Their Bad Mother

(If you haven’t already, you can read Part I of this post here.)

As I said yesterday, I came to blogging as Alice to a rabbit hole leading to Wonderland. All it took was one link to one mom-blog and I was tumbling, headfirst, into the momosphere.

That one mom-blog was JezeWhiz. And the first words of hers that I read, referring to the challenge of a new baby, were, “this gig is hard, dudes.”

I think that I gasped audibly. Somebody else knows. SOMEBODY ELSE KNOWS.

an instant, I realized that I was not alone. I spent the next hour –
hours – reading through her wonderful blog, laughing and wincing and
nodding and goggling at the pictures of her adorable baby boy. Then I started following her links. I linked to Amalah,
and discovered another new mother who was babbling hysterically,
brilliantly, about having a new baby. And then I followed another link, and discovered that Dooce was not a feminine hygiene product. And then I linked to another blog, and another, and another.

I was totally sucked in.

Women – and men, and men and women
were writing about having babies. They were writing about how hard and
amazing and exhilarating and painful and awe-inspiring and crazy-making
and wonderful it is to have babies. And their voices sounded like my own. They
sounded like me. Scared like me, amazed like me, bemused like me.
Determined to suck every moment – good and bad – out of every day with
the new little beings that had changed their lives. Like me.

So I started my own blog. I called it ‘the first days of the rest of my life’ 
(Her Bad Mother came some weeks later, after I realized that my original name – with its twee lower-case letters – sucked.) It was just going to be an online diary. I hadn’t yet discovered
comments or inter-blog communication; I was writing just for me and for
the baby that I called WonderBaby and for my husband and for friends and family. But when,
during one of my daily visits to Jezer’s blog, I realized that I could
comment on her posts – on anyone’s posts – the rabbit hole opened up
even further. And when she came to my site and left a comment on one of
my posts, I landed at the bottom of that hole and recognized this whole
new world for what it is: a place to not only find joy and solace in
one’s own words, but to find those things in the words of others.

although Jezer was the first (thank you, Jana!), there are so many
others that I don’t even know where to begin – or end – in singing
their praises. So I’m not going to start. I can’t. I
can’t do each of them justice in one short post and I would almost
certainly forget somebody and then I would wake up in the middle of the
night in a fit of guilt and self-loathing. You know who you
are; I visit you whenever I can and when I’m done laughing or crying or
gasping or nodding my head so vigorously that my teeth rattle over what
you’ve written, I tell you so. (And if it’s not every post, it’s not
that I’m not reading; sometimes I have to play catch-up.) You all make
a huge difference in my life as a new mother. An extraordinary

So, moms of the Internet? I salute you. And all you other moms out there, who build your communities in real, live spaces, and support each other with casseroles and margaritas and hugs? I salute you, too.

P1020334.JPGHappy Mother’s Day. Have some ice cream.

Revised and updated from Her Bad Mother, May 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.

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