Why was a mom blogger cyberbullied for sharing her pregnancy journey?
Joanna Venditti is a proud Ontario mom of four kids: son Holden, 5; daughter Beau, 4; and 7-month-old twins Mia and Everly. She has also become something of an internet sensation after her untouched photos of her post-pregnancy body went viral.
Venditti, 32, was actually putting together a different blog post when she came across some personal photographs. Looking at these, she realized she actually has more confidence in her body now even though it's curvier and less toned than it was pre-kids.
She was inspired to write the post What Having Four Kids (Including Twins) Has Done To My Body And My Confidence for her blog, Nesting Story, to share her experience with other moms.
"I made the decision that I would disassociate my body from my mind during my twin pregnancy and think of my body as a vessel," Venditti wrote. "Guess what… that worked! In fact anytime I'd start panicking about my size I would say to myself 'you are a vessel, you are a vessel'. It became my mantra."
She went on to say that being pregnant and having kids has instilled in her a new sense of pride in her body: "I get it, I am the thirty-something mom now with four kids and I am really proud of that. I am so much more confident with my body than I ever have been before. Anytime I start doubting my new curves or war wounds I look around the room and ask myself, how many other people in this room grew two people inside their body at once?"
Much to Venditti's surprise, her post went viral, and an outpouring of positive comments and thank-yous followed. However, with the good came the bad: criticism and nasty remarks. This prompted Venditti to write a follow-up post, How Being Cyber Bullied After Going Viral Will Make Me A Better Parent.
"Although I don't have any pearls of wisdom or tricks on how to deal with cyber bullying, I can honestly look at my children and tell them that I have experienced it," she wrote. "I have had to process hateful anonymous words and be able to let them go. It's okay to feel it, address it and defend yourself when necessary and find a way to move on."
"I have learned that there are adult bullies out there and am learning how to take a breath, let it go and move on," she added.
She also addressed the negativity on her Facebook page:
It's hard to believe anyone would attack Venditti for what's ultimately an inspiring, honest post. Yes, she's proud of having carried and given birth to twins. And so she should be. Those of us who've carried only one baby at a time will be the first to acknowledge how hard that is, so having two of them in there (and coming out of there!) seems nothing short of incredible.
With her blog now receiving more attention than ever, Venditti is learning to cope with the pressure that comes with it. Last week, she posted I Didn't Know I Was Supposed To Be Striving To Be Flawless, in which she talks about the assumptions some people have made that she will have plastic surgery to tighten her belly area after she reaches her goal weight.
"I am flawed," she writes. "My flaws tell my story. Who I am. Where I have been. The hardships I have overcome. The people I have given life to. So, I will never say never [to plastic surgery], but right now I feel in awe at my body's ability to be pushed to such painful limits and come back from the war with more fight in it than ever."