Don’t Call Me Mommy
Is “Mommy Blogger” a derisive term? Yes. Do I use it to make fun of myself? Yup. I do write an awful lot about my son, Roan. But I also write an awful lot about my husband Anson – are people using the term, “Wife Blogger”? No, no they are not. They are not because that would be saying my writing is defined by my wifehood, which no one I know would actually say to my face unless they wanted a knuckle sandwich. (Full disclosure: I’ve actually never punched anyone outside of a boxing ring. But I love the term “knuckle sandwich” and you can’t take that away from me.) Being a mother does give my life more depth and happiness than I ever had before my son existed, but still – I did actually exist before him, and though some things have changed, I still consider myself to be myself, first. Then a mother. Then a wife. Then an astronaut (in progress).
Last week, the New York Times published an article called “Honey Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand.” It is a dumb title, in the extreme. But more than that, it is wildly condescending, and that, my friends, has caused a Mommy Blogger Riot. I tried to ignore it, but after being forwarded the article over six times (really – six different people sent it to me.) I feel compelled to stand up and say, “Hey! New York Times! That was a really crap title for a really boring and patronizing article!” (And P.S. I do have some free time available to write for you, so you know – call me!) But beyond thinking the article was slipshod and lazy, I’ve remained on the fence. You tell me – should I be taking a side?
Let’s face it. Nobody likes being labeled. When I was a party promoter, I hated the term “Rave”. But that’s what I was throwing. When I was in High School, I hated the label “Punk” and insisted I was actually “New Wave”, thankyouverymuch, oi. I’ve not yet taken to saying I’m a “Stay at Home Mom” because I’m rarely at home, and identifying as a “Mommy Blogger” feels very much like a quick kick in the pants. It’s a true enough term, but it’s become so widely used and mocked that for reals, the only way I use it now is in cruel cruel irony, and not a point of honor.
There are a lot of Mothers out there. Many of them have a few minutes put aside to write for whomever will read. I’m one of those guys. I guess I’d just rather not be called a “Mommy Blogger” or a “Blogger” at all. When my son came home from school a few days ago, he told me about art class, where they spoke about what they want to be when they grow up. His answer was that he wanted to be what I was. I asked him what that was? Imagine how wonky I would have felt if the next words he said were, “I want to be a Mommy Blogger!” But he didn’t; nope, Roan my son (and forgive me for Mommy Blogging right this very minute) said, “I want to be a writer”.
So the side I’ve landed on? I’m asking the world for no more broad-stroke, dumb, niche titles, please. I have a son to raise in my footsteps, and he thinks I’m a writer.