Friday, March 28, 2008

Annual Earnest Post

I've been blogging about a year now. Mostly making fun of motherhood, Mormons, cowboys, and incorporating top tips on parenting for your edification such as the Slap 'Em to Sleep™ strategy. Between this blog and my bloglet, I get my share of feedback from readers and hey, not all of it is positive.

Which is really a shocker.

I mean, who could dislike me? I post pictures of my beautiful child every day; I speak about the joys of being mom to a gifted child; and I wax lyrical about the great blessings that have been bestowed upon me and mine. I post about celebrity births and wish "J.Lo and Mark all the best" and I thank the Christian God out there for making me and mine more special and privileged and basically better than you and yours! In short, I am a blogger likely to top the mom-blog traffic charts.

Wait, I said this post would be earnest. So bear with me. I now officially remove my mantle of sarcasm and irony for exactly one post to explain who I am, what I believe, and why most mom-blogs are absolute drivel. I feel I must clarify my position from time to time, so as to make entirely plain to everyone who asks (all five of you) why I write the way I do. Some people think I'm mean and "hateful." They misunderstand me. Conversely, I am dismayed to learn that some of my own fans seem to think I encourage them to write mean, nasty, and downright un-entertaining/insubstantial attacks on those around them and people in general. I will address both of these prongs in the following:

I just don't do it in public. I have a magnificent child and a magnificent husband. We have many magnificent moments in our lives. Having a child is the single most important and defining moment of my life. Yuck, those sentences are so cheesy. They may be true, people, but they are also very boring sentences. This is why you do not hear them more often. It is not my bag to brag about how swell my life is or how astonishingly perfect my child is. It is not my bag to post images of my exceptionally handsome husband and exceptionally gorgeous child. It is not my bag to talk about how lucky I am. To feel lucky; privileged; and occasionally, stupidly gloriously happy: these are private, personal sentiments and serve absolutely no purpose in other people's lives. So I keep the happy moments to myself. With the exception of those I find to be highly amusing and which I think might be enjoyable for others to read.

Plus, ahem, I am just someone who likes to dwell on the glass-half-empty experience. It's where I'm at my best. To be joyful in blogging makes me feel ill. Joyful bloggery, unless wildly hilariously clever, is utterly useless and entirely scary. You may have noticed I am writing less and less about Crabtot's tempestuous toddlerness of late and confessing to fewer lapses in martyred maternal good humor? It's because I'VE BEEN ENJOYING MYSELF more and more as her mother. And this makes it a heck of a lot harder to write about with any real substance or hook.

Some people have praised me for my "brutal" honesty or cited me as an example of nasty mom-bloggery. Tart, opinionated, barbed. This is how I see my most prickliest posts. I believe in the power of negative thinking but only because I believe there is much that is positive in expressing one's most down-in-the-gutter-humiliating experiences of parenthood, preferably if it is done with a big wodge of humor ladeled into the mix. I also believe in negative mombloggery as a way of dressing down the general mom-public when I think we most deserve it: I write occasional snarky things about baby showers and mulitmedia momming and suchlike because I believe there are people who really deserve to be taken down a notch. In short, I believe I am performing a public service.

Okay, so, not really.

Boy, being earnest really is so hard to sustain! Happy-religious-joyful-perky moms, HOW DO YOU DO IT?

Roit, back to the point. I say negative things and I mock moms and momming quite often. But I have a line. I do not, for example, write about the personal miseries in my life. I don't write nasty things EVER about my family and friends even if I feel or am experiencing nasty low points with the aforementioned. Why do I not post about those close to me? Because they are close to me. And every single word you say on the internet is forever cached. Every foul word, expletive, personal revelation, indiscretion, is there in perpetuity. I think about this quite a lot, peeps. As do all the bloggers I love. For some, the degree of privacy is far less stringent or Victorian than mine. Many mom-bloggers use their kids' names, photos, and record intimate details of life as mother and wife. I'm not saying you can't do this successfully or legitimately and decently, but I choose not to. I also choose not to write about my kid's bowel movements (poop! ha ha! How FUNNY!) or say things that might, later, cause her shame and anger. I realize that no matter what I write she will probably be embarrassed and annoyed by her mother's musings down the road...but I certainly do my best to respect the privacy of someone who has no say in what her mother chooses to record about her online.

I'm not perfect in my blogocratic oath. I am a momocrite. I once wrote about Crabtot having a wee in the flowerpot and using my cashmere sweater as toilet paper. But people, it was CASHMERE! Exceptional circumstances!! I have also had some low moments --Polish poolboy, anyone? Yes, occasionally I have felt it necessary to issue an apology. For not being funny enough.

You have to have rules. Self-imposed limitations. Some mom-bloggers don't and some of you in that grouping think I am one of you. I'm not. If you have nasty personal things to say about those you love, try keeping a diary. But please don't think I dig you if you're just plain mean-o! I dig you just as little as I dig those who write all their braggiest, cheesiest, most appallingly narcissistic smug-self moments into their public blogs.

Thus ends my annual earnest "What I Believe." I think we can all agree that it was not the most delightful. I think we can all agree that we do not wish to see this sort of thing again for another year. I think we can all agree that blogging, when intense, is sort of slightly creepy. I think we can all agree that when Flavor Flav says "Do you know what time it is?" we do not.

I have no idea what that meant either.

I look forward to a return to lightness and laughter! Oh, how we shall laugh together, my friends! But it will be a good week before I post again here. I am on the road tomorrow, heading north and west. There are plump posts ahead and they will be consist in a combination of marshmallows and anchovies; sweet and salty, fluffy and fishy. Meantime, get thee to the bloglet for Crabmusings if you want them next week. Because, you know, even if I am traveling or taking an extended crack-binge break or whatevs, the people at Cookie still expect me to post reg'lar and good. Wankers.

