I came across this online forum where people were encouraged to bash Mommy Bloggers. The tag line reads, “Yes, we know you’re the first mommy ever.” I cringed when I read it. I absolutely detest it when someone calls me a “Mommy Blogger”, but I also felt like they were speaking to me. Is all this writing just an obscene form of navel-gazing? Pistols + Popcorn was nowhere to be found, so nobody hates me, everyone loves me. (The obvious truth is that I’m actually not big enough to be hated. Thankfully.) So back to the thing though – almost an accusation: Mommy Blogging. I haven’t met a person yet who likes the description. None of us Mommy Bloggers want to admit that our writing – our escape and proclamation that we exist outside of taking care of our children – is all about taking care of our children.
Yet. We can all see the Mommy Blogging on the wall.
All my entries are tied to my family in some way. Maybe not 100% of them but a good 98%, anyway. My family is eternally fascinating to me. They help decode things I wouldn’t know about myself otherwise. I have decent intuition. I am capable of reading aloud in some very hysterical voices. I do not become murderous after repeating the same word over and over and over, especially if a child is saying it back to me for their first time. Lunch for me can consist of the four sides of the crust cut off a PB&J. My moods can be lifted up and anchored down by a tear or a smile. I am strong in ways that sometimes astound me. I am weak in ways that sometimes terrify me. I am smart and dumb, strict and liberal, in-control and totally unleashed. I prefer collapsing on a couch, hand and arm tangled up with my husband’s, to grabbing a drink at a local bar. I can love others one-trillion times more than I ever thought possible. Being a mother makes me a better friend. Having children has helped me stomp out things I did not like about myself.
I suppose that for now, I am a mother. It is front and center, it is the dimension of myself that is the most important to me. It defines me, fulfills me and challenges me. My family occupies me almost entirely. And that is why I write about it.
I wouldn’t have guessed this is who I would be. My 20-year-old self, filled with hubris and innocent stupidity would have looked down her up-all-night nose at me and said “no way”. Even my 30-year-old self didn’t know. Until Roan exploded into my world, I had no idea that I could be this person. I didn’t know I wanted to be this person. I most likely made fun of this person. I probably would have written something bad about this person on the Mommy Blogging Bashing Board.
I’m certain I will not always be in this place. That makes me sad though. Of course I know that my family will always be this important to me. But I do understand that these children reportedly grow up and eventually have their own lives. And when that happens, my focus will shift to something else. Possibly something new, maybe visiting something old. Maybe meshing the two. This time I have right now, where my purpose is so clearly defined and so insanely enjoyable will not always be here.
So. I will be a Mommy Blogger. I will document what happens with pictures and words because what is happening now is good. It is the best my life has ever been. It is what I want to be around, it is what I want to remember, it is everything I love. If that doesn’t make sense to someone on the outside, I get that. That’s ok. But it makes sense to me. And at the end of the day, every day – that’s the forum that matters.