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I HATE BEING CATAGORIZED AS A MOMMY BLOGGER

First off, I don’t even like the title mommy. My name is Stefanie. I’m not Elby’s mommy, or ‘a mom’ or that 39 year old chick who had a baby recently (but looks great!). I have a lot more to talk about than my child. But, having a child does bring you an instant comradarie with other women who have had a child. I liken it to men who have served in the military. If there were men who blogged about that I guess they’d be “military bloggers” even though they might have many other things to discuss. But they’d make the other military servers feel less alone and have an anonymous place to put a voice to the things that they don’t feel okay to say to other military servers in a public arena or to their wives or superiors.

It’s the same with us moms. I only had a baby 19 months ago. I was a different person 19 months ago. Yet, I was still a person with thoughts and ideas that were relevant even though I had yet to spawn. I had a job that I loved, friends that I loved to drink with, a husband I adored whether or not we had a child and I was very busy buying a house and looking for my next writing gig. Then I got pregnant. It wasn’t a mistake. We’d been thinking about it for awhile but we decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try. And I got knocked up. So my life changed dramatically and now my opinions and feelings and neurotic tics are chocked up to the title mommy blogger. Well, I’m a lot more than that. Whether or not you’re interested in my thoughts on plastic surgery, people who annoy me, the many jobs I’ve been fired from for having a bad attitude, nudie bars I’ve been turned on in, my love of online and live poker, and yes, my thoughts on something that has been life altering and the most drastic change in my life, becoming a mother, I am more than just that.

Why do people who have a political blog or a photo gallery or foodie or doggy or whatever the fuck people blog about, feel they’re somehow better than ‘mommy bloggers’? I, personally am thrilled to read other blogs by women who understand what I’m going through. Women I don’t have to apologize to for feeling as overwhelmed, scared shitless, thrilled, confused, worried and needy as I sometimes feel. Other “mommy bloggers” get it all and then some. And we’re all different. We all live in different places in the country, have different jobs, interests, lives, husbands (well a few may share the same husband but that’s Utah) and philosophies. But, throught this medium we make each other feel less isolated and like we belong. So, maybe I don’t hate being catagorized as a mommy blogger. If my musings and bitching and blatent honesty help one other mother feel not so alone then call me whatever you want. Because the first year of having a baby was the hardest of any year of my life including 7th grade and that’s saying a lot. Picture, Sears catalog clothes and a very bad home perm, the fact that there are other women out there who understand has saved my life. So, if you want to just disregard me as another “mommy blogger” than I don’t need you to read my log. Thanks anyway.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 23, 2006 4:05 amUncategorized26 comments  

26 Comments

  1. Imperfect Mommy said,

    You know, I can’t decide how I feel about it. I think I am starting to embrace it for the same reasons you outline. Thank goodness for you and everyone else out there in the “mommy blogger” category … because there are many days it does save me. And now that I am pregnant with number two, I am hoping that it will keep me a lot more balanced than I was with number one. If not, I am sure some chic with a cat blog will help…

    | June 23, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

  2. mothergoosemouse said,

    I can’t control what other people call me (Yo, mothafuckin’ mommyblogga!) or whether they choose to ignore me based on the label they’ve given me. None of us can be neatly categorized, except maybe for blogtards.

    | June 23, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  3. sarah said,

    with a 7 week old, right now the “mommy blogs” are the only things saving my sanity (and even then only by the thinnest margin).

    blog on, mommy; blog on…

    | June 23, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

  4. jali said,

    I don’t consider this the average “mommy blog.”

    Jason peed 3 times today and Debbie made the cutest face this morning. I fixed P&B sandwiches for lunch. I’m gonna have to rush this today – we have a Mommy and Me class right after the playdate with Sioban and Sarah.

    Now That’s a “Mommy Blog”.

    | June 23, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  5. Stuntmother said,

    Categorization — in any category — is so limiting. I resent it too. It marginalizes to dismiss and our human experiences — as mothers, politicians, musicians, children, knitters, dreamers or whatever — are just that — HUMAN experiences and therefore transcend categorization.

