Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mommy blah-g

Life is about discoveries. A recent discovery of mine: the world of mommy blogs. I am not referring to the specific individual blogs written by mothers. I am referring to the entire subculture that belongs to mommy bloggers. They write blogs. They read each other’s blogs. They write on each other’s blogs to let each other know they’ve read them. They have sites dedicated to the content of their blogs and the unique perspective of the mommy. They have awards based on the sites that show the blogs that give these unique perspectives, and so on. 

I am a mother. I have a blog. And yet, I never really considered myself a mommy blogger. This is partially because I was not tuned into this network of mothers, and partially because the content of my blog is not necessarily from the perspective of me: the mother, it's from me: the lady constantly baffled and befluxed by society, who also happens to be a mother.

There are some mom blogs I read and I genuinely think, “wait, did I lose consciousness and write this and then post it under someone else's name? This is exactly what I am thinking/feeling/going through.” Some mom blog voices are so well developed and successful that I follow them and eagerly read each new addition when they pop up like a little cyber treat on my reading list. I am just not necessarily that motivated to duplicate their success. Admittedly, I am not that motivated in general. We don’t have an album from our wedding over three years ago because I just can’t be bothered to go back and put it all together. I’ll be on the couch yelling at the Bachelor if you need me. But regarding the mom blogs, my take is this: if someone is writing something exactly like, or WAY better than I can, why bother, right?

To be clear, I am a fan of the mommy blog world. It is a highly developed network of like-minded (well, sometimes dissenting) mothers sharing their experiences, humor and advice with one another. I just know I can’t possibly sustain a relationship with these mothers when I can’t even find a moment to meet up with the mom down the hall. Um, just so we’re clear, we don’t have a strange older woman living in our spare bedroom, I live in an apartment building in New York City... definitely no spare rooms here. 

The way I see it, mothers, and by extension their respective blogs, tend to fall into two categories **unnecessary generalization alert!!**

Type As boast of the perfect creatures they are lovingly nurturing and exposing to this magnificent world that they truly believe they can help improve. They give us healthy recipes of how to cook each organic meal from scratch. They also give out great advice on dealing with tantrums in the most peaceful, supportive way possible; keeping your partner happy; and keeping fresh cupcakes (also organic, no doubt) on the table, when it's not being used for intricate art projects. 

And the Type Bs let us all off the hook by telling or showing us how terrible we can all be at the job. 

Sometimes Type Bs make pictures featuring their children in HILARIOUS and semi-inappropriate scenarios

I know both, I read both, I identify with both. If I were a mommy blogger, I could be both. I would inevitably be a Type B because I think we all secretly like the Type Bs more. In fact, when I think about it, the Type B equivalent in any group are infinitely more likable. With their self-deprecating confessions of half assed attempts and mistakes, they make us feel good for being just alright at anything and everything. 

On occasion I do things that I am incredibly proud of.  But I am also more than happy to show off why I am a worse mother than you. Type B moms don't make you feel bad for your shortcomings by showing you all the things you don't do, they commiserate and give examples of sh!tty parenting we can empathize with. Like feeding our kids food off the floor (every day), or teaching them to say “SUCK” after anyone says the words “Red Sox.” Technically I did that with my nephew before I was a parent, but my sister and brother-in-law totally laughed, so that’s on them.

Type A and Type B duke it out in my head and my heart daily. I know I could be better, but I could also definitely be worse. This means I am good. And good is good enough. And even if it wasn't, I could easily find another mommy out there who isn't quite as good to make me feel better about myself. Which is why this whole mommy blog network thing is brilliant and so amazing. Every job should have this type of network of commiserators/supporters. Oh wait, is that what that whole water cooler culture is about? Oh the things you miss out on when you work in a tiny space with your mom and sister.

As for this blog, I am still finding and honing my voice. I believe I can be a lot of things at once. I will continue to blog about things that have nothing to do with being a mommy. And I will also blog about my kid and my husband, because they are a part of my life as much as annoying tourists, dog poo and traffic cops. Arguably more, but they frustrate me WAY less! 

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