Mainstream Media Mommy Box.

Pulitzer Prize winning writer Dave Barry tackled a lot of topics during his tenure as a nationally syndicated columnist. For example, he once wrote in detail about his daughter’s love of ballet : “My daughter has decided, at age 2, that all she wants is to be a ballerina. She has a tutu, which she wears with everything, including her pajamas. She likes to mince and twirl, and she expects her mother and me to mince and twirl with her, with our hands over our heads, ballet-style. We do this a LOT. ‘Pirouette Till You Puke,’ that is our motto.”


He also wrote in detail about hosting a child’s birthday party: “When our daughter turned 2, we had a big party at our house. That was over a month ago, and we're still finding cake frosting in unexpected places. Our house was filled with 2-year-olds, running, falling, yelling, crying, pooping, etc. I honestly didn't know who most of these children were, or how they found out about the party. Maybe the Internet.”


He wrote about skiing with his family, about his daughter’s abundant affection for Disney princesses, his son’s messy apartment populated by 213 empty pizza boxes and his wife’s vacillating moods during pregnancy. Did writing about his fatherhood experiences mean Barry was a “daddy columnist?” Did writing about his family negate his success or pigeon-hole him? Not a whit. However if he’d been a mom and wrote online and frequently (or occasionally) mentioned her offspring, would that mean her writing would be less worthy of respect than the work produced by men who are fathers and mention their families? That’s the question du jour on the internet these days, especially when it comes to the type of media coverage afforded to women writers/bloggers and whether attaching the word “mommy” to their job description is demeaning.


When did Mommy become the equivalant of a 4 letter word?
Dave Barry was not called a Daddy Writer, but neither was Erma Bombeck called a Mommy Writer. I personally thought of both as humor columnists who used their families for material. Frankly, it seems to me there are a lot of women with blogs that are functioning as fun hobbies. That is not offensive, it is factual. I write a blog, it is about my family and my life staying home with my children. I never intended to be a SAHM, and that is the focus of it. I run ads for the spare change they pay. Absolutely I would love to make real money doing this! If I took issue with the terminology, I would probably refer to myself as a Writer. A Family Writer, a Parenting Writer, something like that. For now, my blog title has the word "Mommy" in it, as does this website "mommytrackd". I would not shun the term, I aspire in my dreams to the success of the fantastic rock star Mommy Blogger! If someone uses the term intending to be demeaning, well, the joke is on them.


I have to say I do not like the term mommy blogger. I am a mom who blogs about my life and family that happens to involve lots of kids (five) a new husband (gorgeous) and a growing business (start up). I am not defined by being a mother alone but by all the things I do in my busy, hectic, fulfilling life. However, if my mommy blog made me lots of money, I would smile, hop, skip and jump all the way to the bank :).
Thanks for writing a great column. I will stay tuned.

Carol Shwanda.