Poetry & Words

Dear Internetz, I’m Done with the Negativity

Dear Mommy Blogs, I'm done with the negativity. I choose joy.

Dear Internetz Dwellers of the Mothering SubGenre,

I know, I know. I’ve read your weblogs. Mothering is hard. Our small people spill the milk, squeeze the juice boxes until they resemble Old Faithful, chew the corners of favorite books, and keep hours that make us wonder if they have second jobs as miniature convenience store clerks. There are too many choices when we shop, our kids won’t eat their leftovers and we went out with a melted Cheerio stuck to our heads again.

In the last decade, dear Internetz, I’ve watched your weblogs shift from GeoCities to LiveJournal to Xanga, and now to insta-infinity and beyond. And I’ve noticed something. I’ve noticed the chronicles slide down the negative path. Now, from where I stand in 2014, it seems the Mothering SubGenre is firmly entrenched in despair, doom, and dirty diapers — with a side of crude talk and bodily functions.

Haven’t you noticed, Internetz dwellers? The written pieces with the most clicks and comments — the ones your Facebook friends are sharing and your wifi-enabled friends are scrolling through while they’re sitting next to you — are the very blog posts raking the coals in the smoldering Mommy Wars. I watch as mothers sort themselves into teams; home vs. hospital vs. pool. vs cesarean section vs. octagonal hand-tanned artisanal reindeer leather yurts, then draw lines in the strewn toys and lob posts back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, until the child in the woven sling vs. structured carrier vs. five point harness vs. car? flex fuel? peddle bike? organic donkey of burden-seat screams in frustration. (And editors of mothering publications? I’ve seen the guidelines and the pitch suggestions for the kinds of articles you want us to write. You’re fanning the flames.)

I’ve been listening, dear Internetz Dwellers of the Mothering SubGenre. I’ve been listening, and I’ve been reading, and I’m done.

I’m done clicking into the negativity.

I want no part of the lie that mothering is nothing but a sticky-fingered, foul-mouthed, angering pile of negativity.

I’m done, and I raise you an armful of joy.

No, not the kind of joy you mock when you blog about that woman in your playgroup who smiles a lot. Real, honest-to-goodness joy that spills down from the heavens and over all of us and over our homes and over our child(ren). Real joy, joy with roots, roots that run deeper than the storms and deeper than the pain and deeper than these momentary tribulations which are preparing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory [1].

There is enough real horror in the world without manufacturing negativity. There’s enough actual tragedy in the world without perpetuating artificial debates. I don’t know about you, Internetz of the Mothering SubGenre, but when I read that Meriam Ibrahim’s tiny newborn daughter is permanently injured because Meriam gave birth in chainsin chains! — there wasn’t a single ounce of my strength that had any will to raise up a stink about plastic vs. wooden toys. There wasn’t any strength left in me to do anything but cry out, “Oh Lord! Have mercy on this bruised and battered and fallen world!” Hearing how this woman — our sister — brought life into this broken world while shackled, should scream louder into our collective consciousness than BPA-free plastic, the Golden Arches, and the woe-is-me laments of our gilded excess.

Friends, the world is broken. The world is full of pain, and there is more abject suffering outside our circles than most of us, thank God, will ever know. There’s more than enough lifetimes of tragedies to break our hearts thousands and thousands of times over.

But despite this all, because of this all, as for me and my house, I choose joy. As for me and my house, I choose to rejoice — choose to search out the hidden joys, lift them up, and shout — without shame, condemnation, guilt.

This doesn’t mean my heart doesn’t cry out for the hurting and the broken. This just means I know the brokenness can’t win. The Healer has already triumphed. This doesn’t mean I deny the suffering around me. This just means I know that the darkness can’t win. The light has already triumphed.

And so I choose joy.

What about you? “Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?” -C.S. Lewis

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Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: Top ten rules for mommy bloggers

Top Ten Rules for Mommy Bloggers

  1. Use the term “mommy” to refer every other female who currently cares for or ever has cared for a child. Grown women love to be called “mommy” by other adults. Under no circumstances use a mommy’s first name.
  2. Accept and review free products from every company who offers you a freebie in exchange for your cellphone snapshot of the product in use. Pay no attention to whether or not you would normally use the product in question. Do not space out these reviews between other, non-sponsored posts.
  3. If you didn’t Instagram it, it didn’t happen.
  4. Buy a juicer. Place it strategically in the background of any photos taken in the kitchen. Tweet regularly about your love for kale juice. See also, rule #3.
  5. Start wars about extraneous topics. If your child prefers his light brown rattle over the chartreuse one, form a Facebook group in support of light brown rattles. Chartreuse is rarely found in nature, and therefore the inferior choice. Don’t forget to point out the potentially harmful developmental effects of chartreuse to stranger mommies you may encounter during your morning nature walks.
  6. Overshare. Body oddities, lingering symptoms, birthing anecdotes — catalogue them all online for your brother and your mommy friends’ dad to see.
  7. Talk about your child’s bodily functions. If it involves a faulty diaper elastic, the Lunch Which Kept Returning, a virus, or any other fluid related to bodily functions, blog about it. Tweet it. See also, rule #3.
  8. Recipes! If you’re cooking a dish which involves pouring sauce over frozen chicken, blog a photo of this food in its raw state, so your readers can pin it. Remember, Pinterest + Flash Snapshot of Uncooked Food = Winning.
  9. The more the merrier. (Hey now, I’m talking about fonts.) Use multiple typesets and colors in the body of each blog post. Set some posts to align in the center of the page, and others to align along the left margin. Keep your readers on their toes!
  10. Frequently remind your readers that you’re not actually a mommy blogger.