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mommy blogger

authenticity online, authentic online, real me, mommy blogger, blogger,mommy guilt, parenting fail, missing firsts, tap, dance

Disclosure: This post about authenticity online was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal domains that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote thought leadership to the tech world. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I started this blog, The TRUTH about Motherhood, I was known to the Internet as Truthful Mommy. I picked this pseudonym because I planned to bust every parenting myth that ever existed and I was a little leery about putting my face to my truth. I didn’t plan on being the poster child for authenticity online but I had every intention of being the real me.

I wanted to be the voice of the “regular” mom but I wasn’t sure that I was a “regular” mom because I felt like I was doing it so wrong. I didn’t think I was special in anything but my inadequacy. I just wanted to have an open and honest dialogue with other moms online or offline about the ups and downs of motherhood and life. I exist beyond just being a “mommy blogger” on the internet. I am a real person and people need other people. This isn’t just my job, it’s my life. I just wanted a place where I could be my own authentic self.

When I had my first daughter, suddenly, I found myself overwhelmed and completely out of my depth as a parent and as a human being. Every other mom I met made everything look so effortless and they weren’t telling me otherwise. I felt like the ultimate failure. I had so many questions.

Why was my 9-month old crawling backwards? Why couldn’t I ever make the arm to bed transition? Were my kids going to co-sleep until they left for college? Did no one else’s 2-year-old drop the F bomb? Why wouldn’t my toddler eat anything other than damn chicken nuggets? Why was I making all the wrong parenting choices when everyone else was making the right ones? Was I born missing the mom gene?

All the other moms looked so put together at Kinder Music and the Little Gym and I looked like death warmed over.  Motherhood looked effortless on them; like those 18-year-olds who just wake up and look gorgeous. Those were the days before Zombies were all the rage but I’m pretty positive I was the original Mombie. I was perpetually exhausted and about as far away from perfect as I could get. I mean, I was a nice person, trying my best but my best just felt like it fell short.

Then I “really” got to know the other moms and I realized those broads were just as exhausted and out of their depth as I was but they had something called dry shampoo and they never told me about their mommy woes because they were afraid I was going to think less of them. ME? The woman who hadn’t slept in 2 years. The woman who only wore pony tails and makeup she could put on in 2 minutes or less because little people needed every bit of my attention. That’s when I knew, I had to tell the truth for all of our sakes. So I did and it was glorious.

I had to be honest to have authenticity online or it was pointless.

To be fair, I’ve never been much of a liar anyways and my poker face is completely nonexistent so it’s not like I really had a choice but I chose to be the voice of honesty, not necessarily reason, on the internet and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 7 years. I hope I’ve helped a few people along the way. If comments and private messages are any indication, I’ve had my moments of truth that have landed on desperate ears that needed to know they weren’t alone. That alone was worth bearing my soul naked on the Internet.

I can’t imagine not being my authentic me online or anywhere else in my life. I don’t have the time or desire to be anyone else. I’m definitely rough around the edges, I’ve been known to curse on occasion, and I don’t always say the right thing but who I am online is who I am in person. In fact, the best compliment I’ve ever received has been when meeting readers in real life and having them say that I am exactly who I am online.

I am fully aware that there are times when I overshare and maybe should keep some things to myself. There are times when I hit the publish button and it terrifies me to think what a reader half way across that world might think of me; after all, my skeletons are not hiding neatly in some closet, they are right here for anyone with Google to read. But I can’t over censor myself and pretend that my life is all rainbows and sunshine all the time because it’s not. Sometimes it is but sometimes it’s really shitty; so I share it all here.

For me, being authentic online is the only way that I know how to be. Life is too short to spend all of my time trying to create some fake perfect virtual world that only serves to make others feel bad about what they’re doing. I refuse to be part of the problem. This is me and if you’ve ever read this blog, you know that I’m not perfect but at least with me, you know what you’re getting.

How do you stay true to yourself in life?

What is your definition of authenticity online?

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Lacey Spears, Garnett Spears, Munchausen by proxy, poisoning, sodium, child killer

The news is reporting that a 26-year-old upstate New York mom, Lacey Spears, has been arrested and pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter in the death of her son, Garnett.

Garnett, Lacey Spears’ 5-year-old son died in January and hospital workers found toxic levels of sodium in his blood. The accusation is that Lacey was intentionally giving her little boy high amounts of salt, even when he was hospitalized. Garnett had been hospitalized many times throughout his young life.  Spears took Garnett to the hospital on January 17, 2014 and then on January 19th and allegedly administered sodium directly into a stomach tube. An investigation also revealed that Lacey Spears had searched the Internet to study what effects large amounts of salt would have on the body of a child and allegedly asked an acquaintance to discard of an IV bag that had salt residue in it.

