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Don’t Bother Mommy She’s Rabid Right Now

Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand was printed today at the New York Times. You don’t have to read it. It’s written with a self loathing pen. Jennifer Mendelson may understand writing, but she clearly doesn’t understand what a conference is. Bloggy Boot Camp is different from other conferences in that it’s attendees are a homogeneous group, but aside from that it offers a good mix of education and networking.

Ask me why I’d get a babysitter for my kids (my mother is the babysitter don’t froth), fly to Vegas at noon, keynote a small but important conference, and fly back in time to tuck my kids in?

Ask me. Because I’ll tell you.


Tiffany is the reason why I’d drop everything and break my two biggest rules of blogging.

I don’t work free
Blogging doesn’t take away from family time

When Tiffany asks me if I can give up a day of my life, talk to a room full of my peers and not get paid I squee in delight. That woman gives more than she takes, and when I get a chance to give back, I do.

So, when an article hits the New York Times talking about the silliness of Mommy Blogging, and I’ll grant you there is silliness, I take great offense. I don’t take great offense because it’s so wholly inaccurate, truth can be found and manipulated anywhere. 24,000 hits to a single post on any website matters, it doesn’t matter if it’s for your tutu. Moms talk about tutu’s, when did that become a revelation?

I know the author is a blogger too, and there’s some self loathing that comes along with being a Mommy Blogger. I’m a Mommy Blogger, I get it. The pseudonyms in use are ridiculous, but that’s something we talk about inside our community, not outside.

If you’re a Mommy Blogger get used to small doses of ridicule. They will come from two sides, people who don’t have kids yet and think we are silly (trust me they mock us in real life too) and parents who don’t blog, and are a bit jealous. That’s all.

She’s right in that many of these women will never make “real money” with blogging, but when my kids were tiny a few boxes of diapers or an extra stroller would have helped us out quite a bit. The reality is that your blog can serve as a resume. When people ask me if I have one I just point them here. If you think you want to make money with your blog, or just create a place online to showcase your talents Bloggy Boot Camp will help you.

I resent the title. Since the New York Times has it’s very own Mommy Blogger in Lisa Belkin, I can’t help but wonder if she, too blanched a little.

122 thoughts on “Don’t Bother Mommy She’s Rabid Right Now”

  1. Love this part…

    “If you’re a Mommy Blogger get used to small doses of ridicule. They will come from two sides, people who don’t have kids yet and think we are silly (trust me they mock us in real life too) and parents who don’t blog, and are a bit jealous. That’s all.”

    I landed my job over a year ago because I BLOG (and tweet). I make money writing for other sites …because I BLOG.

    I am MOM, hear me…BLOG!

  2. As a mommy blogger I tend to roll my eyes at the ones who think we do nothing more than talk about poop, spit up and naps.

    They obviously don’t read our blogs–the topics that we write and the amount of readers that come and read about our lives. I’ve received many offers for my blog–and I love it. I love the term mommy blogger–it’s a two for one–I’m a mommy AND a blogger. If that doesn’t say we work out butts off I’m not sure what does.

    Great post–L-O-V-E-D it.

  3. I was quoted in that article and I have received a ton of traffic from it. Most just pop on and off my blog. Some have made crappy comments.

    I don’t care.

    I loved boot camp. I love writing and I love women like you and Tiffany who are GIVERS and who confirm to me that I am indeed a part of a special community. Thank you for speaking out for us!

  4. I’m not only a Mom, I’m a Grandma! Am I sitting around in a rocking chair? Hell, no! I knew about FB & Twitter before my 25 yr old myspace-lovin’ son did. He joined & friended all of my friends!
    Ignorance of any kind results in stereotypes. Now I see Mommy Bloggers being stereotyped. I’m all for free speech – heck, look at me here! – but if you’re a writer for a national publication, I’d suggest you do some research. A little, at least.
    Perhaps they should follow the money. Just like our legislators – follow the money and you’ll see why they vote the way they vote. A lot of advertising revenue is being channeled to Mommy Bloggers (I’m not one of them, btw). I don’t think WalMart & Verizon would be dumping $ into avenues that don’t produce.
    And look at the charitable work – I wish I knew how much $ was raised for Haiti by Mommy Bloggers. Quite a bit, I’m sure.
    I try & find the positive in every situation. As far as the NYT post, I can say that thru Tiffany on Twitter I have a voice on this subject & I’m going to use it.
    Oh wait, let me find my glasses & get these old bones up outta my rocking chair first ;)

  5. I just can’t figure out why it isn’t okay for Moms to get together and connect and talk and hone their skills for their hobby or job, but doctors and gun owners and political activists can and no one bats an eye. Yes I blog and, yes I have a family I don’t feel like those things detract from one another.

  6. Very well said!
    Unfortunately I couldn’t go to the conference because I’m short for change lately. I don’t make -any- money off my blog. Not sure how to nail that one yet. Maybe if I knew I could afford to go to the conference and learn how to make -more-. Haha. The article did have a little bit of a resentful tone to it. Not what I’d expect from someone who has a blog themselves. Hmm.

