Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mommy Blogger or Blogger Who Happens to be a Mom

In our society one of the jobs revered and devalued the most is that of "mother." On the one hand, moms are the people who we run to when we skin our knees, when we don't know what to do, when we're hungry, or tired, or freaked out. They love us deeply and so they care for us. Because of this, no one can speak a word against them.

Simultaneously, mothers are also unsupported. Women don't receive guaranteed paid time off when having a new baby. We don't have guaranteed daycare at our places of work. If we have to race home because a child is sick and no family is available to care for them, our employers become annoyed with us, possibly even writing us up. Pregnant women, while not legally allowed to be fired, are often let go for spurious reasons.

On top of all this, we are expected, once our bodies are taken over by new life, that our other identities are subsumed by the all-powerful "mother."

It is the difference between being a blogger who happens to be a mom and a mommy blogger. A blogger who happens to be a mom can write about anything, in addition to parenthood. A mommy blogger is first and foremost a mom. Her other self, the self before children is lost, for the purposes of blogging. Her primary identity is "mom."

As a woman, I can say this situation sucks.

Okay, yes, there are parts of my relationship with Christian that are traditional. But when I got married I didn't become "wife" and "wife" only. I stayed an artist,  dreamer, intellectual, traveller, adventurer, believer, singer, and dancer. I am all those things and a thousand more. Those parts of myself didn't stop being. Wife was just another identity I acquired. It didn't overpower the rest.

I know being "mother" is a little different. Believe me, kiddo let's me know regularly. Giving my body over to create a new human life is an all-consuming, deeply impactful task that I am very aware of at all times. My body behaves differently. My thoughts are different. And when kiddo arrives in this world, my life will take on a new routine. Of course!

But I won't stop being all the things I was before. I won't stop being a writer, for example. I don't want being at home or being a mom to cause me to lose my identity as me. I don't want other people to see me as *just* a mom. It's disingenuous and frankly, limited. It's like reducing a person to their ethnicity or religion and saying that is all they are.

Yes, I'm Christian and yes I'm white, but those are not identites that I think of first when I think of myself. They aren't the things that could help a person pin me down. I am so much more than "Christian" or "white."

How is being reduced to "mom" any different?

So when I think of where I go in this blog, I know I'll write a lot more about parenthood and all that means. To the outside world, I may be a "mommy blogger" but to me, I am not. Not really. Not quite. I happen to be a blogger who is *also* a mom (well at least in a few months). Kiddo is important to me, and caring for him/her is going to take up a lot of my time and energy. To process the change I will write a lot about it, but that has to do with my need to write to process my world. If anything, this proves I am a writer first. Then a mom. A blogger who happens to be a mom.

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