Crazy Narcissistic Exploitative Zombie-Pimp Mom-Bloggers, Unite and Take Over

April 23, 2008

Nothing makes a mom-blogger prouder than to open the online editorial page of a major newspaper and see a picture of her daughter with a hyper-linked headline that asks “Is Blogging About Your Kid Exploitation?”

Of course it is, you say to yourself. And then you print the article and fold it neatly – you know, for the scrapbook, and also maybe for tax purposes – alongside the stacks and stacks of hundred-dollar bills you’ve collected from the enterprise of exploiting your daughter. The stacks that you make her wrap in wee elastic bands and load into the stroller basket to take to the bank. When she’s not busy posing for the pictures that you post on your exploitative ‘GET UR LIVE TODDLER SHOW RITE HEER” blog, that is. Or amusing herself in the corner with old vodka bottles while you spend the better part of each day telling the Internet stories about her. You know, for the cash.

I knew what that Globe and Mail story was about when I agreed to be interviewed for it. And I knew, too, that allowing them to photograph Wonderbaby and I would make us a focal point. I also knew that when I said, in the interview, this is going sound totally inappropriate, and probably needs a lot of explanation – it’s just that I can’t think of a better word – but in a way I think of her as my property, yanno? that the ambivalent preamble would be omitted when the quote was – inevitably – used. (Actual quote, minus preamble: “In a way I think of her as my property, my work of art… She’s a work in progress that I’m involved in. To that extent, I have some licence to be public about having her as my muse.”) I didn’t have a problem with that. I was prepared to stand by that. I knew that I would have to stand by that, because I knew that I’d get shit for that.

And I did. But I wasn’t quite prepared for the force of the shit being flung.

In the comments to the online article, this was the tenor of the response:

“Is it just me or is this poor little kid doomed from the get go?”

“Isn’t this just another form of pimping?”

“At 6 her daughter will likely hire a lawyer and sue her for half.”

“Parents that sit and blog are actually NOT paying attention to their children. You know the old saying ‘where are the parents.’ Well their (sic) right here in front of you honey, but they are zombified in front of a screen.”

“If this is the way this woman views her child, I hope she saves up whatever money she’s earning from her pathetic blog to pay for her kid’s therapy later in life.”

And my favorite (regarding a quote from Wonderbaby, cited in the title of the article) “Who would teach their child to speak like this?”

(Memo to ‘Dennis sinneD from Calgary’: if you know any two-year olds who can not only construct complete sentences, but articulate those sentences with perfect diction, then you live in some alternate parallel universe where said children quote EB White at five years of age, attend Oxford at seven, and publish their collected essays on the rise of the English novel at ten. Which is to say, NOT CALGARY.)

Anyway. OUCH.

The comments are stupid, I know. And, simply, wrong: I’m not some shameless mom-pimp, whoring out an online kiddy show for pennies from Google ads. I’m a writer. I make money from writing; it’s my job, my contribution to the household income, the means by which we’re going to send her to university and pay for her wedding and help her buy a house and just generally take care of her and her sibling. But it’s also a labor of love – I didn’t start writing to make money, I started because I love it. And I started writing about – mostly – being a mom because, in addition to loving the writing, I found solace and comfort and release and community in it. And so did others – readers, and other writers, who shared their stories with me. And so I kept writing, and so I keep on writing, and so I will keep on writing, until I have no words left. The money is nice, but it’s incidental to my love for the practice of writing.