    You are, as I am, all the things you have ever been. Now you are a mother too, and it is, especially at the beginning, identity consuming. And the desire to be seen as a person as well as a mother is so strong. I don’t know why exactly the mother-identity takes over. Except that maybe a mother is such a powerful thing to be, and we are both more powerful now and seen as more powerful.

    The trick is to keep the power for ourselves and not let people downplay what we are, to make us less than what we are. You are a mother — and working at all those mother things. And we are readers of you and your mother-thoughts and your other thoughts. (Ooh that would be a good tag line for a blog — “Mother Thoughts and Other Thoughts”).

    Roll on. Break down the walls.

    | June 23, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

  6. Wendy said,

    It’s so funny that you blogged about this – i was thinking about the site I Talk 2 Much (which I love) but how they always say they hate Mommy Blogs and I thought, am I a Mommy Blogger? Well, my last 3 or 4 posts haven’t been about my child so does that mean I’m more than mommy, less than mommy? Stop the Madness! who cares?! i hate being labeled ‘just a mommy’ as well – i have found so many unbelievable women through this crazy blogosphere thing and they are all so much more than ‘just mommies’ – rock on Steph..

    | June 23, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  7. Marlee said,

    There are rational blogs of motherhood and then there are the obsesive mommy blogs that make you feel motherhood is annoying and full of messes and pee.

    You are most definately not of the latter.

    From one mother to another,
    With Heart

    | June 23, 2006 @ 5:18 pm

  8. Andrea said,

    Honestly, if someone’s going to avoid my blog because my tagline is “A mother’s chronicles of the laughs and lunacy of family life and motherhood,” then I don’t want them reading anyway. But if my words are sent out there and someone reaches out to me, whether I need the comfort or they do, then that’s something. I have found people with whom I relate, and whether they talk about the best way to clean a microwave or frustrations with resorting to yelling to get their child’s attention, or their aggravation over their sloppy husband, I’m happy to have them in my corner. There is not other group of people more supportive in such crazy and frustrating situations as parenthood than people who have their own brand of crazy and frustrating. Fine. I’m a mommy blogger. I’m proud to be.

    | June 23, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

  9. Binkytown said,

    Really, isn’t motherhood kind of like being in the military? Lack of freedom, little sleep, same clothes all the time? :)
    I hear you. People can’t put us in a box and write “Mommyblogger” on it. We are all different kinds of moms and women. I hope there are more women who recognize that than don’t.

    | June 23, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

  10. Schietto Sister said,

    Couldn’t agree more!

    | June 23, 2006 @ 8:25 pm

  11. AngiR said,

    I agree 110%. I have been a mom for almost 5 years and when someone calls by my real name, not mommy or honey and so and so’s mommy I get so excited. Being a mother is like being in the military for sure.

    | June 23, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

  12. surcie said,

    Rock on!

    I know exactly how you feel. The label is kind of irritating. So one dimensional. But if it helps lead a new mom to you and your great book, how bad can it be?

    | June 24, 2006 @ 1:42 am

  13. jackt said,

    Some mommyblogs I find boring. Same with food blogs, etc.

    I also find many blogs about whatever- mommies, food, etc.- to be quite amusing.

    Yours is definitely not boring. And it’s definitely amusing.

    | June 24, 2006 @ 8:21 am

  14. Laurel said,

    let em have it sister, you’re absolutely right. i remember back when isaiah was little and i was home, i felt like the ditsy wet-nurse. it will cost me ten cents in my swear jar to write this, but you are worth it. fuck em!

    | June 24, 2006 @ 10:48 am

  15. Mom101 said,

    I think there’s a perceived difference in blogging about other topics (ie journalists) versus blogging about yourself and your children (ie diarists).
    ting.

    I guess prefer to think of myself as a parenting blogger. But really what we all are are memoirists. Well, at least the ones who can write. Let’s be frank, there are some crappy mommybloggers out there. No one I know of course.

    | June 24, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  16. Mom101 said,

    Also? Ting is a jamaican grapefruit soda.

    I just thought I’d insert it in my comment subliminally since I just bought stock.

    In case you were wondering.

    | June 24, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

  17. Haley-O said,

    Like homosexuals did with the word “queer,” we need to redefine the term “mommy blogger,” recast it and make it our own–via our actions and posts like this one. Good stuff, Stef.

    | June 24, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

  18. Kelly said,

    It confuses me also. It’s like, is that all the world sees in me any more? But the older I get the less I seem to care about what other’s think of me. Mommyblogger? Whatever.

    | June 25, 2006 @ 4:09 am

  19. Her Bad Mother said,

    Brava. Bravissima!

