Thursday, August 15, 2013

What Mommy Blogs and Forbes Have in Common

Last week, I came across a blog post that had gone viral.  The content was about how lame/loosery mommy blogs are.  Bashing mommy blogs is a popular activity on the net.  In fact, if you Google, “I hate mommy blogs,” you get an instant 2,010,000 results. 

This bothers me.

What a shame that women following the rules – becoming mothers, perfectly folding fitted sheets and cutting their kids pb&j’s into the shapes of happy dinosaurs – are also the butt of a national joke.  To me, this is just one more example of how being a woman is complex.  Misogynist attitudes can rear up in ghoulish smiles no matter what we wear, do for a living or write about. 

And women are just as likely to distance themselves from what society sees as "female" talents.  In fact, we might be even more eager to roll our collective eyes at the writer who devotes a post per week on tips to get your toddler to sleep, because it makes us feel smarter or more important than her. 

Come on.

Women are awesome.  Just check out the example of one mommy blogger who turned her talent into a successful moneymaking enterprise.  And when she ended up with an inbox full of hate mail, she launched a separate site fully devoted to featuring cherry-picked examples of her haters, surrounded by oodles of income generating advertisements.  Heather Armstrong at proved that a mommy blog could actually land a woman on the list of Forbes’s list of most influential women in the media.

So hey - let’s celebrate whatever women are good at, whether it’s jaw-dropping Halloween decorations or becoming one of the 4.2 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.  Why should skills and interests that fall into the traditionally domestic realm be regarded with such disdain?  It can take months to paint and decorate a bedroom, hours to create a mouth watering pan of salted caramel brownies and years to figure out how to perfectly fold those fitted sheets.  Personally, I’m still working on that one.  It's really freaking hard.  But after a month of caring for six kids - feeding them, keeping them clean, reading countless books and singing endless songs to them, washing 3,000 dishes, slapping together at least 100 sandwiches and, cleaning my house... 

Every.  Single.  Day.

I felt proud of myself.

At the end of the day, my body ached as if I'd run a full marathon.  But my soul glowed as if I'd won that marathon!  I made children smile and laugh.  I filled their sweet tummies and connected with my husband over how gorgeous it was when Tomas urged the elderly bus lady at Old Country Buffet to sit with us and enjoy a bowl of soft serve.  Across two languages and countless countries, a six-year-old Latvian boy and a hard-working, Mexican woman shared a smile.  She didn't sit with us but she did reach into her pocket and slip me a coupon for a free meal next time we came in.  This was a moment to breathe in, a sentimental exchange that you might find illuminated with care by a domestic goddess, on a mommy blog.

Ode to A Domestic Goddess

Her home, clean walls with snow-white painted baseboards 
Smells like a host of buttery apple pies baking 
Right now
This makes me want to sink into the pretty couch pillows and beg
Take care of me
The lack of lint on her rugs, the way a hand-knit afghan is gently
(But artfully)
Tossed across the back of a flowered chair
All whisper the words
Hers is the home we love to visit
The meal we swoon over and savor as it slides against the soft pallet of our tongues
Let's take our collective hands from their throats
And celebrate the Nigellas


  1. People can be mad and bitter about just about anything. Theme song today: Mean by Taylor Swift. Thumbs up to all mummy's and mummy bloggers.

  2. That song is so fun, Sheena! I think we often don't recognize when we are being mean though. It's something I work on all the time.

  3. I had no idea they were bashing mommy blogs. Don't people have better things to do? I don't have any kids myself. Not by plan or design, it was just the way my life turned out. When I was young, I was a mother's helper here and an au pair in England, so I know how hard it is, just to look after them. Without having that ultimate responsibility for their lives. Thanks for bringing this up.

  4. Thanks Inger. And I think the bashing is part of a general misogyny we all need to work against.

  5. The Nigellas & chefs extraordinaire can't hold a candle to the women who put delicious home-cooked meals on the table every night for their families. It takes work & imagination to stretch a tight dollar at the market into a nutritious taste-treat (even if it's sometimes served on mismatched dishes). A woman who feeds the tummies & hearts of her children builds the future of the world. And I can't fold fitted sheets either.

    1. Here, here! But I think the Nigellas are important too. The world respects a person who can make a buck.

  6. Imagine if all that hater-energy (from everyone) was put to use making the world a better place....

  7. I'm like Inger, I had no idea this bashing was going on. Since I'm not a mom I guess I just hadn't paid attention. It's discouraging that sometimes it seems women can't win no matter what they do.

    1. It is discouraging but look at Heather - she's benefitting from the haters by making a buck off of their nonsense :) Happy ending.