Oh, hey! Remember when I posted about being unfriended on Facebook for being a stay at home?
I received the following message via Facebook today. I think that it’s pretty awesome. And by awesome, I mean, so profoundly insulting and ignorant that I actually yelled out “REALLY???”
I know I probably shouldn’t say this, but I have to ask you, how did you end up a “stay at home mom” with no job after all the university you took? … I have to take you off my Facebook as it is such a disappointment that you never did anything with your life and you do this all day… it was not what I would have imagined for you Catherine… so sad.
The post that follows is a revised version of a post that I wrote last year. I had been considering writing a new piece about the term ‘mommy blogger’ and to what extent I see that as part of my identity, not least because Kyle and I have been having conversations – partly in jest, partly not – about him becoming a dad blogger when we complete our move to New York and he becomes, for the most part, a stay at home dad, and those conversations raised the question: why ‘dad blogger’ and not ‘daddy blogger’? And why not ‘parent blogger,’ or some other neutral term?
I haven’t sorted out my thoughts on the daddy-blogger question – stay tuned – but reflecting on that question brought me back to this post, which still stands as a pretty accurate statement of my feelings on the term ‘mommy blogger.’
Dear Internet: I am not a mommy blogger.
Yeah, I know. There’s a baby in my header. There are lots of pictures of my children here, including that one, right there, on the upper left-hand side of this post. (Aren’t they cute? I let them call me Mommy.) But still. I am not a mommy blogger.
Before I became a mom, I was an academic. During my pregnancy with Emilia, I was scrambling to finish my PhD – and teaching, and preparing papers for conferences, and applying for jobs – but even though I was acting as though I was preparing for my future as a Tenured Professor and Professional Smartypants, I was really pretty certain that once the baby came, I was going to slow my pace on that path. I was maybe going to circle right off of that path. I wasn’t sure. All I knew was, I didn’t see myself in the future that had been laid out for me at that point. I loved my research, but I didn’t see myself on departmental committees, I didn’t see myself teaching massive undergraduate seminars, I didn’t see myself dragging my husband and children around to the remote liberal arts colleges that would be the only places hiring professors of political philosophy, and probably not even tenure-track professors at that. I was headed elsewhere. I knew that much.
What I didn’t know at the time was that I was headed for social media. I was also headed for New York.