2/23/09

In defense of Mommy Bloggers


Recently, Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post received a question from someone who called herself Tacoma, WA. Tacoma wrote in to ask for advice on why her best friend, who is a stay at home mom, thinks she's so busy. She said that when she asks her friend what she's busy with, the stay at home mom lists daily errands that anyone does, including herself as a childless person. Tacoma was confused as to why her friend would seem so overwhelmed all the time, and questioned Carolyn on whether or not said friend is simply trying to appear busy as a competition. Carolyn Hax's response is just plain brilliant.

Around the same time that this article was being shared all over the
internet, one of my favorite bloggers wrote a beautiful post about needing more hands and feet and time. Then she ended the post saying that she'd never want to quit her job (as a stay at home mom). Some of the comments in response were angry ones, saying that for being such busy moms, she and her readers seem to have a lot of time for blogging and commenting on blogs.

I thought about that a lot. I'm sure it does appear contradictory. Me saying I'm so busy and yet I'm a blogger. But what many people don't understand is that none of it is easy and smooth. Tacoma didn't understand why errands would be harder with kids. I'm sure there are a lot of people who can't see how even "down time" for a mother is never really down time. There is nothing in a mother's day that happens uninterrupted, including blogging.

I love to write and I love to read. Blogging is a way to find community in what can be a very isolating life. It makes me a better Mom in many ways. There is so much going on in my head at any given moment, from little shoes sizes to doctor appointments, to what I should be doing differently to what needs to happen next. And all of it matters more than words can say when you love two little people this much. Blogging is a way to share some of those thoughts and feelings, a way to have my day brightened and to be encouraged.

In blogging, I find other moms that completely understand me, and I'm connected to them and their wisdom, and that's a beautiful thing. It's not a needy or selfish thing, it's simply an added benefit to an already fulfilling life. If my husband, family and friends are busy at work or with their own appointments and errands and life, there is always someone to connect with online when I need it. We are mothers. We need connection beyond the walls of our home because we're doing this mostly alone. The days of "it takes a village" are sadly over. It's just that simple.

Yes, there are days when I put off a thousand other things and I steal far too many minutes blogging. But for the most part, the limited moments I steal are connections that bring me through the day, lifting me up a little so I can move on to the next diaper, the next meal, the next tantrum, the next game of hide and seek. I come away having learned something to apply to this life filled with long days of ups and downs, interruptions, and more joy than I've ever known.

My boys are worth every long day. They are worth my time. As long as I can handle the 124 times they interrupted even this blog post with grace, I'm doing okay. If I find myself wanting to do this more than I want to answer the next question, get the next snack, or play the next game, I simply need to check myself. No one knows better than a mother when her kids aren't a priority. If I get the gut feeling I'm being a bit too selfish with my time, I need to turn my focus back to them. Finding the balance is tricky, but all of it is good.

57 clicked right here to comment:

Jenn said...

Loved this post, because I can relate! Being a stay-at-home-mom for the last 11 years has helped shape me into who I am. I got into blogging last year and it has been my little escape. I have needed this for a long time and it has helped me get a little time just for me.

radioactive girl said...

I love this post. It is exactly what I feel and it was nice to read someone else feels the same!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

YES! Thank you so much for using your words to say exactly what so many of us think and feel!! Not everyone will get it, I understand, but it's SO nice when at least someone does.

Steph

Less Toil Traci said...

Ditto, girl. Ditto.

Muthering Heights said...

Amen!

messyfunmommylife said...

I think you said it perfectly. Motherhood can be isolating especially for a stay at home mom (which i am not) you are spending every day with your children and husband. While that is a blessing women need connections with other women. Blogging gives you that opportunity without needing to hire a babysitter for a night on the town. Blogging gives you the ability to balance the need for connections and the time with your kids. perfectly said sister.

messyfunmommylife said...

I think you said it perfectly. Motherhood can be isolating especially for a stay at home mom (which i am not) you are spending every day with your children and husband. While that is a blessing women need connections with other women. Blogging gives you that opportunity without needing to hire a babysitter for a night on the town. Blogging gives you the ability to balance the need for connections and the time with your kids. perfectly said sister.

messyfunmommylife said...

