Her Bad Mother

Monday, May 15, 2006

These are the mamas of your neighborhood...

*WARNING: mind-bogglingly long post ahead. Pace yourself. Or, just scroll through and admire loverly but entirely gratuitous baby photos before you reach The Mother of All Group Hugs List O' Links at the end of this post.
**New links posted! New! New!

Many years ago, in a land far, far away, long before and miles away from my days of doctoring philosophy and wiping the intellectual noses of snotty undergraduates, I was a snotty undergraduate myself. Brash and idealistic and prone to drunken speeches in which I would sloppily quote Rousseau (we must be forced to be free!) or Nietzsche (our duty is wakefulness!) and then fall off of whatever chair or table I was standing on and weep for mankind's descent into slavish, sheep-like droneness. Newspaper readers! All of us! Heading into twilight!

(I still do this occasionally. For fun.)

Mommy likes her liquor.

I was the world's youngest misanthrope. Humanity I love you because you are forever putting the secret of life in your pants and sitting down on it... Humanity I hate you.

I was pretty irritating. I still can be.

My misanthropy received an unexpected and unfortunate boost in the late nineties when, to supplement my fellowship income, I began working as a researcher for a 'Centre for Dialogue' that my university was building. My task? To research 'virtual communities' - online networks of people with shared interests and/or concerns - in order to establish whether such communities provided examples of 'effective dialogue,' such that they could be said to make a difference in the on-the-ground lives of real people and real communities. I very quickly discovered that most such communities were riddled with conflict, riven by power struggles and politics. It was not pretty. I was not surprised.

Community, bah. It seemed clear to me that the old philosophers had it right: it's not in our nature to get along, to meld easily into communities and love our fellow citizens and neighbors as friends. We're all too self-interested, self-absorbed, bourgeois. We ignore each other, disdain each other, hurt each other. There are and always have been lights in the human darkness - lights that we seize upon and celebrate - but I had a difficult time escaping the suspicion - the seeming fact - that human beings kinda suck, collectively. Subsequent years spent studying and teaching political philosophy did little to dispel that suspicion.

So if you'd told me, even last year, that I would stumble upon a community - a virtual community, mind - that would seduce me so completely with its warmth and generosity and humor and intelligence and powerfully cooperative spirit, I probably would have scoffed. (And if I'd had a few martinis, I would have said something Nietzschean about the unbending of the bow of Western Civilization, shuffled over to the stereo to put Frankie Goes To Hollywood on repeat and then passed out.)

WonderBaby in Martini Fog (if HBM still drank martinis, which she does not, because she has been rendered weak, weak, in this and certain other respects, by motherhood.)

This little community of ours, it is not without its controversies and conflicts. But for every conflict that I've seen, I've also seen a heart-swelling demonstration of humanity. Those ripples and waves in the placid calm of our virtual waters stir us, move us, sometimes threaten to swamp. Sometimes we splash too hard. We get water in our eyes. But we always find the surface, the shared surface, and bob above it, shaking our wet heads and spluttering and smiling and making sure that nobody stays under. We're all here. We're all wet. We are each others' water wings.

We talk, we debate, we judge, we support, we argue, we love. We are different. But we are mothers and fathers (and some, according to more than one ode, are both. Dutch? Apparently you're a Drag Mom) and parents and friends and we get that the plural of those nouns matters. That's what we share, beyond our deep love for our children: the conviction that it matters that we have each other, if only in lines of code. That we have a community. That, like motherhood, like parenthood, community is not always easy, but that its rewards are life-changing, life-preserving. That it's worth standing up for.

This week has, in certain respects, been one of the best of my life. The outpouring of support for such a simple idea, the embrace of the embrace, has caused my misanthrope's heart to grow two whole sizes (which, when put together with the heart-swelling effects of becoming a mother, puts that heart at size Extra-Queen. Requiring control-top reinforced-crotch jumbo heart-hose.) I've been thrilled by the response, overwhelmed by the response, moved by the response. I've read every post for which a link was sent, and commented on many of them (if I didn't comment on yours, it's because I visited while WonderBaby was clamped to boob or while I was in an insomniac daze.) I've laughed and cried and sighed and been struck dumb as my heart clenched in my chest. And then laughed again. The power of love, baby. It's heady shit.

At time of writing, I have nearly a full half-dozen pages in a Word document devoted to the links that you've been sending. I stopped counting them when they hit fifty. And there are more coming. I had planned to write a little blurb about each link, and include quotes from the various posts, but the document in which I've been recording those links keeps growing at such a pace that blurbing each link would require dozens of posts.

