What I have learnt from your comments

Screen shot 2013-08-17 at 01.47.08

When a flash of orange light appears on my WordPress notifications menu informing me of a new comment, it always excites me.

Imagine my joy when the comment is more than a friendly nodding: “Nice post!” “Thank you!” These brief comments are equivalent to the British weather talk with a stranger: “Lovely, isn’t it?” The encounter is friendly, but it lacks substance.

I wrote Oriental and western views on postnatal confinement two weeks ago and the comments I received were fine examples of how interactive comments inform, educate and entertain me.

Views from different countries

Three women from Singapore, Germany and Britain shared candidly their childbirth after-care experiences and projected three distinct viewpoints. One man could not compete with these women with their experiences, but he was brave enough to contribute to the childbirth conversation from the point of view of food that Chinese women eat after childbirth: “‘liver cooked with ginger’ sounds yummy.”

Addarline from Singapore is a modern, highly educated woman and she shared her happy confinement memories. She described the total of two months’ confinement for her two childbirths were ‘the happiest time’ in her life. She described in colourful details how she was pampered:

“I get 3 nutritious meals cooked at regular hours, herbal water for showering prepared to the right temperature, baby is well looked after and all I have to do is breast feed and bond with her. Gifts are welcome but visitors and all telecommunications are confined to only close family members. A massage lady is hired to give me 8 sessions of traditional Indonesian massage and wrapping which puts me quickly back to shape. After 1 month, I emerged a happy mom who’s totally radiant and shapely. I think every woman deserves a good Chinese confinement!”

By Addarline

English: Cleopatra

Cleopatra (image via Wikipedia)

This description evokes warmth and happiness. After my reply, Addarline wrote back with a brilliant analogy:

“I think nobody needs to fully understand the tradition to enjoy living like Cleopatra, do we? ”

By Addarline

This imagery of a radiant new mother with the splendid Cleopatra is so powerful. From her comments, I learn that a modified Chinese tradition and a western education do not have to clash.

British blogger and talented artist, Keren Baker, commented that “I would love to see the old fashioned English confinement of 5 days in hospital (or at least home) encouraged again.” Keren also explained how an unwritten ‘super mum’ expectation was unwise.

Helen from Germany informed us that a woman can stay up to 5 days after a normal birth. Helen shared her view about finding ‘a happy medium.’

“The best would be a happy medium; a way that respects the new mother but also gives her the chance to be looked after.” By Helen Williams

Brainstorming, challenging views, education

Inspiring and challenging -- Lulworth Cove in Dorset

Inspiring and challenging — Lulworth Cove in Dorset

These informative and heartfelt comments graced my post. They added value to the post, improved my understanding, and generated interest in this topic. Because of these lively and intelligent discussions, I felt that the research I had put into the original post was worth it.

The interactive discussions let us see beyond right and wrong, and modernity and tradition on the topic. They have stretched my thinking.

I am always grateful when readers leave their genuine comments. They trust this platform well enough to share their viewpoints to the world. The trust the community built around this blog. It is an honour.

I enjoy brainstorming. I trust that my readers are respectful, though we may have different views. I like to be challenged, therefore I welcome challenging views as long as we can hold a good discussion on this platform. This is where we share our thoughts, challenge our views and have a bit of a laugh sometimes.

This post was inspired by Blog Exercises: I Don’t Have Any Comments by Lorelle VanFossen. You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.

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16 thoughts on “What I have learnt from your comments

  1. Lorelle VanFossen

    After child-birth care…wow, I want that kind of treatment!

    Isn’t it amazing how a topic you think might not get any coverage or attention becomes a vehicle for introspection, analysis, and dialog.

    You attract an audience from around the world, and it’s a tribute to you that you’ve created a safe space for them to share such intimate stories. It’s a beautiful thing. Thanks!

    1. Janet Williams Post author

      I love your thought-provoking questions, as you always go straight to the core in your questions: “Do you want arguments? Debates over a topic? Do you want people to challenge your thinking or statements, or do you just want to hold hands and walk through the garden in harmony like old friends?”

      I feel that a blog is a magnet, which will naturally attract like-minded people. To think that I have attracted “An audience around the world” makes me feel ‘pompous’ (actually one person each from the three countries), but it’s good to see people are interested in a topic from fresh perspectives.

      A blog is like a cafe, and people who take part may sense what kind of people are normally around and they feel they like the atmosphere and aroma of tea and coffee there. Of course there are different types of cafes, and people will feel and make the judgement themselves whether it’s worth spending their lazy afternoon there.

      Lorelle, your questions keep my brain work hard as always. Thank you.

      1. Lorelle VanFossen

        I love that idea of the blog like a cafe. That is what many of us believed in the very beginning of blogging. Social media took over the role more completely, but I believe you are very right.

        And stop with the self-confidence lacking stuff. Be proud of the fact that you have attracted an international audience. You deserve it. You earned them. Be proud!

      2. Janet Williams Post author

        I think the Types of writing and expectations are different in Social Media and Blogs (mainly thoughtful blogs).

        One strong aspect of Social Media is its speed, timeliness, so news can be explosive, yet transient.

        Thoughtful blogs involves retrospection. They take time to brew.

      1. The Laughing Housewife

        4 days in hospital. I had two caesareans and they encourage you to be up and around asap because you heal better.

        My Mum came to stay both times, and my MIL the second time, so I had plenty of help.

  2. Pingback: My blog as a cafe with a like-minded audience | Janet's Notebook

  3. Pingback: Enlarging My Blogging Comfort Zone | Laurali Star Diaries

  4. Addarline

    Hi Janet,
    your blog gives us a good platform to air our views and share our experiences. It’s wonderful! Besides childbirth, we can perhaps discuss about the policies in different countries to encourage childbirth and maybe the challenges of raising children in different culture and countries.

  5. Opalla

    That’s why I follow your Blog, Janet. I read your posts and sometimes the comments because I get a very interesting mix of western and oriental perspectives.

      1. Opalla

        I think we are blessed to be able to see the world in a bi-cultural perspective, and hope we can get the best of both worlds. too.

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