On January 20th, Garnett was alert. On January 23rd, he died and Lacey Spears posted to social media, “Garnett the great journeyed onward today at 10:20 a.m.,”

Lacey Spears, Garnett Spears, Munchausen by proxy, poisoning, sodium, child killer

The media is crying Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, claiming that this “mommy blogger” ( though she only ever wrote 2 posts) slowly poisoned her child out of her own sick desire to be needed as his caregiver, to get sympathy from others and to gain traffic for her blog ( yeah, the blog with 2 posts). This could be true. Everyone is also suspicious of her need to report everything on social media. Alert the presses, a new mom is posting about everything her child does on social media in 2014.

This alone does not a murderer Lacey Spears make.

Hello, it’s 2014, most moms are reporting every poop their child takes on social media. It has become second nature and if documenting her son’s struggles on social media is a crime, well, let’s just say, she’s not the only one guilty. We all KNOW people who’ve snapped an ER photo and uploaded to Instagram or reported on their child’s sickness on FB, Twitter or their blog. Is it in poor taste? Hell yeah. Does it deduce murder? I’m not sure.

Me, I don’t know her. Maybe she killed her little boy on purpose or maybe she was desperate and sick and accidentally killed him. What I do know is that her son is dead. What I also know is that Lacey Spears was not a mommy blogger. I am offended that the media keeps calling her one because they are only doing it to sensationalize the whole thing. As if the case is not sick enough already ( a little boy is dead, people) but let’s make it even more despicable by alluding to the fact that his mom was always online  and solely for the attention; that she was exploiting her child and his illness for traffic and sympathy. Maybe she was or maybe she was looking for support. I don’t know. I do know that, as a mom who blogs herself, I have turned to the Internet for support many times. This is my tribe. When I miscarried, the Internet was able to support me in a way that the people in my real life could not because I was like an open wound and too fragile to face family and friends in person. The Internet can be a one-sided conversation and sometimes that is just what is needed. The Internet has helped me feel not alone when I was parenting toddlers alone for 2 solid years/5 days of the week because a down economy forced my husband to work and live in another state. The Internet has been my community for 5 years, my blog, Facebook and Twitter are our meeting places. My blog community is my safe place. It offends me that the media is trying to make the entire thing out to be a seedy group of deviant parents who neglect their children and use the Internet as a place to validate their own bad behavior.

Maybe she really was just a worried mother, he was her baby, maybe she made poor choices and went too far. Maybe she was young, single and alone and didn’t know what to tell her son when he asked where his dad was. Maybe his dad was a tool who didn’t want to be a daddy. Maybe a lie to soften the blow on the heart of a small child was the best she could do or maybe she was plain crazy and so afraid of losing the only person she knew truly belonged to her that she did poison him to keep him dependent on her. Maybe it went further than she had intended? I don’t know and I am assuming most of you don’t either but people are calling her names, remarking on her son’s long hair, her short hair, and the story she told her son about who his father was.

What we know is a sweet, innocent little boy is dead and ,whether killed accidentally or on purpose, if she did indeed poison him his mother has to live the rest of her life knowing she had something to do with that. If she did kill him on purpose, she is a monster. The more I have read about the case, she seems to be prone to lying and somewhat delusional. She needs mental help. I’m praying it was all an accident, but I fear it wasn’t.

The one thing I know for sure is that a little boy died and lived in a very painful way and that breaks my heart but that is all I truly know about this case and my heart doesn’t want to believe that a mom could intentionally kill her only child, especially in such a long, drawn out and painful way. Rest in peace, sweet Garnett.

This whole Lacey Spears situation deserves a giant throat punch.

Lindsay Spears, Garnett Spears, Munchausen by proxy, poisoning, sodium, child killer

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mommy blogger, mommy guilt, blogger, parenting, work-at-home

mommy blogger, mommy guilt,working mom, parentingThe first thing I read this morning was a piece by my good friend, Jessica Gottlieb, Which came first the Anxiety Disorder or the Blog? Her post really resonated with me in a lot of ways but the most important takeaway that I had was the realization that I need to live more and blog less. This is nothing new. I have known this for some time now. Hell, I know that I need to back the fuck away from the computer and get out of my head and into my life. I need to unplug and it has never been as evident as it is this summer.

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mommy blogger, blogging, motherhood, blog, social media

 

Throat Punch Thursday,mommy blogger

Mommy Blogger Means Mommy who Blogs

When did Mommy Blogger become a bad word? The other day, I was accused  by one of my readers at another site I write for ( not you ladies, you rock), who apparently doesn’t know me like you all do, of sitting around in my robe all day and thinking up these “ridiculous” articles. I wish! I believe the article was one in which I compared “real” (meaning those of us who are not celebrities. Not meaning to imply that Beyoncé is not a “real” mom because obviously if she has a baby and is taking care of it, she is “real” not imaginary.) Well, apparently Beyoncé reads that website because someone certainly attacked me for that remark and the only person who I can think of that should get that defensive about Beyoncé would be Beyoncé herself or her mama.

