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Four months ago, when I virtually knocked on the door of the “mommy blogosphere”, I did so with the blind ignorance of a new neighbor introducing herself with a plate of daintily presented bonbons.
I was quick to learn that what lay behind it was more like a stadium full of adrenaline-pumped hockey moms in a full-tilt ranting frenzy, than a subdued ladies’ social.
What made me think that a little gentle blogosphere networking would do the trick? If life imitates art, then there’s an enormous population of mommy-bloggers who imitate hockey moms. (With Alex now playing youth hockey at Sharks’ Ice in San Jose, I’m already getting a whiff of the ranting to come.) They are younger, faster, aggressively competitive and grossly dismissive of newcomers.
It begs the question: can blogging be a blood sport? If it can, these are the Blockey Moms.
But while the “mommy blogosphere” is not the pink puff of maternal sweetness you’d expect it to be—for a “mommy-blog” virgin like me it was disheartening to learn that the blogosphere also imitates life: most of the new mom inmates were younger.
And, while we’re at it, I have to say that I detest the term “mommy-blogger”—it is a patronizing label smacking of “yummy mummy” or SMUTS (Stepford Moms Under 35). If we’re going to get all hypocritically Little-House-On-The-Prairie (http://www NULL.littlehouseonprairie NULL.com/) about it, then has to be said that these women more closely resemble Nellie Olsen on a bad hair day, than Laura or Carrie Ingalls flouncing joyfully over the grassy knolls.
(So here’s my AA-style blogosphere introduction. My name is Angel. I’m 49 and I’m a mom-blogger.)
What’s more, you don’t cut any hockey ice with Blockey Moms until you’ve proved yourself out there and blogged steadily for months, reeling in fans. Blockey Moms too, it seems, have their superstars on the virtual stage.
But having hung in there, I can understand. This blogging-blood-sport is not for the faint-hearted. Despite it all, however, I kept uploading twice each week, sounding the clarion call. And eventually, I began to hear the distant, tender trills of their voices—other midlife moms, out there in the blogosphere, each calling out in turn for her own unique cause.
Debbie, a 48 year old mom-blogger from Canada, felt blessed to have her daughter (now 3-and-a-half) at 45. “It was a bit of a surprise” says Debbie. “Although I was not on birth control, I didn’t think it would be possible at 44 to get pregnant without medical intervention.”
Debbie feels there are significant benefits to being an older first time mom.
“I think that not being focused on ‘finding myself’ is a big benefit to her (Debbie’s daughter). At 45, I pretty much know who I am and don’t feel I have anything to prove to anyone. I’ve had the career, I’ve had the independence and didn’t marry until I was 44.”
But like the rest of us who have our children after 40, Debbie felt isolated—an experience that was compounded by living in a small town. About a year ago, she “hit menopause” and that’s when she launched her blog, firstname.lastname@example.org/">Menopausal New Mom (http://.
“I started my blog as a place to vent and my hope was to hook up with other moms in similar circumstances. Blogging is almost like a lifeline that allows me to connect with others through the comfort of home and while having my daughter nearby.”
Debbie believes that all midlife moms have “a story to tell with each of us putting our own unique spin on life.”
For mom-blogger Maureen Daniels from New Jersey, having her triplets at nearly 43 certainly gave her a ‘unique spin on life.’ (In fact, I’m sure her head is still spinning.)
Although Daniels (now 46), started her blog, The Online Shopping Boutique (http://onlineshoppingboutique NULL.blogspot NULL.com/), driven by a business work ethic, “to share the wonderful stories of SAHMs like myself who want to stay home for their young children and earn a substantial living working from home as well.”
She adds that she “also wanted to share work at home business resources” with other mothers.
Courageous Kathy from North Carolina, a mom and a nurse who is now 45, and who had her last child at 38, started journaling at Caringbridge.org (http://www NULL.caringbridge NULL.org/) when her daughter was in the midst of her first battle with leukemia. “She beat it twice” says Kathy, “and in that time, the ‘journal’ became a way for me to inform, update, vent, advocate and express my gratitude.” These days, Kathy’s blog can be found at Strawberry Seeds (http://www NULL.strawberryseeds NULL.net/).
When these midlife moms were asked, between menopause (impending or full-blown) and the vagaries of parenting, how they found time to blog, the answers told me everything I needed to know—that I wasn’t the only one feeling as though I’m twirling my broom like a baton, tossing breakfast pancakes, and blogging one-handed with my computer on the kitchen counter, while toothpicks jam my sleep-deprived eyes open as they bear down like high-powered automatic doors.
Debbie has a brief respite every morning before her 3-and-a-half year old rises for the day to post blogs and reach out to other moms. Maureen Daniels, says “It is very difficult to have scheduled posts but I blog whenever I can—mostly late at night or early in the morning when the house is quiet or when the kids are in pre-school.”
Kathy’s answer is simple: “I’m sleep-deprived, of course!”
For any older moms thinking of sticking their maternal toe into the roiling waters of the unpredictable blogosphere, these midlife moms chimed in with a resounding chorus of encouragement.
I think Maureen Daniels spoke for us all when she said: “If you are blogging about yourself as an over-40 mother or business woman, offer advice and tips, share your accomplishments, your pain and your joy. Be real and add some humor. Believe me: we will relate.”
Sure beats being in the bleachers with the Blockey Moms!
Note to readers:
Debbie’s blog at Menopausal New Mom:
http://menonewmom.blogspot.com/ (http://menonewmom NULL.blogspot NULL.com/)
Maureen Daniels, Online Shopping Boutique:
http://theonlineshoppingboutique.webnode.com (http://theonlineshoppingboutique NULL.webnode NULL.com/)
Blog: http://onlineshoppingboutique.blogspot.com (http://onlineshoppingboutique NULL.blogspot NULL.com/)
Social Network for work at home biz & shopping: http://onlineshoppingmall.ning.com (http://onlineshoppingmall NULL.ning NULL.com/)
Kathy’s Blog at StrawberrySeeds:
http://www.strawberryseeds.net/ (http://www NULL.strawberryseeds NULL.net/)
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Angel on CNN(http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)
CNN Mother's Day: "Mature Moms" (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)(http://youtu NULL.be/atScMih4_d0) (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
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