4/16/10

Mommybloggers are the Mary Kay ladies of the Internet

Dear Fellow Mommyblogger,

That title up there? Is that okay with you?

Because it's true.

You know the Mary Kay lady stereotype well, right? The one a dear friend of mine deals with every day, since she's a Mary Kay lady?


Still makin' people pretty? Do you drive a pink Cadillac? *wink wink*

All the questions asked of her are tinged with that patronizing tone of humor, as if she's pretending at something. As if she's doing something cute and silly most likely because she can't do anything else.

My friend's car is not pink but it did come from Mary Kay. She's a total Mary Kay sell out. She doesn't apologize for it, she loves it. She loves her job and the women she's come to know because of it. She happens to care about moisturizing and color-matching and protecting skin from the sun. She happens to care about helping women feel just a little bit better about themselves after she tries something new with them and then spins them toward the mirror to see the shy and proud smiles fill their faces.

That's a beautiful thing, really. There's no reason to consider it less than, to compare it to other more intellectual professions. It serves my friend well no matter what she used to do, how many languages she speaks or where she's lived. I could tell you all of that and more about her life, but I shouldn't have to. I shouldn't have to defend her abilities or her intelligence simply because she's a Mary Kay lady.

She is doing what she loves to do and that's enough.

~~~~~~~

I'm a mommyblogger, but the recent so-called negative mommyblogging media hasn't bothered me. Sure, that same patronizing tone exists for us, but I can take that with a grain of salt, especially when I realize that it happens to most mothers, sadly, no matter what they do "on the side," or how well they do it. Mommyblogging is just simply misunderstood out of ignorance or a skewed perspective for dramatic effect, and that may always be the case.

The reality is that, just like my Mary Kay lady friend, we mommybloggers are all together under the same inaccurate and sometimes accurate stereotype. Either we accept that or we don't, because it's not going anywhere.

What I'm having trouble understanding is the reaction of many mommybloggers who have argued in response to negative media attention with a stomp of the foot and a, Hey!
Not all of us are just posting craft tutorials and photos of our kids at the park! Some of us are published writers and we're powerful marketers and some of us go to the White House or get interviewed on television!

That is all true and even good, and I'm honestly proud to be here with bloggers who have these success stories to tell, but honestly, I'm a little confused. What is so wrong with sharing a recipe or a craft? What makes sharing photos and potty training stories too cutesy or wrong? Why is it less than? Compared? Why is it embarrassing to sit alongside other women, other mothers, who do blogging that way? With this reaction, the message that is sent is that if a mommyblogger is not a "real writer," she is pretending at something. It's as if she's doing something that's only cute and silly, most likely because she can't do anything else, when the reality is that maybe she's doing exactly what she'd like to be doing and that is enough.

When we react like that when we feel patronized, the point is missed, the fight for naught, because maybe there's nothing wrong with the mommyblogging stereotype in the first place, just like there's absolutely nothing less respectable about just selling Mary Kay instead of teaching Spanish, my friend's real story. Or being just a stay at home mommyblogger instead of a social worker, my real story.

I'm tired of the hesitation I feel in an effort to not be something, to avoid a mommyblogging stereotype I have no reason to avoid. I'm tired of thinking that every post has to be some magical, well-written, intelligent and insightful gift to the world wide web for it to be considered valuable. Because sometimes I may just feel like rambling about potty training, or maybe I just want to share this with you and so I will:



T
his picture is creativity and life and a little piece of divine art, in my biased opinion, and I know many of you will see it that way too. Nothing to be ashamed of there. So some days I may share something just as simple and lovely as that, and another day I may write something thoughtful that maybe even borders on profound. And then maybe you will say it knocked your socks off, like you've been so kind to say before. (That is, if my fingers up and do that mind of their own thing, pounding at the keyboard without me getting in the way.) Any which way I mommyblog on a given day, it's valuable because it's mine and I love it.

So you there, with your recipe for fluffier pancakes? I'm glad you're here. And you with your simple and hilarious stories about everyday things? I'm glad you're here. And you with your creative crafts? You make me feel a wee bit inferior, but I'm still glad you're here, your energy inspires me, and I'm not just saying that.