Most of what I write is not Wonderbaby anecdote. I’m not simply keeping a play-by-play (or, more accurately, asskick-by-asskick) record of her life. I’m writing what is, in part, a living memoir of my experience as a first-time (soon to be second-time) mother. She’s a big part of that – the biggest part, in most obvious respects – but there’s a lot about that experience that holds her at the periphery. A very, very close periphery, but still. My motherhood is a work in progress that involves her closely, but it is, also, a work that is more mine that hers. When I said in the article that she’s my muse, that’s probably as close to the truth of the writing matter as I could get. She is the source of my identity as a mother, and my primary inspiration as a writer – but the story that I tell about the experience of motherhood – the experience of womanhood after having children – is not, strictly speaking, her story. It’s mine. Mostly. (The issue of public/private distinctions as these pertain to the quote-unquote institution of motherhood, and the idea of children as any sort of ‘property,’ are subjects for another post. Soon.) (I’ll just say this: the word ‘property’ – from the Latin proprius, meaning one’s own – doesn’t necessarily refer to chattel. Rousseau and Mill took ‘property’ to refer to the broad spectrum of things – including happiness, self-respect, family – that one might hold dearly as ‘one’s own’)

And in any case – even if one does regard my personal blog as simply one long exercise in narcissistic storytelling about life with Wonderbaby – what of it? As this blogger pointed out to me in a private conversation, why does so-called lifestyle writing in print not prompt people to generalize those writers as narcissistic nutbars or neglectful parents or – most pleasantly – pimps? Memoirs, autobiography, lifestyle op-ed columns – these have been around for a very long time, and while some such writers, I’m sure, are called narcissists, most of them have probably not had the unique pleasure of being called crazy, zombified pimps. (Most of them, however, have – from Rousseau to Sedaris – historically been men. There’s something about so-called lifestyle writing or memoir by women – online or off – that inevitably provokes hysterical name-calling and foretellings of the decline of civilization. This has everything to do with the historical consignment of women and family to the private sphere, I think, but again, that’s a subject for another post. I can only skim the surface here.)

There’s something about mothers lifting back the veil of the family that upsets people, that leads people to accuse the mothers who dare do such a thing of neglecting their maternal duties, of exploiting their children, of exposing their children to the dangers of the public sphere, of being bad. But that’s precisely what makes mom-blogging – to overuse a deservedly overused phrase – a radical act. We’ve always been told to not lift the veil. We’ve always been told to stay behind the veil, no matter what. We’ve always been told that the sanctity and well-being of our families depends upon the integrity of that veil – upon modesty and privacy and keeping our struggles and our victories to ourselves. Which has, over the course of the history of Western civilization (and that of other civilizations, of course, although I cannot speak to these with any authority), kept us isolated from one another. Kept us silent.

I choose not to be silent. I choose to tell my stories, tell – while she is young – her stories, tell the stories of she and I and our family and our place in this world and to pull meaning from those stories and to speculate on those meanings and to reflect, out loud, on what it means to be a mom in this day and age and other days and ages and all the days and ages to come. I choose to use my voice, my fingers, my keyboard to make myself heard. I choose to write. If that makes me appear, to some, a crazy, narcissistic, exploitative zombie-pimp who whores her child out for the sake of a few bucks and the self-indulgence of storytelling, then so be it.

It’s worth it. It’s so worth it.


Wee update: The writer of the article contacted me and asked if I wanted the offensive comments removed from the Globe and Mail site. I said no – apart from the name-calling, they’re expressing an opinion that I chose to engage with (because I think that it’s stupid and in some cases offensive, but still) and in any case, I’m not much on with censorship, unless it’s me doing it on my own site. Still… was that the right decision? Letting comments that refer to me as ‘vile’ and ‘zombified’ and ‘pimp’ stand for eternity on the interwebs? Or does open discourse require a bit of personal discomfort – perhaps more than I’m used to – sometimes?

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    liv April 23, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    you know, there will always be haters. i think half of them are just grumbling because they can’t relax enough to enjoy life–all of life, the bitter and the sweet. when you can write about it and laugh and commune about it, so much the better.


    Chris April 23, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Beautifully said.

