Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mommy Bloggers and the Hating of Them

UPDATE, 08/12/2006: I had a big ol' defensive disclaimer here that I've killed now. I'd like to retain the part where I said I'd learned a thing or two from the commenters here, though, because that's a cold fact. Or, as I closed this update previously:

Blogging is educational. Yes, even mommy-blogging.

*

Well. Well, well, well. Seems a woman wrote a post titled "I Hate Mommy Bloggers."

Now, regarding how I feel about the subject: Do you want the truth, or do you want the polite fiction?

I'll give you the polite fiction first and that way, if you don't want the truth, you can just quit reading after that. Okay?

The polite fiction is, I think it's great that stay-at-home moms have been able to develop a supportive community online for each other. I think it's great that it's helped alleviate some of the alienation that goes hand-in-hand with raising small children. And I think it's great that they're recording the years of their children's development that every mother tells me go by too fast, so fast that if you blink you might miss them.

Go, mommybloggers!

And thus endeth the polite fiction.

Really.

You can stop reading.

Look, I don't know how to do extended entries on Blogspot. You're just going to have to stop reading right here.

Because the truth is, I kind of hate mommy bloggers myself.

Notice I didn't say that I hate moms. I don't even hate moms who blog. Nor do I hate bloggers who also happen to be mommies. Although, I do hate the word "mommies." Can we get some formal English back up in here? MOTHERS. It's a term that connotes dignity versus a term that connotes horrible syrupy sweetness. Blackhearted childless bitches like myself infinitely prefer "mothers" to "mommies."

That's one itsy-bitsy reason the mommy bloggers get up my ass right there. You're mothers. I realize "mother blogger" sounds uncomfortably close to a certain spectacular obscenity and thus may not be suitable as a substitute, but that just brings me to my next issue:

Why be mommy bloggers at all? Or, what makes a mommy blogger different from a blogger who happens to be a mom? Why does one bug me but the other does not? What's the difference?

I'll just throw out some traits I deem common to the mommy-blogger set, the traits that most annoy me. These are:

  • An obsessive focus on the kid, the kid, the kid that nonetheless does not treat the kid as an individual human being with boundaries worth respecting, i.e. objectification of one's offspring:

  • The obsessiveness of parenthood, of new parenthood particularly, I understand. The part where mommy bloggers think it is perfectly okay to document every humiliating episode, every spit-up, every bout of diarrhea, every stumble on the road to potty-training, in their toddler's development, online and in public, I don't understand at all.

    Seriously: What the fuck do these women think is going to happen when that kid gets old enough to find out they've done this? I predict that in 10 years we're going to witness the start of The Era of Mass Matricide. And guess what, mommies and daddies? You don't want me on the jury, because I will totally acquit your child.

    Your child is not a frog. Your child is not an adorable lump of much smooshness. Your child is not a software project in the early stages of development. Your child is a person, albeit a tiny one, and maybe that person doesn't want every detail of his or her bodily functions recorded in public. I know for a fact I wouldn't. Good gravy, if my own mother had done this to me I would not be writing this right now, because I'm pretty sure they don't have good internet access in prison.

  • A toxic level of yuppieness:

  • Yay, a bunch of upper-middle-class women have built a community--a community based on trading recommendations on, and comparison shopping for, overpriced shit they didn't even have when I was a baby. Mommy bloggers make me hate capitalism, and people, I normally LOVE capitalism.

    Working mothers, single mothers, minority mothers, any mother who struggles with more than just Boobah fatigue--none of these mothers exist in the mommy blogger universe. It's like one big gated community of blinding whiteness. Mommy bloggers make me hate white people, and that isn't something I normally spend a lot of time doing, either.

  • A perverse pride in taking no interest in anything but children or parenting:

  • Kids grow up, mommies. That's all I'm going to say about that.

    Wait, no it isn't.

    I can understand that a child, especially a first one, becomes your whole world once he or she is born, and if you simply didn't have time to care about anything else going on in the world because of that, I wouldn't nitpick you.

