Monday, March 15, 2010

On Blogging and the New York Times Article

Last weekend I attended Bloggy Boot Camp.  And learned, more than ever before, that blog friends are real.  Indeed, Tiffany.  Indeed.

Yesterday I spent much of the day offline.  Mounds of laundry, pee pee bathrooms, and oh, yeah, my offspring beckoned. 

So yesterday I missed the fallout from the New York Times article entitled, "Honey, Don't Bother Mommy.  I'm Too Busy Building My Brand".  How ironic.

Today I have called in sick (me, Middle and Baby all apparently have a rotten stomach bug); packed a lunch; made breakfasts; started laundry; loaded and run the dishwasher; unjammed a pencil sharpener, played Chutes and Ladders; snuggled; poured juice; wiped a nose; administered a time-out; Twittered; read some excellent posts; and have written this very post.

I resent the fact that Jennifer Mendelsohn infers that I CAN'T have it all.  For how can I be a "good" mother if I'm "too busy building my brand"?
What I want to know is:  Why are we mothers forced to account for our time?  Every minute of every day.  That clearly, if we are blogging, we are NOT mothering.

Bloggy Boot Camp, a one day affordable event that offers "networking, motivation, education and fun" did all that and more.  Just read the recaps.  Yet the article reduced our attendance to merely being schooled "in the latest must-have skill set for the minivan crowd."  Ouch.

Jennifer Mendelsohn certainly could have pursued any number of angles with the article.  She spoke to a wide variety of women, all of whom had something much more to offer than the article's insipid portrayal of us.

Shame on her.


Julie @ The Mom Slant said...

Sarah, you nailed it - "forced to account for our time" - and then to defend how we spent it.

Anonymous said...

Are men forced to account for their time? Are men belittled for their hobbies? Are conferences for men addressing their businesses written about in newspapers in this way--and then featured in the "Style" section? I don't think so.

For the record, I don't own a minivan. :-)

Excellent points. Whether this author was told by her editor to take this tactic, or she was looking to drum up was in poor taste. Period.

Megan said...

Right on!

I'd somehow overlooked that drawing while reading the article, but even it's offensive!

Life Without Pink said...

Awesome! Yes I agree why can't we have it all? And Men are never second guessed on anything they do, so why should we? Everyone needs to have an outlet and if we choose blogging than that is our choice. I am still very active with my kids, playing with them, keeping up with the house hold chores, tending to everyone's why can't I enjoy this as well?

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

Seriously! My recap post had NOTHING to do with all the sessions, branding, etc., it was all about the people and connections and positive energy.

Jen said...

Shame on her, indeed!

Pot stirrer.

Amy said...

AMEN. She failed spectacularly to capture what blogging is about for women.

And I love what you said about women being expected to account for their time. So true!

Pollyanna said...

JM is such a numb-skull. How often do we hear that mommies need time to do something for themselves. So what if you blog? Your kids aren't going to be scarred for life by it. Blog on sister, blog on!

timeoutmama said...

Shame on her for sure! I created my blog with all intentions for it to be MY timeout. Sometimes it is, and sometimes I have to step away for a second to go take my 3 yr old to the bathroom and then step back. My kids aren't neglected, and there's absolutly no reason I or any mom can't take a time out and have to account for it! Account for my time? Never, shame on her for making such a statement. Seriously!

justme said...

well said

hope you feel better soon

Annie said...

Okay - breathing in deeply before I say this - hope it doesn't get me run outta town!!

I really, really don't think the author of this article was as condescending as I think some of you are suggesting.

I'll grant you - that that one line about the minivan crowd plays to the mommy cliche - but really - a quick scan around any preschool parking lot will tell you why it's a cliche!

I am not actively blogging at the minute - for several reasons - but I am reading and observing and occasionally participate in Twitter.

I think that article pretty accurately described what I've observed over the last year.

My blog led directly to me freelancing for a New York Times Regional paper here in Florida. I wrote an article in January on overprotective parents. I interviewed two very protective mothers - but not overly so - both were aware of that line that you do not cross. The editor edited my headline which directly called my sources "Heliopter Moms" - they weren't in my opinion, nor did anything I wrote in my piece portray them as such.

Just worth bearing in mind that what a reporter submits will be edited - titles included - this may have happened in this case.

Unknown said...

I have often felt that same pressure--the pressure to account for my time. It comes from every direction. But guess what? I'm a good mom whether I decide to spend my time folding laundry, teaching my kids to cook, reading books in bed with my preschooler, or blogging. It's all good. And, yes, the friendships we make are real.

Serenityville said...

Great post - my response was more like, what an idiot. It's absurd to think that just because someone wants to write a good blog, they aren't being a good mother. How is blogging any different than any other personal hobby? Like moms shouldn't have a life outside mothering? Again, absurd.

Mom101 said...

I don't know that we can have it all, but we certainly do a whole lot.

If you're ever feeling like you don't do enough just cut out this section and paste it on your wall:

Today I have called in sick; packed a lunch; made breakfasts; started laundry; loaded and run the dishwasher; unjammed a pencil sharpener, played Chutes and Ladders; snuggled; poured juice; wiped a nose; administered a time-out; Twittered; read some excellent posts; and have written this very post.

All that on a sick day.

Dagmar said...

Hi, thank you for this post. Another great point: "Why are we mothers forced to account for our time?" That's what it feels like, doesn't it? So true. Are we putting that pressure on ourselves? I know I sometimes feel like I have to account for every minute...

Dagmar's momsense

KK said...

She's an idiot.


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