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Take This Blog and Love It

Today a friend called me a name and I was insulted.

She dropped it casually into conversation, tossing it out like a flick of a cigarette and even over the phone I jumped back singed.

She called me a… Blogger.

A blogger. Can you believe it? Every day I slave at this computer writing essays and editing manuscripts. I am a contributor to Huff Post and What to Expect. I’ve been on the NYTimes Motherlode for crap’s sake. Every day I’m grinding my teeth and squeezing my eyes shut as I press send on submissions to Slate, Brain, Child and Modern Love.

A blogger? I felt categorized and marginalized. I felt defensive.  She may as well have stepped on my face in a pile of mud.

Wait. I am a blogger. And I love not only blogging but the essays that I write.

Why did I have such an immediate and negative reaction?

Could it be because my friend is a ‘legitimate’ author and I’m a bit competitive and sensitive? Probably.

Was she being a little condescending? Probably.

It’s like the article by the debate editor of Brain, Child Magazine, Lauren Apfel that I just read in Time, I’m a Mommy Blogger and Proud of it about the old negative stereotypes associated with mom bloggers as overly confessional, full rants and vents, grumbles and gripes. And a bunch of us are, and a bunch of us aren’t. Either way, most of the bloggers that I know are damn good writers who are at their craft daily. If we rant or overshare, you can bet it will be a well written and well-structured essay.

These days, many mommy bloggers use their words and their blogging platforms to reach a larger audience, to open doors that otherwise might remain closed and to network. We are freelance writers, aspiring novelists, bloggers who strategize and monetize.

Back a hundred years ago, I wanted to be a writer and I wrote essays, short stories and manuscripts that I placed lovingly under my bed. Yet I didn’t push hard enough for what I wanted. I let it go, accepting a career in advertising that I ultimately let go of as well to stay home with my children.

Now that they have grown just enough that I can tell them to go play in the basement and they do, I am re-discovering myself and my passion. On my blog I have written hundreds of essays, most of which I am extremely proud. Yes I write about being a mother. That’s who I am. I also write about being a daughter, a friend, a human; the heartbreak and the heartfelt; the ridiculous and the pain of the every day.

I don’t want to be in any way embarrassed or perpetuate a negative perception about something that has offered me so much personal and professional, if not exactly financial, satisfaction. I want to own it – strut my blog around the block in stilettos shouting “I’m a blogger!” instead of holding back and hedging, “I want to be writer and I have a blog.”

Actually what I want to say is that I am a writer and a blogger and I’d like to be appreciated as both.


Girl of the House

I’m tucking my three boys into bed. They are all naked, except for their underwear. It’s how they sleep. It’s how their father sleeps. The cool temperature of the house doesn’t seem to affect them at all. Not that it’s freezing or anything, but we sleep with the thermostat set at 67 or 68 degrees. I am in sweats, a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks. They are baby bear cubs (minus the fur) rolling all over their beds as I try to shove them into the warm cave of blankets.  We do not seem of the same species.

I often feel that way, being the only girl in my house. I’m constantly the odd, uh, man out. I want the house warmer, they want it colder. I want to bake cupcakes; they just want to eat them. I want to read them stories, they want to build a house out of the books. Sigh.

The differences don’t end there. In fact, they’re just beginning, leading me to believe that in fact, we may very well live together but exist in different worlds. Case in point…

I’m the only one at the dinner table eating greens. They just look green if I make them eat any.

I am the only one who sees things. I actually did an experiment here. Not one of my boys or husband noticed the Monopoly game dead center on the floor of our hall for days. They walked past it, stepped on it and even tripped over it, actually kicking it across the floor, but no one ever thought to move it.

I am also the only one who can find things. It’s a string of, “Honey, where are the keys? Mom, where is my basketball shirt? Where is my lego guy? I can’t find the mayonnaise. Did you see my hat?” I mean come on people, “Table, drawer, under bed, fridge, on floor by shoes.”  Duh.

I am the only one who can just roll up my sleeve and take a shot or give blood. They wrestle and beat each other to the ground, no problem. They can come home with scratches on their face, but no memory of how it actually got there. A tiny prick in the arm? Babbling, snot bubbling tears. Really?

I am the only one who can tell time. No husband, 9:30pm at night is not when we start a game. No son, 10pm is not when we remember we forgot homework. Nor is when we decide to be hungry. And kids, whether you are finished with what you’re doing or not in the morning, the bus for school does not care. 8:25am. Get your butts out there. No, you cannot have just one more minute. Just look at the clock.

There are also simple differences. They all favor vanilla. I am chocolate through and through. They love the ocean. I am land locked. They are all good at Math. I don’t even trust myself with a calculator. They beat each other up. I just beat myself up.

Is it gender inherited? Is it learned behavior? I tend to believe that they are who they are, just as I am who I am. Trust me, I tried to turn them to the dark side, of chocolate of course, but they couldn’t be swayed. I try to open their eyes, but they just can’t seem to see the same things I see, and not in the same way I see them.

It may just be that boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. Totally different, yet, most of the time, living together in harmony. So, while I may be destined to be the only person in my house who can find anything, at least I know that no one is going to be stealing my ice cream.

vanilla boys

It’s Blogger Idol Voting Time…Final 5!!!

Hey there all – unbelievably I am still in the contest for the next Blogger Idol! This week’s assignment was to get on my soap box and rant!!

I wrote about our “everyone wins” culture and the values it teaches our children..

Check it out and if you like – (i’m kidding, like it no matter what – ha ha) VOTE – from as many IP Addresses as you can.

I’m not the judges favorite, so i definitely need your support. Pretty Pretty please… With ice cream on top???!!!!

Click here….

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! I so appreciate your support. You’re the sweetest!!!