Her Bad Mother

Friday, June 30, 2006


We interrupt regularly scheduled Heavy Blogging (the long-promised but ever-elusive Feminist Smackdown) for more Happy Blogging: this month’s Perfect Post Awards! (And tomorrow: the June Blog Exchange!)

I’ve never awarded a Perfect Post Award. I’ve thought about it. Every month I read dozens of posts that deserve to be called Perfect Posts, and every month I tell myself that I’m going to sling some awards around. Then the end of the month approaches, and I start reviewing all of the posts that I’ve mentally bookmarked as Perfect and I get overwhelmed. How to choose?

This month, I decided to just suck it up. I narrowed my list down, with difficulty. But I couldn’t get it down to just one. So, unable to follow the rules, I simply ignored the rules and sent in a short-ish list of awardees. Whereupon MommaK asked me really nicely if I could please just narrow it down to one, the better to avoid starting a trend of free-for-all award-slinging (which, while nice in theory, would turn the elegant Perfect Post Awards Ceremony into a bloated festival of sycophancy, hosted by Billy Crystal.)

So by this morning, just in time to have missed the Unveiling of the Perfect Post Awards Recipients, I sent in my revised nomination. I’m hoping that the ever-gracious MommaK will still put up notice of the award on the list, but, as it happens, it’s a moot point, because my awardee and her post are already listed there.

My Perfect Post Award went, this month, to Marla of Hello Josephine, for her post Wherein I end with a poem that I used to think was maudlin. Which is a beautiful piece of poetry, accompanied by beautiful pictures, and is fully deserving. Unofficially, however, this award goes to a post that she wrote earlier in the month and has since deleted. That post described her relationship with her mother and her fears and desires for her own relationship with her daughter, and although it described a relationship that is very different from the one that I share with my own mother, it gripped me completely and left me in tears. It was tremendous. She removed that post because she did not (to paraphrase her) want to have those feelings, in all of their rawness, living in front of her. I completely understand that. But I’m grateful that I caught them while they lived.

But alongside Marla's wonderful posts, there were a host of other posts by other wonderful bloggers that I also wanted to recognize: among them, BubandPie’s post about keeping a diary, Christina’s thought-provoking piece about her c-section and how art has helped her come to terms with it, and all of the pieces that Scarbie has written about her struggles with anxiety. These were just a few of the many posts I read this month that compelled me to leave banal comments to the effect of wow. And - that was just beautiful. And - the surest sign that I am at a loss for words - thank you.

And, and... I would have liked to have given an award to Amalah, for Nobody Tells You. I know: part of the point of the awards is to spread the love, introduce people to new blogs and great writing that they might not have otherwise come across. And it might be said that there’s something sucky about cruising up to one of the Very, Very Popular Girls and presenting her with a friendship bracelet. Like she needs it, like she cares, and isn’t this all just about getting her notice you?

Whatever. Her post on the experience of losing her temper, however momentarily, with her baby knocked me off of my feet. It was breathtaking in its honesty. It was brave. It described an experience that all of us have – or will – undergo. One that we will all have a great deal of trouble talking about, if we ever speak of it at all. That she spoke of it will make it a little easier for us – for me – to own up to it and to speak honestly about when it happens.

It was also a post that demonstrates the power of writing through the difficulties of motherhood, and of life more generally. And so, in a way, it honors all of those women (and man) who have been blogging their fears and hurts and anxieties in the Basement. Writing through pain or fear or insecurity is powerfully difficult, regardless of whether one does it anonymously or in their own name. But it’s also, simply, powerful. It helps the writer and, perhaps more importantly, it helps all of those who read it. Writing like this demonstrates to both writer and readers that we’re not alone.

So, to Amalah, and to the ladies mentioned above, and - last but not least - to all of the writers of the Basement: I offer you my own award, for writing that demonstrates the power of writing in community. I’m calling them the PIMP awards: Prima Inter Mater Pares (First Among Mother Equals. Latin bastardized for acronymical effect.) You've been PIMPed.

Take a bow.

WonderBaby is impressed. Really. On the inside.


A Perfect Post

So, I only realized after this post had gone to press that I had not thanked two super-awesome ladies for bestwoing Perfect Post Awards upon me. Kristi of A Beautiful Mess presented me with Award for 'Sticks and Stones,' the post that wrote about my terminally-ill nephew struggling to find a place among his not-always-welcoming peers. And Sarah of Sarah and the Goon Squad honoured 'How to Lose a Friend in Ten Months,' my post about being dumped by a friend for being a mommy and a blogger. Thanks, ladies! Those awards made my day, because the posts they honour were difficult to write. Truly lovely to know that you liked them.


Blogger Andrea said...

Thank you for all these links! And having been a poster in the Basement, I would like to say thank you for not only coming up with the idea and creating the venue for it, but for also being so encouraging for those of us who've had difficult things to admit to, things we NEEDED to say but had nowhere to go to say them. I think you deserve an award for the Perfect Idea, along with Dawn for her idea at True Wife Confessions. Talk about community.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I clicked on the link you gave for Amalah's post, partly to see why everyone loves her, and partly because I knew I could probably relate to it. I read a total of four sentences before I was crying like a baby. I have lost my temper with my daughter before and it terrifies me. I feel so guilty afterwards for yelling or grabbing her that I actually get physically sick. I don't even know if I can go back and read the rest, but I wanted to thank you for sharing it.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the PPs! Congrats to you - and isn't it fun to read and meet all kinds of new bloggers on their best day?!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Great links. See, you really are the primo mommybloggerlovegoddess of all the world.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

congrats on *your* pp, sister! :) it's nice to see some of that love get turned back in your direction, you give so much out on a regular basis.

p.s. I love you, man. (couldn't help myself.) :)

7:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you, for bestowing the honour. I'm deeply, honestly, heart puffingly pleased with it.

(If that post took me about five hours, I can't imagine what goes on over here! You are a dynamo.)

9:43 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Andrea, as someone who has publicly acknowledged her "Basement" writing, you get extra props for bravery. Though, as I said, I think that it is tremendously challenging to spill one's secrets on the page regardless of whether one does so in one's own name or not (how's that for a mangled sentence?)

10:18 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

You have great taste in posts. The links you shared are all brilliant and heart felt writers. And congrats on both of your PP awards. Well deserved indeed!!

So incredibly wonderful to finally meet my friend HBM in person last night. Take care

12:05 AM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I'm so glad you took part this month and I apologize for making you narrow it down to one. It is always hard to do that, I know.

I want to tell you, when I got your email Friday morning with your final choice I was getting my hair cut. My phone had web capabilities but I have never done more any more blogging on it than leaving a comment here or there. I was determined to get your link up and...you know what - I did! I was so proud of myself that I squealed with delight when the page refreshed and the link was there. The hairdresser looked at me like I was crazy - but I told her "Look, I'm hot shit. I just blogged from my phone...ok?" :-)

She didn't get it.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

MommaK - do NOT apologize. The awards rock as they are.

ANd? You blogged from your phone? You are the shit.

(And? There's a blogging phone OMG?!?!)

9:57 AM  

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