Because I’m too tired to write a post of my own tonight, I want to direct your attention to the discussion over at Crib Chronicles about the whole mommyblogger debate. I’ve tried to stifle my reaction to the Time magazine article and associated gnashing of teeth and raising of voices, as there is already so much being said, but now I want to add my voice to the hundreds already echoing around the blogosphere. Here’s what I said over there:
Personally, I love the term mommyblogger when applied correctly to those of us who write about our kids and delight in it (and who aren’t currently professional writers or claim other labels and reject the term). It implies and acknowledges the community inherent in child-raising, and it gives voice to the nameless thousands out there who have for centuries carried babies, held little hands, wiped noses, and helped children learn. The thousands — millions — tens of millions — who give their all to helping these little children learn to talk, read, cook, laugh, love, and find themselves in a big, scary world. The tens of millions who, in a world of “Dr” this and “Mr” that, are known primarily by one name — Mommy.
I am proud to be a Mommy, and proud to be a mommyblogger. That’s my choice, but right now it feels pretty wonderful.
I grew up with a SAHM and a professional dad. That is, my mom was home with us until my brother started school, then she went back to work, as so many moms did in that era. I was always pretty happy with the arrangement, for a number of (undoubtedly selfish) reasons. I was aware that the women I knew operated largely in the private sphere, running homes and raising children, and the men operated in the public sphere (it wasn’t until I was 10 years old that I realized that not all men were to be addressed as “Dr.”), but mostly I was just a kid, and I was happy that my needs were met. It seems that so much has changed since then, and there is so much more talk about the fluidity of gender roles. That’s good. That’s very good. I am thrilled that moms can go to work, and dads can stay home, and that there are so very many variations on a theme. I enjoy reading about how other women and men are navigating raising a family, and I’m frankly glad that the discussion has expanded beyond the neighborhood parks and is entering the public sphere.
Perhaps that’s where my affection for the term “mommyblogger” comes from. It arises from my gratitude that this space exists. That we can talk openly about the joys and struggles inherent in raising children. And that we somehow recognize that we’re really all in this together. Mommy-ing, blogg-ing, and trying to make sense of it all.