So it's also been a challenging week. Worrying over identifying all of the posts (have I found them all?). Fussing over accurate record-keeping (have I recorded them all?). Fretting over how to do each one justice (how do I give due to them all?). Every single post deserves its time in the spotlight, deserves ample and careful treatment. (Bunmaster's genius riff on Pablo Neruda? Mo-Wo's Eclectic Kool-Aid Acid Test? Sherry's poetic invective against blogtards? Bite My Cookie's ode to the literary brilliance of GGC? Kristen's heart-wrenching reminder that a mommy blogger is also the woman who lives motherhood as a deeply felt wish, and that sometimes those wishes die? Every last one of the posts that I received?) I can't do this in one post. I can't even figure out how to get all of the links into the above paragraphs. I've been strobing for the last two days trying to figure out how to do it. But I can't.

So I won't. Today, in this, the Great Mommy Blogger Love-In CardPost, I will list each and every post that I have received to date, and some that I know are forthcoming. (If, for some reason, I have missed you, accept my sincerest apologies and then e-mail me immediately and I'll edit in your link. If you know of any mama-bloggin'-love posts or posts of this ilk, send me those links, too. And if you do a post after-the-fact - great! - send me the link and it'll be included. No deadline, no limits, on love!)

And then, from now on, on every Friday, I will do a post that highlights a few of these posts, with blurbs and quotes and links aplenty. And I will do this until I've worked my way through them all, and until the links stop coming. It will be Her Bad Mother's Neighborhood, where everybody is special. And everybody will get their day in the blogger sun.

(And I will never again sit in front of my laptop in my ratty cardy on a Friday, brain fried by a week of endless nursing and Jolly Jumping and mom-cruising and song-singing and sleep-coaxing and general baby wrangling, stumped for what to write. Huzzah!)

But today, you all go down in history as part of the Biggest Mommy Blogger Hug Ever. Read, and be proud.

It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling
The feeling you know that we're friends.

Sing it, sistahs!

We Are Family (I Got All My Bloggers With Me)

Amalah @ Mom’s Daily Dose NEW!
(Not an original submission but a shout-out to this list so it totally counts. And, dudes. Amalah.)

Beanie Baby


Bite My Cookie

Blackbelt Mama NEW! http://blackbeltmama.typepad.com/black_belt_mama/2006/05/karate_mamas.html

Blog Antagonist


Brain Cells, Return! NEW!*




Chicken and Cheese

Chicky Chicky Baby (Mrs. Chicky)

Coffee… Tea… Sodapop… Peets!

Crooked Pigtails


Expectant Waiting





Her Bad Mother (Moi)


I’m Not Hannah (Heather)

i obsess (lildb)


Jennster NEW!



Knocked Up Then Knocked Down

Kvetch Blog

Life in Mama Land

Little Bald Doctors (Andrea)

Nine-Pound Dictator


Mama Tulip

Mega Mom
http://themomshow.blogspot.com/2006/05/bloggy-love.html NEW!

Melanie in Orygun NEW!

http://mom-101.blogspot.com/2006/05/mothers-day-gift-that-keeps-on-giving.html NEW! (The 'REAL' Post)

Mom/Maam/Me (Nancy)

A Mommy Story

Another Mommy Moment


Mommy’s Dirty Little Secret

Mommy Does it All (Kristen)

Mommy Off the Record



Mother May I

Mommy Monologues (Susan)

Motherhood Uncensored

http://motherwoman.blogspot.com/2006/05/word-to-zephyrs.html (This was not an official entry, but I thought it more than worthy of inclusion.)

Mommy Off The Record

Mrs. Davis.

Mrs. Fortune
http://mrsfortune.blogspot.com/2006/05/leaky-cauldron.html (forthcoming)

My Mom Told Me Not To Blog (MM – Mom of Monsters)

My Splatter-Painted Life


Nonlinear Girl

Not Winning Mother of the Year (Sharpie)

One Girl and her Cats (Alice)

Our Shady Tree (Jennifer) NEW!

Piece of Work (Amy)

Red Stapler (Sue)

Redneck Mommy (T.)
http://www.redneckmommy.blogspot.com/ (forthcoming)

R*Belle (Musings Of a Former Jr. League Dropout) NEW!http://bellechats.com/index.php/queen/comments/how_it_all_got_started/

Rock The Cradle NEW!