    Kimber April 23, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I didn’t call you a pimp, I called you a whore. Poor Wonderbaby! (KIDDING! I said neither!)
    Frankly, I can not believe the gall of these people who commented. As if you are sitting home collecting ASSLOADS of money while posting a constant stream of WonderBaby antics. I enjoy your blog because it’s not a “WB ate a carrot today and then she had organic juice” which is fine if you like reading that tripe, uh stuff but that’s not for me. I enjoy good writing, whether it’s on the ole interwebs or if it’s in print.
    Please, people.
    I write my blog because I write non-fiction crap all day long and I wanted a place to share some stuff about me. I don’t think for one second that my kids will need therapy later in life because I once talked about poop. And boobs. There will always be boobs.

    Mrs. Flinger April 23, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Amen, hon. Afuckingmen.

    You’re both beautiful and I’m so glad you share that with us.

    .jag. April 23, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Oh pffft on them. You have a great blog, and a great daughter. People always assume the worst, and of course they have to tell you about these opinions as well. I think you’re a wonderful writer and you should take pride in what you do, because you’re doing a great job.

    Keep up the good work!

    (P.S. Sorry my fellow Calgarians SUCK!)


    Jaelithe April 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Mothers have written about their children for centuries. Many, many, many famous female writers have supported themselves in part by writing personal anecdotes about their lives that include their children. Women have written newspaper columns, essays, and entire books about their children. And– NEWSFLASH– there have been a lot of male authors who have written stories about their children for publication, too.

    Why did no one ever call this “exploitation” until it was on the internet? What is so different about this?

    Is it that there are MORE of us parents writing about our children now? Forming an actual community, where we can ask one another for parenting advice, help one another in times of need, and even arrange to meet in person so our children can gain new playmates and we can gain new parent friends?

    Is it that we are making LESS money than those people who used to write personal essays for magazines and newspapers?

    What is it about writing on the internet that makes people automatically assume a sort of tawdriness? Really, now. It’s ridiculous.

    Don Mills Diva April 23, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Hear, hear!!!

    This kind of writing is why you have way more fans than detractors…

    I’ll be blogging my own rebuttal soon but it’ll go something like this…

    I am a writer. I work hard to find and express the beauty and the profoundity in the mundane. If you don’t like it, don’t read it, but do NOT accuse me of exploiting my child when we all know there is real and sickening exploitation of children going on via the internet…

    Jen April 23, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    I also got a kick out of the “who teaches their child to talk like that” comment because it was clearly by someone who knew nothing about anything but just wanted to jump in and join the bashing.
    Someone once asked me if I felt like the time I spent blogging was taking away from time with my kdis. I just had to laugh. I’m a stay at home parent and I spend more time with my kids every day than some parents spend with their kids all week. (That is not to bash working parents, I’m just making a point.) Me spending a little time each day blogging and reading blogs doesn’t hurt my kids one bit. In fact they benefit from having a mother who has a creative outlet and has found a “community” of sorts in blogging. If I could get all that plus some money too? Well, that would rock all the more.
    You just keep on keeping on. Those who get it, get it and those who don’t can’t blow it out their rear ends.

    Rhonda April 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    You’re both so cute in this picture! I read the article and I think that you make some very interesting points about the notion of women and childraising being relegated by society to the private sphere. It’s natural for the media to explore the phenomenon of “mommy bloggers” and possibly to question it’s value, but I think the people who are so vehemently opposed to it are either a) Not parents or b) Not stay-at-home parents. As a stay-at-home mom, blogs like yours give me a sense of community on those days when I would otherwise feel very isolated and slightly crazed! So thank you.

    kgirl April 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I discussed this article at length with Chris last night. We agree – you were the voice of positivity; of reason. Blogging about your child perhaps does raise the question of their privacy, but really – what are our blogs besides love letters to our children?

    As for the comments – they don’t get it. It’s that simple. They don’t understand blogging, they don’t understand the internet, they don’t understand parenting today and they certainly don’t understand you. Us.

    Don’t give them the time it takes to care.

    Mimi April 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Hm. You and were talking about this recently, about how the mainstream media likes to spin blogging parents (and they always tend to lead with men, for some reason). Moms are either too wrapped up in their children, or too wrapped up in themselves.