    But for crying out loud, don't act PROUD of how out of it you are. It's not a badge of honor to say it's been 406 days since you read a newspaper or had a single blessed thought that didn't involve your kid. It doesn't prove what a devoted mother you are. It proves that you're really good at using your kid as an excuse to quit thinking about anything besides interminable, vicious breast-feeding debates. Oh, and that reminds me:

  • The interminable, vicious debates about whether or not to breast-feed, whether or not to work outside the home, whether or not to embrace this, that, or the other parenting philosophy:

  • 1. Nonparents totally do not give a shit about any of this.

    2. As you are not writing for the nonparent audience, however, here's another thing: For the good of your mommy-blogging community, how about you all make an effort to stop judging and shaming each other and try supporting and affirming each other instead. Yeah, even if it means you have to type horrific things like {{{HUGS!}}} a lot. Because the way you bitches pile on each other looks to me to be the single most terrifying aspect of parenthood. "Not only am I going to have this kid and be very afraid that I'm going to mess him or her up," I think, "but on top of that I am going to have to listen to other women beat up on how I parent until the day I die."

    3. Mommybloggers make me think feminism is useless because women are just naturally bitchy to each other. And I don't normally think women are naturally bitchy to each other; I think they're taught to be. START UNLEARNING BITCHINESS, MOMMY BLOGGERS, before I give up and go sit at the lonely table with Linda Hirshman.

  • The poorly-attempted Erma Bombeckization of every little child-rearing incident:

  • There was one Erma Bombeck. She is dead. Consider, before you record that absolutely priceless, hysterical story about the time you were boarding a plane with your baby and all of a sudden your baby took such a massive poo that it shot up into your baby's hair, right there in the middle of the airport and everything, and you just wanted to fall through the floor from embarrassment, that there are only so many angles to take with this story and only so many comedic devices available to you in the telling of it. Does the world need another poo-in-the-hair baby story? Does it really?

  • So why are you reading mommy bloggers at all if you hate them so much, huh, bitch?

  • Because my polite fiction is not wholly fiction. Because some of the mommy bloggers write exceptionally well. Because I think their hearts are in the right place even if I don't always agree with how they handle blogging about parenthood. Because I know there are women out there for whom the mommy blogging community, imperfect as it may be, is the only community they have. Because if it helps women feel less alone as they parent then I am all for that. Because if I'm ever a parent it will help me immeasurably to know that I am not the only mother out there whose baby can shoot poo into his or her hair.

    The mommy bloggers are mostly all right. But my truth is that sometimes I hate them, some days I can't read them at all, some days I want to throw Dooce out a window. It doesn't matter, ultimately. For every person like myself who grows irritated with mommy blogging, there are ten other women to replace me, women who dig the mommy blogging, women who can support and affirm rather than judge and shame.

    Still, it felt pretty good to vent some of that. I would like to thank Sherri for having the nerve to speak her mind about it in the first place, and thanks to Lauren for mentioning the post and the uproar it apparently caused at BlogHer.

    34 comments:

    Twisted Ovaries said...

    The thing I am learning, as an inferile, is that the mommy bloggers (aka "incredible traffic levels with toddlers") are not to be trifled with. They are more coordinated in attack response than most Middle Eastern coutries. Insult one of them, and they will cut you.

    Sure, Baby Hunter/Janie/Toulouse/Tyler are cute. Doesn't mean I want to read about them everyday, nor does it mean that I think that the life of a mother is for the child alone. Some of the infertile websites I read are incredible in their writing, they're women that I would love to crack open a bottle of tequila with. It seems to be some great chasm of change that comes along and makes the body shot lovin' woman into someone who likes to discuss when it is and isn't appropriate to take away the pacifier called "Dinky", and this is a serious subject worthy of about a dozen posts.

    If you're a mommy blogger, then cool. Write about it. It doesn't mean I'll be visiting your blog, much like I didn't go to BlogHer (I saw on someone's site that they were monitoring "Dooce sightings". People, please-she's a person. Bloggers do not equal celebrities.) If an infertile blogger who's also a mommy goes into mommy mode, I just skip the post. No biggie.