I'm proud to be here with you, all of you, however you define your success.

Love,
A Mary Kay Lady on the Internet

*UPDATE* I wanted to add that I think it's perfectly fine to be frustrated with negative media attention around something you do. Everyone wants to be taken seriously. That's exactly my point. Everyone should be taken seriously if they're doing something they love.

89 clicked right here to comment:

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I think of the people who "fought back" against the negative press lately sort of like the bra burners of previous generations. I guess change doesn't happen unless someone stands up and says something, but in all honestly I'm a recipe-posting-sometimes-craft-sharing-mom-blogger and I'm okay with that. "Mommy blogger" has brought me so many experiences and friends and insights that I am afraid I would have missed otherwise. I guess the fighters are just a part of our collective Mary Kay on the internet whole.

Corinne said...

You just gave so many of us the freedom we've been looking for :)
(and by we, I mean I...)
Honestly, I feel lighter after reading this post.
And that picture? LOVE.
Happy weekend, Heather!

togetherforgood said...

Oh my gosh Heather this ROCKS. Love it to pieces.

Heather of the EO said...

Catherine,

It's true. And I have nothing against "the fighters" at all, I really don't. I get what they're saying too, I do. It's just that I wonder what message it sends to moms who love to blog too, just in a different way. I hope that made sense.

And yes, what you said is true "I guess the fighters are just a part of our collective Mary Kay on the internet whole." That's exactly what I was trying to say here, we're ALL a part of the collective whole and that's the beauty. None lesser or more. And I hope that made sense too, I'm tired :)

This Heavenly Life said...

I want to CRY this is so perfect. Really! I hate thinking that if I want to post another series of my beautiful girls sliding down the slide, it'll be considered inconsequential blather. But it's not! It's me, spreading my wings and loving it.

It's me. And it's not inconsequential.

You are brilliant, Heather. But not just because you wrote an awesome post...because you just ARE :)

Amy said...

What makes a blog compelling is the passion behind it. Share a recipe because you love it. Post photos of your children at the park because it's a day/moment you want to remember. Write a deep essay because it's what you're passionate about or walking through right now.
We write/post what we know, love and live. That's what makes mommy-blogging a powerful force.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I'm going to post a cutesy story at my blog this week. Just because I can.

And I prefer to think of myself as a Color Me Beautiful kind of gal. I like to help people discover their seasons.

Heather of the EO said...

Amy, sheesh. I could just delete my whole post now. You said it much more succinctly. Thank you :)

And TM, you always make me laugh. I love your face off.

lynsey said...

first-time commenter here! (why does this feel so liberating and intimidating at the same time?)

i've been reading you for a few months now and it has been known for me to read a post of yours (or two, or three) out loud, to my husband or on the phone with my sister or a friend.

the way you write affects me and i wanted you to know. you've often written posts that apply to the VERY thoughts i've had that day...and amazingly enough, you've done it again.

as i was about to click 'publish' on yet another posting about motherhood earlier this morning, i paused. do my friends REALLY need to read yet another rambling/ranting post about my children and (mostly) mundane moments & thoughts?

but then i remembered that this IS my life, and it's NOT (mostly) mundane. that being a mother is amazing and powerful and enormously life-altering.

so i clicked 'publish,' and after coming across this post just a few hours later, i'm so glad i did.

thank you for writing this today.

and p.s. probably my all-time favorite post of yours? "before." at the time you wrote it, i needed it.

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

Heather- Check and Check, I'm totally with ya lady (and in full agreement)!

Andrea said...

YES! I completely agree. There is room for everyone to do what they love! Now if we could get some kind of car-gifting program we'd be set.

Heather of the EO said...

lynsey,
Thank you for saying hello! HI. And thank you for your kind words too.
And this:
"but then i remembered that this IS my life, and it's NOT (mostly) mundane. that being a mother is amazing and powerful and enormously life-altering."

Yes. That.

