What to expect when you are going back to work after maternity leave, and how to make it through day 1

Oh, No. It’s Not a “Mom Blog”

When I first started blogging I struggled with how to describe my blog to people.

Feeling like a super special snowflake, I didn’t think that my blog fit a particular category. It CLEARLY was not fashion, fitness, or recipes. And I had no business sharing advice on keeping a clean home, or mindfulness, or not eating frosting out of the jar. I was also particularly resistant to the “Mom Blog” tag.

I had this stereotype in my head that Mom Blogs were all about swaddling tips I wouldn’t use, and discipline strategies that seemed crazy, and Pinterest crafts I fancied myself too busy for. Beyond that, I viewed them as “holier than thou – giving advice when we all don’t know what the heck we are doing” sites.

Plus, all Mom Blogs talked about was parenting/living that mom life. I have WAY more dimensions than that. I mean, sure I am a mom, but I was also planning on writing about Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and pretzels, and bocce ball. It was going to be side-splittingly hilarious! I wasn’t writing a “Mom Blog.”

Big Mistake, Huge

Now after nearly a year of blogging, I’m eating crow with a side of crow. And I’m really sorry. Wicked sorry.

What kind of anti feminist, non organic baloney was I smoking? Here I was, a mother of two with a full time job, friends, family, and hobbies, and I couldn’t possibly imagine that other moms had stories to tell that didn’t involve diapers? And if heaven forbid the stories were about diapers, that those stories couldn’t be helpful, touching, or funny as hell?

Yikes. Capital yikes.

Do Mom Blogs have a focus on parenthood? Definitely. And that’s beautiful, and inspiring, and often very funny. I have realized that I love the stories from my fellow mom bloggers because they create a sense of community in this uncharted sea of parenthood. They share great ideas, comical anecdotes, and sweet moments at the times when I need them the most. They are creative and insightful and full of non-judgmental “you do you” motherhood empowerment.

At the same time, some of my favorite Mom Blogs also write impeccably about friendships, loveliving with chronic painfeminism, businessbooks, and that one time they drunkenly rode a bike at 2am. Of course they do, because Mom Bloggers are also – gasp – multidimensional people! And do those same Mom Bloggers also give me opportunities to share my writing, and tell me it’s all going to be okay when I’m panicking about technology, and offer encouragement, advice, and support my dreams? Oh yes, all of that. And then some.

These women are amazing.

This is What I Want

There is a scene in the movie Mona Lisa Smile that has always stuck with me, and it served as a good reminder when I was so hastily bucketing Mom Bloggers into one homogeneous Mom Blogger bucket. And it’s a good reminder for thinking about our career and life criteria too. Set in the 1950’s, Joan, the high achieving Wellesley College student, has chosen to get married right after school and become a stay at home mother. Her professor, Katherine, has always pushed her to go after “more.”

Joan: Do you think I’ll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?
Katherine: Yes, I’m afraid that you will.
Joan: Not as much as I’d regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I’m doing and it doesn’t make me any less smart. This must seem terrible to you.
Katherine: I didn’t say that.
Joan: Sure you did. You always do. You stand in class and tell us to look beyond the image, but you don’t. To you a housewife is someone who sold her soul for a center hall colonial. She has no depth, no intellect, no interests. You’re the one who said I could do anything I wanted. This is what I want.

I’m looking beyond the Mom Blog image now. And as I really see beyond it, I start to see myself in the reflections of the many Mom Bloggers that I side eyed like a grown up mean girl but have now come to adore. Working moms, stay at home moms, work from home moms – all talented writers with a wide range of stories to tell and the skills to deliver the goods.

Yes, It’s a Mom Blog

Thinking about blog content moving forward, I know I’ll plan to keep waxing poetic about full-body contact Easter egg hunts and chasing bats out of our house. That’s quality stuff right there.

But I know that if I did a big ole word cloud of my writing, “Mom” is going to be right in the center in bold. Maybe in Helvetica if I am feeling fancy. That’s nothing to be embarrassed or squeamish or about. Certainly nothing to belittle as “editorially less than.” This is who I am. This is what I want.

So what is With Love, Becca? It’s a Mom Blog. I write a Mom Blog. You’re reading a Mom Blog. And I think that’s pretty great.

PS. Another HUGE thanks to all the Mom Bloggers out there paving the way for newbies like me with something to type about this parenting journey. And again, so sorry I was the worst.

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    1. Can we make shirts? All big proud ‘MOM BLOGGER’ on the front but the back is like ‘ok so like I am a mom with a blog but I promise I don’t think I’m better than you and I write about other things besides being a mom but being a mom is kind of a huge part of who I am so I can’t ignore it but really I’m funny and smart and an actual human also’.
      Or something. Because that’s pretty close to my truth too.

  1. Haha I always do the squeaky voice, “I guess I’m a mommy blogger?”
    Thank you for referencing that Mona Lisa Smile scene! It’s one that stuck with me after watching that movie yeeeaaars ago.
    And thanks for link 🙂

  2. omg I watch Mona Lisa Smile ANNUALLY. I love that cast. I love the movie. I am mildly obsessed with Maggie Gyllenhaal. I never saw that scene that way, though. (I guess because of the ending.) So thanks for turning it upside down for me. Can’t wait to watch it again.

    1. It’s so so good! And isn’t that how it ends for Joan actually? And the other girl ends up going to law school because her husband is a big ole jerk? Welp, need to go watch it again. 🙂

  3. I think I just fell in love with you…in a platonic, fellow Mom Blogger sort of way.

    My blog is so new that it’s really only a food blog right now, but I’m coming to join the ranks, and I appreciate the courage you just gave me 🙂

  4. Haha, no worries – at least you’re now doing it! Everyone who’s NOT a former (“real-work-world” colleague of mine DOES. NOT. GET. what I do, and most of them look down on me for it a la what you describe – but what’s even WORSE is former work colleagues (which includes my husband’s universe of coworkers), who NEVER ASK what I’m doing w/myself these days and/or assumes I am “just” a SAHM! >:(

  5. I absolutely love this post! And agree wholeheartedly! It took me a long time to find my niche and decide where I wanted to be and where I wanted to go with this blog. There’s nothing wrong with mom blogs, they’ve helped me through some of my darkest days, so blog on mama!
    And thank you for the tag. <3

  6. Aw thanks for the shoutout! <3 I'm still the asshole who refuses to call myself a mom blogger. I say "I'm a mom who blogs." 😉

    1. We’re coming to convert you, Erika. And by “we” I mean a rather diverse army of Mom Bloggers armed with both Pinterest snacks and ridiculous stories about ellipticals. 🙂

      1. LOL if the Pinterest snacks turn out better than when I attempt them, that may be enough to change my mind 😀

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