So, yes, its been a week since my last post.
I have an excuse though… I was, at this moment, planning on eating breakfast in Paris. I am about to go to bed in Seattle. It took most of the last week running around getting organized to go, and I not only wasn’t writing, I wasn’t doing much shooting either.
Maybe I’ll write more about this later, but for now, I’m still hoping that I will get to Italy for a photography workshop I was scheduled to participate in that begins on Saturday. I am not, however, holding my breath.
In the meantime, something interesting has happened with “the blog”.
I wrote a comment on another mom’s blog regarding the question of whether to write about one’s children or not. Our opinions differ. Alle (writer of the other blog) then contacted me and we decided to throw open the conversation on both of our blogs, hoping for comments and thoughts from our loyal and faithful readers!
Below, you will find the post from her blog that I commented on, as well as my comment and her reply. Our thought is to continue the conversation via our two blogs, for as long as it is of interest. Here’s the link to Alle’s blog so you can check out her context and read more.
To Mommy-blog or Not to Mommy-blog
FEBRUARY 27, 2010
MC over in Freemont sums a question writing moms get a lot: How do you feel about writing stories that involve your kids? Is that territory you would avoid or embrace?
I’ll take “avoid” for five hundred. Parents exist to meet their child’s needs, not the other way around.
(And I would change my title here to “Parent-blog,” more accurately reflecting the growing number of dads getting into the biz. Except that far more people Google “mom blog” than “dad,” and I am trying to build constituents. Keep my crass exploitation methods in mind as I wax more-functional-than-thou.)
I do understand, personally and deeply, how childbirth and parenting change people at their core, and how writers need to express those feelings.
I also understand the force zeitgeist plays n scoring a book deal.
I bullet these points to underscore how clearly I get that blogging about my kids (who are cuter and funnier and more brilliant than yours; I’m sorry but that’s just the truth) would be personally and professional beneficial. But these are not things we’ve created.
These are our children.
Children do not have the maturity to understand what it means to be written about. I’m talking sheer brain development, here. Not to be ignored: they (rightfully) depend on parents for survival. Until they are significantly autonomous, it is ludicrous to think that we could ask them for permission and have them do anything except try to please us.
And that’s for the parents who think to ask. It is my experience the most parents still don’t understand that children are not around for parents to appropriate for their own benefit.
Let’s take the seminal in the field, Anne Lamont’s Operating Instructions. Well written without a doubt, great to read if you are a new parent—helping others! Good! Right?
So what is so all-fire wrong about sharing darling stories about our freakishly adorable young? Let me have it, right in the comments.
3 Responses leave one →
APRIL 15, 2010
Camille Sheppard Dohrn PERMALINK
Yep… I’ll comment!
I just saw a link to this blog on Madrona Moms, and since I have a blog as well about parenting, I’ve got my opinions… I do write about my kids. I write about them all the time. I don’t very often write cute stories about them because they are 19, 17, and 13, but I do include memories in my writings. They (my kids) weave their way through my thoughts, dreams, writing, eating and just about everything else I do. I actually think that once one is a parent, and particularly a mother, one is forever changed by that fact and since our daily lives are wound up with the joys and sorrows of parenting, we cannot separate ourselves out from that. I would even go so far as to say that if I explicitly avoid writing about my children, my voice will be “less than”, because it tears a large hole in the fabric of what informs my writing. If I don’t write “about” them, they are still there. No matter what the topic.
That said, I have gotten into trouble with my kids for writing about them. “I can’t believe you wrote that in your blog, Mom! And yes, I’ve had to apologize for being insensitive.
Here’s what underlies my thinking about writing honestly about my experience of parenting… We write to connect with other people and to share our vision, but we must ultimately write for ourselves or no one else will be interested. I have to write from my heart, whatever is there for it to be any good. At that point, I make a choice whether to include it in my blog or not. But it has to start from an authentic expression of my own experience of being a human being or its just a bunch of words (and that most definitely means my experience of being a mother).
My blog is also on WordPress… Its called “What do you do?” The Question that Makes Stay-At-Home Moms Squirm.