Her Bad Mother

Friday, May 12, 2006

To all the moms that blog, and more

*Because I've never written a thing that I didn't think could be made better through MORE EDITING: Note added below.

I began blogging almost accidentally. I had never planned to keep an online record of life with WonderBaby; in the early weeks of our life together, I was pretty preoccupied by the incredible challenge of pulling that life together. My psychiatrist had suggested keeping a diary as a way to sort through my thoughts on and experiences of new motherhood, but I had dismissed this as a fantastic suggestion for a brand new mother. All of my literary energies were devoted to reading the same pages of What To Expect The First Year over and over and over again, hoping for some hidden insight to leap off of the page at me and reveal the secret of How to Keep Your New Mother Shit Together, and to recording the details of every last spit, shit and nursing session in a little notebook that was dedicated to these subjects. I did spend a lot of time on-line, but that time was spent clicking back and forth between kellymom.com (why is baby spitting up with the force and volume of Linda Blair? why does breastfeeding hurt so much? is new motherhood going to kill me?) and askdrsears.com (co-sleeping is okay, right? I'm not messing up baby forever, right? immediate crib sleeping isn't necessary to avoiding Electra complexes, right? right?) and googling “nipples falling off breastfeeding ouch.”

I had never heard of a mommy blog. I did not know who Dooce was. If you had said to me, 'go read Dooce,' I would have boggled at you and wondered who in their right mind looks for enlightenment on feminine hygeine product packaging.

(Then again, if someone had told me that reading Dooce would reveal the secrets of surviving motherhood, the knowledge of which I craved with the desperation of a dehydrated hippo, I would have been camped out in the feminine products aisle of the local pharmacy scrutinizing every last Summer's Eve box and the Monistat boxes just for good measure.

But I digress.)

One day, during a google search on “extreme baby gas help,” I noticed a link to a page that I hadn’t seen before. Amidst all of the links to pages advertising Gerber Gas Drops and gripe water, there was a link to something called JezeWhiz, where somebody was saying something about the gas my god the gas what is UP with the baby gas thank god I had the foresight to stock up on gas drops. Intrigued, I followed that link, and in doing so, tumbled down a virtual rabbit hole, and arrived in the mommy blogosphere. And my life changed.

The page that I had arrived at was Jezer’s blog. And the first words of hers that I read, referring to the challenge of a new baby, were, “this gig is hard, dudes.”

I may have gasped audibly. Somebody else knows. SOMEBODY ELSE KNOWS.

In an instant, I realized that I was not alone. I spent the next hour - hours - reading through her wonderful blog, laughing and wincing and nodding and goggling at the pictures of her adorable baby boy. (Go look! You will hyperventilate from the adorableness!) Then I started following her links. I linked to Amalah, and discovered another new mother who was babbling hysterically, brilliantly, about having a new baby and making with the funny my god the funny. And then I followed another link, and discovered that Dooce was not a feminine hygiene product. And then I linked to another blog, and another, and another.

I was totally sucked in.

Women – and men, and men and women – were writing about having babies. They were writing about how hard and amazing and exhilarating and painful and awe-inspiring and crazy-making and wonderful it is to have babies. (Okay, sorry, I cannot even begin to sort out the potential linkages for the preceding sentence. And? Baby on tit. So here's a game for you: check out my sidebar links, read some relevant posts at those blogs and then take that sentence and play Match The Adjective To The Post. And when you run out of adjectives, make up your own.) And their voices sounded like my own. They sounded like me. Scared like me, amazed like me, bemused like me. Determined to suck every moment – good and bad – out of every day with the new little beings that had changed their lives. Like me.

So I started my own blog. I called it 'the first days of the rest of my life.' It was just going to be an online diary. I hadn’t yet discovered comments or inter-blog communication; I was writing just for me and for WonderBaby and for the Husband and for friends and family. But when, during one of my daily visits to Jezer’s blog, I realized that I could comment on her posts – on anyone’s posts – the rabbit hole opened up even further. And when she came to my site and left a comment on one of my posts, I landed at the bottom of that hole and recognized this whole new world for what it is: a place to not only find joy and solace in one’s own words, but to find those things in the words of others.

And although Jezer was the first (thank you, Jezer!), there are so many others that I don't even know where to begin - or end - in singing their - your - praises. So I'm not going to start. I can't. I can't do each of you justice in one short post and I would almost certainly forget somebody and then I would wake up in the middle of the night tonight in a fit of guilt and self-loathing. You know who you are; I visit you whenever I can and when I'm done laughing or crying or gasping or nodding my head so vigorously that my teeth rattle over what you've written, I tell you so. (And if it's not every post, it's not that I'm not reading; sometimes I have to play catch-up.) You all make a huge difference in my life as a new mother. An extraordinary difference.

KoolAid Moms, I salute you.