    Mommy bloggers will cut you down if you go after one of the lesser, weaker mommy bloggers. Like the mafia, only they leave Huggies Trainers With Big Bird instead of a horse head. It's when they leave Dinky that you know that you're going to have to close blog shop and set up a new anonymous site.

    ilyka said...

    My love for you grows stronger every day, twisted, and I think you should know that if I only could, I would totally have your baby.

    belledame222 said...

    You know, I realized at a certain point that in fact I had a lot of moms on my blogroll. it wasn't intentional; it just worked out that way (my linking M.O. is basically surfing till "oh, hey, cool blog! link).

    in general though they tend not to be in the demographic I think you're talking about here. mostly single moms, very few in the upper-middle-class demographic, a lot of queer and "non-traditional" families. and I don't think they ID as "mommy bloggers."

    I could totally see how what you're talking about would be obnoxious. I think I probably just don't have much to say to such people.

    what I'm more familiar with, as it's closer to my own demographic, is the "child-free"

    ...and I gotta say, while I get the position and lord knows I don't know if I'll ever be having a kid (as I get older it seems increasingly less likely), goddam, some people can be creepy about it. the "breeder" thing, for instance. or the fucked-up notion that because you have elected to tie your tubes, you are therefore being concerned about the welfare of the planet, as opposed to all those thoughtless procreators. the fact that you live a lifestyle that consumes an astonishing amount of material resources even by U.S. standards, much less worldwide, well, we just won't talk about that, because, buh? class? economics? who what?

    not saying this is lots and lots of people, but I've encountered enough of them to be seriously turned off, and to have a lot more slack for parents than I might have otherwise.

    ilyka said...

    not saying this is lots and lots of people

    Ooh, no, but I bet I can name at least one and her name rhymes with Fisty Blaster.

    belledame222 said...

    >Sure, Baby Hunter/Janie/Toulouse/Tyler are cute.

    ...for a second I read this as "Baby Jane Hudson," which, heh, might just be apropos after all...

    belledame222 said...

    ...snerk. um, yeah.

    but also a number of people on a vc I belong to. two people in particular. nice enough, at least the woman (I've met her in person, and stayed in her home, so I feel guilty being too snarky) but, goddam; she irks. in many ways.

    Lasadh said...

    You're totally my new favortie blogger!

    This post is just so well-written.

    I wish more people had a better sense of humor about all of this, but sadly, that is not the case.

    belledame222 said...

    so I read the original post. I gotta say I didn't find it nearly as amusing. "I hate all kinds of shit, so why are you complaining to me just because I added you to the list? *poke* Lighten up! *poke*" is never a favorite of mine.

    anyway, bless you for this:

    >Your child is not a frog. Your child is not an adorable lump of much smooshness. Your child is not a software project in the early stages of development. Your child is a person, albeit a tiny one...


    and this is exactly what I loathe about all the handwringing about "for the CHILLLDDREENNN" (wrt anything sex-related in public, usually, although other stuff sometimes as well). Which children? Whose children? You do know they're gonna grow up someday, right? Are you sure all this is really about your *actual children* and not, oh say, you?

    ilyka said...

    *poke* Lighten up! *poke*" is never a favorite of mine.

    As a rule, it isn't for me either. I forgive it, though, because twisted up there is right about this:

    Mommy bloggers will cut you down if you go after one of the lesser, weaker mommy bloggers. Like the mafia, only they leave Huggies Trainers With Big Bird instead of a horse head.

    When you know in advance that what you're about to say is going to generate a defensive group reaction, the temptation to shrug that reaction off in advance by making it clear you're poking deliberately, Merry Prankster-fashion, is tough to resist.

    I think it's somewhat akin to what Twisty did with the blowjob posts although, wait, that's twice now she's come to my mind on this subject. What the HELL?

    ilyka said...

    Oh and thanks, Sherri. I appreciate the kind words.

    Chris Clarke said...

    This is how I see it.

    Yes, I know you're all on the edges of your respective seats.

    1) Raising kids is a job. It's an honorable job, one that is given far less real respect than it is due.