  7. FYI, I’m not a mommy blogger but am a Mom and was a reader of the NYT… hmm, well, until the article that posted up yesterday online. Oh and as a single mother who worked outside of the home, what I wouldn’t have given to been a work-at-home mom, but that’s in the past. I have been the minority in a male dominated industry (publishing and high tech) but never have I found the love and support of women, helping women as much I have have seen in the “mommy blogging world” and Tiffany is one of the ones that rises to the top in this category.

    Women’s voices have been ignored for centuries and now that we have the mighty pen to write about our world and bring others into our tribes, we are scorned for it? Now that we want to engage with the brands that want a piece of the $4.1 trillion in household spend that we control – we are scorned? Maybe it’s because newspaper readership is down and they don’t think moms read the NYT that they could post such a provocative article?

    When I look to the sisterhood of bloggers, there are many that I know from their random acts of kindness and those who take time to help you figure out what a meta tag is… I’m with Jessica on this > Attacking a mom blogger, or a child of a mom (me, especially) will only find you in a corner with no one there to support you. The Internet is a small world and in case you didn’t know… there are millions upon millions of MOMS out there… are you really wanting to go to war against this army?

  8. Love this statement:
    “Moms talk about tutu’s, when did that become a revelation?”

    Such truth! We can be proud to be bloggers AND moms, whether we use the term “Mommy Bloggers” or not. Both words apply to us. So it shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing when we blog about tutus, or soccer, or even minivans. Our words are valuable whether we are commenting on products we love, business topics, or even an article that we don’t particularly care for.

    Fabulous post!


    P.S. If she didn’t understand the importance of blog conferences, I invite her to check out my site that is all about conferences/newbies. She will see examples of how the ability to meet other bloggers face to face, learn new techniques, and just have a fun time away from our sometimes mundane schedules, builds confidence. Many have written about it, either in posts, tweets, or comments like Tiffany shared in her recent post from Bloggy Bootcamp participants. It’s real and it’s the reason we love conferences!

  9. Very well said!
    Tiffany was an image of professionalism and just because she walked barefoot and said, ‘You Guys’ does not mean that she doesn’t know her stuff and genuinely want to share it with other women wanting to make it in the world of blogging.
    I can’t help but thinking that perhaps Jennifer Mendelsohn was a bit jealous that she didn’t jump on the bandwagon earlier.
    I didn’t go to college. I certainly do not have a journalism degree or a freelance career with a major newspaper, but every week my numbers grow because I am genuine and I am sincere. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I share my successes and my failures. I have made friends and maybe a couple enemies. But, I spend my days purposely not shooting other stars out of the sky because their path may lay a trail I can follow.
    That is how this blogging world works. Just because someone has an idea first doesn’t mean you can’t expand upon it. We are ALL here to help one another out. To give a hand and a link to anyone who can blaze a trail ahead for us to follow. Sometimes we are the trailblazer and sometimes we aren’t.
    But we are in it together and unfortunately Jennifer Mendelsohn seems to have missed that lesson.

  10. I thought the article was pretty balanced. It’s the headline that’s misleading. It’s good to remember that some bored guy on the copydesk probably wrote the headline.

  11. As soon as I saw the title of the article, I cringed. On title alone, it was immediately evident that the article was not going to be fair to mommy bloggers.

    We’re not all in it to become Dooce. Many of us blog simply because we enjoy connecting with other people that we would not otherwise meet. We like relating to others that walk in similar shoes. And we enjoy sharing stories (and even the occasional product) with others that might appreciate it. I don’t ever feel the need to defend what I do or what I write about and this article certainly doesn’t change that for me. I just hope that every other mommy blogger keeps their head up despite the ridicule and lack of support from others, especially from other mom bloggers.


  12. Can anyone at the NYT ever positively critique a trend happening outside the village? I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement of the job that they not like anything.

    Also, I really resent that women STILL have to fight to get paid for what they contribute to the world.

    You know what? I read a lot of blogs. Some of my favorites don’t even have ads. I wish they did, because I want to see them succeed at something at which they very obviously excel.

    Are women not supposed to get paid for their contributions, or are they not supposed to enjoy their work? I’m getting a little confused.

    I’m so glad we have an admitted mom blogger at the NYT judging other mom bloggers. It drives me crazy when mothers become competitive and judgmental about parenting. Let’s keep it out of the blogs. Oi!

  13. You hit the nail on the head. But it wasn’t just self-loathing, it was pure loathing.

    And where did she find in her research that the mommies were neglecting the kids so they could build their brands and spend time online?

    As a blogger who is both a professional freelance writer and a blogging hobbyist/community resource blogger, I found this entire piece unprofessional. There is enough material in mommy blogging to write a piece that had JUST AS MUCH CONTROVERSY, but loads more truth. And snark. And sass.

    Well, at least responses to the article like yours here Jessica G. have that in tons!

  14. Sorry, but I read the article, and I don’t see where they call Mommy Blogging silly. In fact, the article says: “[mommy blogs] have more recently evolved into a cultural force to be reckoned with.”