(And KoolAid Dads and KoolAid Friends, I salute you too. For helping us all to be the super-crazy-hip-awesome moms that we are)

Speaking of which, of whom... I lied when I said above that I can't single anyone out (Carol-Kane-in-Princess-Bride-voice: Liar! LIE-urrrrr!) . I do have to do a teeny bit of singling out. Not because these blogs are any more special than all of the others that I simply do not have the time and space to appropriately fête here, but because I want to single out a particular type of mommy/mom/mama blogger for celebration: the mama-blogger who blogs as part of her parent team, with her husband/partner. The mother who not only puts her life as a mother on the screen, but her life as a wife, friend and lover on that screen as well.

We all, to some extent, share our marriages and partnerships through our blogs. But the shared parent blogs do something really special with what and in what they share: they put the marital and parental partnership right up there on the screen to inspire and reassure. They celebrate, daily, the love and collaboration and struggle and love that define the extraordinary work that is Mom-and-Dad. So, Wood? Thank you for sharing your life as a mother and as a wife/partner/friend with us all, and for doing so so articulately and honestly and with such good humour. For showing us what love really looks like from all sides, so that we can see ourselves in that love, or aspire to that love. And Mo-Wo? Thanks for putting the struggles and triumphs of motherhood and pregnancy and womanhood firmly within the context of shared struggle and triumph, within the context of family.

Thank you both for standing up alongside your husbands and proclaiming loudly that you have your own unique powerful, beautiful voices as mothers, as women and as writers, and for demonstrating that those voices ring all the more powerfully when raised in concert with the voices of your men.


So there you have it. One small contribution to what I hope will be - what is shaping up to be - the Biggest MommyBlogger Group Hug Ever. Keep posting, and sending me your links.

*I'll keep accepting links whenever you send them. There's no deadline, 'cuz, well, who can put a deadline on luuuuve? This is The Hug That Never Ends: if I continue to receive links after the Great CardPost, I'll just do another post. And another, if need be. And so on, and so on. (I may have to do more than one post as it is - you're all being so great about spreading the love...)

I'll pull it all together in one (or two, or three) big linky-rich Mothers Day CardPost(s) and get it up by the end of the weekend (which might mean Monday, depending upon how debauched my Mother's Day is. Husband? You reading? I want debauchery, dude. And chocolate. And odes to my beauty and charm. Sing it.)

Word to you mothers...


Blogger Piece of Work said...

What a great idea! I've been seeing this linked the past couple days and had to come check you out. I love the idea especially beacuse, like you, I fell into blogging accidentally and I think it may have saved my sanity.
(ack,but now it's Friday and I don't have much time left to work on mine. hmm, okay, then, stop commenting and go write, you moron. Okay, then.)
Thanks for the link to Jeze Whiz, I can't wait to check her out.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog (I've been reading for a few weeks now). My daughter will be 1 this month and I am toying with the idea of starting my own blog now that life is a little more manageable.

Have a wonderful Mothers Day.


P.S. WonderBaby is too cute!

5:22 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

I got nothing but love. Keep rocking the goods, my lady. You're awesome. Good for you for pulling this together.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Jezer said...


I needed that. Thanks.

The notion that my little blog in any way influenced the formation of your amazing site is, well, very flattering.

You rock. Thanks for the lift. And the linkage.

Happy Mother's Day!
Your baaaaaad friend,

6:21 PM  
Blogger Cristina said...

Wow that was a great tribute. I similarly stumbled into the rabbit hole and have found it to be really fun and inspiring. Thanks for leading us in this celebration. I think we all get a lot out of reading each other's blogs. I'm so glad I stumbled upon yours. Have a great Mother's Day!

6:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I too felt that rush of "Holy Shit - It's other women like me" when I first read any blog - which was Dooce BTW. My friend sent her to me, cause I had told them the stories of my PPD in 1998-2001 and Leah thought "Hey Dawn would really like this..."

And I did. And I do.

The simple knowledge that we are able to create a cyber 'hood of girlfriends? Amazing. In a way, I think that the mobility of our age has really segregated women who may have had "neighborhoods" in the past as well as close family members on whom to rely.

Most of us don't have that anymore - with Child, spouse, Job ( be it in or out of home) - we rush through our days just trying not to drown.

I consider you - and the others - my neighborhood of Mom's.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

The love, the love! I am smothered--gleefully, giggling--by the love. I'm glad to have connected with you. It hasn't even been that long and yet I feel like I know you more than some friends I've known for years. And I like what I see.

Happy mamas day to you too and thanks for being a bigger woman than I would be under the circumstances. You inspire.

9:59 PM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

Two things
1. You had a book like that, too?
2. I almost called my blog -- But I digress.

Doppleganger! Doppleganger. Gulp, thank you so very much for your kind comments. Make that 10 times YOU pulled ME up by the bootstraps this week... OK three things!

11:41 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

I had heard the word blog but until a almost two years ago didn't know what it was.

Then I bought a computer and my life changed from almost total isolation (being the only great-granny at the elementary school assembly) to part of a group of friends.

What a difference.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so love this idea! I will be posting mine tomorrow!

1:29 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Great post - thanks for all the links to new places to read. The mommy web community has really made me feel connected.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I loved your post. I am where you were not that long ago -I found a blog that linked to yours and I am hooked. I wish I'd only found you guys and blogs and all of it a long time ago - it would have made me feel a lot more sane in my first year (and now into my second year ...)

