metro mama

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mega Meta

Some very thoughtful and articulate bloggers have put together some discussion questions to try and answer the who, what, where, etc of mommy blogging. Here are a few of the questions and my thoughts:

Why are we writing? What is our purpose?

I started blogging mainly to work through my conflicting feelings about becoming a stay-at-home-mom, but I continue to blog for so many reasons:

· For a creative outlet.
· To connect with people and make new friends; give and receive support, encouragement, advice; combat loneliness, boredom and isolation.
· To improve my writing skills.
· To amuse (myself and hopefully others).
· Intellectual exercise.
· Documentation of my daughter’s childhood and my experiences as a mother (I find it interesting I’ve listed this reason last—when I started blogging I would have listed this higher).

What is the context for our writing? What are we saying? What is our message?

I’m writing against the stereotypical image of Mother: perfect, patient, fulfilled solely by motherhood, pure, kind, gentle. I try to capture the profundity of my experiences as a mother while clinging to the other aspects of my self: friend, scholar, lover, artist. I want to be honest about my shortcomings as a mother to receive encouragement from others, and to let other parents know they are not alone. None of us are perfect.

How does the medium of blogging affect all of the above (that is, does, or how does, the communication of our messages through blogs, bear upon the message itself?)

I think what we want most is to be heard, and have someone else say, “yes! I know how you feel”. The ability to comment is crucial to the supportive, reciprocal community we’ve created. Having our own space allows us to express ourselves creatively and the mutual respect we have for each other’s space give us the freedom to say what we really think without much fear of negative response. The ability to preserve our anonymity if we choose is also incredibly liberating.

The format of blog posts, generally concise and focussed, is perfect for mothers. You can write a post during a nap, or even while a toddler plays independently. Sitting down to try and write a novel? More than a little daunting. Motherhood was one of the reasons Alice Munro ended up writing short stories—out of necessity. Jane Urquhart also wrote short stories and poetry when her children were young (she has one daughter and four step-children). Both women wrote during their children’s naps. Urquhart didn’t have “a room of her own” until the children were grown, and wrote on the dining room table.

What kind of citizen are you in the parent blogosphere? How and why do you comment? Link? Give awards? How important is 'off-blog' (or inter-blog) activity to the parent blogging community?

I comment to provide support and encouragement, or if I have something to contribute to the discussion. But, I often read blogs hastily, or late at night, and can’t always muster much to say. Then I just comment to let the writer know I’m reading (sometimes we just want someone to listen anyway).

Off-blog activity is very important to me. I do appreciate my ‘virtual’ friendships, but I’d much prefer to raise a glass with you or watch our kids play together.

What are some tried and true hangover remedies that you know?

Greasy foods, sleep, sex, chocolate, carbonated beverages. Commiserating with other hungover bloggers.

Wow, speaking of concise, this post was not. If you’re still here, thanks for seeing it through!



Blogger nomotherearth said...

Wow I'm number 1!

I agree completely. How's that for a concise comment? I could try to add something, but you said it perfectly.

10:42 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

good answers! good answers! (does it feel like we're on the family feud?)
i think that i'm not going to do this - problem for me is that i will agonize over them for a long time, and by time i write them down, i'll have different answers.

so, i'll just enjoy reading all of my supremely talented compatriots.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Gah, sex with a hangover? Can never manage it. To great a risk of vomiting. Sex while drunk, on the other hand...

Thanks for giving some thought to these questions!

2:11 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Um, sex as a hangover remedy? Really? Never considered that, especially when I have my head in a toilet.

Loved your Meta post. Insightful.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Great answers! But I'm with everyone else on the sex with a hangover...because vomit is so very not-sexy. *lol* But sex pre-hangover as a preventative measure? That sounds do-able.

Heh. Do-able.

5:32 PM  
Blogger petite gourmand said...

great answers, I feel exactly the same way except maybe the part about having sex while hungover.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

LOVE your answers. It's always great to reflect on these things now and then. :) Thanks!

Greasy foods good for hangovers? Really? Never woulda thought!

9:48 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

I really like the way you pulled it all together Metro...very much how I feel about why I blog.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

You just summed up the reasons why I blog. Of course, I started blogging for a different reason than you (grief therapy) but other than that, you pretty much reached into my head and summed up my thoughts.

As for sex as a remedy for a hangover, well, I haven't tried it. But I'm game. But I suppose the hubs would need to come home to help me out....

10:01 PM  
Blogger Denguy said...

Yes, I enjoyed it, the post, I mean.

10:35 PM  
Blogger jen said...

i loved your answers. it's a resonating theme, isn't it?

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Great responses. You very well articulated some of the main reasons why I enjoy the blogging community.

1:52 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

loved your answers also, and also find it interesting that the fact that it was about documenting your daughter's early years ended up shifting down the list.

sex with a hangover, YUCK. seriously. I take my hat off to you. you must have some sexy-assed hangovers.

7:30 PM  
Blogger creative-type dad said...

I like #1. I never thought of that - I guess I'm somewhere in there too.

But I REALLY like your hangover remedies (Fried Chicken, Sleep, Sex, Chocolate, Coke...)

2:38 AM  

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