An opinion piece on opinions

Everybody has an opinion. And we all feel the need to share it with anyone that may raise an eyebrow our way. It is human nature to tell others of our thoughts and experiences, but is it helpful?

Basically whatever you are doing, you are doing it wrong. According to someone.

This week I put an update on Facebook about Marriage Equality, which us Woogs fully support. It was not intended to be anything other than information to help people who might be fence sitters. I closed Facebook and got on with life. A few hours later, I checked Facebook and HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THINGS UGLY! It went quite viral with about a million views and although a lot of them were lovely, some were less than pleasant!

I was all like “DO YOU KISS YOUR MOTHER WITH THAT MOUTH!” before going on a blocking and deleting spree with such dedication not seen since March of 2013, when I dined at the Rooty Hill RSL club with one Julia Gillard. (Please come back Julia! I promise that I will not call you Julia Roberts for a third time.) But then it got tiresome so I just took the whole thread down.

I don’t know much about anything, but I do recognise a solid social media pile on when I see it! And I also know that the world is a very shouty place!

Like right now, there is a huge focus on women having babies over the age of 40. Do you think want-to-be mothers need a group of people, who do not know them personally, or know nothing about their circumstances, to sit there are pass judgment on them? The coulda/woulda/shoulda crew who are so smug in the choices that they themselves have made, casting dispersions on those who have, whether by design on not, left this particular decision until later in life?

Who cares!

 Me? Naive? Perhaps. But I think armed with the facts and given support, these older Mums have the intelligence and capabilities to make their own decisions without fear of public scorn or ridicule.

And while I am at it, here are some other things that I just do not care about.

I don’t care if you change your name when you get married. You do not have to justify why you did or didn’t do it. It is your name. Nothing to do with me. Just let me know if you get a new email address.

I don’t care if you breastfeed your kids or not. As long as they get fed and loved.

I don’t need to hear any justifications about going back to work, or staying at home. As long as you are happy, then that is great.

Your money doesn’t impress me. I just don’t care about your financial situation and all of your stuff. Don’t need to know.

But what I do care about is the widening gap between the rich and the poor in our country. I care about the miss-representation of women in the media. I worry about advertising creating artificial needs. I think about my kids and the world they are growing up in.

I want to know about your great new job, or something exciting that is happening to you. I want to know if you are suffering or worried about something. You know, the stuff that matters.

The difference between opinions and advice is clear.

If someone asks you for both, then that is an invitation to share. But time and time again, opinions can come at you like a swift dose of gastroenteritis, ready hit you and hurt you when you are not expecting it. Something that I have learnt is that no matter the exchange over the “opinion”, you are rarely going to change someone’s mind.

That is where you need to take the stance of nodding gently, with your head tilted ever so slightly, until the opinionated has finished lecturing you on the stupid choices you have made.

Then, like a cerebral etch-a-sketch, shake it off and clear your mind.

Over 40 and want to have a baby? I wish you all the joy in the world. And for the record, I don’t mind whether you have a vaginal birth or an elective cesarean.

Want to marry your partner and you both happen to be the same sex? I am confident that the Australian People (who it really has nothing to do with….) have got your back.

When it comes to opinions, how willing are you to offer yours?

Do you sometimes think the world needs to take a massive Xanax?




  • Angela

    I was just having this discussion with my mother on “opinions”. We agreed we are finding everyones opinion too ” noisy”. You are right there is always someone with another opinion. Consequently we agreed we dont offer opinions ! The fact is I dont care enough on so many issues that others get inflamed by. Even my teenagers brought up with me they cant believe how angry people get with there opinions! However when I gave them my opinion on eg the state of their rooms. They promptly answer” didnt ask”. I now use ” didnt ask” back to them when they offer their opinion eg on the dinner menu.

  • Net

    Yes!!! The great thing about the internet is that everybody gets to have an opinion. the worst thing about the internet is that everybody gets to have an opinion. And sometimes people would be best to just maybe have a quiet hissy fit to themselves, not try and drum up some social media outrage. And while we are at it, mothers, pls stop writing “open letters” to your husband and kids about what a wreck you are and how you aren’t the same as you used to be. Presumably you live in the same house as these people, so go talk to them if changes need to be made rather than looking for likes. (as a mother of small children since 2011, I have had to remove most mothering groups and pages from my feed as I can’t stand the crowdsourcing of parenting opinions and….oh hang on, perhaps i should have a xanax as I’m getting ranty.) But yes, Mrs W, you are spot on

  • What’s that saying about opinions being like arse holes?
    I tend not to share my opinion on someone else’s choices unless invited to do so. I get so tired of the outrage. Outrage should be saved for the truly important stuff.
    I think you’re right – everyone needs to CTFD, generally. Just be kind.

  • Heidi D

    I will share my opinions with someone if they ask me otherwise I keep them to myself. I am frequently amazed by how over the top some people get in pushing their opinions at someone else & telling them how wrong they are. It really has no impact on me how someone gives birth or feeds their baby, how much someone earns or how they spend it, who someone wants to marry. Apart from not having an impact on my life it is also absolutely none of my business, I will only make it my business if someone is being hurt that can’t speak up for themselves.

  • Donna

    I don’t have Facebook. And have never been more happy not too. At some stage the right to have an opinion needs to be tempered with everyone else’s right to not have to listen to arseholes.

    I voted yes.
    And I’m an over 40s mum.
    And I had two cesareans, one by choice.
    And I feed my kids fish fingers.
    And I work full time.
    And I didn’t change my name. Made it easier when I got divorced.
    And I’m a single mum.
    And I dislike the Catholic Church.
    And men that perpetrate family violence are weak cowards.
    And kindness matters more than money.

    That’s my opinions for today.

  • Kate in Melbourne, Australia

    I don’t know about you Mrs Woog, but I prefer to cast nasturtiums. Much prettier, and bloody tasty in a salad…