Purpose

I am trying to sort out the driving purpose of this blog. Most pressingly, I’d like to keep a record of watching Jimmy grow. I can already feel my memories of his first months fading. When did he first smile? First laugh? First grip my face and pull his little mouth to it, gumming my cheek wildly, in what I like to believe is his attempt at a kiss? And how did it feel to witness such everyday miracles?

But there must be a higher purpose to choosing this medium, a public blog. I am no expert. I don’t have any innovative advice to offer, nor do I hold a perspective or voice vastly different than all the other moms out there blogging their hearts out about their kids.

I am working through this in my mind and so my posts may show some experimentation in the coming weeks. Why would anyone care what I have to say? Who is reading, and what are they seeking when they stop for a moment to peruse my blog? Am I delivering? How does what I write here contribute to the common portrait of the 21st century American mother?

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Mommy Blogging

So it’s been a while. The short of it: I bought a minivan (Chrysler Town and Country) and I totally love it. I went back to work. I switched Jimmy to a better daycare. I miss him all day, every day. 

As part of my job (at least I rationalize it that way), I spend a lot of time on the Internet. The “mommy blogger” phenomenon is not losing any steam. I’m seeing a trend, however, in said mommy bloggers talking about what bad mothers they are. And, while much of it falls on the valorous side of publicly admitting our flaws for the purpose of building a communal portrait of a real and true mother — a portrait we desperately need — some of it has an unsettling undercurrent. In a growing proportion, there is a too-cool-for-school edge to it, as if it is almost a point of pride to be a bad (or the baddest) mother. 

I, for one, am not a bad mother. I aim for a certain stereotypical suburban standard and I am not ashamed to admit it. I am not cool. I bought teething jewelry. I feel guilty for washing Jimmy’s bottles in the dishwasher on busy days, instead of scrubbing them by hand with organic dish soap. I change diapers every hour. I don’t microwave baby food. I have a chemical desire to spend every free minute giving Jimmy what he needs to grow up smart and strong. I want to do everything right. And I try to. Hard.

I hope that mommy blogging does not devolve into a coolness competition. I for one, am planting my flag on the other side — the unapologetically uncool, minivan driving, baby photo showing, proud mama side. Because that is honest and truly who I have become. I will admit my faults, but I will not celebrate them.