    The comments on the article (and, weird, when I saw the headline, I thought: “oh, that’s Wonderbaby”) were funny to me because the discussion that goes on HERE in the comments (and in all our comments) is way more nuanced, careful, sophisticated, reflective, and caring. And they call US weirdos?

    Anyhow, you know what the mass media could use, though, I think? A thoughtful look at mommy bloggers who do NOT monetize, do not craft work out of their accounts. We actually are a big big majority of mommy bloggers, and we keep it mostly on the downlow, for a lot of reasons.

    I love your blog, C: and I found you right after I gave birth, because your name and your blog were in the Globe and Mail. So that really helped me to find this community. But I think for the press to always focus on blogs like yours really misses the fundamental reality of innumerable women writing and reading and writing and reading without any broader public presence.

    Mimi April 23, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Oh, and it’s eye-rollingly baaaaad that the caption under the photo in the article helpfully drops the bomb that you started writing to cope with your PPD: so that makes you, if we were to read headlines and captions, a fantastically rich, neglectful, mentally-unstable attention-whore? Honestly. The $40K thing really pisses me off: it’s just not true for anyone in this sphere except Dooce, unless you’re cobbling multiple writing gigs together.

    Just picture all the screen-addled PPD narcissist mommies! Rolling in dough and writing about pee-pee. The article is set up in such a way as to provoke the moron-ery in the comments. Grr. April 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I so want to see your “post title” on a t-shirt, damnit!

    Christina April 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I read the article, but never went back to read the comments. So now I’m floored by the things people said. If writing about our children is pimping them out for big bucks, what about those who don’t make much or make any money at all from blogging? Are they just bad pimps, not only exploiting their children but also unable to properly pimp them out to at least make a living from it?

    Women have been writing about their children in one way or another for a long time, yet now because we have a built-in world-wide audience it is somehow wrong?

    And I have to once again roll my eyes at those who accuse mom bloggers of ignoring their kids all day in order to blog. Some particularly mean troll once told me that the reason Cordy is autistic is because I put her in front of the TV all day so I could blog. Of course it couldn’t be further from the truth, but it also shows the clear misconceptions many have about mom bloggers.

    I thought you handled the topic very well. If only the commenters had as much ability to think clearly.

    Laural Dawn April 23, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I read the article and the comments don’t really surprise me because people are judgmental and love to pick on others.
    As far as blogging being exploitive, I think it can be. And, honestly I have read some posts (not yours specifically) where I think it crosses a line. And, I think it’s a question that as a parent blogger, whether you have a million readers like you do, or 10 like I do, you have to ask yourself every time you post. I think it’s also why you can have programs that tell you how people are finding your blog. For instance I was using a phrase that was drawing a weird crowd of people. And, I felt in a round about way that if my son’s picture came up when people googled a certain term it was wrong. So, I deleted the term.
    I guess my point is that I think you’re using your blog in a non-exploitive way. And, as long as you continue to question yourself it’s fine.
    Besides … I like your writing :)

    Syko April 23, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Aww, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’ve been leery of newspaper interviews for years, since I used to sometimes participate in personal ads in a local freebie paper and they interviewed me and I said things like I’d never met anyone I wanted to see twice and I got a lot of semi-porn responses and I didn’t think I was going to continue doing it and it turned into a big article about how personal ad dating had turned my life around and made my depression disappear and they used my real name.

    You just keep on doing what you’re doing. Wonderbaby is just what her name suggests, we all love her as if we were her aunts and grandmas, and we love hearing about your life. Ignore the newspaper. They like to make things up for the drama.

    jenB April 23, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    The comments make me cry a little, especially knowing you (as much as I do thus far:)). I also started writing pre-baby before there was even pennis in googleads. It made me feel good, better, in a way that I had never experienced. The fact that there are people who do it better than others, is O-fucking-K. sheesh.