    Did I miss something? Maybe the title of the piece was a poor choice. The first few paragraphs tried to be funny, but I’m not seeing where the author tears apart bloggers or makes fun of them.

    As a blogger with thousands of daily visitors, I especially liked the part about the conference teaching attendees their demographic reach is valuable, and access shouldn’t be given to PR firms for free. I tire of daily emails from PR firms asking me to pimp a multi-billion dollar corporation for free.

    1. While the art and the headline are certainly derisive, in my opinion, I thought the article was pretty accurate in capturing the culture of moms who blog. (And I hope most people realize that the writer does not contribute the headline or art.)

      I don’t think the piece passes itself off as an all-encompassing look at every type of mother/blogger, just at the overall phenomenon of many, many mothers joining this community. The tone, to me, was indicative of one you might see on a blog, which makes sense, given that the writer is also a blogger.

      I agree with dadshouse: The New York Times calls us a “force to be reckoned with” and writes about one of our conferences on the front of a widely read Sunday section. I think that’s pretty great, actually.

  15. I think the world of Tiffany.

    I am so glad you wrote this— I’ve been trying to write a post for days, but am having trouble not letting my emotions get the best of me. You know, being a dumb girl and all.

  16. What’s really and truly sad about this is it’s a woman tearing other women down. There’s no need for it. She’s a blogger, too. She should understand. I’m not a Mommy, but I’m a 30 year old childless woman who is surrounded everywhere with women who are either younger and single or older with children. I’ve found my niche through my blog. I’ve found other young marrieds with no children. I didn’t think that existed but it did. It’s so much more than “silliness” — it’s a community. This just stinks of jealousy from the writer. It’s like the loner writer of the high school newspaper making fun of the cheerleaders. Newspaper writers are some of the most self-serving, insufferable people I’ve ever met, and I have a degree in journalism so I know lots of people exactly like her.

  17. Im just peeved so little amount of research was done that they called me “one blogger”. I mean, really? NY times DID their own article on me last year about that very subject…she couldnt so much as use my site name?

    That was one link bait POS article meant for nothing but yet another mom blogger smear campaign.

    Lame and unoriginal.

    1. I feel like I’m part of the Brady Bunch … “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” Trisha this is a fine example of why the NYT wrote that article. All YOU can think of is it didn’t link to YOU?
      Perhaps your poor choice of slang using “pos” is a fine example of why they won’t yet again feed a wannabe Mommy Blogger ego.

      Whereas many of us are pointing at that article and saying “You want it like it was 5 years ago, yet you CHOOSE to take the position.”

      Anyone else seeing a big heaping plate of double standards?

      I mean come on, some are annoyed with the article and rightfully so, yet others are literally the pot calling the kettle black!

    2. Trisha you are just “one blogger” and one who is not part of the SITS community. You are “one blogger” in a community just like the rest of us. You should really see what Tiffany and Heather and the 5000+ women of that community can do. What they have done. What they will continue to do!

      Besides, the kettle talking about the pot that is the NYT about a blogger smear campaign is rich…. Pull out some pom poms for once for others (SELFLESSLY) instead of worrying about whether your name was in the smear campaign and getting your linky love. Talk about silliness.

        1. Good God Trisha..why do you even speak? Everyone knows its all about you lol.

          Anyway. We’re just hurting them in their pocketbook. Like any good business that is feeling the pinch.

          1. *cough* why do I even speak ? lol anyway to continue what I was saying before I interrupted myself: Like any good business that is feeling the pinch..they’ll attack. Only we aren’t a competing newspaper. They want to smash our credibility. They can’t really attack “one blogger” but they can attack 5,000 of us. This is how newspapers roll. They’ve done this for centuries. It was in history class y’all.

            In summation, they’re sceeeeeeeered.

  18. I’m with Trisha. This totally seems like link bait for them. Smear mommy bloggers name and get some serious publicity from those very people.

    They need to do a little research and open their eyes before opening their mouth, or word processing software.

    I’m a mommy blogger, and I’m proud. And, I’m pretty sure I don’t just talk about poop all day.

  19. At what point do we as women, writers, consumers, friends, volunteers, contributing members of society and yes MOMS, have the freedom to express oursleves and God forbid build a career and receive respect rather than backlash for that? Has any “reputable” (and with regard to the NYT I use that term generously) traditional media outlet slammed a single daddy blogger? Don’t get me wrong I LOVE daddy blogs. I find them refreshing, funny and insightful. That said, daddy bloggers are also partnering with companies and building their brands. For that they receive kudos for being “brave” or “trailblazers”. Yet the mom who blogs is looked down upon “for allowing a commercial enterprise to masquerade as a social one”. I’d love to hear from the folks who echo this statement, “some find the vast influx of corporate sponsors, freebies and promotions into the blogosphere a bit troubling”. My question to them would be, “Do you not go to your son’s high school football game because Dick’s Sporting Goods sponsored it? Do you skip the Avon Breast Cancer walk because you get free bottles of water from Aquafina? Would you refuse to buy a raffle ticket for your church because Walmart donated prizes?”. Bloggers, be we women, men, mothers or fathers build communities and relationships. We make each other laugh and share the occasional cry. Tiffany and her partner in SITS, Heather have helped families dealing with childhood cancer, supported women in developing countries, reached out to those in need and helped to build a sense of community that we are all lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of should we choose. That said, I think perhaps the NYT used Jessica Mendelson’s naivete about the workings of “traditional” media to lash out like the dying wildebeest on the Savannah would to the younger, faster, more relevant of the herd, the moms who blog, that are quickly taking their place at the front of the pack.

