A dear friend suggested today that I do “mommy blogging” again.
“Mommy blogging” is what I did before cancer swept back into my life in 2010. I blogged at a site for mothers in the state of Maine, and I loved discussing the ins-and-outs, ups-and-downs, laughs-and-snorts of raising two little people in the 21st century. Occasionally being a breast cancer ‘survivor’ would slip in and that was fine–but I didn’t focus on that. I focused on living life as me, and also as somebody’s mother.
However, when I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer–also called Stage 4 (and there is no Stage 5 if you catch my drift)–my world turned upside down. I began to write in the perspective of my new world because I couldn’t do anything else–it was what I lived. My blogs, always about my day-to-day grind with a hint of laughter because I love to laugh, now focuses on living, loving, mothering and wife-ing as a cancer fighter–with a hint of laughter because I still love to laugh. Not that I wanted it to be like this, but it’s what’s happened. And I write no longer a first-timer to cancer, but a life-timer to the disease.
So my friend was saying to me this morning, “you should mommy-blog again. You were so good at it.” And I had to smile. I did like sharing the craziness of kids with the world. BUT..
the weird thing about the Internet is people feel like they can just slice into you if they want. That’s the awful side of blogging–the comments. Back in the old days, being a journalist meant you wrote a piece and people read it. After they read it they might give their comments to the person next to them, the people at the bar, or the Sunday morning crowd gathered at the diner after church. If someone really hated what you wrote, they’d write a letter or call the paper. But never, NEVER did they get to spew junk at you in the blink of a send-button, endlessly and successively, just because they could. But with the dawn of endless sharing that is the Internet, any reader can go to the bottom of an article, blog or comment and just rail against the author.
And they do.
Back when I was a Mommy blogger, this is the kind of thing that happened to me:
I once posted a tongue-in-cheek reference to Madonna’s latest baby adoption, noting I was available for adoption by the maternal superstar because I was so tired of picking up after my own kids I could use a mother myself. I got comments like,
“Who the h-ll do you think you are? Do you think you’re as good as Madonna?”
Another completely missed my attempt at humor:
“are you against adoption? Don’t you know those children need love?”
I wrote something similar in humor about Raychel Ray, who is a wonder kid of cooking and was everywhere from videos on TV to the moving screens in my grocery store to almost all the magazine covers in the food section of the store. I got comments like,
“Oh why, oh why can’t we women stand up with one another? Why do we have to tear each other apart?”
..and another who wondered who I thought I was, “because you’re sure not as great as Raychel Ray! And you never will be!”
Of course I got plenty of nice feedback from people who either liked what I wrote or thought it was funny. And respectful “I don’t get it, but thank you for writing” comments are a gift–because someone took the time out of a busy to day to spend with me, even if they didn’t agree with me. But honestly, I don’t need that other crap in my life now. I didn’t need it then, either, but with tumor markers, IV drips, and kids who don’t need nurturing from a mother dealing with all that plus nasty comments from folks wielding a new version of the ‘poison pen’, I bow out. I have enough ugliness on my own day-to-day plate: I don’t need a heaping helping of anybody else’s.
In “the old days” of writing, being awarded the job of writer for either “My-Local-Town” paper, “The New York Times” or all places in between was the only credit you needed to be viewed as a talented writer. Now it’s about how many hits you get, how many links you have, how many google words say whatever about which-what-where-who of your website…
and it’s all C-R-A-Z-Y to me.
I just write what I feel now. And mostly what I feel in every ‘mommmy’ moment I have–including just this morning when the two children I brought into this world, and love more than anything except their father, brought me to hide-behind-the-bathroom-door tears, is that–
what if I’m not here to have these ‘nutty’ children drive me crazy in the years to come?
Sure they can make me anxious with their sibling strife and pre-pubescent antics. And yes I have to discipline them so that they become well-adjusted adults. But unlike the mother I once was–who could joke about them making me C-R-A-Z-Y and wish Madonna would whisk me away and pay for my boarding school-
now I’m like, what IF some other woman did have to adopt them, because I wasn’t here anymore?
Which I’m guessing would be a real buzz kill to the cute, funny “mommy-blogging” trade.
That’s when the joke’s not on Madonna, or adoptive parents, or angry blog commenters or the millions of children wishing they had parents–but on me.
So here’s to you, Madonna–and to Raychel Ray–and to all the mommies out there who love their families and blog about it. I’m with you–all the way. I just can’t be like you any more. I have to be this now, this mother with the life-threatening disease.
Yes it suck–but at this point I have no choice. I’m mommy-blogging my way. No it’s not as light-hearted and funny as it used to be, but it’s still kinda light, and it still can be funny–
even if it turns out that the ultimate joke is on me.