7:22 AM  
Blogger susan said...

ARE YOU IN MY HEAD?!!!!! First of all, thank you for hosting this love-in and for taking something that could have been so ugly and making it into something beautiful. Here's my contribution. I'm not sure how to get it to you other than post it here.)

11:12 AM  
Blogger Tearfree said...

Hi you all. glad to see things are working out over here with your contest.

Tearfree heard your wise words of wisdom and DID not name the dumbest, most clueless Mummy Blogger. But we did crown a Most Awesome Rockstar Mummy Blogger


So come join the celebrations once you're finished here.

And thank you all for giving me the inspiration to start my very own blog.

Happy Mother's Day!

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of when I first started blogging, and I did a search for "binky addiction." I found Dooce's blog via this search and thought I had stumbled onto an unknown treasure. HA! I couldn't believe it when a few months later I realized how ubiquitous she is.

HBM, you need to get that baby an agent. That kind of cuteness needs to be shared with as many people as possible. Thanks for sharing with us!

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great mom blogs:


11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debauchery? Chocolate? Odes?

Sign me up!

(and my thing will be late, too)

11:58 AM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

I love the love! Word to you, mother.

1:30 PM  
Blogger ms blue said...

Brilliant! You truly are. Your words are so touching, well written and funny. God, you had me laughing and beaming.

On a side note, oh the gas. I tried to make the switch to a 6 mth+ enriched with more calcium formula. Big mistake! My poor baby.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so glad when I stumbled across my first blog and read about a real mom, with a real life and a job and 2 kids -- who was not writing only about how wonderful and glorious it all was. Her conversations through the blog were balanced with good and bad, and overall emphasized how hard it can be to parent, and how there's always a lot of "you" still inside even though you've become a mom or dad. This is the kind of thing that draws me to certain blogs. If I want the glossed-over version of parenting I can get it from neighbors, coworkers, people on the street.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Jezer said...

Mine's up. I am Queen of the Eleventh Hour.

10:20 AM  
Blogger The Domesticator said...

Chocolate? Where? :)
Have a Wonderful Mother's Day!

10:33 AM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

You rock...thanks!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

HBM, this is such a wonderful way to bring Women and Moms together. Thank You. I have been so touched by the posts I've read.

Mean people suck, but thankfully, they can always be killed with kindness.

So many of the bloggers mentioned have been supportive and encouraging to me, the noob, even when our points of view didn't agree. They are truly wonderful ladies. I'm going to try to particpate, but I might be a little late.

Happy Mother's Day!

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day to all of the so-called KoolAid Moms.

And you too of course.


3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did it! Go and check me out.

4:47 PM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

Darnit - I'm not going to be able to contribute on time unless I get my act together tomorrow because I am a slow (painfully slow and tedious) writer. But I wanted you to know I think this is a fantastic idea and that your blog is one of a few that really makes me feel better and stronger as a mom. Thanks HBM and Wonderbaby and Happy Mother's Day.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Namito said...

Too Fun!

My google search was for "Motherhood" and "Brain cells" and what came up was "Motherhood Uncensored". I was trying desperately to find some mother equivalent to Daddytypes. I hit (please pardon the pun, or not) the Motherload.

It's the best therapy ever, reading all these wonderful blogs. So thanks, all, and Happy Mother's Day!

9:35 PM  
Blogger shade said...

when I stumbled across mommy bloggers recently it was great.. being a stay at home mom is lonely sometimes I know I choose it and I don't regret my choice i just get lonely and tired of baby talk:) this is nice to talk with others and get help from others and to not feel quiet so lonely!!! I love the blog world LOL!!!

9:41 PM  
Blogger bunmaster said...

Hope you had a delicious Mother's Day HBM. My carnage of linkage is up - I only went a wee little bit overboard.

Poetry Gone Baaaad

10:21 PM  
Blogger MrsEvilGenius said...

I am also lovin' the love! You ladies ROCK and may the Koolaid Live Forever.

Oh, and re: the Anti-Koolaid-We're-So-Cute crowd ... in the immortal words of Jeffrey Goines (12 Monkeys), "Ahhh, FUCK the bozos!"

Thank you, and goodnight Mommas.


10:57 PM  
Blogger josetteplank.com said...

Here's mine!


Whew! I got long-winded. Again.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

I fell down that same blogsphere and CAN'T get out! I do live out of the states, but I must have been under a rock (ok, had a jacked up computer)to not know that there were so many other women outthere that get IT! Great expression!

9:41 AM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

I did it! Whoa - it's exhausting to post twice in a 24 hour period. I hope Bumper forgives me. Thanks for the inspiration.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe I'm only responding to your kind words now. I've been a little distracted from blogs lately by the food issues at the house of juniper, but it's no excuse -- thank you for saying such sweet things. I'm blushing, and extremely honored.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article! Thanks.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for interesting article.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Blog!

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You! Very interesting article. Do you can write anything else about it?

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:23 PM  

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