I think you said it perfectly. Motherhood can be isolating especially for a stay at home mom (which i am not) you are spending every day with your children and husband. While that is a blessing women need connections with other women. Blogging gives you that opportunity without needing to hire a babysitter for a night on the town. Blogging gives you the ability to balance the need for connections and the time with your kids. perfectly said sister.

Leslie said...

So well said! I agree with it all!!

Your post comes on the perfect day for me! It is so nice to know that there are people out there (most that I don't even know!) who get me!

Thanks for saying what we've all been thinking:)

Jennifer said...

Hi Heather--I agree w/ everything you said in this post! I don't know what's up w/ the follower thing?? Maybe some kind of weird fluke? I know I have less than I did yesterday and so does Jen--maybe something went haywire?

In case case, don't worry about it! You certainly didn't say anything offensive!

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Right on sister, right on!

*applause* :)

Kristina P. said...

I often wonder how mommy bloggers do it! I know people ask me the same question, but I don't have kids, and I have a full-time job that has a lot of down time in front of a computer.

Tooj said...

I guess I don't understand why Tacoma felt the need to question or ponder her friend's busyness at all. Unless her friend was constantly dropping the ball with HER...missing dates or failing to follow through on favors...it really shouldn't be something she spent time asking about. Maybe that's just me...who feels the need to question everything about SOMEBODY else? Blah. You rock, SAHM, and if you decided to throw in extra laundry to avoid blogging which would just screw up our blog reading altogether...well, I might start to ponder what you're doing each day and force you back to blogland!

MommyTime said...

If I get the gut feeling I'm being a bit too selfish with my time, I need turn my focus back to them. Finding the balance is tricky, but all of it is good. You are so right, about all of this. It is a hard balance, and a lot of work, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be me time, as well as careful attention to being unselfish.

As for the original query? Obviously Tacoma hasn't a clue.

JR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

You have no idea how much I needed to read this today. Really - no idea. :)
Thanks Heather. I think you are a heart sister. :)

Melanie J said...

Yeah, blogging keeps me sane so that I'm in better shape for my family. Otherwise, I feel like I pour all of myself into them and it never gets replenished and that's not good for anyone.

Annette Lyon said...

I saw that original article and just guffawed at how ridiculous Tacoma was--or how clueless.

Great blog--well said!

Brooke said...

Thanks for putting things into perspective. I often feel like if I take a down time that people think that is what I am ALWAYS doing. No, I work from 5:30 am to 9 or 10 pm, plus I am often up during the night. (my kids don't sleep well). I think I deserve the little down time that I do take, even if it looks like I have taken a lot. I figure in 24 hours I deserve an hour or two to do what I want to do!

LisAway said...

I completely agree. And unfortunately lately I've been feeling like my kids really do need more of me than I'm giving them, which is part of why I've been blogging less than I want to.

I think it's time for my personal blogging revolution. Ugh. But I do know that I need blogging in my life for sure.

kreations said...

My mother used to tell me that I wasn't center of the world. I think she was wrong. I think each person is the center of their own world. I think that you shouldn't judge others, most people don't spill their guts about everything going on in their life.
I am sure that others think of me as lazy, but the truth is I have two ruptured disks in my back. I live with constant pain, exhaustion and the internal fight to NOT taken that extra muscle relaxer to ease it (in hopes that I will remember my child growing-up).
I was once rear ended and was upset until the person start crying and explained their grandmother had just died and there distress caused them to hit me.
Life isn't all it seems, there is so much below the surface that judging others is foolish!
Like a mom is going to have time to plot ways to "seem" busy because they care SO much about YOU. Have you ever played peek-a-boo while you poop or shower?

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I regard it as our time around the office water cooler, actually. Everyone needs some brief breaks during their work day. That doesn't mean they aren't busy.

I heart Carolyn Hax.

Keyona said...

I read that article and why I am not a mother that stays at home one of my best friends is and I know how it can be. She sometimes gets lonely and needs things like bloggy friends to keep her connected.

You keep doing what you're doing. Getting that bit of down time is what can keep you sane. All moms need it, even those of that work away from home.

Kristen said...

I plan to read this out loud to my husband when he gets home!! You echo my thoughts exactly. And I sure am glad you take the time to write . . . it always encourages me.

Angie said...

