(Then again, if someone had told me that reading feminine hygiene product packaging would reveal the secrets of surviving motherhood, the knowledge of which I craved with the desperation of a dehydrated hippo, I would have been camped out in the feminine products aisle of the local pharmacy scrutinizing every last Summer’s Eve box and the Monistat boxes just for good measure.
But I digress.)
One day, during a Google search on “extreme baby gas help,” I noticed a link to a page that I hadn’t seen before. Amidst all of the links to pages advertising Gerber Gas Drops and gripe water, there was a link to something called JezeWhiz, where somebody was saying something about the gas my god the gas. Intrigued, I followed that link, and in doing so, tumbled down a virtual rabbit hole, and arrived in the mommy blogosphere. And my life changed.
I may have gasped audibly. Somebody else knows. SOMEBODY ELSE KNOWS.
In an instant, I realized that I was not alone. I spent the next hour – hours – reading through her wonderful blog, laughing and wincing and nodding and goggling at the pictures of her adorable baby boy. (Go look! You will hyperventilate from the adorableness!) Then I started following her links. I linked to Amalah, and discovered another new mother who was babbling hysterically, brilliantly, about having a new baby and making with the funny my god the funny. And then I followed another link, and discovered that Dooce was not a feminine hygiene product. And then I linked to another blog, and another, and another.
I was totally sucked in.
Women – and men, and men and women – were writing about having babies. They were writing about how hard and amazing and exhilarating and painful and awe-inspiring and crazy-making and wonderful it is to have babies. (Okay, sorry, I cannot even begin to sort out the potential linkages for the preceding sentence. And? Baby on tit. So here’s a game for you: check out my sidebar links, read some relevant posts at those blogs and then take that sentence and play Match The Adjective To The Post. And when you run out of adjectives, make up your own.) And their voices sounded like my own. They sounded like me. Scared like me, amazed like me, bemused like me. Determined to suck every moment – good and bad – out of every day with the new little beings that had changed their lives. Like me.
So I started my own blog. I called it ‘the first days of the rest of my life.’ It was just going to be an online diary. I hadn’t yet discovered comments or inter-blog communication; I was writing just for me and for WonderBaby and for the Husband and for friends and family. But when, during one of my daily visits to Jezer’s blog, I realized that I could comment on her posts – on anyone’s posts – the rabbit hole opened up even further. And when she came to my site and left a comment on one of my posts, I landed at the bottom of that hole and recognized this whole new world for what it is: a place to not only find joy and solace in one’s own words, but to find those things in the words of others.
And although Jezer was the first (thank you, Jezer!), there are so many others that I don’t even know where to begin – or end – in singing their – your – praises. So I’m not going to start. I can’t. I can’t do each of you justice in one short post and I would almost certainly forget somebody and then I would wake up in the middle of the night tonight in a fit of guilt and self-loathing. You know who you are; I visit you whenever I can and when I’m done laughing or crying or gasping or nodding my head so vigorously that my teeth rattle over what you’ve written, I tell you so. (And if it’s not every post, it’s not that I’m not reading; sometimes I have to play catch-up.) You all make a huge difference in my life as a new mother. An extraordinary difference.
KoolAid Moms, I salute you.
(And KoolAid Dads and KoolAid Friends, I salute you too. For helping us all to be the super-crazy-hip-awesome moms that we are)
We all, to some extent, share our marriages and partnerships through our blogs. But the shared parent blogs do something really special with what and in what they share: they put the marital and parental partnership right up there on the screen to inspire and reassure. They celebrate, daily, the love and collaboration and struggle and love that define the extraordinary work that is Mom-and-Dad. So, Wood? Thank you for sharing your life as a mother and as a wife/partner/friend with us all, and for doing so so articulately and honestly and with such good humour. For showing us what love really looks like from all sides, so that we can see ourselves in that love, or aspire to that love. And Mo-Wo? Thanks for putting the struggles and triumphs of motherhood and pregnancy and womanhood firmly within the context of shared struggle and triumph, within the context of family.Thank you both for standing up alongside your husbands and proclaiming loudly that you have your own unique powerful, beautiful voices as mothers, as women and as writers, and for demonstrating that those voices ring all the more powerfully when raised in concert with the voices of your men.
Word to you mothers…