C (Kid Things) said...

I am mommyblogger and I have no problem with that. We all have our thing. Really, I don't even pay attention to any negative articles or mommyblog bashing there might be. Ignorance is bliss.

Claudia said...

Hey! Just found you through memories for later, and loved this post. Thanks for helping me validate what I do (blog) with what I am (biochemist on perhaps permanent mommy-leave).

Erin said...

I laughed with the irony of when you said, "Hey! Not all of us are just posting craft tutorials and photos of our kids at the park!" because RIGHT before I clicked over to your blog, I read a post of a friend who did a craft tutorial that I was SO impressed with (even though I am not crafty whatsoever), and I just made a new blog friend who happens to live in my town and her most recent blog post was a picture of her kids at the park. And I loved both posts!

I love what you say here Heather. I know I'm often flighty, and my posts are frequently not stellar material. But I am evolving as a person and sometimes I surprise even myself.

Thanks for these reminders!

Jo@Mylestones said...

Yes! (Nods head, smiles at computer, might have let an "amen" escape audibly, husband shoots a weird look.)

I love the comparison to the Mary Kay lady. I love the message that comes through loud and clear here. There is such a freedom in simply doing what we love to do because we WANT TO DO IT.

p.s. Have I told you lately that I love you?

5 Kids With Disabilities said...

What a great idea...Mary Kay Ladies!
The negative press doesn't bother me...I ignore it. Lots of things get negative press that are good for your spirit. Like eating chocolate. Watching tv instead of exercising. Blogging. Who cares what "they" say when we know how we feel?
Lindsey Petersen

TKW said...

I love you. I do.

Amber said...

Well said. Although, I am ignorant about this negative press business. Maybe I should not take long vacations from the internet anymore.

angelynn said...

I completely agree. I'm amazed at what's out there from all types of people with lots of different backgrounds. What's fascinating is finding people who write about things you're interested in too. People you can relate to and connect with. It doesn't matter what you write about as long as you care about writing it.

Barbie said...

I haven't been blogging long enough to know about all of the negative comments many bloggers receive. I am a blogger, I am a mom, but my kids are older and because I am not an avid picture taker, they don't show up in many of my posts. But I do love and follow many mommy bloggers and appreciate their encouragement, their pictures, their crafts, giveaways and their less-then-perfect days. I wouldn't know what I know today about blogging without these ladies! This is a wonderful post!

DeNae said...

I read somewhere that many people would rather be understood than loved. I'm not sure I agree completely, but I get what they're saying. No one wants to be dismissed out of hand.

I've felt a variation on this theme over the last 18 months since I began blogging. I had never even READ a blog when I started, and I felt like I wasn't doing it right because I wasn't adding pix of my family or sharing recipes or doing giveaways.

Someone actually commented on someone ELSE'S blog that they didn't like MINE because I didn't do pictures, and it really hurt my feelings.

Which leads me to my final point: I still think we can do far more harm to one another than "outsiders" could ever do. Even in the "let it all hang out" world of cyberspace, I cling to the old fashioned idea that kindness almost always trumps rightness, and that should go double for a group that is so clearly misunderstood, or worse, dismissed.

LisAway said...

Excellent post and analogy. And I would say that like the Mary Kay lady making women feel beautiful, mommy blogs give us a confidence and help us recognize our inner beauty and give us a little bit of "me" time, just like the Mary Kay lady.

And really? Mommy blogs are not FOR the critics. It's like someone criticizing a certain music type or something. The musician is not making it for people who don't like that type of music, so if you don't like it, move along to your own genre!

Jenn said...

Heather, THANK YOU!

You are so right I blog because I love to. I write about trips to the park, because its what is happening in my life right now and I want to preserve it.

I have been beating myself up lately over those "simple" posts that wouldn't win any awards.

I need to just relax and write about my family and life and it will be okay because I like what I am doing.

And if I come up with inspiration in word all the better!

Angie said...

Amen! I love what LisAway says... that mommy blogs aren't FOR the critics. They are for us.