Sherry (Horkin Ramblings)

The Silent K (Krista)

Something Blue

Soul Gardening (TB)

The State of Discontent NEW!

Sunshine Scribe

Toddled Dredge (Veronica)

Turning Sixty (Della B)

Urban_Mommy NEW!


Blogger nonlineargirl said...

(1) I love the love! Thanks for doing the weekly highlighting. I am feeling a bit woozy just looking at the list.

(2) I am fairly sure that if I can not see those photos of the wigged WonderBaby EVERY DAY, I will keel over and die.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

you did some major work.. great JOB!
Thanks for showin' the LOVE!!! :)
ps. the wig is hillarious!

11:23 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Holy crap! That was a lot of work. You totally rule the blogiverse now. (Like you didn't before *eye roll*) That's going to keep me busy for a while.

11:26 PM  
Blogger josetteplank.com said...


And damn, lady, you are one mighty fine writer! Well done! Your philosophy jam blew my lid off.

Big round of applause!

12:08 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Very, very cool. I plan to make my way through this list slowly and with great relish.

I loved your preamble as well. Funny and sarcastic and great fun to read.

Thanks again for your effort!

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did an awesome job of compilation dahhhling. Thanks for the enticement of future linkage in future posts on blogging love.

12:23 AM  
Blogger ms blue said...

Wow! You have done an incredible job of rounding up the love. Insert loud, wild applause for you! I look forward to reading every single word in these posts and the ones to follow.

I would take you out for drinks and encourage brash and idealistic speeches. You had better start preparing your drinking tolerance for BlogHer because I'm sure many of these people will want to share their love for you.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Cristina said...

Bravo! What a great post. I am glad I found this virtual mama community. The people here are so kind and supportive. Thank you for highlighting that in such a nice way.

3:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful movement you've started.


6:26 AM  
Blogger susan said...

Holy Koolaid, what a great list!!! An extra large cup for you for putting it all together... I'm gonna need at least another week just to get through 'em all!

7:42 AM  
Blogger The Domesticator said...

Wow! I guess the mommy bloggers love in was a huge success! here's to the koolaid moms!
Oh I love Wonderbaby's pictures:
Mom likes her liquor and sing it sistas...you are too funny *LOL*

8:29 AM  
Blogger Miguelita said...

So much work but so worth it. Thanks for the assignment. It paid off in exponential ways.

8:41 AM  
Blogger bunmaster said...

All I can say is WOW! And thanks, thank-you, merci beaucoup & etc. to top it all off. (Sorry the link takes over the comment box - it won't let me use the code for open in a new window.)

Anyway, you must be exhausted so go take a delicious nap with Wonder Baby. Just don't let her new hair tickle your nose.

9:07 AM  
Blogger The City Gal said...

I think I have a problem. I start reading the post, I get into it but as soon as I see a picture of WonderBaby (especially with the wig) I fall in love and forget about the post! She is so lovely.

About the Centre for Dialogue: I am not sure if you know about Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo who used to teach at UofT but now is in prison in Iran (all on my blog) he started a Centre for Dialogue in Iran after he established a virtual community in Toronto (called the Agora) for democratic dialogue. It was an amazing experience. The Saturday meetings at UofT are still going on. Conflict resolution was a big thing. Anyways, that's probably not the point of your post.

9:20 AM  
Blogger MrsEvilGenius said...

You are the Koolaid Kween!

You're incredibly sweet to have collected all these. Thank you!


9:39 AM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

Wow! I think you get to be queen for a while for all of the effort you put into this. Thanks so much!

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a great list.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

I'm not worthy.
I'm not worthy.
I'm not worthy.

You rock the casbah, Mama. Viva la HBM!

10:02 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Thanks again for doing this. I think it spread much love and positive vibes. You rock HBM!

10:41 AM  
Blogger Baby in the City said...

Yes, viva la HBM. An enormous undertaking, one I wouldn't have the courage to tackle. Thanks for your bravery. I've said it before, you do SO MUCH for the mommie blogging community. You are certainly responsible for my citizenship. Many many thanks.

11:15 AM  
Blogger shade said...

What you have done is wonderful and I love the pics baby is adorable!!!!

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, HBM. Happy Mother's Day to you. I'm really looking forward to meeting you at BlogHer.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Fan-freakin-tastic. And thanks for the compliment on my post. This is a Herculean effort and it is so awesome. I'm spending naptime today reading all these incredible posts.