  20. I agree wholeheartedly with so many of your comments about the article. I (a single w/no kids) have learned more about blogging – and social media in general – from mommy bloggers on SITS. I totally respect the mommy bloggers — and can’t wait to meet some of them at a boot camp later this year!

  21. BINGO! You go girl. Well said. You hit the nail on the head….don’t have children and/or jealous. I just don’t get why people are so hateful & mean. Didn’t we learn at the age of 2 to be nice to others? Isn’t that simple principle something you learn as a small child? I only began blogging a few months ago cuz I like to inspire others with my sewing, etc. so I’m really new to all the bloggin’ stuff. Didn’t know it was such an issue with some people. An article in the NYT? Come on! Power to the Mommy Bloggers that you have such a power over these haters who get their feathers all ruffled! ha-ha! I think it’s awesome & YOU ROCK!

  22. This totally seems like link bait for them. Smear mommy bloggers name and get some serious publicity from those very people.

    I would question that. Given their size it is not real likely that they care much about the pageviews from the community. Could be wrong, haven’t run the numbers, but it is unlikely that it was supposed to serve as linkbait.

    I would also ask if anyone really believes that this article is going to have a negative impact upon mommy bloggers. Those who are successful probably won’t take a hit in their pocketbook or traffic.

    And those who aren’t, well you might not ever be and this article isn’t likely to have an impact one way or another.

  23. i love my mommy blog. i hope my kids will love that i documented their young lives. i know i would love if my mother had done the same. the naysayers? can stuff it.

    (and the small change for diapers, etc. DOES help.).

  24. You know, MommyNamedApril, that is an excellent point.

    I was just thinking about that very subject when I was reading The Spohrs Are Multiplying the other day. Heather and Mike documented nearly every day of Maddie’s too-short life, and because of that, they not only have the documented history, but Maddie’s little sister, Annabel, will have it, too. Through Heather’s blog, Annabel will get to know her sister, her parents’ lives, and her own baby years.

  25. i decided to hold off on writing a response post until tomorrow. i had to write about my epiphany first and i figured someone else(you) would do a better job of addressing that ridiculous article than i would.
    i was right.

  26. Well said.

    I am a Mommy Blogger and proud of it. My memory sucks so having a blog helps me remember it all.

    The only thing I’ve gotten for free so far is a pair of glasses. But hey, I’m cool with it because knowing my luck, one of my kids will break my current pair and then I’ll have another (free!) pair waiting for me. Sweet.

  27. I read the NYT article and I’m confused.

    I didn’t get the impression that the author is self-loathing.

    I didn’t get that the author thinks that “mommy bloggers” are silly.

    I didn’t get that the author doesn’t understand conferences; I actually thought she did a good job of explaining them.

    I don’t see where the article is negative. Somebody help this obtuse fool and point it out!!

    1. Like GreenInOC, I’m a little confused; I didn’t think the article slammed mommy bloggers. I just think she was trying to give an overview of mom blogs, from the silly posts we write to the serious causes we support to the issues of branding, SEO, etc.

      I went to the conference in question and sat at the lunch table with the NYT writer. My impression was that she was supportive of moms who blog. Unfortunately, she wasn’t allocated a huge space for her article, so she was forced to briefly touch upon the topics covered at the conference and the conversations she shared with us mom bloggers.

      I’m hesitant to criticize the writer for the title of her article. For all we know, her editor had a hand in writing that.

      I loved Tiffany – she’s smart and funny and really knows her stuff. I’m so glad she felt comfortable to walk in her bare feet towards the end of the day; her lovely demeanor made the conference relaxed and fun and informative. The perfect combination!

    1. Google phone darlin. All my time is family time, but some of us have kids that go to school and then need up to two quiet hours for homework.

      I know I should be doing things like asking my husband what chores to do… but I blog instead. I’m okay with that.

        1. We’re having family time right now. The kids are next to me watching a tutorial on jailbreaking an iPhone touch. As soon as we’ve watched they’ll watch again but we will jailbreak one of theirs at the same time.

          Which is kinda cool.

          Uninterrupted time? Seriously? Do your kids get distracted by the helicopter sounds you make? I just spent 48 hours straight with them. Am I supposed to catalog their breaths?

  28. I think the worst part of the article is that she took SO MUCH out of context. I felt like the author made the day sound stupid/shallow/frivolous/ridiculous/goofy/immature. But I was there. I know what really happened.

    I saw women share ideas generously. I heard women encourage and congratulate each other for their achievements. I benefited from the expertise of professionals (and amateurs!) who have mastered their craft. And I was genuinely touched that strangers were transformed into friends within the course of eight short hours.