    Short version: well written rant, and you are fantastic.

    sam April 23, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I was saddened and a little outraged when I read the comments to your article. Not only are they harsh and rude to YOU and YOUR family, but to the rest of us as well.
    Those commentators refer to ALL of us as pimps and zombies that are taking advantage of our children.

    Frig. For the measly money that my blog does make it’s not worth pimping my child out, if that were the case. But it’s not. That’s not why the majority of us blog and the people that took the time to write such hurtful and downright evil comments are just looking for their little slice of limelight themselves.
    They really are no different.

    Excellent post C. As always.

    womaninawindow April 23, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    OK – A few things. First, you ladies sure are beautiful, the whole inside and out thing. Second, wow, people can sure be stupid (and quick to judge) and that’s not you I’m talking about.(Oh, did I just judge someone there?) Third, writing and money? Who writes this stuff?

    Sleeping Mommy April 23, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    It continues to amaze me that we, as women, are still having to justify any move we make outside the private sphere–in 2008.

    I’m looking forward to your future posts expanding on this topic.

    Karen April 23, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    you know this is a culturally yucky time for mothers – we are supposed to not give them nature deficit disorder, not hover, not let them get kid-napped, not turn them into snobs who don’t know elmo, not feed them crap, be a good consumer, send them out to play, play with them, teach them to play on their own and myriad other contradictory goals. Ick, leave us be.

    Her Bad Mother April 23, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Mimi – I agree that most news articles tend to focus on the quote-unquote bigger blogs, or the monetized blogs, although there have been articles in parenting magazines on the topic of blogging as hobby versus profession. I think it’s appropriate, though, in this context, because the supposed dirty money angle adds something to the charge of exploitation. But therein lays the question: if I didn’t make a penny from blogging, at HBM or elsewhere, what would the difference be? Is it a more ‘pure’ craft – and therefore less exploitative and objectionable – if it’s pursued solely as hobby?

    but that’s another topic ;)

    And yeah, the image of me as a rich, depressed, pill-popping exploiter-mom: AWESOME.

    Average Jane April 23, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    In part, I think it’s a generational thing. My parents were always coaching us as kids not to talk about things like the time my mom took an old frozen grocery store cake, covered it with Cool Whip and brought it to school for a bake sale. These days if I did something like that, I’d write about it for the whole world to read. (Not that I’d do that, but still…)

    Veronica Mitchell April 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I started to write a very long comment in response to this, so I turned it into a post instead. In short, to reasonable you: Yes. To commenters: Boo.

    Christine April 23, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    That article was so ridiculously slanted…and it’s been said before, but why is the act that this writing is posted online that makes it so inflammatory? Did Erma Bombeck get riddled with accusations for writing humorously about parenting and marriage? How about Dave Barry, who went from print to blog?

    (Why did I pick two totally outdated examples? I dunno? Probably because I am distracted by the piles of cash surrounding me that I made blogging.)

    Brianne H. April 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Yes yes yes!!!

    We moms who blog = rockin.

    They = lame, stuffy, no-kid, on-therapy-themselves, bloody wankers! ;)

    Keep on keepin’ on. Forget all of them!

    toyfoto April 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    It will ALWAYS be acceptable to bash the mother. No matter what we do someone is going to tell us we’re doing it wrong. Stay a home, work out side, write about the kids … hell, TALKING about the kids can get a mom in trouble.

    My blog IS a boring play-by-play of what the kids did today. Thing is the people who write the stories that elicit that kind of response is more harmful than any of us.

    canape April 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    *enters with sarcasm*

    So I guess that’s why you are having another one? Because of how filthy rich the first one has made you via your blog?

    Smart move, HBM. I’m sure that you make far more money on your blog than it costs to raise your children.

    *heavy sigh, exits shaking head*

    So sorry people can be such asshats.

    Heather April 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I think those comments smack of jealousy at your success. Some people have nothing better to do than to sit on the internet and type rude comments. How is that better than writing great posts about our children?

