There is o so much to the topic of “MommyBlogging,” which the astute readers among you will notice I have a hard time not placing gently in quotation marks. The more I read about it all, the more the topic splits into bits, some large, others eensy teensy; some obvious, others bracingly illuminating; some disheartening and disillusioning, others refreshing and redeeming. I am going to continue to read and ruminate a bit more, before I make an arse out of myself in print — in fact, the making of the self an arse in front of one’s peers seems to be one of the special privileges of a tight community, and I’m getting the sneaking sense that yes indeedy “MommyBloggers” are a community. I figure in the first hours of the jam-packed BlogHer conference next week in San Francisco, this inkling will be decisively confirmed.
What I’ve been wondering is where exactly a lesbian parent blogger gal such as myself fits into this scene. My uncertainty stems from the fact that (a) I consider myself more a parent than a mommy; hell, I think I’ve never ever used that word in reference to myself, maybe maybe “mom.” But no, come to think of it, “mom” has really only come from others, and I answer to it as a concession, on the fly, to another’s innocent address. And also (b) I read far fewer other blogs than I’d like to, simply because I’m knee deep in diapers, still, and with not nearly enough leisure time. (Then again, when will I ever have enough leisure time? When I had it, I had no clue. Now I have the clue but no longer the leisure. A tragedy right up there with Youth is Wasted On the Young.)
Still, I must say that being asked to be on a panel to talk about the topic (hopefully, to mostly chime in now and again during a lively, room-wide conversation) does go a long way toward making a person feel part of a community. For which I give Elisa Camahort Page a big deep Buddhist bow. (I could keep on going and get all Wayne’s World on her, but that might be a little too self-effacing. Then again. I’ll be sorely tempted when I meet her next week.)
I do read other lesbian parent blogs, a lot. And keep track of them, as one among a clump of gals pruning the weeds and watering the flowers at the site that Liza started, LesbianFamily.org. But I still feel I’d have to do a ton more reading before I could fairly characterize what this diverse group of people are writing about, and why. Other than: TO KEEP ONE ANOTHER COMPANY and TO KEEP OUR HEARTS AFLOAT and OUR KIDS AS WELL-RAISED AS THEY CAN BE, under the circumstances (and amidst the blessings) our parenthoods afford them.
For the moment, I ain’t seeing the advertisers beating a path to lesbian parent bloggers’ email inboxes, dying to grab a-holt of the powerful lesbian mum buying dollar. Or worse, dying to get us to infiltrate our blog content with oblique, off-hand references to their products. But maybe that’s just around the corner. And maybe that’ll never happen. I’m the last to be able to speak on that matter knowledgeably. Even if I do harbor opinions about it all.
Clearly you can take the gal out of academe, but you can’t take the academe out of the gal, because I am loathe to make any further pronouncements until I’ve read up a whole semester’s worth of verbiage. But themes are emerging. That I can say. And next week, I hope to say more, dedicating several posts (as many as the regular childcare exigencies permit) to the topic, as workout in preparation for Friday morning’s chit-chat (at which I do dearly hope to see somebody or another I know! a neighbor or two has told me they are going, and I’d love to know who else to look out for). But this week, a few other things are on my mind and chewing up the highly limited leisure, aka non-childcare, hours. Such as our Friday nuptials in City Hall, and the welter of feelings the whole shebang has stirred up. Will I have time to do them justice? Would that I could say with confidence!
Meanwhile, please do help me say with confidence how YOU might answer the question, “Is MommyBlogging still a radical act?” I’ve done up a nice little five-minute survey to help you speed the answer to me, if you’re shy about commenting in public here (which folks did to my great illumination a few weeks back). In fact, even if you would or will or have commented, I’d love more survey responses, since the multiple-choice questions can generate very useful data points.
[Addendum, coupla hours after initial posting] This just in: I realized I could share the results with you in real time. So here: here’s the link you can go to to see what you all are coming up with. Just plug in: <LDsurveyresults> (you know, without the carots) as the password. Since the responses are all anonymous, I’m hoping that the 22 folks who have already done the survey as of this writing [almost 10am, PST on Wednesday July 9] won’t feel retroactively “pantsed.” I.e. revealed. Hoping. Hereafter, know that the results are generally viewable.
[Yet another addendum, even later] Will you people please remind me to run a survery every single month? You are so interesting! And so many of you chat a lot more (or even at all? the blessings of anonymity) in the survey format. Maybe it’s the focus, and the ability to try to line up easily legible responses via some scripted answers. Whatever it is, I will have to just have some kind of venue for you to continue suggesting survey topics that you’d like run, so that you can have the opportunity to hear each other better. I’m tellin’ ya. It’s like how the very best class discussions happen when the teacher leaves the room for a minute to go and pee or something.