Mommybloggers Unite!

October 30th, 2006.

Last week, my friend, the rarified microbiologist, and I had a bite to eat together while we discussed my website and where I was planning to go with it. For the time being, I have been playing around, writing parodies and satire just to try something different and have a bit o’ fun. I think it’s safe to say that parodies and satire are not my forte, (Badly written? Hello Masters’ of the Obvious!) and the true reason that this site was conceived was, simply put, because I have shit to say.

Yesterday, my friend left me a message loosely paraphrased that said:

“If you feel so much disdain over what the mommybloggers are doing, then why do you advertise for them and thereby increase their ad revenue?”

Much like many of the impulsive actions in my life, the answer is pretty straightforward: To prove a point.

Sweetney, darling, I made fun of your kid’s hair and you profited. You were in the top 10 searches on Technorati for the entire weekend and people from all over the net flocked to your site for clues to the ‘mystery.’ You probably made a mint from the whole ordeal, didn’t you? Go ahead and thank me, because I made fun of your kid. Roll that around in your mind for a minute. See if that sweet, sweet irony doesn’t just make you giggle like it does me. Keep in mind that as a parent, it is your job to protect your child, not mine. My photoshop job proves that while you have profited from the positive attention your child received in the past, it’s also fully possible to profit from the negative attention. That’s what happens when you put your child out there as a public figure; you open your kid up to both forms of attention. Do you feel a little dirty spending that money now?

Was it worth it?

Furthermore, if you think a nasty remark about your child’s hair is such a heinous offense that it left you oh so sick to your stomach, I shudder to think of your coping skills when your child starts attending junior high. I guarantee you that what I said will be small potatoes when compared to the psychological warfare that the little beasts she calls peers will play with her. Have you thought about the part your website plays in that? Have any of you mommybloggers considered that?

A junior high school student is a child at his absolute worst. They prey on the weakness of their peers for no other reason than that their teenage insecurities demand they keep negative attention off of themselves. So when they stumble upon a website and learn that a classmate, say, shit her pants at the pool when she was 4, they run with it. The teasing and mocking will be ruthless and you mommybloggers have given them their fodder on a silver platter.

The enemas, the boogers, all the cute little stories that you realize are just a part of growing up will turn into weapons in which to humiliate and objectify your children. And that’s just what you’ve written about them. What do you think will happen when Leta’s classmates find out that her mother was institutionalized? Do you think they’ll just tell her that she’s crazy like her Mom? Or do you think they’ll chant ‘Leta’s Mom was in the funny farm! Leta’s Mom was in the funny farm!’ over and over and over again? How long do you think it will take for some spiteful kid to print out your weight loss pictures of you standing beside yourself in a pair of underwear, bring them into school, and pass them around to the great amusement of everyone else? How do you think it would feel to be reading about a boy that you had a crush on back in elementary school only to find out that his mother gleefully referred to you as ‘The Hussy?’ The irresponsibility in your writing shocks me because it seems like not a single one of you has considered the Big Picture.

If you have thought of it, but just assume that it will never happen because the Internet is such a big place, you’re idiots, plain and simple. In fact, some of you are already bragging that the parents of your kid’s friends know of your site, so it’s not a big stretch to think that one day a bored teenager will go through his parent’s favorite’s list or check out the drop down history box and hit the jackpot. Or idly google the name of one of his classmates just to see what pops up. Considering the traffic that your sites are getting and the fact that you use your child’s full name with accompanying photographs, there will be little doubt when he has finally struck comedy gold. Note that I use the word ‘when,’ not ‘if.’ Don’t forget that this next generation of kids is a hell of a lot more tech savvy than we were. A 14 year old kid taught me HTML, and my 12 year old nephew can hack your computer.

Good job, Mommy.

You want to know what I find hard to believe? That you’ve all forgotten what it’s like to be a kid. Especially since you’ve been busy spending every minute of your free time re-creating high school on the super highway.

Earlier I suggested that the typical mommyblogger may be too attached to the money to quit now, but that’s only partially true. In reality, I think it’s the attention mommybloggers crave and they’re so firmly addicted to it that they’ll sacrifice their child’s privacy and well being if it will help them reach Internet Prom Queen status a little quicker. Let me just stress that point a little because it seems a lot of you are missing it; your children have a right to privacy. They have a right to have stories of their own to tell, if and when they decide to tell them. You are taking that away from them because that is less important to you than the digital image you’ve invented for yourself.

But I do feel your pain. Growing up, you all really thought you were going to be bright and shining stars, didn’t you? You looked in the mirror every morning and convinced yourself that you were destined to do great things. But now, a mere 15 years later, after you have firmly and completely embraced mediocrity, you look in the mirror and realize that you’re nothing more than a slightly overweight soccer mom with bad skin whose biggest accomplishment of the day is that you successfully created a pancake in the shape of a heart.

That is, until you get online and you are the ever famous, quirky, rock star Mama who is revolutionizing parenting one baby picture at a time.

Except….

It’s not your child’s job to ease the pain of your inferiority complex.

You’re identity is so wrapped up in what the Internet thinks of your child, that you’ve all lost a piece of yourselves. You’ve been so focused on breeding the world’s next revolutionary and great thinker that you’ve forgotten your own potential in that endeavor. There is nothing wrong with mediocrity, as long as you are content and happy with a simple life. But the way that you’re desperately clawing your way to the top of the Internet shitheap suggests otherwise and it’s just really sad and pathetic. If your children turn out any better than you did (And I really doubt they will), they’re going to see what you’ve done with your life and feel just a little disgusted. Count on it.

In closing, I just want to say that it’s not too late to do great things with your life, if that’s what you’ve always fantasized about. But you’ve got to have the confidence to separate your identity from that of your child and develop the drive and passion to go it alone. If you’ve got something to say about the world, say it, and don’t let your need to be liked and admired cripple your voice. When the world no longer rises and sets on how many comments a day you get on your blog, you know you’re doing something right.

*A small word about lawsuits: If you feel the need to sue me because I made fun of your kid, you’re welcome to it. Thankfully we have not yet legislated against getting your widdle feelings hurt, so it’s a no brainer on who would win…especially considering that I have already outlined that there were no monetary damages, only gains. And sorry, emotional ouchies don’t legally count as ‘damage.’ I actually welcome a frivolous lawsuit that my lawyers will gleefully drag out for as long as possible. Because really? My pockets are deeper than yours and if you want to give up your Christmas fund and take out a second mortgage on your house to fuck with me, I can more than adequately defend myself. In fact, you really can’t buy me better publicity.

Furthermore, for all their self righteous bitching that about how horrible the picture was, not a single solitary mommy thought to just send me a simple email saying, “Hey, the picture really hurts my feelings and while I know you don’t have to, I’m asking you, woman to woman, please take it down.”

Not one.

You were all too busy calling me a pedophile and sociopath to do that. (Frivolous libel countersuit anyone?)

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