Blogging vs Mommy Blogging

I started writing this in response to my friend’s (well, physician we have never met but we have corresponded so I’m calling her a friend) recent post titled: On mommy blogs, buy more about maternal ambivalence, erectile and my worst tendencies. Kerry is due with her first baby in two weeks and, with good reason, has a lot to process these days. I thought her honestly in this post was fantastic and I have been thinking about it all day.

I’m trying hard to move away from the Mommy Blogger label even though being a mommy and a blogger it is a little hard to avoid and I suspect no matter what I do from now on the label will always be with me. I’ve been blogging for years for one reason or another and I will say that having this blog has been helpful since Moira was born because it gave me somewhere to talk about this wonderful, overwhelming, life-altering, is that poo under my fingernails?* experience I am having. When I got pregnant I didn’t have any friends with kids or any friends who were pregnant so I had to search for connections. I found some through the Mothering Dot Commune forum but I also found things can get messy and very black or white over there. Maybe the benefit of my journalism training is that I was able to do the research and reserve (at least publicly) judgment until later on knowing that once the baby arrives all bets were off. I have discovered a) this is the hardest job in the world (at least that I have had so far) and b) mothers can be an extremely judgmental and bitchy lot. The further into this gig I get the more I just try and avoid everything and live by the “this is what works for me” mentality. It isn’t that I don’t have opinions – but what works for me isn’t going to work for everyone.

I too hate the “embrace your inner bad-mom” mentality that is so popular right now and wonder if any of these women really think they are “bad” at being mothers or if it just unacceptable to think – or admit out loud – that you’re good at it. No matter how tough things get around here or how often I use this blog as a sounding board for my insecurities (or joke about the amount of dirt I let her eat) at the end of most days I think I’m a pretty fucking awesome mum. I actually sit around when I am with Moira thinking, “this is fucking awesome” because I swear in my head all the time. Our girl is healthy, she’s happy, she is – above all else - so loved. I keep telling the Mister that we have to work hard in the early days to raise a child we can live with and so far I think we are doing a damn good job. Some things we felt were important as parents-to-be we have been adamant about (no TV, no crap food, not smothering her with attention or talking to her in a baby voice, avoiding sarcasm). Most things we are re-evaluating all the time – and I think that is the key to staying sane.

The other trend in parenting – at least in the blogosphere – these days seems to be giving your child your all: spending every moment with your baby, then child, home schooling and then blogging about how many sweaters you can still knit or quilts you can sew up while being there 100 per cent for your brood of six. Sometimes I find it a little nauseating but I like it better than all the bloody hipsters who are too cool to admit that they actually love their children for what they are other than some one to buy mini cyncial t-shirts for. It’s like there is a war going on between the Bad Moms and the Super Moms and the rest of us are sitting back wondering where we fit in even though we don’t have to fit in anywhere. I’m not a bad mom or a super mom – I’m just a good mom who will, most likely, continue to read and laugh at some of the Bad Mom blogs and read and be in awe (and a little jealous) of the Super Mom blogs.

But I’m getting away from the point if I ever had one. The point is I don’t really want to be a Mommy Blogger but since a huge part of my day is spent being a Mum it is hard to avoid. I have read so many blogs that apologized for making the switch from talking about whatever it was they talked about before having children to always talking about their children and it makes me laugh because of course that is what they are going to talk about on a personal blog. The real question is why should anyone feel the need to apologize? I don’t apologize for switching focus on this blog because my whole life switched focus. I do know, however, that it isn’t the only thing I want to focus on in my writing life these days and that is what I need to work on. For some people writing about their children is enough or is something they are passionate about and who can fault them for that?

*There totally WAS a tiny bit of poo under my fingernail earlier today while I was in a phone meeting and I think I have washed my hands eleventy billion times since then but I can still feel it there like some phantom poo limb tormenting me.

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