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Mommy Blogs Made Me a Real Girl

November 4, 2017

“Reaching women on multiple platforms with quality content is vital, Reese Witherspoon said, adding, “And I’m not talking about mommy blogs and 14 ways to cook a turkey.”

Dear Reese Witherspoon,

I just want to type “Take a hike,” and hit publish, but I have a bit more to say.

I’m not a mommy, or a mom, or a stepmom, or any other kind of mom. I’m childless. Childfree. Barren. A spinster. I chose not to have kids and didn’t really spend much time around children or even around people with children.

When I started blogging in 2005, and when the novelty of simply publishing wore off about two weeks later, I started looking for blogs to read.

“Read Dooce,” the internet advised. “She’s hilarious.”

I read Dooce. She was hilarious, but I also felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. She wasn’t just hilarious. She was real. In a world where it seemed like everyone was bullshitting me about motherhood, either talking about the experience with sugar-coated, pastel-tinged, Hallmark-branded breathlessness, or, alternatively, making motherhood seem like a rocky path to post-feminist hell, Heather was doing something radical. She was telling the truth.

I called my sister, Laura. “Read this,” I said. She called back a few minutes later.

“This is good,” she said, quietly. My sister and I are both given to flights of hyperbole. For her to simply say something was good meant it was better than good. Like me, she was a bit stunned.

I started reading everyone Heather mentioned. Jen B. Fluid Pudding. Alice Bradley. Melissa Summers. Those blogs led to other blogs and other blogs.

Each gave me a little glimpse I hadn’t seen before. These were people talking about their lives in the purest form I had ever seen, free from editing, free from advertising. This was what people usually talked about in small groups of intimate friends – but it was out there for anyone to see.

Of course there was a backlash. I lost count of the disparaging editorials and NY Times Style Section pieces on the passing fad of mommyblogging and the silly mommies who bothered to put their dumb little thoughts down in pixels as they exploited their progeny for page views.

Meanwhile, we formed a community, first a small one, then a big one, then a zillion sub-communities who meshed and intersected and cheered each other and fought each other and tore each other down and hashed things out in public in a way that was sometimes terrible and sometimes thrilling.

Other stuff happened along the way. Mommybloggers (and other women bloggers) started businesses like Cool Mom Picks and BlogHer and CLEVER (whose services you could probably use, Reese, if you’re trying to build your brand). They wrote best-selling books. They founded businesses to teach each other the craft. One even created a multi-media lifestyle brand that dwarfs your own, Reese.

In other words, mommybloggers started out producing quality content and kept producing quality content and have never quit. So shut up about mommy blogs and cooking turkey. You know who wants quality content about cooking a turkey? Well, easily more people than saw your movies “Rendition,” “Vanity Fair,” and “How Do You Know?” combined. Yeah, I said it.

As for me? Childless lonely old spinster me? I got an education and a bunch of dear friends. I got over the notion that women were different from me just because they had kids. I got my heart and my mind opened. And despite my odd quirky weirdness, I got loved. Bloggers took me in and loved me and told me it was ok to be who I was. They listened to my stories and responded. They called me and texted me and gave me someone to visit every time I travel, pretty much no matter where I go.

Finally, like the Velveteen Rabbit, they made me real. And to me, that is some damned good quality content.

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”


  1. November 26, 2017 12:31

    What really caught my attention is your honesty. I love that and I truly believe that by being true to ourselves; we are being true to others and that is something priceless nowadays. My name is Laura Kolokitha and it makes me more than happy to come across “voices” like yours that speak the truth from their hearts. 🙂

    • November 27, 2017 22:04

      Thank you, Laura. That was my sister’s name. Her birthday was Nov. 26 and she would have been 67 years old yesterday.

      • November 28, 2017 04:56

        You are more than welcome! May you always be good to remember her (it’s a saying that we have in Greece that I love and have always gave me strength at the loss of loved ones) as I am sure she is with you! Watching over you.💕

  2. November 26, 2017 15:38

    You are a spiritual mother by God given gift. Every woman is given the gift of motherhood and it is up to her to accept or reject it. It is yours to nurture and flourish and give life. Womanhood is fruitful and it is ours to carry life and grow it.

  3. November 26, 2017 21:20

    Yes, yes, and more yes to this! Thank you for putting in pixels such inspiring words as to why so many people write.

    • November 27, 2017 22:04

      I really wouldn’t be who I am without blogs.

  4. November 27, 2017 04:33

    Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom.

  5. November 27, 2017 09:58

    Nice post! Feel free to check out my blog i just started 🙂

  6. November 27, 2017 21:28

    This was a breath of fresh air thank you !

  7. November 28, 2017 03:39

    I loved reading this! Thanks for writing it 🙂

  8. November 28, 2017 09:04

    I don’t have any kids, to me mums/moms are just people who have kids. And everyone who has something to say, can write, and discovers blogging eventually gets to say what they need to people who want to read them. I’ve been blogging (not in my current blog) since 2004 and have lost count of the number of blogs I’ve enjoyed reading and bloggers I’ve enjoyed getting to know – mothers included. 🙂 By the way, I’m now following your blog as I am enjoying your own blog posts.

    • November 28, 2017 10:50

      Thanks for following and commenting. It certainly inspires me to keep writing. I have let it lapse so badly for the past few years. Facebook stole my soul but I am trying to reclaim it (deleted Facebook off my phone).

  9. November 29, 2017 02:20

    Great post. I wholeheartedly agree.

    Misogyny is so ingrained that many women feel the need to denigrate other women while trying to discuss elevating women in their profession.

  10. November 29, 2017 12:17

    Excellent read

  11. November 30, 2017 10:44

    Way to say it like it is …. being REAL! Great post.

    • November 30, 2017 21:49

      Thank you! I try to be real all the time.

  12. jordynnesharphotmailcom permalink
    November 30, 2017 21:45

    GREAT POST! This was such a lovely post to read. Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. December 1, 2017 08:22

    As a just starting out mummyblogger this was a fab read thankyou.

  14. December 2, 2017 02:21

    i just stummbled across this and oh my god. its sooooo goood ❤ check my blog out. i hope you like it.

  15. December 2, 2017 03:59

    I loved this. I just started my blog last month. I had no idea how bad people bash mom blogs until recently! I was so appalled I even wrote a blog post, “In Defense of Mom Blogs” about it. Your post was great. Thank you!


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