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Feb 24, 2012
06:00 AM

Shhhhh Don't Tell Anyone, but...

Shhhhh Don't Tell Anyone, but...

Motherhood has opened an entirely new door of gossip potential. In the past gossip centered around romantic entanglements, drunken escapades and career scandal, now gossip has even more fuel. There are people's homes to critique, husbands to speculate about, parenting styles to criticize and even children to whisper about.

And really, I thought gossiping was reserved for the sorority house and maybe, when I was 80, the retirement village.

For better or worse, most of us do it. We gossip. We listen to gossip. We read gossip. We pass tiny little judgments that spiral into enormously malicious spoken words. 

We pass tiny little judgments that spiral into enormously malicious spoken words.

Maybe we think we are just venting. But we all know it takes one little nugget of not-so-nice-knowledge to destroy a reputation or a friendship.

I am certainly not innocent. I am completely guilty of gossiping, but I like to believe in my heart that I vent or I share information that does not hurt anyone or harm anyone or have any meaning. 

Of course, I am fooling myself. 

Even when we just read a story about Brad Pitt in US Weekly and then forward the story to a friend, we are harming someone. We are passing along something that is absolutely none of our business and spreading the bad words along, encouraging the conversation about something that does not matter at all.

Or when we decide someone has slighted us and we decide to take our case to the streets. We tell our friend that Sally-Jo is a snob and then well, Sally-Jo, becomes a snob in the minds of everyone who hears it. 

And then did I mention that our children are watching all of this. Listening to every word, working out in their minds how gossip can be social gold. 

We tell our friend that Sally-Jo is a snob
and then well, Sally-Jo, becomes a snob
in the minds of everyone who hears it.

It is nasty stuff this gossip. As a recovering gossip addict (who slips off the wagon from time to time), I'd like to share the lessons I have learned from Christ, yoga and motherhood. Here are my top 3.

  1. My Aunt-in-Law Lydia, put it best when she quoted Joyce Meyer: "When you have a problem, go to the Throne and not the phone." Take your judgments, your concerns, your slights to God, to Christ, to whomever your higher power is. Think before you act — then decide, do I need to share this information with anyone, ever? 
  2. Know the difference between good and bad gossip. Good gossip: Did you hear that Sally-Jo got a new job? Bad gossip: Did you hear Sally-Jo has to go back to work? In yoga, we talk about Ashimsa — non-violence. Good gossip is not violent. Bad Gossip is. 
  3. Love all. Fully and openly. My children taught me this. They could care less about the price tag of someone's car or their career. They love all;  in turn, they don't have a bad word to say.

Trish Adkins is a South Jersey mom. This post is adapted from blog, Yoke.

Old to new | New to old
Feb 24, 2012 02:41 pm
 Posted by  Sarah Hughes

Sing it Sister!!! Totally true and I am going to try to stick to good gossip or taking it to the Throne!!!

Feb 26, 2012 09:27 am
 Posted by  michellew_

So true. I try to reserve my "gossip" for celerity news and such silliness. I think that women have been pitted against each other long enough. I try never to talk disparagingly about others. But, like you said, we're all guilty from time to time.
Really like the advice though. And I think it's so important that you touched on the kids. We HAVE to model behavior- whether we like it or not. That is the commitment we made. And we seem to forget quite often that kids see and hear much more than we think they do!

Feb 28, 2012 09:35 pm
 Posted by  Rachel M.

Love this! Even us moms can fall victims of viscous gossip. Well said, Trish. Well said.

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About This Blog

Outstanding Delaware Valley mom bloggers share insights about their kids or themselves, family experiences or ways they handled parenting situations. Their items — often reposted from their blogs — reflect everyday experiences that anyone can relate to rather than political viewpoints or belief systems.

MomSpeak Contributors

Trish Adkins, Yoke
Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun
Stacy Heenan Biscardi, Wifty & Shifty
Hillary Chybinski, My Scraps
EJ Curran, Four Little Monsters
Darla DeMorrow, The Pregnant Entrepreneur
Rachée Fagg, Say It Rah-Shay
Raya Fagg, And Starring As Herself…MRSRFKJ
Erin Flynn Jay, Mastering the Mommy Track
Marion Kase, Helicopter-Caterpillar
Jean Ladden, Jean's Book Reviews
Brie Latini, ( . . . a breezy life)
Toni Langdon, Tickles and Time Outs
Lisa Lightner, A Day in Our Shoes
Jeanine Ludwikowski, Mommy Entourage
Jeanne McCullough, Mom Hearts Pinot
Trina O'Boyle, O’Boy! Organic
Kelly Raudenbush, My Overthinking
Sandra Telep, West Philly Mama
Marissa Kiepert Truong, Land of Once Upon a Time
Lisa Weinstein, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein
Shivaun Williams, Dar Liomsa (In My Opinion)
Paige Wolf, Spit That Out!

If you are a Philadelphia-area mom blogger and would like to contribute to MomSpeak, please e-mail editor@metrokids.com.


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