Warts and All
For a different twist on parenting, there's always The Sarcastic Journalist. She was newly pregnant when she was fired from her job as a newspaper reporter after editors learned about the Web journal she'd been keeping which mentioned her workplace gripes. Now "SJ" is at home in Texas with her baby daughter Ellie and writes about their adventures several times a week.
Written with sometimes colorful profanity and off-beat observations, The Sarcastic Journalist's take on motherhood is unique. "Sometimes you need to evaluate a friendship when you let said friend taste your breast milk flavored baby oatmeal," she quipped in a recent one-liner she posted on The Sarcastic Journalist. Like Melissa from Suburban Bliss, SJ says she likes to write about motherhood—warts and all. Her site is honest, and people respect that, she says. "It has kept me sane I think," adds SJ. "My sister when she had a baby said she was bored all the time. A lot of people say they feel bored or lonely. . . I can say stuff and it's like a playgroup on the Internet."
One topic that resonated with SJ's readers was when she wrote about her bout with postpartum depression. She fielded many emails from moms who were concerned they were experiencing the same thing. SJ corresponded via email with many of them and said she was gratified to be able to help.
Julie Moos, a mom who not only keeps a personal blog, Mom in the Mirror, but also created and edits a site featuring short essays from mommy bloggers, DotMoms, said that mothers revealing the truth about their own experiences is empowering. "I'm most satisfied when I write something that is honest and interesting to read that others also find helpful," Moos said in an email interview with BabyZone. ". . . I try to write about subjects that I think most people confront; sometimes they're inane (what wall calendar my family's going to use) and sometimes they're very serious (my father's death)."
When Good Blogging Goes Bad
All the moms interviewed for this story said that, at one point or another, they've experienced negative backlash because of their honesty, even though they all say they try to be somewhat discreet about what they post that may invade others' privacy.
Melissa said that even though she tries not to use her blog as a marital weapon when she has an argument with her husband—she actually comments often about how great he is—she still receives email from people who assert that "I'm going to lose my husband because I'm ungrateful. And I've had people complain that I swear too much."
Moos adds, "There have been a few readers who thought that I was a bad parent for various reasons and I always responded to them; sometimes I agreed, sometimes not. Either way, I was glad to hear their thoughts."
Mindy at The Mommy Blog has received flak on occasion, including from some family members who don't understand why she voluntarily makes personal issues public.
In the end, the mommy bloggers say they think that their children will look back upon their voluminous posts launched into the Internet galaxy and realize that not only did their mother adore them, but found the laughter and love in the everyday.
Moos said of her son potentially reading Mom in the Mirror posts in the future, ". . . I hope what he sees is how very important he is to me and how hard I tried to be a good mother to him."
"It's the ultimate baby book," SJ said. Her daughter Ellie "can go back to the day I found out I was pregnant . . . She [can see] her mother as a person."