    Lotta April 23, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    I think it’s fantastic that moms are sharing their stories. How much nicer would the task of motherhood be if we could do that in real life?

    But sadly, those mean old commenters are the moms in real life that keep us silent and fearful. Saving our deep down thoughts for when we are online.

    Sass E-mum April 23, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    sometimes the people who comment on newspaper websites are just nasty and cynical.

    Bring on the stories.

    projectmommy April 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Some people! Now mommy-blogging makes you a crappy parent? Since when are these people experts? Keep doing what your doing, despite you title, your are most definately NOT a bad mother.

    creative-type dad April 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Maybe we can start a club since we’re all making 40k a month, right?

    We can all have our private jets meet somewhere.

    Chantal April 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Bravo Catherine!

    Beck April 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I felt kind of like barfing after reading those comments, to be honest. I have literally NEVER had anyone in my real life say ANYTHING negative to me about my blogging. EVER. AT ANY POINT. And yet apparently there are quite a few people out there who think that mother bloggers are all spun. Well now.

    kittenpie April 23, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    You got exactly what I was thinking – ‘but other people do this in print and only attract a handful of haters.’ It’s somehow legitimized.

    Tracey April 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Well, the above people all said what I basically am thinking, but I am such an ATTENTION WHORE that I felt the need to put my own comment here and say “Here, here!”

    Rachael April 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I should never have clicked on the link to the actual article, then clicked on the comments there. I am SO ANNOYED right now. What is wrong with people?? First of all, about 99% of bloggers are not making tens of thousands of dollars per month. Maybe Dooce makes a ton of money, but she’s been writing it for a long time, and I would not refer to it as a mommy blog necessarily – she writes about a lot of stuff, and takes gorgeous photos. She wasn’t even married when the blog started. Secondly, how is writing a blog and sharing anecdotes and stories any different from Jenny McCarthy writing a book about parenthood, or Brooke Shields writing about her PPD, or any of the thousands of memoirs of parenting out there? No one is attacking them. Thirdly, the assumption that all of these parents are ignoring their children while they blog is ridiculous. Have they ever heard of dads, babysitters, big brothers/sister, naps, and bedtime? There are a lot of opportunities to write that do not have you ignore your child. Plus anyone that has a kid knows that if you sit down to blog in the same house as a two year old, and they don’t want you to be doing it, you’re not going to be able to do it! Unless you are a magical resister of pulling, whining, etc.

    The assumption that people who are mommy bloggers would be uncaring or ignoring their children is kind of backwards anyhow, because if a parent didn’t care would they take time to record their kid’s stories and precious moments, and the amusing things they do? Or would they forget the blog and do something else instead? Hm…

    Sigh… I resisted the urge to log in and leave a comment on the article because a while ago that you can’t reason with people who don’t have logic.


    braiding mommy April 23, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    You are very tough to put yourself out there like that. I don’t know what it is about people where we have this inner need almost to rip each other a new one every chance we get – as though our lives are worth more when we make other feel worth less. Who knows. Good that you know none of it was accurate, though I can imagine the sting. People are cruel when given a forum. But you and your blog are still great. And that picture is adorable. Thanks for always sharing.

    Angella April 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    When I read the article, I did not think you were put in a bad light. Maybe it’s because I’m a MOM and I get your humour.

    This post is awesome. You are awesome.

    And you are right. It is so worth it. Keep it up!

    ScientistMother April 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I decided to read the article before leaving a comment. Like others, I did not bother reading the comments left on the globe website, b/c the article in itself was pointless. Newspapers and general news itself has been slipping of late. Tralee Pearce had a real opportunity to delve into a complex issue, but instead she choose to skim the surface, give out some facts and use quotes out of context. You and other bloggers, myself included, struggle with the issue of privacy. Had tralee read your blog she would have seen that you have blogged about this exact issue. However, like most reports on anything science / research related, this article consisted of very little analysis or information. Great 2 bloggers stopped blogging because of privacy and one can not because of how much she earns from the blog. What about the question of why do we blog? What is the difference between blogging and chatting with your mummy group pals? Why does blogging cause such anger yet Jenny McGarthy writing a hilarous book on being pregnant gets to go on Larry King?