    2) A person who can't talk about anything other than his or her job is generally considered, under best-case conditions, a boring person to be avoided when possible. (Under worst-case conditions, such a person is considered a boring person to be avoided at all costs.) Your job is not exempt from this phenomenon just because your job is raising children.

    3) No, really. It isn't.

    4) None of the above is intended to criticize bloggers who happen to be mommies, or even mommybloggers who write primarily about their families but on occasion are moved to opine on the world past the end of the driveway. Trust me. I write about my dog the way some people write about their honor students. If I had a kid I'd blather about her. But I'd sure as hell try to make it a. funny, b. relevant, and c. non-endless.

    Meredith said...

    This post made me laugh all the way through it! I am a stay-at-home mom, and a relatively new blogger. I had no idea there was such a thing as "mommy bloggers" but it doesn't come as much of a surprise. They sound like a group of young moms I used to hang out with--couldn't say anything without it being about their kids. Your post expressed much of my own frustration, proving that it's not limited to just those of you without kids. There are some of us who are moms who get fed up with it, too. Thanks for putting it into such entertaining words for us! :)

    Darleen said...

    Linda Hirshman? Whoa!

    Ilyka...do not give in to the dark side!!!

    (psst...wish you had trackbacks!)

    Ron said...

    One of the sad, sad things about being a new parent is the narrow focus of your life. You have to make more of an effort to read and think and talk about stuff because it is such a time-sucking job. I have a little more sympathy & patience for these folks, but I couldn't stand it for hours either. I really need other people to talk to me about things other than the kid because I'm not coming up with as many topics as I used to. I've bored myself with the baby talk and have had to abruptly stop & ask, "So tall me what's going on in your life."

    I've always loved babies and have been lucky enough to be around them most of my life. They can be pretty silly & fun if you are there to see it. Hearing about it is boring. Ages 2-6 or so are often a pain IMO. It's my least favorite time. It will be nice when he has developed enough of a brain to carry on a conversation besides Why, why, why.

    belledame222 said...

    CC is right, of course.

    An acquaintance (a parent himself) was telling an anecdote about being at some company dinner or something and being seated, along with his wife, with another couple; when the other couple found out that they, too, were parents, there was a sigh of relief; they were afraid, apparently, that they'd have nothing to say to each other. Because *last* year, the story went, they'd been seated with these nonparents who tried to come in on the kid stories with a dog story, and, well. we were so embarassed for them. something.

    and i was all, how incredibly boring do you have to be to worry that because someone else doesn't have sprogs, you'll have *nothing to say to each other?*

    for that matter: how...something... do you have to be to have been so traumatized by the experience of talking to someone who christ forbid thought their pet might be as worthy a topic of conversation as your moppet that you feel compelled to tell your war story a *year later*?

    anyway my response was something like, wish you would've said,

    (stiffly) "As a matter of fact we're half canine."

    or: "Funny you should mention; we're planning to trade the kid in for a nice set of greyhounds as soon as he gets fat enough."

    belledame222 said...

    ...you know, suddenly I am eerily reminded of the stuff going wrt the radical feminist blogosphere. just mostly related to the, ummm, accusations of cliquishness and infighting.

    female training, people. i swear i think that's what a lot of this can be boiled down to, at least in that instance. maybe here, too. Relationships uber alles; whatever you do, never get directly angry, particularly with someone whose relationship you value; anger or fighting=cutoff.

    i will say that in this regard at least i do value what i've learned from the uhhhh let's call it "butch ways of communicating:"

    swear at each other like David Mamet, maybe even come to blows; then five minutes later pick up and go out for a beer with each other.

    I like that. I don't like the emotional obtuseness that tends to go with this communication mode; but I do like the uh resilience.

    margi said...

    Or, what makes a mommy blogger different from a blogger who happens to be a mom?

    Nothing. Which is why I do not consider myself a "mommy blogger." More of a "crap blogger" who occasionally posts some stupid shit I did with the kid, recently.

    And yeah, I admit that I was pretty much obsessed at first -- mostly because I was (can I use this word?) GOBSMACKED at becoming pregnant at my advanced age. Then, when I didn't write anything about my pregnancy, I'd receive e-mails asking if everything was all right. Occasionally, I'll still get one wanting to know how Peanut is doing. It got away from me, frankly.

