I made a comment on the Facebook a couple of months ago about how I miss the olden days of “mommy blogs,” and what they meant to me. I can’t even tell you how many of my friends were all “preach it sister! We need to bring back the good ol’ days!” (or something far more profound than that.)
Years before this particular blog transpired, my daily lifeline was the blog I wrote when the kids were babies. A stay at home mom of two little carpet monkeys, deep in the trenches of life, MySpace and my blog were my life’s blood. There were mornings I’d stumble to the computer with a baby attached to each limb just to reach out to someone who could relate. –You guys, this was before the smart phone. There was no rocking the baby while browsing the Facebook (There was NO Facebook.) This was haul out your laptop (if you were so lucky) and hope that the typing sounds didn’t wake the precious little life-drainer. There were no baby wraps and slings- we balanced those little buggers on one knee and typed with one hand. This was OG real shit. God it was good.
As women, we were a unit. We rallied around each other when the nights were long and sleep was short. We congratulated each other on showering and the ability to survive “crying it out.” We reminded each other to put on our big girl panties and press on through the tantrums and puke-fests. We cried together when jobs were lost and cross-country moves were made. We cheered one another on when we managed to handle whatever curve-ball life threw at us. And we high-fived each other when we somehow managed to sneak in sex and actually enjoy it. We were REAL, and we saved each other.
I mean this with the utmost respect, but these young/today moms don’t know what they’re missing. I love that they have their instagram and their communities and their pinterest-worthy etsy creations (whatever they may be,) but it’s just not the same. If I were a young mom today I would hide in the bathroom with a bottle of wine and cry myself to nap time. There’s so much damn pressure. All this “what I’m doing now” staged photography and “join my circle” stuff I can’t even begin to follow makes my head spin. Girl, if someone told me to take a selfie and post it for my “community” when I was in the trenches I would have asked how much they’d been drinking and did they have more to share. A SELFIE! After three days of no sleep? How about you go and fuck yourself?! Here’s a photo: my dog puked on the floor and my new crawler decided today would be a fun day to discover finger painting. How’s that for a photo op?
I LOVE that things are evolving and social media is what it is. It’s still somewhat of a lifeline to me, but I don’t have time to stage my house to look like it’s clean so I can take a “what I’m doing now” selfie. My kids may be in school, but one of them has been sleeping on my floor for three weeks because that damn XBox game with the zombies scared the shit out of him. And I can’t sleep with him snoring at my feet! I’ll pass on the selfie documentation of these bags under my eyes, thankyouverymuch. There’s no less than 6 loads of laundry on my dining room table because my back has been out for days, and I think my dog just peed somewhere. That makes a lovely photo backdrop, right?
My point? It’s just too much. But I do miss having that kind of community. I miss my ladies laughing and high-fiving, and even crying through the cyberspace together. I miss the men stumbling into our world and getting a brief “oooohhhhh” moment and understanding just what the hell was going on in our minds. (Or an AAAAAHHHHH moment and running away for dear life!) I miss the encouragement and the camaraderie.
This past month the OG mommyblogger of us all, Dooce, hung up her keyboard and is moving on from the blogging world. (Real talk, I didn’t even know she was still blogging. I kind of assumed that when I stopped so did everyone else. Because…I’m self-involved?) Heather was a pioneer of mommyblogs. She made people want to lay their shit bare and gather round one another. When I read about her decision today it made me sad. Not for her, but that we’re in a time that people don’t gather around one another and push through the trenches together. People clean one corner of their otherwise CRAZY house/life so they can snap perfectly filtered snapshots of their tidy little life to impress one another. I’m sure their communities are encouraging and uplifting in their way, but it’s just…not the trenches.
Motherhood is raw. It’s messy. It’s ugly. No instagram filter can hide the vulnerability of motherhood. So who do these women have? There are people that I love and eternally respect because of the bond we made in the trenches. I ache for those relationships some days. It’s been twelve years and I still need them on days that my daughter rolls her eyes at me and stomps away. (Usually to remind me that she’s just like me and that yes, I must actually let her live to see another day.)
I want us to revive the trenches. I want to walk through the next twelve years of motherhood with the same community I started the first twelve with. I want to show the younger moms that the trenches of motherhood are filled with a love and beauty so deep that a filter can’t begin to mimic its glow. I read about the “Mommy Wars” and I just shake my head. We had mommy wars, but we were all fighting for the same thing: survival. If you’d stop trying to make yourselves look so damn perfect,you wouldn’t have the burning desire to tear one another down. (I mean, there will always be that guy, but I just don’t think to the extent that we see now.)
I don’t know, maybe this is just a pipe dream, but I think it might be becoming my dream.