you get IV" ... I say ... bring it on.

I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Anonymous Commenter Says: Good luck and we will see how long your marriage lasts!!!

Jen3 Says: When we had our first appointment with a perinatologist (high risk OB/GYN), they recommended "Selective Reduction" (i.e. terminating / aborting one of the fetuses). There were a multitude of reasons that this wasn't an option for us ... but one of the points our doctor really stressed for us to consider was the statistic that "70% of triplet marriages end in divorce."

Gosh. That seems like a really high percentage - doesn't it?

Considering the National Average for divorce is 50%, having triplets increases the likelihood for divorce by 20%. Interestingly enough - I know at least 30 triplet families, and have yet to meet one that have actually gone through a divorce. I think I know why...

When the babies were only a few months old, I suffered my first *real* nervous breakdown. At the time, we had three newborns, who weren't yet sleeping through the night ... all three of the babies were diagnosed with reflux, one was diagnosed with lactose intolerance and two of them were on apnea monitors that would go off at least 5 times a night (usually between the hours of 3 AM and 5 AM). All three of the babies were on enough medication to rival any senior citizen's daily pill regiment. Add to that, I was battling my third bout of mastitis with bleeding nipples.

After I was unsuccessful at drowning myself in the shower, I told Charlie that I was leaving. I was going someplace far, far away ... where there were no crying babies ... no horrific monitors that made my heart stop every time they went off because it could indicate our premature baby had stopped breathing ... and no 6-pound beings that could suck the skin off my chest - and most likely, the chrome off a bumper.

I was running away from home ... and I was going to sleep ... forever.

In the midst of my breakdown Charlie laughed and said, "You can't leave ... because if you do - I'll be here all by myself. And I know that you love me too much to do that!"

Charlie and I are best friends. We've known each other for 15 years ... we've been married for 12. We've seen each other through some of the best - and worst times - of our lives. But the thing that keeps our marriage really tight is that there is no way one of us could handle raising triplets, on our own.

The National Average for median duration of a marriage is 7.2 years. Considering Charlie and I are sailing towards 12 years of marital bliss this coming Sunday ... I feel pretty confident that we are in this marriage for the long haul. Our being the parents of triplets only strengthens the commitment.

Anonymous Commenter Says: Where's the sex???"

Jen3 Says: The majority of women I know have told me that their "love life" takes a substantial dip (i.e.: goes on hiatus for at least 6-months maybe more if they are nursing) after giving birth. With that in mind, you could probably imagine what giving birth to three babies - simultaneously - does to your libido. Thankfully, our marriage is about a lot more than "sex". If it wasn't, there is no way we would have survived the first year of parenthood.

When you have a full life, you have to make time for just about everything, including romance. If that means we have to put a "smiley face" on our calendar to remind ourselves that Friday night is suppose to be a time for us, than that's what it takes.

Charlie and I would gladly welcome additional children in to our lives. Because we are somewhat apprehensive about what another round of fertility treatment could do to my body, we don't know whether we will pursue IVF again, or not. But that’s not stopping us from putting smiley faces all over our calendar with the hope that we may receive a nice “surprise”. Now everyone who comes to our house will know what the smiley face on our calendar represents. Including my mother.

Our marriage isn't perfect ... which makes sense considering the two main characters of the show aren't perfect, either. But at least once every day, I try to acknowledge my husband for the wonderful person he is. We talk. We laugh. We hug. We rejoice in our blessings. We savor our good health. And along the way - we tell each other, and the world, how much we appreciate our marriage.

I've had an epiphany writing this. Even though I've been told it is a waste of energy to respond to critics - I'm glad I addressed the comment left for me yesterday. As my own worst critic ... I haven't been giving myself enough credit. But now I'm going to divert my energy to playing outside with my husband and children ... where I'm certain I will gather a plethora of material for my next blog posting.

30 comments:

  1. I am expecting triplets anyday now and look forward to your blog postings daily while I lay in bed keeping them in. It amazes me the dumb things people say and ask daily. I have had the question so many times about did we use fertility that I just started telling people that this is a very personal question. I think you and Charlie are doing an amazing job and it gives me great relief and confidence that my husband and I can do it also.
    Thank you for the laughter, tips and confidence you give me everyday for this amazing trip we are starting! Jen

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  2. Dear Jen
    I hope in writing this post have become more positive that you are doing the right thing and that the commenter is a real nasty troll. How dare a stranger critise someone elses life.Good on you for posting the comment and venting.