    If mommy-bloggin’s out, I don’t wanna be in. So there.

    | June 25, 2006 @ 6:31 pm

  20. karrie said,

    What annoys me is that most blogs are boring at one point or another, regardless of the genre that most closely describes their content.

    And I’ve never liked the term “mommy”, especially paired with blogger or writer. The very sound of the word grates and its a damn convenient way to put uppitty women who also happen to be mothers, in their place.

    | June 25, 2006 @ 9:14 pm

  21. Caryn said,

    I wasn’t aware of people looking down on “mommy bloggers”, but maybe that’s because I don’t have kids yet, so I’m not as sensitive to it. Honestly? I think part of the problem is that mommy bloggers are women, and being a mommy is unique to being a woman, and when anything is unique to womanhood it is usually not as respected as something that can be shared by both sexes. Look at career options and book genres, for example. Not to go off on some feminist rant, but I do wonder if that’s part of it.

    | June 25, 2006 @ 10:25 pm

  22. ^starshine said,

    I think of it this way…”Mommy Blogger” is just replacing the overly used “Soccer Mom.” It is an all encapsulating term trying to define a large segment of women. And trying to fit one term onto a large segment of people is like…

    Well its like trying to get this huge postpartum ass into pair of jeans that I have not been able to wear in ages. Try and try as you might, you are not going to get it all in there!!

    | June 26, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

  23. chichimama said,

    I’ve embraced the mommy blogger label. But then again, I always wanted to be a soccer mom too ;-).

    Great post.

    | June 27, 2006 @ 1:37 pm

  24. jennster said,

    didn’t you get the memo? HAVING A KID AUTOMATICALLY makes you a mommy blogger. *sighs*

    | June 27, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

  25. Anonymous said,

    I don’t think the issue is Mommy blogging. As a non-Mommy, most Mommy blogs are boring to me, just as I’m sure the various cooking sites I frequent are boring to those who don’t cook. No problem there.

    The problems arise with the writings of some Mommy Bloggers, some of which can be insensitive to the childfree. (And Mommyhood is incredibly high status now as opposed the the 80’s and early 90’s. Just keeping up with the high status bumps in People Magazine and you will see what I mean.) Some “Mommy writing” simply invalidates the experiences and feelings of those who live Child-free. I’ve read numerous chunks of Mommy blogging wisdom that seem to galvanize Mommies but have offended me. For example:

    – “I can really understand human suffering now that I am a Mother!” This one really makes me feel like shit, that someone without children cannot empathize to the same extent?

    – “Now that I am a Mother I can see how meaningless work is. The most important thing I can do is to raise so and so”. I swear to you, I have seen the biggest supposedly feminist mommy bloggers describe work as “meaningless”. What?

    – “So and so is just bitter about my mommy blogging because they don’t have children”. This tasteful bit invalidates any real critisisms, while also being cruel to the wide experiences that women have and the choices they make. Some women are struggling with infertility. Some women are not married. Some women are gay and do not want children. Some women are gay and do want children or have children. Some women are artists, lawyers, friends, or even your friendly neighborhood prostitute and do not want children.

    Now, I’m not saying all mommy bloggers should be categorized in a negative light. But I do think that mommy bloggers should be aware that there are some real criticisms to address towards SOME of the things that SOME Mommy Bloggers have written, and that there are real reasons to be upset with some of these bloggers.

    | August 26, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

  26. Anonymous said,

    Your opinions are all fine and good, but I sincerely hope all mothers also have respect for those of us who choose to never have a child. It is perfectly fine to have children if that is your choice, but make no mistake that women without children who choose to stay that way are just as complete, just as happy. Personally, I never want kids because I would rather travel the world the rest of my life with my husband, and continue learning throughout life without the hassle (I personally see it as a hassle) of having to take care of children. I love my life, I love my job, I love my husband and I don’t want a child (or children) to change that. Without them (kids) I have all the time in the world to pursue my dreams and fulfill my ambitions.

    | October 22, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

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