We are all our own Gatekeepers.
Gatekeepers control the flow of information - to the public, to reporters, to blogs, to companies. A Gatekeeper can be a PR person that sends out a bulletin to raise awareness, it can be an editor that slices an article, it can be a secretary that screens calls for an interview, the list goes on and on.
But what is hardest for me, is that I am my own worst Gatekeeper. Which is why I cut the last post I had written.
I had my hesitations about posting it, and then those hesitations were echoed back to me by a couple people, out of love and concern. Taken out of context, my words of concern as a mother could be seen as something else - neglect maybe? Inability perhaps? I don't like to put a concrete term to it honestly, because to me the post was meant as a confession that I always want to do the best for my son and feel "less than" when I am slapped with the reality that sometimes my best stumbles. It's sad to think that someone could try to use that against me, but it's an honest fact.
And that, my loyal readers (all 6 of you!), is what I consider the hardest part of my being a single parent. The threat and fear that someone is waiting for me to slip up so they can strike. I love that my son's dad, The Ex, wants to be involved in his son's life. I am happy that my son has a father who loves him. But there are reasons why The Ex is the ex, and it's those differences and disagreements that cause me to worry, edit myself, and silence myself.
I can not write freely at times, because freely could be taken out of context and I would have to defend myself. Much like years ago, when not vaccinating was cause for an uproar and the debate was on the tip of every parent and health professional's tongue. The Ex and I stood by our decisions on the matter, but self-edited our reactions and responses whenever the subject came up with other people. Not because we felt we were doing something wrong, but because we knew that taken out of context our actions and beliefs could be used against us. So we stood solid and kept our opinions within each other, occasionally letting them surface when we felt we were in like-minded company.
Unfortunately, that is how a lot of life becomes, not just as a single parent, but as we grow up. It's not just the single parents who are trying their hardest with little means. It's the same for anyone who has a voice against the "norm" or against someone else who could holds leverage over them. It's the same for the little girls who are told to quiet down and the little boys who are told to act tough. We all become personal gatekeepers to some extent. I hope though, that my son does not one day feel this same pressure to be his own biggest gatekeeper too.