    On a lighter note, isn't there a lot of "Jens" in Blog land...LOL
    Have a lovely weekend, Jen

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  3. Michelle in OR8/5/06, 5:33 PM

    I have been thinking of your original post about Charlie since I first read it yesterday. I can't imagine who dared to criticize you. Geez. I loved the rainforest story!

    You have a remarkable husband. BUT, I am VERY impressed by you too. Obviously your hands are full, so I really admire the time you take to appreciate your husband and express your gratitude for the many ups and downs of parenting and marriage. I wish I was more like that.

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  4. Jen (aka Jen in MA)8/5/06, 7:14 PM

    Oh Jen

    I can't even believe someone would leave you a message like that. I look forward to every update of your blog almost as much (Ok, OK as much!) as I look forward to the week's new "People" magazine and the hour of "me" time I get each week to read it!

    You are an amazing mother and Charlie is modern miracle. Forget 50 years ago, even 20 years ago men didn't do what our husbands do these days. You are both so fortunate to have the life you have. Some nights I read your blog and sigh thinking, "wow, she has such a perfect life full of fun!" And then I remember you have triplet toddlers! TRIPLETS! You make it seem so easy I forget that you have 3 times the children, which means 3 times the amount of work! 3 times!! It amazes me and humbles me every time I think about it.

    Marriage and parenting is definitely a 50/50 proposition and it's not for everyone. We are so blessed we have what we do, with all the ups, downs and "negative criticisms" from those who just don't get it. But, you know what? Who cares if they "get it" as long as you and Charlie do.

    Have a great night/weekend and

    Happy, happy anniversary!

    Love and hugs

    Jen

    (aka Jen in MA)

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  5. julia pratt8/5/06, 8:19 PM

    Jen, you are AMAZING! Don't EVER forget it!

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  6. I have twins and read your blog daily for a dose of 'good ol' perspective'. I find it inspirational to hear your stories and it reminds me that if you can handle 3 with such grace and humor then I too can do it with two:)
    You and Charlie are amazing parents and true role models for anyone dealing with life's challenges (whatever they might be).
    Melissa (from Babysteps)

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  7. Your negative commenter should check out a series called The Hunt for the Vacuum Cleaner Gene. It might make you feel better too.

    I get the occasional sour puss comment. Mostly it's from people who aren't into Dr. Phil-type advice and can't understand how people might need a little help in their lives. I try to brush it off and think of the old saying "you can't please em all!" I always think, "Okay, if this isn't your cup of tea, why are you on my blog? Go read something you do like and leave the rest of us in peace."

    Shake it off! It doesn't matter.

    To Love, Honor and Dismay

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  8. I saw that you deleted a comment and wondered what happened there.

    I don't think that ANYone can possibly imagine what a day is like in your life! I mean I look forward to every post but I truly admire what you AND your husband have been able to do. I mean you have each other to raise 3 human beings. You have lots of friends it sounds like, but friends have their own lives. I'm sure they'd do a lot for you, but it just doesn't come close to family...and you guys don't have any close family members. I rely on my extended family a LOT and I feel guilty sometimes when I read your entries. You and Charlie have adjusted your personal lives AND your career lives to your new family and I really and truly admire that.

    I hate when people ask "how do you do it?" I mean the only answer there is to that question is "YOU JUST DO IT!" You don't have a choice, you don't want another choice, and you wouldn't have it any other way.

    Kudos to you guys.

    I don't know if I would have even responded to that critism.

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  9. Wow! I cannot even imagine that someone would be so harsh to even post something like that on your blog! There really are some nasty people in this world, but there are also very diplomatic people (such as yourself) to balance that out. I think you have handled the comments well.

    I am just so stunned because you know that I follow your blog on a daily basis (or at least try to and I missed your post about Charlie), so I know probably only a fraction of what you go through with raising triplets based on what you write about it in here. It's tough! But it is also very rewarding. Again, I can only speak about raising one. But with triplets, I imagine it is triple the tough moments and it is triple the rewards so based on that, it sound like you have a really good deal!

    And not to mention that in every post I read about you and your lovely family, I can sense the amount of love that you and Charlie share. For someone to post something saying that they doubt your marriage will last... they are obviously visiting for the first time.

    I would say do not take what was said to heart, but you did and you turned that around into pointing out all of the positives. I, too, had to do this earlier this week when my parenting skills were criticized. It is not fun to stop to their level, but it is necessary sometimes. You did it well!

    I think you are one of the most amazing women out there! And I think what you and Charlie have is beyond incredible. And those sweet babies couldn't have two better parents that were obviously hand-picked by the man upstairs!

