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February 19, 2010


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I was going to comment during the panel when we ran out of time.

Clearly, you (or we, or whatever) "bad" mothers clearly love our children so deeply that we spend hours each day documenting their childhoods.

I read blogs because I think they are honest & I can trust them - I build a relationship with the blog. If I find that relationship questionable, I stop reading the blog. I like the blogs that tell true stories, that make me feel okay when I lose my patience with my toddler. I do not like blogs that do all the cheesy theme stuff all the time, so I do not follow them.

I do often make buying decisions off of things that resonate with me - whether through advertisements or blogs or however I heard about it. (Example, 30 day shred dvd) And what resonates is this honesty about motherhood. Don't know if that helps this conversation or not - but that's my two cents.

I think moms has the most difficult job in the world. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, dropping and picking up the kids from school, shopping and her day is not even half done. I wish people would understand how much they do and cut them some slack.

I have money. I spend money. I read ads. I understand the marketing. I sometimes associate my purchases and decisions based on marketing and ads that are sent or appeal.

I love "bad-ass" moms who know how to take names.

I'm confused. You told me (it was several months ago) that you didn't want to have ads (which I assumed included promotions) on this blog. Has that changed? Or are you addressing this issue for other folks who want to try and make money from their blogs with profanity?

Either way, I can understand a brand's hesitance to associate itself with potty mouths--they're probably afraid someone will google "tide" or "motrin" and something will come up about one of those pillows you like to use for sex.

Still, the folks who are more honest and raw often have more readers, which means more eyes on any recommendations for their products. So, the withholding promoters lose.

I wish marketers would do their research with real moms. Moms across all economic and cultural groups. Motherhood isn't all unicorns and rainbows. Mothers are more likely to buy a product if they can relate to the pitch being set forth to them. June Cleaver and the impossible standard she set that mothers are often compared to is not who most of us relate to.

And when you pitch bloggers, READ THE BLOG before you pitch. If I have 2 boys and no babies and I'm not pregnant, don't pitch me baby or girl stuff. I'll just delete your e-mail.

For me, as a mom, a blogger, a writer (I can call myself that right) and a consumer, I find the women that the marketers seem to like cozying up to be less than appealing. The people I pay attention to are the ones that are brutally honest (because it is what I aspire to be), that curse like sailors (because I do), and that don't fit in to the mommy mold (because I don't).

I like sappy, I like sweet, but there is more to life than that. I have yet to see a marketer that gets what it is really like to live in my shoes, despite there being lot of other moms out there with lives like mine.

Maybe we're all just ahead of our time. If that is the case, they need to catch up.

Ohhh, I get it! Is that why I don't get PR pitches even though I've built up a solid readership and have been at it for almost a year? Because I say fuck? A lot? And good moms don't curse ever, right? And even though my children don't watch tv or eat sweets (often) and they say please and thank you as if they wrote the code of chivalry, they must be bad mom spawn. right? right?!! Jeez. Does no one in marketing understand the power of authenticity?

Between Nike forgiving Tiger and Extreme Home Makeover continuing with a no-contest from Ty Pennington on DUI, you'd think moms could get off with the odd f-bomb or truth, but this is marketing. It's about the all-mighty dollar and that kind of thing is slow to change. I like your voice though and believe in some new level of transparency.

Ah yes. How about a big F-you to the easily offended?! :o) The thing about motherhood, or parenting in general is that there is no perfect. It's striving more to be perfectly IMPERFECT. The image, the rules, the activities, the meals - none of that will likely make or break the day. The only thing about parenting that needs to be perfect is the love. And it always is, even when you lose your shit. You don't love your children any less. You don't want the best for them any less. We are in the trenches here...and somedays, it's survival mode. And there are occasions when you just have to throw in a few curse words to accurately portray what you're feeling in the moment. And finding the humor in those R-rated-rant-inducing moments, is what keeps us all sane. (moderately) I always laugh after a particular "vivid" blog when I lose a fan or follower. It's like, "too far, huh?!" Keep on keeping on! We need each other!!!

Before becoming a SAHM, I worked in marketing (although never in a position to make commercials or national print ads) and I think most advertisers are just trying to show an ideal world. Just like most models are skinny and beautiful, even when the average woman doesn't look the way they do.

These ad are probably often created by parents, parents who don't fall into the standard "good mother" category, but instead, are trying to portray what they think most mothers want to be.

Personally, there is a part of me that wishes I too could be this "good" mother. Instead of losing my mind when my daughter is whining for the 100th time today, or when I'm tired of meeting the constant demands of a toddler and just want to be alone. I love reading all the blogs that give an honest look at motherhood. But do I want to see it in an ad and would it make me want to buy that product? I'm not sure.