I have a draft (one of many) that's not ready to post and not even on this topic, but it's all about "love what you love, and love without apology."

I want to live that way... just being me and not worrying about what others do, say, think.

Love this post!

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

All that negative commentary by re mommybloggers really did make me feel like a poser. Because really all I do is post pictures and tell stories about boogers and stuff.

I've been thinking that I really don't write anything that hasn't been written thousands of times before.

But I need to remember the stuff I'm writing.

And for the record, I'm glad all those mommybloggers are out there, too. :)

Heather said...

I wanted to clarify the "so-called negative media attention" statement. I agree that often the tone of the articles or the way an interviewer asks a mommyblogger questions comes across as patronizing, a little condescending...like, 'isn't that cute, what you do?'
But when they describe mommmyblogging, they are often quite accurate, especially if we're considering one type of mommyblogger-and there's nothing wrong with that type of mommyblogger. So I don't really consider that bad press, but I'm also not sure I've seen and read everything. I know the NYTimes article had a ridiculous title, but the reality is that what was written IS true for many bloggers. It frustrated some bloggers because it put us all under that umbrella. But I think we have to remember that there is a lot of GOOD press out there. An example? Articles written on Maggie Dammit and Violence UNsilenced. Maggie is a writer's writer, to the core. She happens to be a mom. She happens to blog. She happened to start Violence UNsilenced apart from her personal blog, Okay.Fine.Dammit. She has been featured in a very positive light, and I realize that she's not called a mommyblogger in those features, but maybe that's just it. The press is as separate and different as we are. Sure, I wish the stereotypical mommyblogger press would go away, but like I said in the post, it probably won't because people just don't understand something they haven't experienced. And from the outside, the reality is that it does look a bit silly. You've all tried explaining it to a non-blogging friend and seen their eyes glaze over with boredom and sometimes confused amazement. Same with the press.

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

Well, I'm such a "mommy blogger" that I didn't even know there WAS negative press. :) My blog exists for my friends and family, but mostly for me. Not for the press. :) I don't have a huge readership (feels like a made up word, but whatev). And I am okay with that. It's such a great fun creative outlet.

Laanykidsmom said...

This was evxcellent and very affirming for all of us, those who can make a lving from their blogs and those who post pictures of their children for family who live on the other side of the country. A blog is a great way to stay in touch, share thoughts, get and give advice, support each other on this mothering journey. Those who seek to critique and categorize us perhaps have a little too much time on their hands. I have some laundry they can fold and some floors they can scrub and a carpool they can drive!

Emily said...

Great post! I write my blog just for the fun of it. I don't have a "niche" and I post whatever I'm feeling at the time. So, it's pretty random.

AND, I'm recently a Mary Kay lady! LOL I hate the stereotype that we get about Mary Kay. I am SO not that stereotype. LOL

Thanks for an awesome article!

Ellie said...

Like it so often does, you put into words the exact thoughts that have been rolling around in my head lately, and you crytallized a lot of things for me.

I had been thinking about the negativity flying around about mommybloggers who "make it big" - get noticed, get out in the public eye, have thousans of readers - and why it is that other mommyblogggers (not all, just some) rip them apart. I was thinking about how it is our own community where many of these stereotypes take root and bloom. And I was wondering why.

I want to be the sort of person who is drawn towards, not fighting against. Who can cheer people on who are pursuing their dreams - whether it's baking a mean batch of cookies with the kids, or a trip to the white house. I want to be motivated by hope and passion, not fear and criticism.

I think it's cheap and easy to be passionate AGAINST something or someone. Harder to do is to reach inside, find your voice and your heart, and find fulfillment in your own life, your own world. Not as it compares to anyone else, but as it exists for you alone.

I love reading peole who have that spark, that enthusiasm for their lives, and who are gutsy enough to share when things are hard, too. When they don't feel like they have it all together.

Labels will always exist, and it will always be hard for me to resist their siren call. But, really, if I'm okay with who I am and what I want, what others think of it shouldn't matter.

So rock on, sister. You are a shining light for me.

