“What other rooms would you like to shoot in?” the magazine photographer asked me this morning, sweeping her hand toward my family room.
“Uh, well, this is the room I cleaned,” I said, thinking about the little papers from my shredder strewn pretty much all over my office floor and the dining room filled with remnants of The Great Closet Clean-out of 2010.
When she finished taking my photo on the couch, I let her photograph my kids and me in the living room. I didn’t have to move the tape dispensers, which was nice, and nobody reading the magazine article about me and “Mom 2.0″ will see the Pee Wee Herman doll sitting on the coffee table. Not this time, anyhow.
I’d never have predicted when I lauched MommaSaid.net seven years ago this week that I’d one day have my hair and makeup done in the middle of my kitchen for a magazine article. Or that CBS would send out a camera crew to my house — several times. Or that the Associated Press would care about what I have to say about all things motherhood.
Back then, nobody had put together the words “mommy” and “blogger.” Facebook was a year from starting up on the campus of Harvard University, and “tweeting” was something only birds did. I think we actually went hours, perhaps even a day or two, without checking e-mail. It was practically the dark ages of web 2.0.
I’d launched my web site in part because I thought it would help me build an audience that would some day buy my first book, when I got around to writing it. Besides, I was lonely and a little crazed, having just survived the colicky “Don’t-put-that-in-your-mouth” years. I found motherhood to be rewarding, yes, but also taxing, and I thought it was high time somebody said that out loud — and on the Internet. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that other mothers felt the same way.
Over the years, I heard from moms around the world who were happy to have a place to get a virtual pat on the back and a giggle. We laughed together, we cried together, we watched our kids reach middle school together. By the time the grown-ups took over Facebook (fastest growing segment: women over 40), social media had made it so much easier to build a community online that hundreds of thousands of moms had started their own blogs. And we all felt a little less alone.
It has been the golden age of the mom blogger, and it still is. Marketers woo us and moms depend on us to make sense of their poop-filled days, the boo-boos, the carpools, the math homework and puberty. We get free swag from companies who hope we’ll write about their products, receive invites for luncheons from PR firms, and we get interviewed by the very mainstream media that seemed to think back in the day that what we did was a cute hobby.
Maybe it was, but not anymore.
But where do we go from here? What happens to the mom blogger when the kids get older and move out? Though I’m certain that a new generation of mom bloggers will fill in where we leave off, I wonder if the novelty of it all will wear off. Or will we simply be known as the pioneers of a phenomenon that keeps on going long after our kids have their own children? And who will do my hair and makeup then?
The last seven years at MommaSaid have been a wild ride. I had no idea when I launched it in the basement of my house, back when my kids weren’t in school at the same time and I had to learn HTML to post anything, that it would become a part of a great movement shared with so many talented writers and vloggers. Or that the one book I’d aspired to would become five…so far. But I do know that I’m ready to keep on sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of motherhood just as long as there’s still something to say.
Share, share, that’s fair: What do you think mom bloggers will write about when the kids leave home?
Looking for some great mommy blogs? Here are just a few of my many favorites:
Alice Bradley of Finslippy
Daphne Brogdon of CoolMom.com
Dawn Meehan of Because I Said So
Lenore Skenazy of FreeRangeKids.com
Lisa Belkin of the Motherlode at The New York Times
Liz Gumbinner of Mom-101
Rebecca Woolf of Girl’s Gone Child
Ree Drummond of Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
Stephanie Wilder-Taylor of Baby on Bored
PLUS: All of MommaSaid’s fine and fabulous bloggers over at Linger. (Don’t miss a thing. Subscribe to the RSS feed.)