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  10. Jen3,
    1) There are creeps on the internet.
    2) The tone of the anon sounds like "you got what you deserved" as if Trips was a bad thing. They missed the point of the whole blog--that yes, life is crazy, but it is an "amazing trip" and you are blessed times three.
    3) I'm glad that you've made lemonade out of that lemon of a comment. But remember, you don't have to respond to kooky people!!! Sometimes, just deleting them is enough.
    4) Yes, Charlie works hard. But so do you!!! There is no doubt in my mind that you both are working 150% as you mentioned.
    5) I completely agree and liked the way that you said how marriage is 50/50, but that sometimes it's 80/20, etc. Well said, my friend.
    Big hugs!!!
    cam

    P.S. I can't believe you told your mom (via the blog) about the smiley faces!!! ;)

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  11. Jenna-
    Mark and I are reading this post on separate computers laughing out loud.
    It's too bad that poster was anonymous...You go get 'em girlfriend!
    Love the smiley face idea! LMAO!

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  12. Jen,

    I HATE when nasty people make us doubt, second guess, torment... ourselves.

    It is very clear that you have a wonderful family that you love with all of your heart. It is obvious that you both put all of your soul into eachother and your family unit.

    Happy Anniversary!!

    Tracy

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  13. Kudos for you to meet it head on!

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  14. ROFLMAO!

    I think "Anonymous" poster should spend an *hour* at your house, by themselves (during feeding time, and between 4-6 pm when all children turn into psychotic hellians) and THEN tell me about their sex life, the state of their marriage, and any other crap they wish to comment on, because clearly, holier-than-thou anonymous can do it better.

    Then, I invite all the jens (LOL) and anyone else who reads this blog to sit on the sidelines and LAUGH VERY LOUDLY for the entire hour. Take that! :)

    Em

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  15. Ah Ha--so that is why the calander is loaded with smiley faces. Good going---you know what they say, "The more you polish it--"
    I think you are doing a great job--and I will defend that 100%.
    I miss Y'all.
    MOM

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  16. good for you!

    You are Charlie are the only ones who know what works foryou and what's best for your lovely family. So don't let anyone make you doubt yourself.

    Your family is beautiful and you and Charlie sound lucky to have found each other.

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  17. I really enjoy your blog, and I think you have a beautiful family.
    I'm glad you responded to those critics, if not for them, for you. They don't have the slightest clue, and certainly don't even begin to understand about how important family is.
    We also struggled with infertility, went through the IVF process, and are parents to two new baby girls. We wouldn't trade those years of struggle for anything, because like you said, then we wouldn't have our sweet baby girls.
    I admire you, and your husband, and the great job you are doing raising your sweet little family.
    It doesn't matter what anyone else says--

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  18. Dear Jenna:

    There are all too many people in the world who do not realize the many dimensions of life, not to mention the many styles of writing.

    Your anonymous critic is one of those poor folks who sincerely believe that only they have the "correct" answers. That person is probably afraid to look deeply into his/her life because to do so would invite self questioning and uncertainty. It probably feels safer for that person to live within tight boundaries and rules, rather than to truly experience life.

    Furthermore, your blog is a form of artistic expression, not a reality show! The fact that you express gratitutde and admiration for your husband is a point of view, not a set of facts to be questioned.

    "Tight-brained" people (i.e. those who have no empathy and no capacity for self reflection) apparently get a thrill out of telling others how to live. They actually are the ones with shallow, unimaginative lives. It is only the daring, those who truly open up this gift we call "life," who can look at the world and see not just shades of grey but all the colors of the rainbow. Love, Susan

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  19. Oh, Jen- I know that comment was hurtful. I have received several hurtful comments about fertility & triplets from strangers to my face...What a complete coward to write nasty comments anonymously!
    Your comeback was right on target and so true.
    Funny the different prespectives people can have on the same post...I thought "what a GREAT marriage partnership you & Charlie have" after reading your post!

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  20. Wow, sweetie, I can't believe that someone would think something like that, let alone say it. I don't even know you and I'm fuming just reading that. They can't be serious! Or maybe they are just childless. I don't know. But please don't let it get to you anymore than it already has. You sound like a great mom and a great wife, and you are just one of the lucky ones to also have a great husband.

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  21. Jen,

    I am so sorry you were a victim of a drive by trolling. When I first started my blog I thought it was amazing to have all of these people from all over the world giving me feedback on my life. And then the trolls hit. I found deleting to be the best method. But I appreciated you hitting this one head on as your post brought up so many amazing points.