So true, friend, so true. Viewing motherhood as a choice and a commitment, rather than a sacrifice (even though it is) helps us get our priorities in order, too.

But we all still need our catharsis, our 'me-time", and time to have community, even if it's a blogging community encouraging each other to press on. It's finding the balance that's hard... and we'll never find that perfect balance, because well, we're not perfect are we? :)

JustRandi said...

You said it brilliantly. We need to be home. But we also need connections! How wonderful to live in a time when we can do both.
Great post, Heather.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Yes!!!!!! I could say SO much more than that, but seriously, you said it all, it leaves nothing else other than complete and total agreement on my part with a head nod and a fist pump, and quite possibly, a guy-ish jumping belly bump (not of the pregnancy-kind lol).

Heidi Ashworth said...

Plump full of validation--love that! We who blog are doing nothing different than generations before us--we are just doing it differently. Stay at home moms have always needed support. Before blogging, it was walking for hours at the mall pushing strollers, before that it was chatting on the phone endlessly, before that, it was paying calls on other mothers, having tea parties, tupperware parties, etc. Before that it was no doubt letter writing. DO NOT feel one bit guilty for reaching out to fill your needs. Kids shouldn't be entertained or taken care of all day long, anyhow--it is better for them to learn to entertain themselves. If I wasn't blogging, I would be reading, gardening, painting, etc. You just can't do the mom thing 24 hours a day and stay sane. You just can't. Staying sane is MUCH better for your kids (not to mention, YOU). If you don't fill your pitcher, you have nothing to pour out. And the pouring out--that's a mom's job.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Wonderfully written, Heather. And I don't think I could have survived this past year at home without blogging. I need to use my brain. I need a sense of community. In our area, few mothers stay home and even fewer dads.

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

Why is it anyone's business what keeps me so busy? Things take so much longer with a child around. I blog because I was starting to feel so lonely and isolated by myself everyday Heidi Ashworth, blogger's are just doing the same thing that other generations have done...just in a different way.

I read on your comment to Jay that Blogger had eaten 8 of your followers today. Not that I want you to lose followers but I am glad to hear I'm not the only one, I lost 7 today.

Kim said...

I only have a few seconds, but I want to say, YES!!! So beautifully put. Thank you Heather.

LexiconLuvr said...

Katherine Hepburn said "Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world." She also went on to admit that it was too big of a job for her--that she didn't feel she could properly fill the "shoes," so to speak. She always expressed her admiration for mothers even when she chose a path that didn't include that for her. It's always stuck with me because so often, mothers are saddled with the image of "bon-bon eating, lazy do-nothings" and that couldn't be further from the truth.

My sister sent me flowers once with a quote that said:
"No poets pen or artists brush in justice to her fame
Ever could reach high enough to write a mothers name."

And that's my take on it. *Shun the non-believers*

That Girl in Brazil said...

I wish there was a more creative way to say "love this."

The haters will only understand when THEY become stay-at-home moms.

Growin' with it! said...

i had a friend once who brought up the fact that all i talked about was being a mom....til she became one and understood. balance is right sweet friend!

minnesotamom said...

I used to wonder until I became a mommy myself.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

In my early 30s, I experienced a couple of years of pretty severe depression. I think if I had had the blogging community and creative outlet, I would have fared better. Blogging allows you to be engaged with others without having to hire a babysitter. And it allows you to steal a few moments at the computer instead of committing to hours away from home.

Jen said...

I love this post. It really spoke to me. Blogging is such a cool thing for a mom, it keeps you connect, sane and is an outlet. The old saying, don't knock it until you try it comes to mind.

sara said...

You go girl! I couldn't have said it better and I wouldn't trade my years as a SAHM for anything!

Becky said...

I love what both you and Carolyn have to say! Funny that I'm working on finding balance and you go and tell me how...

happygeek said...

Amen and Amen.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

What a fabulous post! We moms are human who need to have our releases, like blogging, to get through the difficulty of our days. Ou focus is always on someone else and all we need is just a bit of "me time" stolen for ourselves when we can get it, even if it is interrupted "me time".

Elizabeth said...

You already know how I feel about all of this! Thank you for expressing it so well and encouraging me, and I'm sure many others, with your candor.