    On another note, why are we expected as mums to only want to care about our children? We are not JUST moms, we are writers, researchers, lovers, friends. We need to care about ourselves and not be sacrificing everything for them.

    Kara April 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    At the risk of being the lone ‘you know they do have a point’ dissenter here, I recently quit my blog for many of the reasons listed in that article. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the whole “I’m not alone” feeling of the blogosphere, but at what cost?I often wonder how many WAH bloggers DO have time to parent, blog, and then do the requisite reciprocal commenting (to say nothing of shopping for groceries, doing laundry and other household management). I certainy couldn’t do it without bordering on neglect and my family is worth WAY more to me than faceless readers. You may feel the same way someday too, you may not. I respect your right to do what you do.

    mrsmogul April 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    I haven’t read the article yet but I will. There will always be haters commenting. Just that the publication has a zillion readers and you’ll get more chance of nutty negative people trying to put you down.

    Her Bad Mother April 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    In Tralee Pearce’s (the writer of the article) defense, I’m guessing that she was circumscribed by word count and editorial direction and the like – she’d read my blog extensively, knew that I’d written about this subject before, and she and I had a really good discussion that unfortunately had to be distilled into a sound bite or two. Which is how newspaper articles work. Sad, but true.

    GeekLady April 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    You are one of the very few mom-blogs that I read, and it’s because you do write about you, not your child. You write about yourself and your perception of motherhood so well that it’s why I keep coming back. It’s what I originally set out to do (except I am not as good a writer), only when everything went so horribly wrong for me, I physically could not bear to continue.

    Because, face it, reading about someone else’s kid is boring. (Unless said kid is revealed at age 11 to be a wizard and goes off to a school of magic in a secret castle, at which point I will confess a certain bit of mania.) You can only take so many phallic lovey stories, hysterical though they may be, before a blog that only talks about the kid – what they ate, how they are developing, what they played, their bowel movements – turns into that coworker by which you hate being cornered.

    The good mom (and dad) bloggers don’t talk about these things, except as they produce an experience for the blogger. And that experience is theirs as much as standing at the foot of Andrew’s Glacier last August was mine.

    You just happen to be one of the best.

    Her Bad Mother April 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Kara – being at WAH writer is no different from being a WAH anything, with kids – you have to learn to balance things. In my case, we use daycare a couple of days a week (as we would if I were WOH) and rely a lot upon really good scheduling. I do my recreational blogging (reading, etc) at night, instead of TV, or when I have insomnia. So I don’t feel that I sacrifice any more time with my family than I would if I worked away from home. Less, actually, because this work allows me to take time off whenever and however I like. But, yeah, it could get overwhelming for anyone who doesn’t have resources like daycare or grandparents, etc.

    Kmommy April 23, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    You are so right! Who cares what other people say! They’re just jealous ;) I think many of us would agree that we all need each other and each other’s stories. I feel so much saner knowing that there are other mothers out there going through similar issues.
    And you are so right on with your comments about writing in print. Damn, you go girl ;)

    Kyla April 23, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I’m stuck on $40K per month. MONTH? Dude is that even possible?

    This makes me awfully nervous about my press conference next week. EEK!

    Jenny April 23, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    You are both beautiful.

    Screw em.

    jodifur April 23, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    I’ve never commented here before but have lurked for a while.

    I find this whole argument annoying. I work in child abuse. I see abused, exploited children every day. Can we concentrate on them please? This is just ridiculous.

    Can we spend some time talking about important stuff? Who’s going home on American Idol tonight?

    (not saying your post wasn’t important, but this discussion isn’t important).

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