And Wonderbaby? TOO cute.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Christina_the_wench said...


Newbie...loving it!

1:16 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

Very cool, HBM. Very cool.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the excellent shoes!

2:15 PM  
Blogger ninepounddictator said...

Just what I needed!

2:21 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

Holy! Wow. Look at all the lovers! Fabulous.

Good for you for leading us into the love den. You rock.

2:31 PM  
Blogger tracey clark said...

HBM, rockin' the mommybloggin' hizzy!
Thanks for all the hard work. You're amazing.

2:51 PM  
Blogger the mystic said...

Wow! That is a great read!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Gosh, y'all, thanks for all the thanks. But seriously, there wouldn't have been a post like this if everybody hadn't stepped up and written such wonderful odes to their bloggy friends, old and new. Nor would there have been the original post in which I was moved and frustrated enough to want to see if everybody *would* give each other a great big virtual hug, if I hadn't had the deeply felt sense that we all really do like and value each other - a sense that was entirely due to all you and the amazing selves that you share every day.

So, right back at ya.

(And I don't remember saying about shoes, so whoever is admiring my shoes - um, thanks? - is probably at the wrong party. Probably took the same off-ramp that buddy looking for 'Big Boobie Blogspot' took. Wish I could help you out, dudes. But it's all bare-footed, apron-wearin' saggy-titted mommyness 'round here.)

7:33 PM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

Wowsville. Carefully presented in a highly accessible arrangement. Your weekly readers advisory will help enoromously your constituent readers.

Are some sort of librarian in prof's clothing?

1:15 AM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

Ooopsie -- should have been...

Are you some sort of librarian in prof's clothing?

And -- thanks for the double reference and the note about my zephyr post. I do really value it... I never really believed in synergy up til now.. It did sort of locate me in this great idea you had.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Sharpie said...

I think we need to make you a crown. We HEART you! Thanks for sending all the right messages to all of us.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Okay, I finally got my REAL Love-in entry up. Late, I know. Consider it perhaps the first one for 2007?

This is one hell of a list, lady. You done good.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

We all rock in one way or another but especially you.

Thanks for the link.


11:02 AM  
Blogger macboudica said...

Thanks for your hard work putting this together. I am really enjoying all the love and new (to me anyway)blogs!

11:30 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

you rock! thanks for doing this and thanks for introducing so many great blogs (at least they are new to me). Wonderbaby has a great mom but she already knows that.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Busy Mom said...

A great list, I'm looking forward to checking out some new reads!

12:10 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

Now I know I'm one of you. She attacked me. I'm a koolaid granny.

Lovely to be in such august company.

I have the link to her post if you want to waste time reading what she said.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nice treat to find I've had an honorable mention here! There are so many smart and funny women writers out there - I am indeed inspired! Keep writing...I will be reading!

2:47 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

I too am late, but taking part in this love-fest was irresistible. First-time commenter, but have been reading for a little while. You're awesome! Thanks for starting the love avalanche. :)

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks for listing me! I hated that I was late and then I twisted it up a bit..

It was a wonderful idea, thanks for coming up with it. Now I have plenty of blogs to provide entertainment for tonight!

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an awesome being you are for taking this on. I haven't done mine yet, but plan to so I'm happy to see your 'no deadline on love' rule.

I'm celebrating Mother's Day with my own mom and the rest of my family this weekend so I thought that would be a good time to do it.

Again, great job on this. You seem to have touched a lot of people.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Beautiful post! Beautiful list!

You so totally rock!

10:10 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

This is absolutely awesome. I plan on doing this. When? No clue, but I will. I'll be the caboose, I'm sure.

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to de-lurk and thank you for adding to my list of things to do while procrastinating what with all the links. And, too, fabulous post (as usual).

1:09 PM  
Blogger j.sterling said...

i posted mine too! better late than never, eh?!?! lol

1:40 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Flinger said...

HI! Came from R*Belle's blog. Just had to say that I love your writing. It's amazing. And what a great tribute to all the mommy bloggers out there! Might have to jump on this bandwagon because I have no idea where I'd be without my bloggy peeps. :-)

Thanks for all the great reads (including yours!)

12:13 AM  
Blogger Dani said...


Here's mine. Smooches Tracy.


11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your are Excellent. And so is your site! Keep up the good work. Bookmarked.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mine is finally up too. I posted a comment about it on your original mommy blogger love in post, but considering how many comments you get, I didn't know if you'd notice. Here it is again:


12:19 AM  

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