This mommy blogging thing is hard. Shut up – it is! [Insert big giant pouty face.]
Now I know it’s not brain surgery.
Or rocket science.
Or fishing for crab in the North Atlantic.
Or grooming unicorns.
But it does come with it’s own diaper bag of challenges.
The biggest challenge? The hatred. You know, the heckling… from the peanut gallery.
See, “mommy blogger” comes with a stigma. You know it’s true. I mean surely any woman sharing her stories about parenthood on the Internet must be pathetic and self-obsessed. She can’t possibly have a life beyond the diaper pail. Like, GAWD – does she really think the world gives a sweet shit about how sweet her kid’s shit is? Spare me the drama, freak-show mama. And, for Christ sake, get your fat ass off the computer and go fold some laundry or something.
I’ve thought all these things about mommy bloggers I’ve stumbled upon online. They’re a dime a dozen, and some of them really do make me want to throw up in my mouth. And if their blahggery is riddled with typos and poor grammar, I want to cut my head off and shit down my own neck. But hey, writing poorly is better than smoking crack well, right? Respect.
A recent report from The Onion captured perfectly the reproach for the mommy blogger:
[A first-time mother] has registered with the web service WordPress for the purpose of blogging the severely underdocumented experience of child-rearing.
“Now I’ll be able to preserve for posterity every detail of this magical time in my life and in Kaylee’s, recording every decision that affects her as well as all of my personal thoughts and reflections on the process,” Baldritch told reporters Saturday. “At long last, persons wondering what valuable insights fertility has imbued me with, or just wanting to see pictures of my precious Kaylee, will have a one-stop resource in cyberspace.”
Baldritch estimated the odds of her updating the blog twice a week for three weeks and then abandoning it at zero.
I laugh because it’s true. Many mommy bloggers are writing about how blessed they are, and how magical motherhood is. It’s annoying, and kind of a big fat lie. But hey, some readers savour that sappy drivel. So if you don’t like what you read, take your eyeballs elsewhere. To motherblogger.ca, for example. (High fives – you’re already here!) I talk about the same kind of stuff, but with way more words that start with F and rhyme with luck. And somehow, that makes me kind of totally rad.
But even when you do it differently and, dare I say, better – people still hate on you. And look out if you actually have a point of view. Bad mommy! Bad, bad mommy!
Seriously. When my Broken Vagina article hit the Huffington Post, I got so many contemptuous comments, it kept me awake at night. I tried to count sheep, but every wooly bastard would pause midway over the fence, look me straight in the eye, and say “Baaaaaad mommy, baaad baaaaaaaaaad mommy.”
It took me a couple of days to realize – this is the way it goes. A friend and coworker of mine gave me some perspective:
“Your writing didn’t suddenly become awkward, unfunny or mean-spirited just because it now reaches more people. The factor that has changed has been the volume of readers via HuffPost, and the accompanying proportion of nutjobs.”
Nutjobs… Oh, of course! From the peanut gallery! Now it all makes sense.
So I thought I’d take a moment to reply to a few of the nutjobs and naysayers – even the anonymous ones with the extra mouth where their balls should be.
To the lovely woman who said she wanted to adopt Max to save him from his cruel mother – check yourself before you wreck yourself, Mrs. Mott. Even the HuffPolice thought you went too far and deleted your comment. Too bad, because I was really pleased with my counter-reply: “You can have him for 20 bucks and a six-pack.”
To infertile Myrtle, thanks for the reminder that I should be more thankful to have been able to conceive at all. Sounds like your uterus is not the only hostile place on your person. But you’re exactly right. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to let Max out from under the stairs.
To the chick who found my K.D. Lang joke “highly offensive,” newsflash: I don’t really intend to buy pink clothes for my would-be daughter so she won’t look like K.D. Lang. And holy homos – K.D. Lang is GAY? I thought she just dressed like a dude. (Read: I love gays.)