    And really, nobody gives a good goddamn about my life - baby or no - anyway.

    It's as I've said before: rampant, uncontrollable narcissism. Totally.

    Heh.

    margi said...

    Oh and I guess I should mention that I think that Vanessa is a ROCK STAR.

    Seriously. I'm sooo-ooo a groupie.

    ilyka said...

    Margi, you are NOTHING LIKE the women at mommybloggers.com. Nothing. You also commit none of the pet peeves I've listed in this post.

    Which reminds me of a peeve I forgot to include: The idiotic premise that being a mother is so punk rock. How could I have left that off? They even sport "specially made tattos." This is a very difficult thing for me to read without hurling.

    Caltechgirl said...

    bravo, Ilyka. great post.

    I am sooooo fed up with parenting nazis, between the mommy bloggers, the breastfeeding freaks, and the rude-but-well intentioned people who think that children should be protected from everything EEEEEEVIL.

    Good parents talk about more than their kids, they have lives. This is how they teach their children about the real world and about being productive adults.

    I'm all for online support, hell I have that myself, but when ANYONE's life becomes so one-dimensional, they are in serious jeopardy of losing it, bigtime, whether it's about their kids, or their job, or some hobby.

    margi, sweets, you know I love ya!

    And Vanessa is indeed a rock star.

    Frumious B said...

    Belledame:

    HAH! I deliberately tell cat stories to parents precisely b/c I know they don't care. Much the same way I don't care about their baby stories.

    Anonymous said...

    Liz here from I Speak of Dreams -- thanks for posting this, and thinking it out so well. I suppose in some dimensions I too am a "mommyblogger" as I write about my kid, and I write about parenting issues. And schools, don't forget the schools.

    But I don't read very many MBs, mostly because -- well, there are only so many hours in the day.

    And twisted ovaries, BlogHer for me was a lot more that looking at the cele-bloggers. But you are so correct about the MBs going after you -- but it is also true of other posses. I was subjected to about two weeks of ad hominem attacks, just cause I said I thought a certain blog (now defunct) lacked interest for me. That, evidently, constitutes "an attack".

    Trouble in Shangri La said...

    YOU ROCK.

    I wrote about this too, after one of the MB's unleashed a tirade about how unappreciated MB's are in comparison to working moms.

    Boo fucking hoo. Cry me a bleeding river.

    MB's, as a genre, can all bite my ass.

    Sage said...

    Excellent post! Very true and funny because of it.

    I found the blog world by googling something like, "children ADD aspergers" because of my daughter's problems and ended up finding the mommy bloggers first. It took a bit longer to discover all the really amazing writers out there. (Not that mommy bloggers aren't great writers, some are excellent too - geesh.)

    figleaf said...

    But for a very slight twist of fate I'm a "straight male sex blogger" instead of a "daddy blogger." So I have complete sympathy with both you and Dooce.

    I know it seems contradictory to sympathize with both of you but resolution comes when you factor in time. Look at it this way: should you judge all college students by their behavior as sophomores or (um...) rush week or maybe freshman spring break?

    Those are certainly times when college students are the most obnoxiously visible and loud, but is that behavior representative of college life? No, just the most visible, loud, and obnoxious part. A bigger question: are those moments avoidable? Can you skip straight from high-school to Senior demeanor, bypassing all the obnoxious points in between? (Answer -- at least 1000 years of academic history says no.)

    Anyway, mother blogging is like that. It's something you can do at the point in your parenthood when you're, frankly, trapped around the house with urgent plenty to do (when the child is awake) but nothing much to do (the other 16 hours a day in the first year.) And (based on my experience as a stay-at-home father) there are a lot of moments of "I think I can, I think I can" that...

    Well, let's put it this way, if there's someone/anyone you can share those feelings with, so much the better. And, for worse (not better) heaven help the childless man or woman who comes along and gets all chirpy or disdainful while you're trying to hold it together.

