Monday, January 25, 2010

Many Mothers, One Voice? I Don't Think So...

Crawled out of bed this morning at 4:30 after daughter number one – that would be Nicole - decided that coming into the room in the middle of the night, going to the bathroom, pulling a sleeping bag out from storage bench at the foot of our bed and going back to sleep on the arm chair on the other side of the room was: a) Acceptable behavior for a 9 year old; b) Not going to wake us up; c) Would be excused because she had a cough that was bad enough to justify not sleeping in her own bed, but not bad enough to keep her from going to school.

Now, permanently wakened, I followed my usual routine, grabbed my iPhone and dragged myself into the bathroom. My iPhone has now become the permanent substitute for my $10 Emerson alarm clock from Target that my husband teased me about when I bought it. (I defended my clock’s capabilities, only to have it go berserk on me less than a month later.) After making it into the bathroom, I was lying on the rug on the floor - yes, just lying there - go ahead, picture it – 4:30 a.m., sprawled out on the floor because the bathmat was far warmer than the bed (since David had pulled all the covers off of me) and I was not ready to face another week of workschoolhomekidshusband to drag myself up and sit on the pot. I know, too much disclosure – but there I was on the floor, checking my emails before the sun even dared to come up. Yes, I know that this sounds like I have something of an attachment issue with my iPhone and that perhaps I’m obsessed with it. And maybe that’s true. I live for that early morning email once over, where I can heartlessly delete all of the messages from vendors sending me notifications about sales and free delivery. I delight in following the email train of other parents volunteering all of us to donate even more money to the classroom kitty without the courtesy of asking anyone else (because it’s already like squeezing blood from a stone as it is). And I savor endlessly harassing friends and relatives by forwarding those horrible chain joke/inspirational thought emails that clog up my in box but that I’m too afraid to delete because they promise if you do you’ll get bad luck or it will prove what a lousy friend you really are!

But back to the point…so I’m reading this nifty industry email called Cynopsis ( and I’m horrified to read that some recovering Mormon from Tennessee who has been dubbed “America’s Mommyblogger” has been given a deal at HGTV to develop projects. What is it about the Mormons – first it was the Twilight chick, now this woman???? But before you think I’m “player hatin’,” let me tell you, I’m not. I applaud anyone who can (as I am trying to do) give voice to their own parenting experience and in some manner turn it into a greater platform. Here’s where the horrific part comes in – it’s in calling her “America’s Mommyblogger.” It implies that this woman represents all that is American motherhood. Moms aren’t a homogeneous group. I dunno if she titled herself that, or maybe some latte swilling marketing person at HGTV came up with that moniker, either way, that’s where the umbrage comes in. I went to her website to see what us moms are supposed to aspire to according to the press release and I have to say, her tone (dripping with sarcasm) is amusing and her experiences as a mother have been interesting and quirky. It is complete with job firings (join the club), throwing milk cartons at her spouse (not yet, I’ve been tempted with the idea of projectile food and stopped only by the idea of how messy it would be to clean up), and a hell of a case of postpartum depression (again, join the club) for which she checked herself into a hospital for treatment (no, I was never hospitalized - clearly she has better health insurance than I do). She’s even squeezed a book or two out of the experience – I mean really, what publisher doesn’t want to celebrate the total breakdown of a human soul and their rise like a phoenix from the ashes to grab motherhood by the ovaries. But I guess that’s the reason why I don’t get why HGTV or anyone else for that matter would want to consider her experience representative of the mommy/parenting experience or give her the title of America’s Mommyblogger! Her experience is so different from the excruciatingly ordinary, frustratingly challenging lives the rest of us have juggling parenting, work and family. There are some parallels, but her life is way more extreme (and probably way funnier). Yes, she has an amusing, acerbic wit and probably falls into that category of being way too hip and cool for me to grasp, but there are many mommy, parenting voices out there. Hers isn’t really gold standard, just the one which is being heard slightly above the rest of the screams, but does that make it any more valid than the others?

But what do I know? I’m a novice blogger with a parenting book which probably can’t even be found on the bookstore shelves anymore. So Bahati njema (Swahili for good luck– because we speak so much Swahili here in Southern California) on the new gig at HGTV. Hopefully it will allow America’s Mommyblogger to give voice to wide range of parenting experiences. I’ll even put her website here if you want to check it out, (further proof that I’m not a player hater) and you can judge for yourself.

I decided, at 4:30 a.m. and still on the floor, that maybe I, too, should aspire to a title like America’s Mommyblogger and brand myself with some fancy name. Here are some thoughts:

Parenting Diva
Queen of Domestic Multi-Tasking
Sultaness of Sassy Parenting (Because aren’t all black girls sassy?)
Goddess of Accidental Parenting: (You Mean I have to Grow Up to Do This?)

What do you think?

BTW - to make my point about the diversity of voices in the mom-parenting blogging hemisphere, with big thanks to Adam at a site called Blogtrepreneur,, here's a listing of fifty of the top mom blogs. And those are only the top ones. You can imagine the ginormous number it would be if you counted all the new ones (like this one) and all the ones that didn't make the list. We’re probably talking a number bigger than the national debt.

1. The Mommy Blog (
2. MommyBlog (
3. Just Another Mommy Blog (
4. Blonde Mom Blog (
5. Modern Mommy Blog (
6. So Close (
7. Kim Chi Mamas (
8. News From Hawkhill Acres (
(He missed #9 so I guess it’s 49 instead of 50)
10. Writing Mamas Salon (
11. Joy Unexpected (
12. Soapbox Mom (
13. Sarcastic Mom (
14. Mom101 (
15. June Cleaver Nirvana (
16. Absolutely Bananas (
17. Crunchy Domestic Goddess (
18. Committed Parent (
19. Play Groups Are No Place For Children (
20. Mom To The Screaming Masses (
21. Mother Goose Mouse (
22. Undomestic Diva (
23. Motherhood Uncensored (
24. The Dalaimama (
25. Crazy Bloggin Canuk (
26. Maniac Mommies (
27. Mother Bumper (
28. Three Boys Under My Roof (
29. Imaginary Binky (
30. Girls Gone Child (
31. Notes From the Trenches (
32. This Full House (
33. And Baby Makes 6 (
34. Antique Mommy (
35. Gwendomama (
36. Secret Agent Mama (
37. Whiskey In My Sippy Cup (
38. Temporarily Me (
39. Single SuperMama (
40. Crunchy Carpets (
41. Who’s the Boss Blog (
42. Beyond Mom (
43. Mommy Cracked (
44. Walking With Scissors (
45. Melia Lore (
46. Six Browns (
47. Blog That Mommy! (
48. Pundit Mom (
49. The Redneck Mommy (
50. CityMama (

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. It took me several years to even embrace the term "mommyblogger" because even though my blog is primarily about my children, I do have non-mommy-type moments. I think anytime you try to categorize ONE person into ONE category it is trouble, let alone categorizing ALL of us with the same one.

    The alarm clock thing made me laugh, I use my iPhone for an alarm clock too which means most nights I have to set it up charging bedside.

    I think the Mormons have some sort of super blogging gene? ha.