On the Lighter Side of Parenting: Sharing the (Blog) Love

Yesterday, I got a lovely email from a fellow blogger I recently “met,” named Jennifer Carsen, who writes the blog Mommy Tries. She told me she’d given me a shout out in her blog, and in a sort of good-side-of-the-chain-letter way, I want to give back. Writing, mothering — both are, at many times, lonely pursuits. Knowing others are out there doing the same sort of things is an enormous help: the 2000s version of “mother’s little helper.”

Plus I just love Jennifer’s blog’s tagline: “Bringing you good-enough parenting since 2010.”

So, the deal is that another blogger of Jennifer’s acquaintance named her a “Stylish Blogger,” and set out some rules for accepting the award. Here’s what I have to do, to accept the same award from Jennifer:

  • Write this post and link back to the person who gave the award to me. Done. I’ve really enjoyed reading Mommy Tries since I found her (which happened when I noticed that some of my readers were clicking over from her site — sweet!).
  • Share 7 things about myself. See below.
  • Award (and notify) 5 great bloggers. See below.

So. Seven random things about me.

  1. I’m one of those offspring who got a pretty evenly split gene dump from each parent, and the older I get, the more I see this phenomenon expressing itself. I am my mother. I am my father. I parent like my mom, I have her bunions (thanks, Mom!), her obstinacy, and her fierce child-love that is often, and sadly, misunderstood as plain meanness. I parent like my dad, I have his ruddy skin (thanks, Dad!), and his intelligence as well as his impatience.
  2. I have a varsity letter from high school in … badminton. Go ahead, laugh. Like Sue Heck from the TV show The Middle, I joined the sport that didn’t have tryouts or cuts. My friend Janet and I played fifth doubles. And we loved it. So there.
  3. I never wanted to be anything other than a writer, never. But, it took me until late in my junior year of college to realize I could make a living as something other than a novelist or a poet (which I smartly enough figured out I probably couldn’t support myself doing). Seriously, I was 20 years old before I realized that someone out there has to actually write the stuff in magazines, and hey! I could do that!
  4. I am addicted to HGTV and the Real Estate section of the New York Times Sunday paper. In my life, excluding my parents’ home and my college dorms, I’ve lived in … wait, let me count … 7 apartments and two houses. And I can’t get enough of the idea that the next, better house (whether that’s my own, but magically improved by Mike Holmes of Holmes on Homes on HGTV, or a new one that meets my ever evolving needs) is around the corner. Maybe literally!
  5. I often have a giant bowl of hot buttered popcorn for lunch. Sue me.
  6. I’m cheap. Like, seriously cheap. This whole “green” thing suits me down to the ground, because to be green means to save, right? I wash Ziploc bags, for heaven’s sake. I use gift bags for presents, but I’ve only actually bought two or three gift bags in my life.
  7. I’ll probably never get over not having a daughter. My sons are my soul (Daniel) and my heart (James). But my girl? She’s just missing.

OK, now the other bloggers I’ve been loving, either just lately or for a good while now:

  • Debbie Koenig of Words to Eat By. I love reading food blogs; if I were to add an eighth “thing” about me, it would be that I love to read recipes. The ratio of recipes I read to recipes I end up cooking is about 10 to 1. But Debbie’s ideas and recipes are perfect for families where the kids gotta eat, and parents aren’t interested in chicken nuggets. (And she’s got a book coming out!)
  • Jennifer Lawler, a writer, author and mother who is an inspiration to me. She blogs about writing and about her daughter, Jessica, at Finding Your Voice. I’d say she’s found hers.
  • Christina Frank of Living in Splittsville. Christina’s blog is about a midlife makeover post-divorce. She funny, insightful, and last week we both were deeply touched by the same Derek Walcott poem, “Love After Love.” She’s a seeker, and I love that.
  • Lisa Bonchek Adams, whose blog is “writings on breast cancer, grief & loss, life, and family.” Yeah, all good stuff, right? But she’s honest, funny, and a wonderful writer.
  • Meagan Francis, of The Happiest Mom. Meagan’s one of my longtime writer-buddies, and she never, ever ceases to amaze and inspire me. Practical, relaxed and smart as a parent (of five kids!), she’s an endless font of ideas and action. Go read her blog and just try to come away without a new idea or a fresh perspective.
  • And Jen Singer, the Mama Blogger of all mom bloggers I know, whose Momma Said is the “back fence” of the Internet. Because she was funny and keepin’ it real before that became a catch phrase.

And yes, I know that’s more than five. As I said above, sue me.