I could be called many things, and most of them I’d agree with. I like Super Mom, Wonder Woman, and You Poor Thing [as long as that last one is followed by an offer of either babysitting or wine, or both]. When you get married, you might give up your last name and maybe your middle name. When you have a baby, you give up your first name and maybe even the cutesy pet names your partner gave you when you first got together and had nothing more pressing to do than have sex and decide on a brunch place.
You become Mommy, Mama, Mom, Hey, No, or some excruciatingly high-pitched noise that only barely qualifies as a human-made sound. When you become a mom, you get labeled. Working Mom, SAHM, Mom of Multiples, Single Mom, Nursing Mom, Expectant Mom, Special Needs Mom, the possibilities are endless. Right now, I’m Working Mom, Nursing/Pumping Mom, Mom of Three, Boy Mom, and probably That Mom Who is Always Late and Has Something Green on Her Shirt. But one thing I am definitely not is a Mommy Blogger.
I don’t like the label Mommy Blogger, but not for the reasons you might think. Sure, I prefer to call myself a writer, but not in the implied snotty way that people often try to distinguish themselves from everyone else on the planet with a laptop, a WordPress account, and an opinion. If anything, it’s the other way around.
I’ve been writing Folding A Fitted Sheet for about 3 years now, and I had an epiphany recently while folding laundry. I’m actually not trying to be cute, it’s just that quite literally most of my epiphanies, ideas, and horrifying realizations that I’ve accidentally washed something important, happen in my laundry room, not least because that is where I spend a lot of my bleary-eyed waking hours. It occurred to me that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I don’t want to be a Mommy Blogger. Not because the label itself implies a sort of duality where one pursuit is more or less important than the other, and where neither is taken all that seriously. And not because the term blogger has come to connote a hobby rather than a passion or an occupation. And certainly not because anyone can be a blogger. Although that last one is true, the first two of those perceptions about Mommy Bloggers couldn’t be more wrong.
I am privileged to be part of a couple of “mommy blogging” communities filled with very talented writers, each with their own style and voice and unique story to tell. And I count myself qualified to be among them on those criteria. But that’s where the similarities end. These moms, and an ever increasing number of dads, are honing a writing craft unique to our generation. It takes immense dedication and focus, organizational skill, networking, a degree-level understanding of online marketing techniques, a very thick skin, and of course a half-decent ability to write, to be a Mommy Blogger. And notice I didn’t say successful mommy blogger. In my experience, it demands much more than simply putting thoughts into words, even more than pouring your heart out onto a screen or telling your story, whether that’s the saga of how you braved fertility challenges to bring a half-dozen children into the world, or your hilarious mis-adventures in Target yesterday. And both are the stuff of some damn good blogs.
In my epiphany, shortly after realizing that the number of matchless socks had finally outnumbered our actual pairs of socks, I realized that I don’t want to be a Mommy Blogger because all I really care to do is write. I don’t want to over think it and I don’t want to make it more than a hobby. It’s my creative outlet and, along with laundry, my ticket to Zen. Yep, I just realized how incredibly sad that sounded.
So call me many things – Working Mom, Boy Mom, Tired Mom for sure – but don’t call me a Mommy Blogger. I’m just a Mom who happens to write stuff while sitting on top of the dryer.