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29 Jul

How To Talk About Succeeding In Blogging (Without Really Crying)

Here’s something that you might not know about me: I’m a professional blogger. A professional mom-blogger. Which is to say, I earn a living – a good one – from the business that I’ve established around this blog that deals primarily in discussions related to motherhood and parenting and – I should warn you, this will be the first of many words that some consider unladylike – the brand that is associated with this blog.

29 Jul

A Certificate Of Presence: On Why I’m Obsessed With Taking Photographs, And Happier For It

There’s a post at Babble this week by a mom who regrets having been too obsessed with photographing every moment of her family’s life. She forced herself to put the camera down, and, she says, is happier for it. “While I still desperately want my boys to be able to look through photo albums of their childhood and feel a deep sense of love and family,” she writes, “I also want them to remember that I ran into the cold Maine surf right beside them, that I danced the night away with them in my arms at their auntie’s wedding, and that I simply sat with them while they talked about cars and firemen and bugs. That I did not leave them to grab my camera — no matter how adorable they looked. Instead, I stayed and I listened.”

Which is lovely, really, and I get it, I do. There is a difference between living a moment and documenting a moment, between being in and aware of the lived experience of a moment and being an observer of that experience. Here’s the thing, though: each of those experiences is a discrete and unrepeatable experience. It happens once, and only once. Which is, perhaps, all the more reason to just live each experience as fully as possible. It’s also, however, an excellent reason to seize those experiences – some of them, anyway – and do whatever we can to hang on to them. Photographs are one way of doing that.

21 Jul

A Mompreneur By Any Other Name

I’m generally not a fan of mashed up hybrid neologisms; you know, those words that are created out of two unrelated words, like ‘freegan’ and ‘Brangelina.’ But in some cases, they can be useful – fun, even – inasmuch as they allow us to describe something for which there hasn’t previously been a proper name. ‘Mompreneur’ is one such word. The thing about a word like ‘mompreneur’, though, is that its use needs to be appropriate and relevant to what it’s describing, otherwise it very quickly becomes ridiculous.

So when is it okay to use the word ‘mompreneur,’ and when is it not?

18 Jul

Mamas, Do Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Mommy Bloggers

What follows is part of a post from a few months ago. Read to the bottom and you’ll see why I’ve reposted it. IT WAS THE BIRTH OF SOMETHING. SORT OF.

Here’s something that you might not know about me: I’m a professional blogger. A professional mom-blogger. Which is to say, I earn a living – a good one – from the business that I’ve established around this blog that deals primarily in discussions related to motherhood and parenting and – I should warn you, this will be the first of many words that some consider unladylike – the brand that is associated with this blog.

4 Jul

Sometimes, You’re Just An Asshole

Just over a year ago, I got an anonymous e-mail that said, among other things, this:

You honestly make me sick. Keep making money off your dead dad, your dying nephew and your kids. Keep taking trips for free while your 15 minutes are still here, because eventually, people are going to see the scum money grubbing famewhore that lies underneath the fake exterior, and you’ll be yesterday’s news. Here’s hoping that’s sooner than later. Go take another Ativan, cause that’s how you cope, right?

1 Jun

Talk To Me

I’ve had a difficult time writing, of late. Part of the reason for that is just good old garden-variety exhaustion — lack of sleep and surplus of work and two small children who are all jacked up on springtime have been combining to drain me utterly – but it’s not only that. The other reason is that I’m just not feeling all that confessional, and there are too many things going on in my life that would, if I were to write about them, feel like confessions – some my own, others not so much my own – and that, for some reason, just feels, I don’t know, hard right now.

Confession is the wrong word here, actually, inasmuch as it implies revealing something shocking or controversial or unseemly. Most of the things that I just don’t feel like writing about right now don’t fall into that category. Some of them do – I’m struggling with some motherhood-related anxieties and some parenting issues that, were I to discuss them, might leave me vulnerable to judgment – but these are the sorts of things that I usually don’t even think of as controversial until after I’ve written about them and the heated commentary begins. Which might be part of the problem here: I’ve just become so skittish, in the last year, about opening up this space to discussion, that maybe I don’t know how to proceed conversationally any more. On any topic.

19 Apr

Moms On The Front Line

Last Friday morning I was sitting in a conference room at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, listening to Abigail Disney speak about her documentary films and about her belief in the importance of telling women’s stories. She made a film about women and war, she said, because women have historically been written out of that story. And why have they been written out the story? she asked.

Ooh, I thought. Excellent question. I pulled out my notebook and started scribbling. We could ask that about the story of the family, I wrote, thinking of all the times that I’ve argued that mothers have historically not been the tellers of stories about the family. Why have women been written out of that story?

And then I scrawled a big inky question mark beside those notes. Wrong question, I wrote, and drew a fat black arrow back to Abigail Disney’s original remark.