Have you ever had a moment when someone you’ve never met, someone you don’t even know says something you don’t like to your face, and words come gushing into your heart but you hold them in?
Today I was at a media event attended many people I know when a stranger, apparently a blogger herself, came up to me and asked, “Are you a mommy blogger”? Actually, she asked the small group of us.
Something inside me set off. I was annoyed. This honestly doesn’t happen that often.
You can call me Mommy, and you can be call me a blogger. I am both of those things. But please don’t call me MOMMY BLOGGER.
Basically, that’s what I said to this person.
I know what you’re thinking. “Girl, what is your problem? Your URL features the word “mom”, you write about a lot of parenting topics, you are a mom, you a blogger.
Well, that’s what she was thinking, too. In turn, she looked annoyed and we were both unsure of where to take the conversation.
So, I turned to her and asked her the same question back, but I think I stated “mom blogger.” She informed me that she’s doing “community” work for a web site but she really works in television.
Annoyed again. I do community work for a respectable company, I used to work in television. Why did this woman need to find an excuse for what she’s doing? Where’s the pride?
So, you’re wondering. Why do I care so much? You know what? I’ve always said that the only two people on this earth who can call me “mommy” are named Olivia and Max. My kids. I’m their mommy and I earned that title after carrying them both full term, delivering them naturally and being their moms day in, day out these past nine years. And I’m grateful, I know I was lucky to get pregnant with each one of them immediately, don’t get me wrong. I love being their mommy, but again, I’m their mommy.
To be honest, I haven’t called my own mother “mommy” in years. “Mom” sounds more dignified, more respectable. Heck, I have an education. I worked in the media world for years before I gave birth to my kids. I’m more than just a mom. Even now, look at all the amazing things that I’m doing through my work, through my volunteer work. I’m producing plays, freelance writing for several publications, consulting for several clients, and oh, running my company. Being a mom inspires me to push myself and this year it pushed me to produce my first play, raise 20K for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I was even on Good Morning America and NightLine for participating in a national hunger campaign. And a lot of my inspiration does come from the blogging community.
Mom bloggers are an empowering group of women who are changing lives, taking ownership of causes, championing brands, making things happen. Since I started this blog, it’s led to meetings the most amazing women who are championing causes, writing books, starting their own companies and taking on the world at a speed that would impress anyone. Blogging is so much more about sitting down and writing just about being a mom. For many of us, it’s a tool to write about what’s important to us – whether that includes our children or not. I don’t primarily write about my children. It used to be out of privacy issues, but as they have gotten older and I’ve been able to explore my own interests, I realized that is was time to check back in with myself and I now write about trips we take, plays I see, the extraordinary things I get to do. Blogging is hugely responsible for a lot of it. It’s also a support network. When motherhood is at its hardest and I write about or post about it somewhere on Twitter or Facebook, the comments and support that spills in and makes me realize that I’m not alone is mind-boggling.
In addition, blogging and social media are about making connections and cultivating relationships. It’s not just about sitting down and writing about your kids. It’s a combination effort, and no one who is blogging is just sitting there talking about being a mommy. They’re connecting, they’re relating, they’re engaging. They’re their own marketers.
Lastly, I’m a feminist. I deserve respect as a balance my daily life, figuring out the landscape of being a working mom, or a mom who stays home. The feminist movement has spent much of the last 50 years fighting for women to have a choice. For mothers like me, for whom blogging has provided an unexpected platform to get our voices heard, provide a small income or lead to amazing opportunities (I get invited on freaking Obama staff calls these days), it’s no small potatoes. Whatever you want to call it, mommy blogging is MORE than meets the eye and don’t forget that.
My tagline says it all: “For moms not ready to give up sushi for hotdogs.” It was “For moms not ready to give up sushi for happy meals” but I was afraid of copyright issues with McDonald’s. I love being a mom. I love being a blogger. But I just don’t want to be pigeon-holed. I want to grow as a writer, to grow as a mother.