There’s a feisty debate taking place among women writers at the New York Times this week
about judgmental motherhood. And the momosphere is ablaze with judgments about another Times
piece (“Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand”
), prompting SW member Debby Carroll
to ask “Is the New York Times Really Threatened by the Mother Bloggers?”
While everyone is abuzz about judging other mothers, I'm here busy judging myself.
You see, since the arrival of my twins five months ago
, I’ve had little energy or inclination to write about anything else. My new writing mentor, BK Loren
, reassures me that “mothering has to be one of the least narcissistic acts on earth, so why not allow a little balance in the blogs?” But I’m not totally convinced.
Here’s what I wrote last Friday, a meditation, of sorts, on this theme:
My first spring day at the playground with A & T. They’re oblivious, sleeping soundly in their bucket seats while I take it in. The moment, it seems, is far less significant for them than for me.
They say motherhood shifts the lens, alters the filter through which you see. The mothers snapping pictures on their cell phones every time their 8-month-old makes a move for the sandbox become less irksome and more understood. The lone dad on the playground becomes interesting not because he’s hot but because he wants to swap notes. He spots my telltale Double Snap N Go and wheels his toddler up to me, pointing to him with a grin. “He’s a twin,” he says. And so it begins.
And yet how indulgent, I think, to be chronicling this transformation of mine, so very ordinary and yet so fundamentally new—to me. Are my playground exploits of wider interest? Is the maternal lens so clouded with maternal narcissism that we lose our ability to originate? Do we lose our edge along with the placenta? Even that last thought—I have it and then, the very next moment, wonder who else has had it before.
Perhaps it is true that there is nothing new under the monkey bars about thinking, writing, or living motherhood. And the question is, does that matter? I’m a beginner, and to beginners, the world is endlessly new. A & T, of course, are beginners too. And together we are all just looking at that slide on the playground as if for the first time, checking out our brand new reflection in its sparkling metal shine.
So tell me She Writers, what do YOU think: Is "mommy blogging" narcissistic? And if it is, so what?
(Photo cred: We Picture This