Meantime, thanks to Guy Kawasaki at Alltop, a fabu new non-robot-chosen aggregator thingy that lists the Crabby blog in its mix. I am finding some good sites in there, like Stuff White People Like and other such bloggish goodness. Check it out, ai-ight?

And ah yes. The comments, I know I may get some harsh ones. Blogging is fair game. Bring it on! [she says, running away terrified...]


Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

was that entire post about me?! (narcissism at its finest.)

love you, crabmom. even if my blog goes by the way of the cloud, (whatever that means, i just made it up) i will always read you.

best of luck on the move!

Alexis said...

I am a little sad that so many misunderstand the tone of your blog. I, for one, enjoy the honesty and humor you display without getting into the minutiae of every day mom-life. I have enough of that in my own day without reading about it elsewhere! I try to send moms who would appreciate your tone your way.

Best of luck on your move!

tonypark said...


Well I, for one, as a 43-year-old married father of none would not be reading your blog if it wasn't just the way it is.

Snark on, and be sure to continute doing it tartly. Don't go changin'.

Sue said...

I love your blog, I think you clever and witty (are clever and witty the same thing?).

Gray Matter Matters said...

Well I for one thing you may be a poser as I have not seen you at any of the snarky mommyblogger meetings. :-)
Anyhoo, I know you probably have very strong feelings about memes, and I'm sure they are similar to mine, but I tagged you anyway. See, I am a bitch.

Anonymous said...

As the father of five, and the grandfather of five (soon to be six) I have to say that if parents take themselves too seriously they'll go nuts. Parenting is the hardest job that will ever be done by people that (normally) have absolutely no formal training for. All most of us have is an imperfect example that has been provided by our parents.

You do a great job of reminding me what the daily grind of parenting was all about. And above all you keep reminding us of how important it is to have a sense of humor about parenting. Otherwise, all parents would be wearing a perpetual frown.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know what to say. Why does everything have to be so divisive?

San Diego Momma/Two Funny Brains said...

Interesting post.

Thanks for sharing it.

I was with you until you positioned your rules as better than anyone elses'.

Each blogger has a different set of rules as to what's acceptable for them to post.

You don't have to accept another blogger's rules as your own, but you don't have to judge them either.

But hey! It's your blog. And that's the point, isn't it?


skape7 said...

I've just re written my comment three times over and still can't work out how to say what I really
want to say. Brain overload! In short, I really don't understand why people have such big reactions to what other people say on their blogs. I think we all can do with being a little less judgmental sometimes but also remind ourselves that these are just BLOGS. It's not the end of the world if someone's opinion isn't the same as yours. Crabmom, by no means do I agree with everything you say but I do enjoy reading your blog - I like a different viewpoint on parenting and yours is refreshing! Like debawriter says "It's your blog and that's the point, isn't it?" Maybe you should write a disclaimer. If people have problem? READ THE DISCLAIMER! Hey, that's not a bad idea...might go write my own blog disclaimer! *Scurries off*

M said...

If we can't laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? I read your blog b/c it reminds me not to take life and being a mom too seriously. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Crabmom, I think you are awesome and funny to boot. I get a kick out of it every time I read it, I say keep up the great work.

Scylla said...

I am glad you have rules, I keep looking for some hard ones out there but damnit they don't seem to exist.

I wish I had begun bogging with pseudonyms, for example, but I was writing for my parents and handful of faithful friends.

Now strangers read me from time to time. Is it too much of a pita to go back over nigh 400 posts and edit pseudonyms in?

As for snark.... well.... I would like to snark more, but can't really do so... so I do so vicariously through you.

That is, when I pull my self involved mommy head out of my brilliant children's butts long enough to come over here and read your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Love your musings. Snark on!

Nicole Pelton said...

I was with you until you dissed Mormons - hee hee.

I'm with sycalla, if I could snark better, I would :)

Do you think my son will be made that I documented his inane reasons for tantrums?

Mommyrella said...

This was not your usual tone. I haven't been reading you for a year, so if it's an annual thing I guess I've been missing it. I can see your point, but only for myself. I posted recently about something that was a little too personal about me and some friends of ours. It nagged at me for two days. So, I went back and edited. I love that when we write, we can edit ourselves. I wish we could do that with the spoken word, but all I have for that is my slobbery foot that I have to keep inserting in my mouth. You are witty, and negativity is your schtick. But, I wonder what the purpose of that post was? The blog is wonderful in that we have a nice soapbox to stand on and preach about anything we want, regardless if anyone is listening. But, do we have to then wash everyone's mouth out with said soap? Who cares what others are saying or that they are associating themselves with you? You know who you are. Your readers know who you are. You are widely read because your voice is unique, not because you are like 'them' or anyone, for that matter.

skape7 said...

Oh hey, I just checked back in and...was that disclaimer ALWAYS there? Cause if it was it proves totally how much sleep I'm lacking.

Opinionated female said...

Be fearless! Those of us who don't have our heads up our bottoms love your honesty! I reckon the harsher the criticsm, the lower the self esteem.
I am new to blogging - and have had no comments - as yet (sympathy card was just played) BUT I admire your restraint! I have left comments on websites that have been criticised - which lead to huge slanging matches- I cna't help myself!
It's easy to be nasty on-line isn't it? keep at it - you are providing a public service - we get enough of the glossy Martha Stewart propaganda!