    If that’s what Bloggy Boot Camp does, I think we could all use some more of it.

  29. One thing people who bash bloggers of any sort but especially mommy bloggers need to think is: what would they be doing otherwise? Personally, I would be watching tv or reading. I don’t use time online that I wouldn’t use doing something else. I’m not taking away from my kids but probably doing something great for them. I’m networking with women (and sometimes men) who understand me and where I am in my life. Women who are sweet and funny and real and are a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, a comforting word when times are rough. They make you laugh, cry, and look deep inside yourself – just like in-real-life friends. AND, from my experiences, are much more loyal than those off-line.

  30. This is a great post, and you are so right that there is silliness. Just like any stereotype, it is rooted in something. It’s when you use it as a net to capture a whole community that it’s insulting.

    For me, this article was insulting, but it was the pattern that really made me nuts. The New York Times has done far too many derisive, marginalizing articles about mom bloggers. This one, especially being written by a mom blogger, was just the last straw for me.

  31. It really is sad that ladies like this article writer don’t get that moms today are getting “more of a voice” and “more opportunities” because of venues like mom blogs. I am proud to be a mom blogger who gets the best of both worlds, raising my children and making money online so that I can pay the bills.

  32. It’s posts like this that make me love you even more….even if you yell at me from time to time.

    PS – Did I see you were coming to NY for #140? If so, let’s get together so you can yell at me in person….

  33. eh.
    she sounded like a jerk in that article.
    i’m almost sure she’s not that big of a jerk.

    at least i sure hope she’s not.

    if you don’t do it, you don’t get it.

    the end.

    barefoot high five mimosas in sippy cups all around YOU GUYS!

  34. You people are nuts. This article wasn’t unprofessional; moreover, I think it put mommy blogging in a great spotlight and showed just how professional and serious it is. What drug are you all taking?

  35. I always enjoy hearing your take Jessica . The most infuriating point in the article for me was the author equating it to being a passing trend for the in crowd of moms. My blog is very much a resume for me, it’s kept my foot in my profession while being at home with my son so the article insinuating that I am ignoring my child to jump on some trend pisses me off.

  36. I attended boot camp and I’m so thankful for all of the people coming out and defending moms who blog.
    I sat with Jennifer and spoke to her for a LONG time. She took down all of my info…my kids names, my blog, the fundraisers i do on my blog (the amount raised, etc) and used NONE of it.
    She had in her hands proof from me that my blog is used to raise money for pediatric cancer research (with SO much help from SITS) and yet, she went where she did….

    It makes me wonder how far her lame newspaper forced her into the direction her article took? they are, after all, a FAILING newspaper with a limited audience that is growing smaller and smaller with many thanks to bloggers.
    I think the NY Times has greatly underestimated what happens when they mess with moms…

  37. Awesome response! I feel, as I said on the Mom101 post as well, that it’s the last gasp of the print media as it’s dying on the vine to poke and jab at the online world. They can’t help themselves. But it’s crap they’re writing about us — and in real life as well.

  38. The beauty of being a woman is the amazing ability we have to multi-task. The thing that makes me mad about this article is the insinuation that we don’t do it well.

  39. I’ve known Tiffany for 6 years. She introduced me to my husband. If she said jump, I’d go out and buy a damn pogo stick. And what she does for bloggers, for women who support one another? Is nothing short of amazing.

    The NY Times article doesn’t deserve this much attention or energy. But the wonderful women who populate the internet community do. I don’t know where I’d be without them.

  40. Great article. I am in phone sales at my day job (no…not a “telemarketer”) but I run into the same issue. People are quick to pigeon hole you and lump you in with the handful of bad apples that are out there. True professional Mom Bloggers are an elite group. Together we are a positive Power of Mommy.

  41. Count me confused.

    The title was awful…a few years ago it would have read “Honey, don’t bother mommy I am busy telling the world about how you pee the bed”

    The article? How was it awful?

    Was it not factual?

    The author seemed to be using the same “tone” that bloggers use…her mention of the barefoot speaker didn’t seem snarky to me, more that it showed how casual and comfortable this conference was…the mimosa in bright plastic cups, was that not true?…it didnt come across (to me) judgemental at all…more to point out that the attending mom’s were happy to be able to get some time away and enjoy a drink and learn a thing or two.

    I do not understand the knee-jerk response to this article, I just don’t.

    Blogging IS changing. Ten years ago, when I first blogged, it was anonymous and fast-paced and I said what I wanted. Three years ago the mommy-blogger phenomenon was in full-swing and people who didn’t “get it” were complaining about “those poor kids..their privacy…how DARE she say those things” and women were out there SAYING things. It was about darn time!


    Now, a considerable amount of blogs that I come across through SITS or Wordless Wednesday or by browsing through the commenters on my fave mommy bloggers sites are all about the product reviews…the giveaways…the ads ads ads….and there is nothing wrong with that but it isn’t about the writing anymore for a lot of bloggers and even some of the “old faithfuls” have honestly toned down their posts now that they have sponsers to worry about.