    You are an amazing mother. You have an amazing husband. You have three amazing kids. And you are on an amazing trip, that will give you a lifetime of joy and memories.

    Sounds to me like your troll is a divorcee who didn't have a husband who did all that Charlie does and is green (as most trolls are) with envy.

    Amanda (ajdub)

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  22. Hey. I typed up what I thought was a great reply but somehow I must have exited before publishing... I haven't looked at your blog in a while b/c I have been a little busy -- worried about other things.
    I have known you and Charlie since "way back when" and know that you are a great couple. You don't have anything to "prove". Anyone who has been married for any amount of time has had some bumps, bruises and a few skinned knees along the way.
    Perhaps Mr/Mrs Anonymous can learn a thing or two about relationships through your blog and others like this one.
    The 50/50 remark is a good one...Only when we are talking pie is there 50/50 and even then it's questionable!!!
    It is so nice to see how much support you have; keep up the good work. Know that even though we don't always reply You have a lot of supporters out there/here who love you, your hubby and your beautiful bouncing babies. We are all so very proud of ALL of you.
    Love, Margaret
    PS Looking forward to your 50th anniversary party and hearing a well written toast/Ode to Charlie and a stiffle to the "anonymous challenge". (Perhaps by then I can get out for a visit!;-))
    Much Love

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  23. Jen...I just saw this post and although I did not see the original posting of the negative comment - you are clearly a more evolved person than anon (better grammer and all). You go girl and please don't feel the need to take too much time explaining things to anons that they will never comprehend - you would be better served talking to a brick wall. You and Charlie are such loving and wonderful parents!

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  24. sportygirl8/7/06, 9:50 AM

    Too bad the anonymous poster didn't leave their shoe size...maybe they could've walked a mile in yours. I suspect though, that person wouldn't have made it past the "IV" shots.

    Keep up the good work Jen!

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  25. Jen - Way to go; you did a great job expressing how WRONG this person was. Hopefully this person will look at your blog again and your response will cause this person to have a change of heart or at least be open to a new way of thinking.

    Keep up the GREAT WORK......
    Ang

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  26. Oh my! Why on earth any one would write down their half baked thoughts is beyond me. You have 3 amazing little people and the "rush/craziness of life" is just a season and it is all very worth it!

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  27. I too have an amazing husband who has been more hands on than the "average" dad. I used to feel unworthy of him as such an awesome partner. Then I realized that he would only do so much for our family if he considered me awesome too. He, for some reason, cherishes me enough to "break the mold". Seems your husband feels the same way. Perhaps that is what is missing in the life of your anonymous commenter.

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  28. Jen,

    I finally caught up on reading your blog. Great job!!

    I think you were right on the money with all of your arguments. I don't understand why the original poster/troll thought that Charlie never gets a break or that he does all the work. Charlie is AMAZING-it's true. But I've always gotten the sense that the two of you are in it together and that both of you have your hands full, not just one or the other. You know, it's "Team Jen and Charlie"!

    I had to laugh about the "where is the sex?" comment. Ummmmm, like were they expecting you to advertise/discuss this in a blog entry? You may have alluded to a *slowdown* in that area of your life before. But HELLO, you have 3 little ones. How you get past your morning coffee, much less even think about thinking about sex, is beyond me! A strong marriage can survive without or little of that for a time.

    And I got a bit of a chuckle at the "IV" comment as well. I'm thinking, "Jen had an IV?" Well, she was in the hospital and all and that DOES happen. What does her need for fluid have to do with anything?" And then of course, it hit me that the poster meant IVF and well, needless to say, I knew they were out of touch.

    Good job on your blog Jen! Don't let the turkeys get you down.

    jeanr

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  29. ah, Jen. This was a spectacular response, and I truly hope that the anonymous commenter came back to read it. I have a lump in my throat about the marriage statistic and your decision to go for triplets. And your response holds true for having children, period, multiples or not. The most beautiful thing is having a marriage that is about more than the sex and that will hold together no matter how many toddlers are involved. Good for you, and bless you and your husband both for what you do to raise and love your little children - it's truly remarkable.

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  30. Isn't it sad how one bad apple can ruin the whole barrell.

    I had my first negative comment about a week and a half ago. I realized that more people like me than didn't. If they didn't like what I had to say, oh well. THAT'S why they made the "delete comment" button.

    Rest assured that is the case here. All of us mommies are in awe that you can raise three babies ALL AT ONCE. I have a hard time with two that are four years apart.

    Your humor and your love for your family really inspire me. You just keep on doing what you are doing.

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