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.
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?
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.
I had it in mind that I was going to write about it, that thing that happened last week , that thing that was really just so horrible and awful and unpleasant – in a First World Problems! kind of way, sure, but still – that thing that left me feeling so rattled and uncertain and bad. I was going to write about how it all happened – what was said and how I cried and what more was said and how much more I cried and then how I sat, alone, in a room with no clocks, my passport seized, and freaked the hell out – and about how I wondered what it said about the State of the Momosphere in North America circa 2010 that someone could be stopped and interrogated for claiming to be a ‘mom blogger’ – not even mommy blogger! I only said mom! and blogger! – (because I am so not exaggerating when I say that I spent all that time defending the fact that I make a living writing about motherhood and that I often go to conferences – yes, even at places like Yahoo! – to discuss doing so and they reviewed my blog right there and demanded that I explain to them what the hell it was and how it earned me money and I sniffled and gurgled and mumbled stuff about ad networks and marketing and GM Canada and it was only when I pointed to a post that thanked GM Canada for sponsoring an adventure and then another one that they finally relented and let me go) (which, thanks GM!) – and! or! — DEEP BREATH — whether it even meant anything at all, and how maybe this has nothing at all to do with mommyblogging being a radical act and more to do with how there happens to be random Internet-ignorant doofuses (doofii?) working at Homeland Security! Or something! So!
I was going to write something about all that. But now I’m not.
Let me just get this out of the way: being detained and interrogated by the United States Department of Homeland Security because said Department doesn’t find it ‘convincing’ that ‘mom blogging’ could be a ‘business’ (skeptical finger quotes courtesy United States Department of Homeland Security) that warrants travel to conferences is, no question, nothing compared to being sentenced to death by stoning and other horrors that befall women outside of North America. I understand this. I know this. But. BUT.
Being detained and interrogated for any reason is really, really scary. It just is. And when it requires one to defend one’s choice of profession and the legitimacy of one’s work and, really, the credibility of any enterprise involving one’s status as a mother, well, it undermines one’s confidence, and also makes one cry.