    Once blogging becomes your JOB…and your family’s income comes (partially or fully) from it…you have to dedicate the time to it…build it just like any business.
    It really IS becoming more about “branding” and marketing…and the conferences are teaching that, are they not?

    However you still have choices on what kind of blogger you want to be..and the BloggyBootcamp sounds like it was about the business side.

    Blogging IS changing..especially the mommy-blogger genre…and I think that this author did a fair job reporting on ONE conference and it was to point out that Moms are now taking what used to be considered a “oh isnt that cute, your mommy BLOGS” to “oh yeah, well Mommy is paying the light bill with this blog, how ya like me now?”

    I say more power to each blogger out there. Don’t let one article get you so riled up that it takes the focus away from what you love. Just keep rocking the path you choose.


    1. I have to agree. The comments about the tutu and sippy cups were a little snarky, but the writer admitted she herself was a blogger:

      “(Disclosure: My own blog, in which I write about everything from “American Idol” to my love of Alpha-Bits, was once included on a list of the Top 50 “lesser-known mom bloggers.”)”

      As a former journalist, I feel the need to remind everyone that newspapers are dying rather quickly and many of them are employing people to write blogs to connect more with the readers. There is a bit of resentment towards “mommy bloggers,” especially super-successful ones like Pioneer Woman. Newspapers could have gotten on the bandwagon much sooner, but they refused to take blogging seriously for years.

      Don’t let this stop the great blogging going on–just keep going and enjoy what you do. I have to admit I agree that it needs to be more about the writing and less about the giveaways.

  42. When I first read that NYT article, I thought “this must have been written by a man.”

    Regardless, the least she could have done is linked back to SITS and/or Heather & Tiffany’s blogs. Bad journalism as far as I’m concerned.

  43. I have read all of the comments from the sits site & the support speaks for itself. I’m new to blogging but what an amazing support system it creates. You know her comment box HAS to be blowing up right now …with hate mail. There are too many of us out there that love to comment! No worries!

  44. This was extremely well written. I, too, was aphauled with the article & the thought that this fellow mom blogger wrote like such a hypocrite. Have you visited her blog? It’s nothing close to extrordinary. In fact, it’s quite ordinary. Like most of us mom bloggers…who enjoy writing about the things important to us…who enjoy posting pictures of our children….who enjoy sharing tips with moms alike. Shame on the NY Times for thinking this was newsworthy.

  45. Nobody puts Tiffany in a corner. She does far too much good in the blogosphere…and in her everyday life…for that. Thanks for this, Jessica.

    Our community admittedly has its faults. However, it renews my faith in what we do when we can stand together when one of our own is thrown under the bus.

  46. Stopping by from SITS — Interesting post — The truth is, by selling your blog as being about your life as a mom, you are a mom blogger… the hard part is making the rest of the world a. interested in what you have to say and b. understand that “mom blogger” can mean a lot of different things

  47. This is why I like to say that I’m a momME blogger; because my blog is about ME. And yes, I do have kids and I do write about them, but that is because they are a part of my life, the best part.

  48.! I think you are giving a perfectly balanced perspective on this article. And I love that everyone is being dismissive of this lady rather than being angry and vindictive to her. I think that would be totally the wrong direction to go, as we’ve learned from the last several Twitter firestorms. I think being cooly dismissive is a much more appropriate response. Good for you!

    I was in the group at SITScation so I know first-hand what fabulous people Tiff and Heather are and all of the good things they try to do for us, so I think it’s wonderful that so many of us are jumping up to defend them. I’d write a post to, but I couldn’t possibly put together anything to top what you’ve got here.

  49. I am a mommy blogger, though I don’t bill myself as one. I have children and I blog, but I blog about a little of everything. I would have loved to attended the conference, however it is not in my budget at this time. There are many things I’d like to accomplish through blogging, and building my brand is one of them. I can only say THANK YOU to Tiffany and Heather for the wonderful opportunities SITS provides in my effort to ‘break out’ if you will.

  50. As a fairly new blogger, I have found that SITS has helped tremendously, not in my goal of generating money but finding people who share similar interests and them to find me. No matter what a parent does, she is judged so I am going to ignore this author’s comments and remember that I know best. Other mommy bloggers should remember this as well.


  51. Thanks for this Jessica. You’re right. Tiffany puts on an amazing conference. SHe knows what she’s talking about and I gleaned more from SITS in Vegas than any other conference I attended last year. Besides that… I got my second set of pictures with you! *teehee*

    When Tiffany asked me to speak to Mompreneurs at the Phoenix stop… I was beyond honored. I think I sqee’d and tweeted that I was peeing my pants in excitement. I’m sorting out what I’d like to say now.

    If the NY Times wants to stop by my session… by all means… come on by. I’ve learned from the best (including you, Jessica Gottlieb, Allison Worthington of Blissfully Domestic, Tiffany Romero of SITS, Gabrielle Blair of Kirtsy and more) and now I’m ready to pass on some of that knowledge to others.