-Ellie

Ann's Rants said...

and even when you try to be casual, you are still profound.

Huge fan I am. HUGE FAN,

xo

charrette said...

Well said, and so true. I am the world's worst crafter. I can do fluffy pancakes. I lean toward the thoughtful essay side of things. But what links us all here? Is that we're moms. And we blog. (Hence, Mommy Blogger). And we all have all of that stuff in our lives, good days and bad. And it's important to share.

mama-face said...

Women always have always had to defend themselves. You just can't win so you have to ignore and follow your heart. Us women need to be kinder to each other and to ourselves and I know deep down that's what most of us women want. Blogger or not. Mommy or not.

Shawna said...

This is so right on the mark! Thanks for "giving us permission" to be ourselves.

We are harder on ourselves than the media, but it sure doesn't help when "they" do that.

To me, that's what blogging is for - to be myself, post what I want, when I want, because in the end, it was my thoughts/feelings that day. I shouldn't care what anyone else thinks.

Thanks for letting me know that that is ok!

L.T. Elliot said...

Honestly, some of the most touching and phenomenal writing I've ever read was from a mommy "just" being a mommy blogger. You're right, we shouldn't compare. God loves wondrous variety and so do I.

Crystal @ Semi-Crunchy Mama said...

I don't comment often, but this post made me scramble out of the woodwork...because I absolutely loved what you wrote here, and it really struck a chord with me.

I started bloging, initially, as a way to keep my extended family & friends up to date on my life. And then it started to morph into writing more of my thoughts, feelings, etc. And then I started discovering other, amazing bloggers, which inspired me to put more creative thought and effort into my posts. But basically, I blog because I enjoy writing. Sure, comments are fun, and followers are wonderful, but what it all boils down to is I blog because I enjoy it.

And then this media storm about mommy bloggers erupted, and I was caught off guard. I'm a mommy, I'm a blogger...and I don't have a specific "nitch" other than Mommy Blogger. And suddenly I felt a little unsure of what i was doing, of if it was something to be embarrassed by.

I know, in my heart, that it's not. I'm doing this because I enjoy it, and if I have 5 readers or 500 readers is not important in the long run. So I'll happily post my little insights about my days, I'll post my point-and-shoot photos, I'll post my favorite recipes or attempts at crafting. And occasionally I might hit blogging gold and post a fabulous post. Am I ashamed to be a mommy blogger? Nah. I'm a Mom, I'm a blogger, this is my nitch. And I'm content with that.

Thank you for writing this!

Cameron said...

Sitting here on my couch alone, applauding you. Love this post.

I'm not a mommyblogger (working on it!) but I am a jewelry artist. People don't know what to make of that when I tell them. Then my husband or someone nearby will say, "She made this," and the person will say, "OH! You mean you make like actual silver jewelry!" Like they thought I made necklaces from buttons and bottlecaps or something. (Although, for the record, I've seen some kick-ass jewelry made out of buttons and bottlecaps.)

I always sort of feel like I have to justify myself, but I usually don't because I figure if you're the kind of person that I have to justify myself to, then you're probably not the kind of person I want to spend a lot of time with, anyway.

Jennifer Juniper said...

Can I get a Woot Woot! Loving you!

signed,

A craft posting, recipe making, kid story sharing, home decor loving blogger

Matt said...

It seems to me that when innocent, not-hurting-anyone groups, communities, or even people, get negative attention it's because they're doing something right.

love said...

geez. i adore you.

why can't we all just love the very best we can & appreciate others that are doing the same? this is what i believe about LIFE....everything, not just blogging.

i do love how you said it in your last paragraph. i really do appreciate people for who they are and what they love. that is one of the things that makes life beautiful!

nic said...

so well said.

Lee Vandeman said...

I'm sorry to be the lone dissenter here. I disagree that mommy bloggers are the Mary Kays of the internet.

I think they are MUCH more like Tupperware ladies. Because of all of the parties that Tupperware ladies throw. You know, cause we like Twitter parties and all that?
