Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is motherhood contagious?

These days it seems all I hear about are bumps and bjorns and birthing plans. I’m 33, and almost every goddamn one of my friends has children (or, if they don’t, they’re about to), barring my lesbian friend who I will forever hold up as my “See? I’m not the only one without babyhood on the brain” person. If Heather ever decides she’s got to reproduce, I don’t know what I’ll do. Probably get knocked up immediately because even though I don’t want kids, I can’t stand to be left in the dust. Any children of mine will be horribly damaged from the get-go, as they will have been conceived out of pure competitiveness. I can see it now. “Mom, was I a mistake?” “No, darling. You were a one-up. It was either you or a summer house, and we couldn’t get a loan.”

It’s no secret that I don’t get mommy blogs. I can’t relate. My babies are the four-footed variety, and when they piss me off I can swat them on the nose and put them in time-out. They needn’t be educated beyond knowing not to piss or shit in the house, when we vacation they can be boarded, and I don’t have to worry about the stigma of teenage pregnancy because they’re all fixed.

So, when I saw that my blog to review today is, yes, another mommy blog, I swore vehemently and sighed wretchedly. It’s not that I hate mommies. I don’t. Really. I have one, and I love her. I read lots of blogs by mothers. Some of my best friends are mothers. It’s just... ugh. I feel a bit like when we had all those emo Indian kid blogs to review. Like it’s in a completely different language and we have nothing in common and any review I might attempt will be woefully one-sided and ignorant.

But I shook it off and plunged in, ready to put aside my prejudices and preconceived notions and see what In the Trenches of Mommyhood (See? She puts it all out there in the title -- it’s about mommyhood!) had in store.

And you know what? I should do that more often.

Because this is a fine blog. The design is three-column, which seems unnecessary. It might help to do away with the third column and get more space for the writing. The banner is huge, and I hate that. There’s no reason for us to have to scroll so far to get to the content, and the picture of the lady with a lamp shade over her head doesn’t add enough to the design to warrant that much space. Sarah has been blogging for a while (and consistently!), so her archives do go on a bit; I suggest rolling them up. And consider some extra pages linked at the top -- an about page, a page for your bling (and holy lord, that’s a lot of bling) to shorten the sidebars, etc.

Overall, it is, indeed, a mommy blog. There’s very little writing here that branches out from family life, parenting, and her kids. But, strangely, I like it. For one, the writing is good. She embraces all the rules of grammar and style, including keeping her posts succinct and cleanly formatted. She talks about poop and wieners a lot, which goes a long way toward keeping my interest. Apparently I can’t look away from genitalia or effluvia. She’s human, thank the lord, and not a mommybot. Sarah seems generally happy and well-adjusted, which is refreshing but also really annoying and jealousy-inducing. I’ll admit there are parts of this blog about which I couldn’t care less. But at the very least those parts are well-written and amusing.

As Love Bites would say, I’d drink with her. And I’d feel a little like I had to watch my mouth, for some reason. Also, over our glasses of wine, I'd want to know more about her and less about her kids. Her kids are cute and all, but I'm more interested in their mom. This is, as she clearly states, her version of a "baby book." Problem is, baby books are for the parents, grandparents, and the kids themselves. Outsiders rarely see them, nor do they usually care to. There's good stuff here, so I see why she's putting it out there, but the blog feels a little... trapped. It's not just a baby book, and it's not just a mommy blog. I believe it started out as a baby book, but as the kids have grown, as she's grown, it's evolved. And I suggest updating the design and focus to embrace that.


  1. “Mom, was I a mistake?” “No, darling. You were a one-up."

    I am bowing to your greatness. Truly, I'm on my knees. Straight-up genuflecting.

    Off to check out the blog...

  2. Wow, I messed up the italics on that one. Good thing you guys are smart and know what I meant. (Clearly I have yet to wash down my meds with stiff spiked coffee. I'll be back when I'm fit for public presentation.)

  3. I went, saw pink, and then my computer died.

    So, though it's not the blog's fault, I still despise this blog.

    When it isn't biting the necks out of innocent, slightly-handicapped computer-towers, I'm sure it's fabulous...

  4. I was going to submit my blog for review here, but the desire to be flayed alive has now passed.

    I just wanted to mention that my computer also died right after the pinkness appeared, Nutjubber. It isn't an ancient computer, either.

    So I'm blaming the blog. But I'm like that. I'll blame anyone or anything. Other than myself, of course.

  5. One, itsy-bitsy typo is all it takes for me to wonder what could have been:

    "Nutjubber" looks HYSTERICAL, and is even more fun to say - try it!

  6. Yeah, I should have warned y'all about the pink, although I didn't know it was powerful enough to cause computer malfunction.

    Nutjubber. Heh. Jubblies.

    Oh, and Maggie? You can get up now. ;)

  7. Nope. I'm fine down here, thanks. Less of a risk to myself and others.

  8. I liked it, sort of. Not enough smut for me, but whatevs.

    By the way, what's a jubblies?