    I mean, don't get me wrong -- it's not a completely alien feeling. Just think how you feel on a cross-country flight. It's not *hard,* but, especially towards the end of a long one, it's "rewarding" only in the sense that you're almost there. Past that onto parenting and you've got a lot of the picture of the downsides. The upsides are pretty nice but yeah, the downsides are like life, in coach, on a red-eye, and you don't have Ambien.

    Anyway, make sense? You're right. And they're right. You just notice them (us, it was me too when my children were young and it'll be you too if and when, etc.) at our weakest moments, at our most, well, sophomoric.

    Sorry about that. I mean, yeah, you need to get over it (or not read them) but also sorry. Human condition. :-)

    Take care,

    figleaf

    figleaf said...

    By the way, Ilyka, that's an *incredibly* good point about "mother" vs. "mommy" bloggers. There's really no excuse for it.

    figleaf

    velvet girl said...

    Yes, I can sympathize with you somewhat about the whole "mother blogger" thing, but if you haven't actually had kids, it would comparable to forming an opinion about an astrophysics blogging community... unless you're an astrophysicist, of course, then I apologize. But it's one of those things that you just can't understand unless you've been there. Don't think that you wouldn't be just the same way when you get there? Think that your life will not change one iota when the kid arrives? Think again. Those first few years are obsessive... it's nature's way to ensure that the young and defenseless are cared for. After a few years and/or kids, nature starts the separation process and you pretty much get over it.Then you can find a way for both parts of your world to co-exist.

    For the record, I'm a mother. Two young kids. I've also recently become a blogger because I was sick to death of talking about pediatricians, potty training, etc. etc. ad nauseum and wanted to reach out beyond my community to talk about other things. Personally, I just skip these mother blogs the same way that I skip the obsessive post-collegiate dating/relationship blogs of people who are in that stage of their lives. It's all about reading what you're interested in. Not interested? Don't read it.

    Oh, and by the way, my husband (of all people) offered another reason for the obsessive mother bloggers... to use these blogs to share events or everyday moments with proud grandparents, especially those who are far away. Food for thought.

    ilyka said...

    It's all about reading what you're interested in. Not interested? Don't read it.

    Didn't I pretty much cover that here?

    So why are you reading mommy bloggers at all if you hate them so much, huh, bitch?

    You know, this brings up something interesting to me: The idea that a nonparent could never be interested in the topic of parenthood. I think that (mistaken) belief underlies a lot of defensiveness I see from some parents--"You can't possibly understand! Just step off, you barren-wombed bitch!" Why couldn't I be interested? Why shouldn't I try to understand? It's a major and fascinating part of human growth and development, parenthood, even if I'm not personally participating in it.

    Likewise, I might add, to your astrophysics community comparison, except I don't claim to be able even to BEGIN to understand astrophysics. Parenting, conversely, can only be so esoteric and incomprehensible, because we've all been children even if we haven't all been parents.

    Allison said...

    I'm a mom. I'm also a blogger. But, for the very reasons you describe here, I maintain two very different blogs.

    One isn't so much a blog, as a baby book. I'm one of the few single parent bloggers, and I remember seeing the mass-produced baby books that invariably started with "about the father," and retching. So, I chronicle my daughter's childhood online -- but it's not intended to draw an audience, just for...us. For what it's worth, she loves looking through the photos and videos with me.

    On my second blog, I'm more the blogger who happens to be a mother. It's where I rant, muse, laugh, and talk about things that aren't *all* about the kid. I suppose this one is just for me too (my tone often goes into journal-mode), but the topics I cover have broader appeal.

    Blah, blah, blah. This is a great post, Ilyka. The infighting over at Feministe confuses me, because frankly, I find badly-behaved children to be annoying too. It's just more motivation to raise mine well and take responsibility for her.

    velvet girl said...

    Smackdown taken, and, rereading my comment, I can see why. It didn't come across even remotely as I had intended, but after 6+ years around kids I suppose that I've lost whatever pathetic ability to communicate that I might have ever had (and I'm sure that I know where you stand on that point). I got to this particular post from a link, and I had read the more vitriolic blog post you were talking about first. I had no background on you at all. My fault for not digging into the archives.