And all we can talk about are the BlogHer parties? And we like to go to bloggy brunches, and tweet-ups and Cupcake gatherings and other gatherings. You know?

I will give you this much - that photo of your sweet love boy DOES make me smile.

xo
Lee

P.S. Nice work sister. This post is helping everyone settle a little more into their mommy blogging skin.

P.P.S. I really do like Catherine's perspective. She said it so eloquently I think.

Heather said...

Lee, I love how you pretended this was new to you. (People, I made Lee read like four drafts of this post before posting it, I was nervous.)

gretchen from lifenut said...

I love this post.

I had a very difficult time mustering outrage over the recent "slams" against mommyblogging. I wondered if there was something wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with posting photos of children, chicken in a crockpot, or the latest decorating triumph. Never has been, never will be.

Then again, I was never bothered by Advil, Nikon, or any of the blogging/social media controversies that come down the pike every 2.5 months like clockwork. It simply isn't worth the burning keyboard and sleepless nights.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Yes!

Heather, this is so wise and so spot-on. One of the beauties of this world to me is that we can hang out in whichever neighborhood we want, but we're still citizens of the same little universe. And I embrace all my blogging sisters because ultimately we're all in it together.

Thank you for articulating a thought I didn't know I had - until just now.

P.S. Love the bubblicious photo!

Elaine A. said...

I love this line...
"What is so wrong with sharing a recipe or a craft? What makes sharing photos and potty training stories too cutesy or wrong? Why is it less than?"

Actually the whole post is so fabulous. I want to read it once a week. I'm quite proud to be a "mommyblogger" and proud of the other things I enjoy and am good at too. This one just happens to fit my life the best right now, at the stage I am in.

Thanks for writing this Heather. You do it SO well...

K and/or K said...

I love you and your mommy blog!

And your Mary Kay neighbor friend too. I want to be your neighbors! Can you two, Kenzie and I all get houses in a row and pretend it's 1996 again? But this time with no boy drama, better food, and maybe we could turn the Titanic soundtrack off after 2 songs? :-)

Kazzy said...

I am a mom, and I blog, but I haven't really considered myself a mommyblogger, because I have always reserved that definition for women with younger kids that use lots of photos! But I do feel a connection with other moms online, and I appreciate that for sure!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

I know, right?!

Spot on. Totally.

JCK said...

I LOVE what you say here. I'm cheering on from the sidelines. I love what you said at the end. That everyone should be respected no matter what, because they are doing something they love.

I think that is the bottom line.

Thanks for making us feel so good!

Becky said...

Great post! (Even though I'm woefully ignorant of the negative media about mommybloggers.) We blog because we love it, and if the critics don't love it, well, tough cookies. They don't have to read it. Pretty simple, yeah?

Besides, why get your panties in a wad over people who like to look for the negative in life? Sounds a little sad to me...

Mammatalk said...

People make fun of what they don't understand. That's all. But, of course, you put it so much better than me!

Amy Whitley said...

I'm sure I can't say anything the above commenters haven't said already, but BRAVO! I'm tired of feeling inferior (hell, in anything and everything I do!) and 'less than' also. Why can't we (myself included) see the value in every form of blogging, form of career, form of...whatever? Thank you not only for the encouragement, but also for the reminder.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I love your perspective on this, Heather. Really. Because I think it even goes beyond blogging and sometimes into our very own mother "psyche"-- this bizarre concept that if we are not like what other mothers appear to be, we are somehow "less than." And like you've so eloquently pointed out, that is wrong. We are. And then some.

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

I heart you, Heather. You ROCK it.

Christine said...

Amen. This is just fantastic.

Nap Warden said...

Oh Heather...thanks so much for writing this. I needed it. There are so many moments where I feel judged, or laughed at for being a Mommy Blogger...but I LOVE it. I love how it has changed my life, and the wonderful people I have met through it. I'm owning it every day girl...I could have never said it as well as you;)

Carrie said...

I loved this! :)

thepsychobabble said...