Then it hit me, this is what people think of mommy bloggers. They think we sit around in our pajamas all day, eating bon bons and pecking away at the keyboard while we ignore our kids and live in perpetual squalor. It is no wonder, women writers are so afraid of that title. I assure you that I do not fit any of the stereotypes that people think of when they think of “mommy blogger”. In fact, I’m pretty sure most mommy bloggers don’t.

mommy blogger, blogging, motherhood, blog, social media

This illusion of a mommy blogger is not feasible if you think about it because by the very definition of “mommy blogger” we have children, have given birth and/or are pregnant. This does not allow much time for sitting on our asses and eating bon bons though I wish it did. I have never eaten or seen a bon bon in my life because I have kids. Bon bons would never last in my house. As soon as I would try to put one in my mouth some little person would be in my ear asking for a bite and just as suddenly in my mouth snatching it away.

If anything, a Mommy blogger should be defined as a wonder woman like creature who has given birth, is raising children, has the balls and presumably some talent to write about it openly. I also happen to live like a functioning yet severely affected ADHD patient.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”] You can grab your own Proud Mommy Blogger button under the “about” tab.

A Mommy Blogger is a Multitasker Extraordinare

I sit down to write during naps.Five minutes in someone usually yells out for me. I walk past a toy in the hallway and pick it up. Then I walk into the bedroom to be told that little Suzy needs a drink of water. I grab her hamper and carry the clothes to the laundry room and start the washer. While the washer is filling, I walk to the cupboard to grab a cup. I fill the cup and then I wash the few dishes that are in the sink. I load the washer, walk back to the child’s bedroom and hand her the water. She asks for a tissue. I walk into the bathroom to grab a tissue. Clean the sink and make it free of toothpaste. I pick up the wet towels from this morning. I walk back across the hall, hand Suzy a tissue, give her a kiss and walk towards the laundry room. Out the corner of my eye, I see that the living room coffee table is covered in puzzles and coloring books and the cushions need to be fluffed. I take the laundry to the laundry room. As I walk through the kitchen towards the living room, I see that there are crumbs from breakfast on the table. I grab the sponge and begin to wipe the table. My phone dings. I have a text message from my husband. I call the insurance company to ask about a statement. While I listen to musak, I fluff pillows and put away puzzles. The living room is tidy. I take the pillow the girls drug from my bedroom back to my bed. Musak continues. I notice I still need to fix my bed. I fluff the comforter and realize there are loveys in my bed. More musak. I finish fluffing my pillows and straightening my bed then I walk across the hall to put the lovey on my youngest daughters shelf. Musak is still playing. She stirs and I have to stop what I am doing and soothe her back to sleep. Tip toeing out of the room, the musak suddenly stops and a very loud insurance agent yells, “Mary Jane Magilicutty, How may I help you?” Startled, I run out of the room. 20 minutes later, I am done being transferred, pressing one and explaining to this agent the extent of my stress incontinence. I am about to lose my mind. I walk to my desk to continue writing my article that I started an hour ago when the kids first went down for their nap. Shit! I forgot I need a cup of coffee. I walk to the coffee maker and begin the process of making a cup. I can’t find the creamer. I go in search of the creamer. It’s at the very back of the refrigerator behind the apple juice, organic milk and leftovers. I finally get to it and the apple juice, whose lid was apparently not closed, falls out of the refrigerator and spills on the ground. 20 minutes and a lot of cussing later I am headed back to my desk with tepid coffee after mopping up the juice. I walk over to my desk, sit down and type one sentence and a little one walks up to me and tells me they are awake. Breathe. Wait. Repeat. That, my friends, is the day in the life of a Mommy blogger.

This is my day, every day. I work in 5-minute increments and then I stay up until the wee hours of the night to make up the difference. Bon bons? I can barely sneak in a minute to eat a piece of stale cold toast. So don’t tell me that Beyoncé does more than me before 8 am because I am still asleep and then I sit in my robe all day. Hey fuck you! I run circles around Beyoncé. She has a team of people to do what she does. I am a team of one for most of the day. It’s just short people, who I can barely understand, and me. Being a Mommy blogger means I not only do all the Mommy duties of my day, I throw in researching, writing and thinking up interesting things to say.Well, things to say. Do you have any idea how hard that is when I have a raging case of Mommy brain, 2 little ones in my ear talking about everything that has ever happened to them and anyone they know and trying to remember birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, meetings and deadlines?

It’s hard but I do it because I LOVE it. I love my girls, I love my husband, I love my job and I want it all. Am I exhausted? Yes. Do I say some things that are irreverent? Yes, I am too tired to over think it. Do I make mistakes? Hell, yeah. Do I feel mental? Yes. So throat punch to anyone who thinks mommy bloggers sit around in their robes all day.  Now, pass the fucking bon bons, I’m hungry, exhausted and I have a deadline and I’ve only got 5 minutes before the kids wake up again.

What do you think when you hear the word Mommy blogger?

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