    In all honestly, Ilyka, I didn't mean it as you've taken it and agree with more of your post than you might think, especially about the part of airing all the kids' dirty laundry and humiliation to the world. "Hey, lady, humiliate away... you'll be paying your kid's therapy bills later!" When they do it off-line, the child is usually standing right there, too. Unbelievable.

    My point really was just that the obsessiveness is pretty unavoidable and most new parents fall into that pit. Before I had 'em, I was convinced that it would never happen to me, but lo and behold, I became a mom-bot, though perhaps to a lesser degree. Luckily enough for everybody, you climb out of it after a couple of years. Parents are constantly, and I mean constantly, being criticized/corrected/beaten down about [insert any parenting decision that they make here] from relatives, neighbors, check out clerks at the grocery store, "well meaning" strangers on the street, etc. that they tend to get way too defensive sometimes. You get pretty raw.

    So, humble apologies for sounding like a f*cking she-bitch when it wasn't intended.

    I'm gonna go put myself in time-out now.

    ilyka said...

    Parents are constantly, and I mean constantly, being criticized/corrected/beaten down about [insert any parenting decision that they make here] from relatives, neighbors, check out clerks at the grocery store, "well meaning" strangers on the street, etc. that they tend to get way too defensive sometimes. You get pretty raw.

    This is both the part I have been trying to say I understand, and also the part that I admit I cannot understand personally, intimately. Because I can't; I don't live it, anymore than I live on food stamps in a trailer park; anymore tha I live in a McMansion with a husband who doesn't love me any longer; anymore than I understand anything I haven't experienced personally. There's trying to understand from afar, and then there's intuitively understanding from having been there; I have only the first, weakly, but not the second.

    I apologize for sounding smackdown-ish, because that wasn't my intent. It hasn't been all bad, because the mothers in these comments have reached some amazing heights in trying to explain how it is for them, and I am grateful for that. Too much of it is stuff I didn't get before, stuff I only imperfectly get now. Selfishly, though, I am glad you all spoke up.

    Kate said...

    I have a quiet confession to make.

    I think I might be a mommyblogger. Pardon me while I pinch myself black and blue, the term raises such bile to the top of my throat that only pain prevents me from vomiting on my desk. I don't do cute well.

    I think that may be, for me, one of the key issues that makes mommyblogging so icky - I don't do cute well, on the giving end or the receiving end. Sometimes it jumps up and grabs me by the throat - being around kids I happen to be totally in love with will do that - but becoming a mother hasn't suddenly plunged me into a world where I'll cry at Hallmark commercials or ask to touch strangers' pregnant bellies.

    Cute plus self-indulgent plus obsessed... not all mothers who blog are like this, and I sure hope I'm not. But vocabulary has a reason, and there is a class of blogs which fits into this. Some of my very closest friends, online and IRL, have mommyblogs. Which I visit only often enough to be able to recognize them and their children when I see them live.

    Siesie said...

    I know this is a really old post (I found it by googling "I hate mommy bloggers" just to see if I was the only one), but I'm going to comment anyway.

    I discovered mommy bloggers several months ago by searching for giveaways. I found that a lot of moms like to make themselves feel busy and important by having these giveaways. And that they love to post Hallmark-esque pictures of their kids and their "daily life" and talk... and talk... and talk... about the most estrogen-overloaded things. As if anyone else cares. Wait... apparently some women DO.

    I think the appeal is that they all strive to make their lives look like Leave it to Beaver, and some naive housewives buy into it, and then they think "if I start taking pictures of my kids looking 'adorbs' and shopping at Anthropologie and telling the world how wonderful my life is, I can be like that too."

    I thank mommy bloggers for removing any tiny lingering doubt I might have had over deciding to never have kids.

    Ever.

    Shari said...

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I am a mother of two wonderful little people I refuse to objectify online simply to get some attention. I actually, out of sheer curiosity (and, in all honestly, a wee bit of wishful thinking), I googled "I hate mommy blogs."

    I can rest easy now; I am not the only one.