Mommy blogs as gateway drugs

When I first became a mother, I found myself doing what lots of other new moms do when handed a live baby: incessantly googling newborn won't sleep normal, 10 minute naps normal, crying all the time normal. My desperate late-night searches sent me into weird message boards on BabyCenter and outdated Yahoo groups from 2004. I even frequented a hippie message board from the Berkeley Parents Network. But it wasn't long before I found myself clicking into a world I never knew existed: mommyblogland. Mommyblogland is a snaking network filled with both snarky and saccharine tales of parenthood. There are let-me-tell-you-how-it-really-is diatribes alongside photo montages of dimpled baby legs and toddlers playing with wooden toys. There are real life accounts of how people survive colic. How-tos for washing your cloth diapers. Comic relief. Really, there is something for everyone.

Before mommyblogland, I didn't know blogs were - you know - still a thing. I thought blogs were for updating your friends and family on your semester abroad, an alternative to the mass email of yore. Most of my good friends didn't deign to social media. It was almost a contest amongst us to show how infrequently we could update our profile pictures on Facebook because, you know, Facebook is lame. I had even tried quitting it two different times. 

Though I burned with a secret shame, I loved mommyblogland. I would lurk while stuck under a newborn for hours and - hey - those mommybloggers understood. I was comforted by the vulnerability of others: honest words on postpartum weepies, co-sleeping and breastfeeding travails. It made me feel less isolated as a new stay-at-home mom, which is no small thing.

And mommyblogland led to another blog network: the Jesus storytellers and honest-to-God writers. The ones re-imagining the faiths of their adolescence, dismantling cliches and letting fresh air inside musty old rooms. There is only so much breathing of each others' air that will suffice in the Christian faith, and these ladies yanked up the windowsills for me when I needed it.

So, here I am, 30 years old today. I am starting a blog because I love to write and because I'd rather join the conversation than watch from the sidelines. Thank you mommyblogland for being my gateway drug to the writing and blogging life.

I still love you and I don't care who knows it.