    So thank you for speaking out and writing about this much more eloquently that I could have. Perhaps that should be the next #bloggybootcamp session I should attend.

  52. Great response. I went “huh?” when I got to the part where she is blogger to. Lol…sigh. This is why we have SITS in the first place. Negative Nancys abound. I have been with SITS for two years now and I have never regretted it. Food bloggers get the same I’m hit from both sides. Times are changing..changing times.

  53. You hit the nail on the head! Tiffany rocks and does so much for those of us who are apparently neglecting our children in exchange for free BBQ sauce ;) I attended Sitscation in Vegas and went to Bloggy Boot Camp because anything that Tiffany plans is put together with professionalism, attention to detail and opportunities for genuine networking and learning. Thanks for standing up for my friend!

  54. The mommy blogging community is just that, it’s a community. I don’t see it as something that’s about business or income. I see it as a -community- of women and mothers who support each other. That support is priceless and is a needed part of the lives of women everywhere.

  55. I don’t know why it has to be made to seem silly. Like it’s less important that we as mothers get together and learn a little. Has there not been numerous articles written over the years about how mothers need to take care of themselves or they will have nothing left for the kids. Well, blogging is “me” time. It’s hard to fit much in but that I can and… I learn from other’s experiences. That’s not a bad or even silly thing.

  56. The article was clearly written with an agenda and a bit of resentment.

    Blogging, mommy or otherwise, is different things to different people. At least we’re occupying ourselves with creative pursuits. Where is the harm in that?

  57. Very nicely put. The title was completely ridiculous. Although I didn’t attend the conference, and I don’t have children, SITS is a great group, and I really appreciate all my SITStas.

  58. Hard to fathom what Jennifer’s gripe is. It’s just sad and painful when women attack women. Her smug tone and condescending attitude was so mean spiritied. Doesn’t she get it that that kind of negativity is what’s wrong with the world? Jennifer, it’s not about who’s better or smarter it’s about who’s trying . Afterall, we’re all in this together like it or not!

  59. I have heard about this article from the Times, but I refuse to read it. I know it’s just going to get my panties all in a bunch. I really don’t get the concept though. That all mommy bloggers are in it for the money, and aren’t paying attention to their kids? Gimme a break. We’re all very different women, and we’re in the blogging game for different reasons. Personally? I’m just having fun. I put a couple ads up to see if I could make some extra scratch, but I am certainly not ignoring my son in the hopes of achieving some kind of powerful “brand” awareness. And if we ARE building a successful site, WHY THE FUCK IS THAT A NEGATIVE THING? We want women to be able to be successful professionally but also be mothers, but then when a mother is successful we get all catty about it? Come on ladies, we’re better than that, it’s not high school anymore.

  60. I’m deeply troubled. Is this how we mom bloggers treat one of our own? No doubt, it’s not a surprise that people will read the same article and come away with different reactions, but it’s my hope that even when we disagree, we can still treat each other with respect and kindness. Have any of us reached out to the author of the article? Have we gently asked her about how her words were edited? Are we treating her the same way we’d like to be treated, if roles were reversed?

  61. I have fought back and forth on what to say but I had to tell Tiffany first exactly how much I adore and love the work she does. She and Heather are an intricate part of our community and give selflessly at all times. To portray a conference as if moms don’t leave the house except to fetch groceries and the gnomes from school is ludicrous. Portraying Tiffany in an even darker light was a LOW BLOW. The grace, eloquence, class and style that she carries is what allowed her to feel so comfortable to take her shoes off to “work” in a room of partial strangers, who also thought nothing of it (except for said reporter).

    Yes we have our “silliness” if we can go as far as to say that, what clique, niche, part of life does not have silliness. However, to belittle, berate, and portray brilliant women in an unflattering light does nothing but make you look like a douche. I can see how the article may portray a “sub-culture” if you will that is “mommy blogging” but really what does it matter? Unless of course the “sub-culture” of supposed real journalists feel a tad threatened by the fact that moms can have MBA’s, PhD’s, wipe asses, blog, make the bacon, fry it up and still get, send, and receive the latest news and trends before them. Sorry I digress.

    I am ever so proud to be part of a SITSahood of bloggers 5000+ strong.

  62. Thank you Jessica.

    I’m a mommy. I’m a mommy of 20-somethings girls. I’m a grandmommy. I would have given my eye teeth when my kids were little for the opportunity to connect with other women from home – work from home – maybe make a little money for the “extras” since my DH worked 2 jobs. But the internet wasn’t invented then.

    Blogging has given me another avenue to “build my resume” … so when I retire I can work from home, enjoy the grandkids, and be a Granny Nanny.

    Sounds like Network from 1976 … to me.

  63. i agree- no need to take offense when it is so completely wrong. mommy bloggers are the best and they are adding to their family lifestyle not taking away from it.

  64. Go points and well written. My husband, after reading the article, asked if the journalist even knew what the entire blog world was about. It seemed to us that she was writing from a limited point of view and failed to actually research with this entire “world” is about.