  9. NUTjubblies, thank you very much...

    [insert winking emoticon here]

  10. Boobs, Love Bites. They're boobs.

    And there will never be enough smut in the world, methinks.

  11. Oh good grief! This would be the place I typo. I honestly thought it was "jubber" so is it still a typo? Maybe I should check my speed reading skills. (or my reading skills altogether)

  12. "I honestly thought you were a werewolf, so I'm sorry I stabbed you with a pitchfork - are you still dead?"

    If I start referring to myself as "Jubbles", remember that it all started here...

  13. Okay okay. Send the bills for your therapy to me, Jubbles.

    This only confirms my decision to never ask you to rate my blog!

  14. What?

    C'mon, we're not mean, we're FUNNY!

  15. "Calamity said…
    And there will never be enough smut in the world, methinks."

    Well, I tried. *wink*

    I dunno, I thought the pink was cute. Loved the lampshade girl. And the byline is perfect! WAY too much stuff in the sidebar, but I never scroll down to see that sort of thing anyway. But the posts aren't quite snarky enough for me. She's just too nice. Her kids obviously haven't made her crazy enough yet.

  16. Calamity, I pretty much have the same parenting philosophy for my two legged progeny, so there you go. We can communicate across the divide.

    The pink did my head in and also the scoring out of phrases. That does my head in. What's it meant to represent - spontaneity, an inside look at the workings of the blogger's mind? Every now and then it can be effective but in one post she does it a half dozen times. The writing is OK, I guess.

    Calamity, I think you must have woken up on the right side of the bed this morning!

  17. Lara, I just knew that was going to get a rise from you. ;)Can't win with us, huh?

    Well, Prof., it's just so inoffensive, you know? And I did enjoy the writing, which considering all the cuteness is rather surprising.

    Maybe I'm growing soft. Just please, please don't let this mean I'm incubating.

  18. Fair review. Very fair.

    Those who know me, though, know that I tend to swear like a truck driver and I'm all about MUCH more than just my children.

    HOWEVER. Certain people read my blog (my husband, my PARENTS!) so I fully admit that I am somewhat, okay, a LOT more restrained than I would like to be.

    Hmmm...it may just be time for a new anonymous blog for this motherfuckin gal.

  19. NutJObber, I bet you tortured small animals when you were a child, didn't you? Never mind, I know that answer just like I know what the little old lady who lived next door to you will say to the FBI one day:
    "But he was such a quiet boy! Are you SURE he put those bodies in his freezer?!"

    I did provide my link this time only because I wanted to prove I can laugh at myself just as loudly as anyone else can laugh at me!

  20. I know it's been said, but I HONESTLY wasn't laughing AT you - I saw how rad "Nutjubber" looked and I made a funny!

    Ha ha! Ha?

    I guess not...but as for the neighbours, well, nobody'll ever accuse me of having been "quiet".

    Hey, the decision to submit, as always, is up to you; at least now, though, you have some idea what to expect...but always remember, we're fun!


  21. I get it, really, I do. I like making a complete ass of myself in front of really intelligent people. If I didn't enjoy it I wouldn't blog!

    Thank you for visiting and being polite. More than anything, thank you for the review that probably made that chick cry. She deserved it. I felt all warm and tingly after reading it.

    This site must be fun because I keep coming back. That, or it's a really bad internet car wreck. It totally creeps me out, but I just can't look away!

  22. Sarah, audience makes a difference, that's for sure. I'd love to read what you might come up with for an anonymous blog, though, so keep us posted!

  23. Yes, Sara, pretty please. Gratuitous use of the f-bomb will be rewarded with kisses and jubblie photos.

    (Is that the proper use of this term?)

    Angel...we don't really bite...(hard).

    (of course, boyfriend is currently sporting a huge bite mark on his left chest to dispute this claim).

  24. p.s. I like the header and I LOVE the tagline. I feel exactly the same way about my own offspring.

  25. Maybe "photos of jubblies"...

    Can "jubblies" be singularized?


  26. OK, I have a theory on this whole "mommyblogging" thing.

    It's not the idea of moms you hate - it's that because so many of the "OMG, I could blog! I should blog! I'm sure I have tons of funny stuff to say!" crowd are moms. And they suck at writing. And THAT is what makes their blogs boring as fuck.

    Period. End of story.

    This blog? The chic can write.

    I don't know if I'll be rollin' her - but she can write.

  27. A lot of mommybloggers are "the funniest guy at the office" who puts together a "set" and gets booed off the stage at their local comedy-club on amateur-night.

    "OmiGOD, Phil, you are, like, so FUNNY!"

    "Yeah, man, you should, like, TOTALLY go try out at The Comedy Hole!"

    "Maybe I will, folks...maybe I will."


    "I don't understand; the guys at the watercooler think I'm HILARIOUS!"

  28. A lot of bloggers are failed auditionees for American Idol who are totally sure they can sing...

    Or write.

    Or not suck at life.


Grow a pair.