19 May 2007

So What Is a MommyBlogger Anyway?

After jumping over from one of Plain Jane Mom's "Go Read This" posts a couple of days ago, I read this post at citizenofthemonth.com and found myself wondering what it really means to be a mommyblogger. Is there a list of defining characteristics? Do we all chatter incessantly about our children? Post non-stop pictures of them, day after day after day? I don't do that, do I?

The mommybloggers (self-proclaimed or otherwise) that I read all have something else going for them: they have personality, talent, and humor, something that makes their blog different and, at the same time, familiar. There is a sense of community, the kind that I don't really have in real life. There is camaraderie, a casual atmosphere of support and friendship, based not on mere playgroup proximity, but on shared interests, and that dark, wry sense of humor that all of my favorite mommybloggers posses.

We share a common experience. Okay, maybe your child didn't throw up on you in the supermarket yesterday, just as you had piled the last item into your brimming shopping cart, but you can understand why my first instinct was to catch the vomit in my hands, right? (Why? I don't know, I just did, and no, it didn't help.) And sharing that lovely little detail with all of you makes it less embarrassing, less icky, and ushers it into the realm of the laughable.

Besides, there are a million different reasons that moms choose to write blogs in the first place. For some, their blog is simply a practical way to keep long distance family and friends up to date on what's happening on the homefront, like my friend at Chickpea Journal, whose baby might actually be the cutest one in the world.

Or, maybe you already had a blog and then had a baby - mommyblogger by default - like my friend Annika. (With whom I spent many crazy teenage years and who I have recently reconnected with via blogging.)

Or maybe, like me, you write because That's What You Do, and having kids around means that blogging is the best way to do that right now and without it your head might explode. Since I've been blogging, I have been calmer in the face of child-created disasters. I think to myself, ha, I am so blogging about this tonight! and it helps. It takes the edge off.

Being a mommyblogger means that there are other people out there who are having the same feelings of joy and resentment and pride and despair that I am, and that together we can share these things with humor and empathy. And it almost doesn't even matter why, or what kind of wacky content ends up getting posted, because being a mommyblogger means that I am not doing this by myself. And when I read posts like this one from Jenn at Breed 'Em And Weep, I know that I am not the only one who fantasizes about running away sometimes, and I don't feel so guilty when it happens.

And there are a million other reasons why each one of you is also a mommyblogger, and well, I'm glad I found you people. I love you, my virtual friends, I love you very much. So regardless of whether we, as a collective, are misunderstood by some other non-mommybloggers out there, regardless of whether or not we are "easy targets," we know who we are, we know what we are capable of, and ultimately, we're in this together.

So, that's why I am a mommyblogger, because I have to write to survive and because knowing that I'm not the only one is just about the best support a mommy like me can have. Well, that and a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Did I mention that she threw up on me in the supermarket?
UPDATE: See? This is what I'm talking about.


Jen said...

I know there are lots of times when I find myself thinking "These kids are driving me crazy! I'm going out of my mind! I can't take it for one more ....... Hey! This will make a breat blog entry!" and it all seems a little less serious and crazy-making.

And I totally don't get the need to try to catch the vomit but I've done the same thing.

Andrea said...

Nell, it's like I don't even remember you before you were a blogger (no, it's not true, I'm just trying to reinforce your point).

Jennifer said...

I obviously agree with you! I really do think that blogging and the blogging community helped me regain some of the "me" that I was before becoming the "mommy me."