Awesome analogy. I think that mommybloggers often get lumped into one big group, and while there isn't anything *wrong* with the stereotypical mommyblogging things, I think it does get frustrating when 1)It's assumed that if you have kids, then you are posting recipes, playground shots and crafts and 2)that if you DO post those things, somehow it makes you less of a person.

ck said...

Awesome post.

I've gotten a kick out of all this negative mom-blogging publicity, as well as people's reactions to it. It hasn't bothered me at all, and I figured it was because I love writing what I live, and mom stuff just happens to be what I'm living at the moment. But after reading this fantastic post, I realize that I must also be a Mary Kay Lady on the Internet. (Again, minus the caddy and the paycheck.)

Susan said...

love this! you nailed it!

MollyinMinn said...

You nailed exactly what I have been trying to articulate. Thank you!

Ash said...

Variety is the spice of life - some days are deep, some days are delightfully shallow, in a very good way. That's what I look for in a blog. Just like yours.

Once upon a time, when I would travel for business, I was privy to be on a flight full of Mary Kay ladies heading to a conference. The fun. Oh the fun. So yeah, I'm totally down with analogy. And embrace it.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I agree with everything you said. I wish for blogging to be like the olden days, when writing about whatever you want on your own blog with no insecurities or judgment was the thing to do. And when you could believe and TRUST whatever you read on someone's blog. :)

Steph

Lara said...

Brava, Heather.

I have read so many posts lately, all a bit different, but pointing to this one important thing: authenticity. Don't do anything because you think it's what others want to hear, or to avoid negative press or whatever other reason. Do it because you love it and it comes from within. It's really true, too, and certainly goes for blogging.

If you blog to post recipes or pictures of your kids. That is authentic That is real. And it is awesome.

happygeek said...

This post was all kinds of awesome.
The whole media firestorm thing-y makes me thankful I stick to Canadian news content. I am a news junky and didn't even know there was a controversy.

Nicole said...

I just recently found your blog, and I'm glad I did. I couldn't have said it better!!! Love it!

http://mommyslittlecornerblog.blogspot.com/

Nicole

Becky said...

AHHHHHH! This is so true! I love this post because it's so true!

As a tribute I'm so posting a recipe today. OK not really because I'm a sucky cook but talking about my trip to Mpls now seems profound and not silly.

THANK YOU! LOVE YOU!

Julie Daley said...

I love what you've shared here. Everyone should be taken seriously if they're doing what they love. And, I might add, even if they aren't. The entire notion of judging another is simply to make oneself feel better, so one doesn't have to feel the wound inside. It takes so much energy to judge others (and oneself) energy that could be focused on the doing of what brings oneself joy. it's the old way. we are discovering the new way, the way of compassion and love for each other that is beyond this need to judge, put down, negate, etc.
Your voice is strong and beautiful.

Neil said...
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Cassandra Frear said...

“How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about [arithmetic], and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.” ~ G. K. Chesterton

Neil said...

Once anything becomes a business, whether it Mary Kay, mommyblogging, or real estate, those who want to use it as a business have to somehow market themselves as "better" or more "successful" as others, in order to get clients, money, offers, etc. Even Mary Kay has a whole hierarchy of "elite salespeople" who I am sure belittle the ones who just just sell as a side job rather than as a full-fledged career. At one point, there was a real community online with mom bloggers. Now, in order to get more offers, you need to distinguish yourself as a Nielson Mom, a Walmart Mom, or tout your interview by CNN, and sadly, some professional mom bloggers have taken the path of separating themselves from the hobbyist in order to position themselves as more professional. This was all inevitable once mommyblogging became a business. Why should it be different than any other business, with people trying to get ahead in a free market system?

Natika said...

You are creating. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Staying inside your head without expression will lead you down a road traveled by lonely women. That's what I did and look at how well I turned out ;(

Heather said...

Neil,

So true.

And I think I'm an idealist who wants things to be more loving and accepted on all fronts. All things.