  65. Wonderfully well written. I had just gotten over my steam from the rude Colorado Pen guy, and this just gets me fired up again. I guess because until recently I have never gotten any poor attitudes about it. I have only been doing this since August. Not only has my family gotten perks from it, but I have had worlds of writing opened up for me.

  66. Oh good grief. Someone wrote a condescending, insulting article. But for the amount of ink we’re giving it, you’d think somone re-crucified the Lord.

    This is Not That Important. I realize that we’ve all worked ourselves into a fine frenzy over it, but it’s not. And shouldn’t we all just stop sending people over to read the freaking article? Do you all realize how many extra hits, and therefore, how much extra REVENUE, you’re giving the Times today?

  67. I’m grateful to Heather and Tiffany and the whole SITS community. My blog is a little insignificant thing I do. I’ve never made a penny off of it. I don’t spend a lot of time doing it. I spend more time hanging out on SITS and supporting a community of women. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Support? Apparently the writer from the NY Times just doesn’t get it.

    Cheers :-)
    – CoconutPalmDesigns

  68. Excellent response. What annoyed me was not just the title and tone of the piece, but some of the comments left behind by people who patently don’t read so-called mommy blogs or are not even parents.

    I found myself registering just so I could leave a comment. I guess in a sense NYT got what they wanted – they’ve stirred up a hornet’s nest and lots of traffic from the very people they’re pointing fingers and laughing at. It’s the oldest trick in the J-book. Hopefully some of the more cogent and relevant writing from mothers who blog will find an equally influential forum.

  69. There’s so much conversation on this article and I’m glad about that. I’m infuriated, as well — especially about the title. The thing that the MSM will never really get (until we as women control it) is that even when we become mothers (!) we have ambitions to help our families, create supportive communities and still believe we can be taken seriously! I only half jokingly talk about my desire for world domination. Until we have more women running the media and corporations, portrayals of women and mothers aren’t going to change.

  70. You are so right, even if you don’t make a lot of money with your blog, “your blog can serve as a resume.” As a writer, it’s such a great thing to have.

    As someone else pointed out, the title of the article was written to infuriate and start this discussion. Entirely possible. Same with the obnoxious graphic for the article. If nothing else, my response to the article on my blog serves as another example of my writing, and I discovered many more great blogging moms after reading a lot of the articles and comments :)

    Dagmar’s momsense

  71. I think some of these paid journalists get their nose out of joint with mom blogs because we must threaten them a bit. Why else would they have the need to knock us? The difference is people go to our blogs because they enjoy reading them, not because they happen to be in print with a lot of other things. For a lot of us, writing is a natural talent and it’s nice to find friends in the blogosphere that we have things in common with. We can be true to ourselves in our blogs, not at the hand of an editor telling us what we can and can’t say. Blog on, Baby!

  72. I read the article and I believe that Jennifer was not attacking mommy blogs. You are reacting to the title and the picture which were provided by NY Times. She was making commentary on the phenomena of mommy blogs and the growing necessity to brand yourselves. Your readers complain about women attacking other women, but are they not doing the same to her. This virile attack on her needs to stop.

    Think about where the idea of professionalizing motherhood is coming from. We have such high expectations that we receive from the media and from each other and mommy blogs sometimes perpetuate this insane competition, and the branding of motherhood is buying into the capitalism regime and colonizing motherhood as a political and economic venture.

    Whatever happened to being a mom and raising good kids with common sense without condemning other women. I have seen the “mommy war” mommy blogs, and they are brutal. Horizontal violence will not solve the problems that mothers are facing such as lower wages than their counterparts, lower respect, and perceived incompetence in the workplace. We are also paying e cost for leaving the market place to raise children and suffer a motherhood wage penalty while our male partners are experiencing fatherhood rewards.

    Am I against mommy blogging? Absolutely not! I believe that it is a powerful outlet for women that helps with social networking and builds community. I just want to put some perspective on the situation.

  73. I think, perhaps, for those who are wondering why this not wholly inaccurate, had some good points, article is rankling it has to do with the fact that this is the tone ALMOST EVERY mainstream article about moms who blog has taken. Would they speak this way of male bloggers? If you see a conference with a little squeeing and a lot of serious and uplifting work being done, is it factual to lead with the squeeing? But is it accurate and truthful? Picking and choosing one’s examples and crafting a tone to match a stereotype is not worthy of these papers of record. Or at least, it shouldn’t be.

    There is *nothing* wrong with tutus–I have fun crafting and I represent several of those thousands of hits on that tutorial. But that example was chosen out of many, and presented in such a way, to imply that the things moms do are frivolous. And that they are taking away from the raising of children and keeping of house.

    At what point will the WaPo or the NYTimes bust out the article about the women who have built a valuable business, saved lives, created social change, etc. with their blogs?

    How about, “Come Here, Sweetheart, and See What Mommy is Doing–We’re Changing the World!”

  74. Jessica, You aren’t terribly bright. You clearly did “get” Jen Mendelson’s NYT piece. Grow up and leave Jennifer alone. You are obviously so caught up in your narcisstic world of Mommy blogging that you weren’t able to discern Jennifer’s lighthearted look at a new and interesting cultural trend.

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