I get so tired of defending my choice to stay home and be with my kids, and feel like I can't ever complain about the parts of it that are so hard. Because it is a hard job! And one that has yucky parts that people don't even know about until they do it, and I'm not talking about dirty diapers!

Kimberly said...

All I can say is Amen.

Nora Morgan said...

Yes, I feel guilty at times blogging while my girls aged 7, 6, and 1-yr old twins, vie for my attention. But we are supposed to be a journal-writing people, and if the internet provides a way for me to stay on journaling task then so be it.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

I find that I have a love-hate relationship with blogging. I love to hate it and I hate to love it. (All so very twisted.)

In the end, I return to the blogosphere each and everyday. Honestly, the connections that I have made and the creative outlet that I find make me a better Mom.

-Wenda

Blessed said...

You have said it perfectly.

Thank you.

jodilee0123 said...

Whew! I was finally able to read this--partly because it wouldn't open for me for days and partly because of time. Everything is way more complicated with two children and I am finally realizing why the drive-thru was created--I wish they had them at grocery stores! Especially on the days that I just want some diet mt. dew! :0) I have even gone online to order from Sam's and then go pick it up but it didn't work. Then I realized that I would only be isolating myself even more. Cyber friends are so important to me right now--I think only someone like you can understand that! I don't see my friends with grown kids (or no kids) coming around to often! haha! Or, with kids the age of my kids because it is just too cold and a lot of work! I am a winter girl--really--but I am truly looking forward to this summer for the first time in a long time!!!!!

wendy said...

Good story -- no one really has the right to Judge someones' Busy time or Not busy time. Your life is NOT my life---that ol saying...until you have walked a mile in my shoes. I have raised 5 kids. I understand busy. Sometimes a mom can't even shower or go to the bathroom without a kid hanging on her ankle. BUT, you still find time to juggle and fit in things you enjoy. You have to. I agree---chores (being the same as a mom) are much easier by yourself instead of strapping and unstrapping kids in and out of car seats, chasing them to avoid running into the streets, ---you know the routine.

Nina said...

That was so well said.... it is nice to know I am not alone in wanting to take a little time for me.

Troy & Tara Livesay said...

That's what she said!

:)

Amanda (Mom blog) said...

I can definitely relate and I'm really glad you wrote this. I like knowing I'm in good company. Until you are a SAHM or any type of Mom then you won't get it. ;)

Jessica said...

This is such a sensitive issue, and one that i wrestle with constantly . . . people like the person writing the letter you referred to have a way of making me (or maybe it's my own expectations) like I should have much more to show for my days, like I must not be able to handle what should be really simple . . . and then I feel guilty even for blogging or taking time for myself, which is NOT what our kids need, either, for us to lose ourselves in the process. Finding that balance of giving everything and keeping our own souls in tact is hard. YOu have so eloquently described that tension here. I feel like blogs are today's equivalent of a sewing circle or backyard neighbors . . . like you said, parenting is isolating and blogging is a way to connect and find much-needed community.

MoziEsmé said...

Well said. I struggle with balance, yet much of what I do as a mom is benefited by my blogging - getting ideas from others, and being accountable to others as well...

Eowyn said...

I'd like to say that I don't understand Tacoma's point of view, but I do. I was that way until I had kids. Don't we all remember all those things that our kids were never going to do, like run up to the front of church during the middle of service. . .

Anyway, I hear you and I can honestly say that blogging has pushed me into finally writing the book that I've been meaning to for years. It's been a boon for me!

Amen!

Mammatalk said...

Wow. I am so glad I found you. I am really digging your little bloggy blog!

Motherboard said...

I think I fell in love with you just a little bit more! You said so eloquently what I have been feeling lately.

I loved what another commenter said: Its our time around the water cooler. When your at the office you don't sit there and never speak to your co-workers (and if you do, that's weird). WE, Mommy Bloggers, are each others co-workers. We laugh with each other, we cry with each other and we cheer each other on.

THAT is the beauty of blogging.

Well done.

Anonymous said...

Discount RX Pharmacy - Cialis, Viagra, Levitra, Tamiflu. Get Cheap Medication online. Buy Pills Central.
[url=http://buypillscentral.com/]Order Best Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Tamiflu[/url]. canadian generic drugs. Discount medications pharmacy

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 

Blog Designed by: NW Designs