Better Late Than Never

Today I'm blogging from a coffee shop into which I walked with my laptop secured in a diaper bag. Delicate and bulky electronics? Check. Baby? Nope, she's at home. It's freaking hilarious that I buffer my computer with diapers and bibs in transit and still like to think that I have any identity whatsoever beyond that of mother. All my pursuits--be them wifely, writerly, or friendly--are shit stained before I get out the door.

As the mom v. mommy debate rages across the momosphere, the significance of denotation, connotation and obfuscation is being picked apart as it relates to Web-writing women and the ways in which they classify themselves, and are classified by others. Are you a mom or a mommy? Do you know the difference? Do you care?

I'm a mama who cares. I am too obsessed with language to deny the importance of labels in personalizing my own identity and making it accessible to others. Though I am more tolerant of mommyhood than I used to be, there are semantical lines I can't bring myself to cross. But I admit I get closer every day to throwing words to the wind and beating my inflated Almost-B's with wild abandon, screaming "I am MOMMY, hear me roar!" Unapologetic. Devoted. Reeking of sour boob juice. Baby Einstein CDs bleating electronically in the background.

But I am not mommy. Not to you, anyway. To call myself "mommy" in front of anyone but my direct descendents would, to me, deny the other aspects of my existence that I am clinging to with a quiet desperation evident in white knuckles clutching at the strap of my diaper-bag-cum-laptop-carrier. I can't let go. It may be delusional or it may not be, but I am more than mommy. That doesn't mean that I don't appreciate those who are mommy, who embrace that aspect of their being wholly and hold it up to the sun to grow and to radiate and to flourish. It takes all kinds to make these worlds go 'round--the one our bodies inhabit and this new intellectual space we didn't even know there was room for.

And there is room. For all of us. Moms, mommies, bitches with babies. And once we accept that ourselves, we can work on convincing the rest of the blogosphere that the hand that rocks the cradle can craft a damn good blog, too.


Anonymous rhonda said...

You said it, girlfriend!

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

Here here! Thanks for continuing on the discussion. The idea that motherhood is easy or that we all turn into winnie the pooh diaper bag toting zombies - now that the false advertising I want to talk about...

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

PS I really love your blog.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I go back and forth, but as a...gulp...women's college grad turned work-at-home-mom, I think I might be a mommy. I have mommy friends, and when I tell them that I believe that you can be a mommy and a feminist at the same time, they roll their eyes at me. That frustrates me. I am more committed to the idea that Moms have complex identities that spill over into all aspects of their lives - I wouldn't have given my SAHM that kind of credit, shame on me. I think motherhood/momhood/mommyhood made me smarter. My sister, and I debate the notion of motherhood as empowering. I think the perspective of being a mommy/mom/parent informs everything I do, whether directly related to their daily care or not. I seek to make the world a better, more tolerant place for them, and I don't think I really understood that everything I do matters, I mean really matters, before I became a mom. I'm more political as a mommy, more active in my community, and more aware of the world around me. I love the discussion: thanks for cluing me in, Kristen, and thanks for continuing it here.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Nice perspective on the subject! I seem to be leaving little comments all over the blogosphere on this one (some of which probably contradict each other) but my further two cents: If I may be honest there are some lame-o blogs out there from moms, and sadly, that colors a lot of impressions about what a blog from a mom can be. In a way, you have to walk away from the genre designation and start over (if it even matters to you).

For example, once "horror film" started to mean "slasher film with no plot," they coined the term "psychological thriller." How is that different from many horror films of the past? Exactly. But you're more likely to fork over your 10 bucks for Psychological thriller The Ring than you are for Horror Film The Ring.

all of which is a long way of saying, I want people to pay me $10 every time they read one of my posts.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Hehe, bitches with babies. Never heard that one before.

Lindsey Buckingham (from fleetwood mac) once said "no one falls into a simple set of labels" and I, personally, think no one should.

You know who you are and that is a beautiful thing.


4:10 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

true that, lady.

12:26 AM  

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