To the commenter who said I should no longer be allowed to breed, I’ll have you know – I love my child. I love him almost as much as I love shoes, chocolate cake and green apple martinis. So there.
To the self-declared 100-pound superfreak with the tips on how to eat properly while pregnant – thank you, Calista Flockhart. Next time I get knocked up, I will be sure not to fill my body with “McDonalds and lies.” For the record, my pregnancy craving was grapefruit juice, but who would have laughed at that?
To the fella who called my article “hackneyed tripe,” I noticed that remark was, like, your 100th HuffPo comment that day. Wow. Troll much? I bet you used the term “hackneyed tripe” a bunch of times too, didn’t you? You so clever, Trollin’ Trevor.
To the handful of whack-jobs who called me cruel and cold, I’m not really going to use my new baby as a pillow. Way too lumpy.
To she who accused me of being “completely obsessed with my body image,” I’m sorry about your cankles. I make fun of my saggy nips and flabby ass, but it’s not because I’m vain; it’s because people laugh at saggy nips and flabby asses! And the merchandise is really not that manged. Don’t be hatin’, unskinny satan.
To the terrible speller who said I talk about motherhood like it’s a “game” – Really? Motherhood is not a game? Dang, all this time I thought I was playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.
And to the two mean-spirited local writers who poked fun at my “mommy blogging” – don’t be so mean, b’ys. And don’t be so dumb; if I ever see either of your names on the cover of a book, I’ll be sure to pick up a copy – and put it back down.
When I blogged about the Nicholas Winsor murder, I had nimrods coming out of the woodwork to defend their imprisoned pals. They were googling keywords around the murder and winding up at my blog, I guess. Hooray for search engine optimization? To the commenter who insisted that one of the alleged killers – a gun-toting drug-pusher, if not a killer – is a “good guy,” oh yes, I’m sure he was. But forgive me for not asking him to babysit on Saturday night.
I’ve heated the pee of a few cross huggers with my agnostic discourse. I’m pretty sure the Pope has me on the Illuminaughty list. Vicki Murphy – listed right before Sinead O’Connor, and right after Madonna, alphabetically.
Even my own mother has scolded me for my vulgar verbosity. Maybe one day I will realize she was right all along; I should be more delicate with my diction. But I can only be who I am now and know what I know now, and right now I know one thing: I am a mother, but I am not my mother.
I’ve been accused of being cruel, crass, insensitive, judgmental, anti-feminist, feminist, and misinformed. Clearly, to be a writer, especially one writing about the sacred vocation of motherhood, you need to have a really, really, really thick skin. Really thick. Like, Alan Thicke.
My sharp-tongued prose is not for everyone. And that’s okay. I choose to say things that make some people cringe. I choose to open myself up to ridicule; my cup of ridicule runneth over. If the maniacal musings of the Mother Blogger are not your cup of tea, put that teacup back down, yo. Move along to the next tea party. It’s all good. It’s nobody’s fault. Some things just don’t fit.
But in putting myself out there, come hell or high water, I also get a whole lot of love. Many of you keep coming back for more and that’s why I keep on keepin’ on. And truth be told, sometimes the haters are the first ones to return because I’ve stirred up something in them they dare not admit. Muahahahaha… [witch cackling fades out]
Here’s the deal. If you’re caught up in the hyperbole and profanity of my momglish, if it seems all I do is cuss my life and vent my frustrations about my irate toddler, please know: my son is my life. This is my therapy and your entertainment, if you’ll have me, as I search for meaning in the mayhem of motherhood. (The therapy and the entertainment are both FREE, I might add.) And I trust that when Max is old enough to read alladis, he’ll see the value in it too. Through all the bat-shit crazy, he will see, without a doubt, that I loved him so. Loved him so much, I documented all our zany adventures together for all time. And bravely took the peanuts in the face all the while.
Charleton Heston once said to Lawrence Olivier, “I’ve finally learned to ignore the bad reviews.”
“Fine,” Olivier replied, “now learn to ignore the good ones.”