I understand a woman wanting to point out that this isn't just a hobby for business or whatever other reason she has, to get ahead. I guess I just wish she could do it without pointing out the difference in such a demeaning way. And of course not all bloggers who want to separate themselves are doing that, but I just saw a lot of it after the bad press. This "talking down" of mommybloggers who don't define their success by fame, etc.

It's exactly true, your point. Even the upper ups in Mary Kay probably do look down on the hobbyist Mary Kay ladies. It's all the same across the board, I guess I just wish women could look at each other with the utmost respect, no matter what positions we hold.

Melissa_Rae said...

Love this! I realized this weekend that whenever I talk about my blog I want to duck my head - slightly ashamed that I'm taking myself seriously enough that I think people might want to read my thoughts. This post will help me to hold my head steadier now.

Denise said...

A great, thought-provoking post. Yes. It's our (my) experience and we can blog it however we (I) want. "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to..." Or celebrate. Or pontificate. Or sigh.

ps--Just read "Talk to me goose" up there. Made me laugh out loud. Over and out, Goose

Schmutzie said...

This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday - http://www.schmutzie.com/fivestarfriday/2010/4/19/five-star-fridays-edition-99.html

Scary Mommy said...

I love this post.

I hated the backlash to the NYT article and refused to dignify it with a response. If I gained new readers from the article, why would I want them to see an angry, reactionary post on my blog? I don't think those reflected well on any of us. We're not curing cancer, after all. It's mommy blogging!

Melissa said...

Not that you need anymore praises :-) I'll just say great job Heather and I'm glad YOUR here because you always make me think at things from a slightly different side and open up my world views!

Misty said...

Such a great post. I think that there is some aspect of blogging that feeds the need to connect or that your experience might be valuable to someone else. Otherwise we would all be mommy-journalers, not mommybloggers. But I know what motivates me to write when I feel like "who really cares anyway?" is all of the great information, encouragement, and inspiration I get from fellow bloggers.

I think this is an important reminder to leave a comment- even when you can't find anything clever to contribute or you feel foolish. It is important to let each other know that we value what is being shared.

Melanie said...

I love this - and oddly enough, I just bumped into an acquaintance from college who is now, literally, a Mary Kay lady. Who would have thought I'd get that reference twice in a five hour period.

Also your little picture of creativity and life and divine art is fabulous - and in the eye of this beholder, it is all that you believe it to be as well. :)

Sandy said...

"It's valuable because it's mine and I love it."

Exactly.

Mommy Mo said...

I love this post and I love you.

I am a mommyblogger but rarely have time to mommyblog, lately.

My Bottle's Up! said...

um... yay!

cuz this was THAT GOOD.

Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

Hi, I'm a first time reader. I clicked over from Rage Against the Minivan. As an actual, real-life Mary Kay lady, who also happens to be a mother of 2, who also happens to have a pile of trains in my lap and a 3 year old climbing on top of me, AND who also happens to be a mommyblogger, I loved it!

I DO post pics of my kids, and I DO talk about our life as an adoptive family, about our son's developmental delays, I have posted a few recipes, (NEVER CRAFTS, it's not my bag), I think that I have also managed to be insightful and funny and thoughtful.

In the end, I do it for myself, for my family, who loves staying up to date with us, for a journal, and for like minded people who are interested. I say if anyone finds it uninteresting or inane, they can always click away to something better!!

Anonymous said...

I am not a blogger. I support you "mommybloggers" (too bad you can't come up with a more serious name for yourselves) 100%. You should post whatever you like and not have any worries about whether it might be considered trivial...after all, nobody is forced to read your blogs. Worst case, just you and your family read what you write. Then you have an awesome journal of your family. But so many people enjoy what you are posting, so you should not pay attention to the negative press. Just continue what you do, you do it well. Some will love it, some won't. That is life.

Deedee

Marisa said...

Thanks for this post. I had sorta stopped blogging because I felt like I didn't have anything earth shattering to share. I'm certainly not a writer, but I do like looking back on this "journal" of my life. Thanks for the nudge to get back into it!

LoveFeast Table said...

Loves it. ~CA

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