I think advertisers like to still use the perfect mom/family image to make us feel guilty and that if we use the product shown, things can be better in all areas of my life. Which is just a total crock of crap. A laundry detergent or a peanut butter does NOT make my life better. It just gets a job done and that is how advertisers should focus on it. Yes, I am a bad mom. I love my kids and I let them be them within some societal and religious rules. If it means that they are sliding down my stairs in a plastic sled(only until caught) or I let them "cook" with cupcakes, splenda and chocolate sauce. If it means I am not dressed in the latest designer duds and usually am wearing jeans, a sweatshirt and converses. If it means that I let them dress mismatched or play on the computer for an hour while I try to get rid of a migraine, that is my real life. I'm no where near perfect and I write about the bad and the good because that is who I am as a mom. And I am ok with that because they are loved and cared for and have only a little material for a shrink when they get older. And in real life, I swear worse than a truck driver when I am angry, just not on my blog since my family, boss and daughter's Girl Scout leader all read it.

the first ten years of my life as a mother i was intimidated by the perfect moms feeling like i could never up and what the hell was i doing taking on this role of being a mother to my poor innocent child(ren). i was particularly intimidated and at the same time worshiping from a far and trying to model the "perfect" mom in my circle of mom friends. this mom had it going on. eveything in her family's lives, in her homes, in the PTA, in our church, mommy groups turned to gold. seriously, every mom who knew her aspired to be just like her.
then, while i was expecting baby #4, it was discovered that the mommy-goddess we all worshiped was not who she proclaimed to be. so much of her world came tumbling down around her when her torrid, years-long affair with the husband of her best friend was revealed. you can imagine, the fall-out as she was shunned and pretty much kicked out of any mommy-family related activities, events and clubs because she was such a "trampy woman".
i came to realize that i was nothing like her...definitely nothing like her, nor would i ever be, nor would i ever want to be. her family, her home, her marriage, her children and she were not as perfect as she represented them or as i imagined them to be. i stopped worrying then about whether or not if i measure up to the perfect, good mommy role. i never will. i'm glad that i don't because frankly, i am afraid of heights.
in my blogging, while i have worked on finding my own voice, my own brand, i have resolved to keep myself real. i share my good moments and my not so good moments and my major fuck-ups too...like the time i busted my 18 year old's computer...i really busted it. the only good that came from that one was she got a new computer and that particular brand got a free mention from me. the really great thing about trying to be as real and as authentic as possible is other moms have encouraged me...how novel! moms supporting and encouraging other moms for being real.

Before I got pregnant, I had these ideas about how everything should go: pregnancy, labor, mothering a newborn, raising a toddler, etc. Then I actually went through it all. Now I sing this tune: Do what you have to do. And don't feel guilty about it.

Motherhood is tough. And if you deal better by hashing through it on your blog, letting your kid watch too much television, ordering pizza every night, or whatever else another mother says is "wrong," well ... they're not raising your kids in your house with your support network (or lack thereof). Do what you have to do. And don't feel guilty about it.

I'm reminded of that mom in the ancient Jiff commercial who spreads peanut butter into a heart shape on her son's white bread. White bread? No! Peanut butter, but what about allergies? Heart shapes for boys? No! See, no marketer can market to everybody. And when companies pick the cookie-cutter, white-bread mom (pun intended) to feature, they're doing us all a disservice.

Hm, not to go all post-modern, but can we say there is a single accurate picture of what modern mom looks like? I think the problem is that we mothers come in all shapes and sizes - some of us SAH, some of us WAH, some of us work outside the home, some of us part-time, some of us more than full time...and that's just our work life! Once you get to things like parenting styles, sex lives, partners, and vocabulary, it gets even more complex.

What I like reading is people *trying*. Honestly giving it a go, and doing well a good per centage of the time. But no one wants to watch/read anything that's all puppies and rainbows, so the hard times and bad times and times when we lose our shit and there's no one to blame but us? That just seasons the recipe. But too much of that and you've just got an over-seasoned unpalatable dish.

So there's no one picture, but there is 'real' and 'not-real', 'trying' and 'not trying'.

I would say that we probably parent very differently. What I like about your blog is that it shows me how narrow my comfort limits are and how much more there is out there. When I lose it I feel horrible, and out there I read about other moms who are willing to fess up and admit that they've done things wrong too. I enjoy reading your point of view and companies that are scared off are just missing an opportunity.

Interesting topic. I'm pretty new to blogging, and I like that there are all kinds of mom blogs out there. I tend to appreciate the gritty ones that are authentic, but I don't know that these are of the "bad mom" variety.

I'm pretty sure I could be considered a bad mom by some. I do curse on my blog and I just posted a ridiculous video of me and my best friends doing a choreographed aerobics dance. And, yes we had been drinking, but trust me, we do that kind of stuff sober.

We all have good and bad mothering traits. My worst moments are when I'm tired or hungry and snap at the kids for -gasp- actually doing something wrong. The fact that in my blog, I say real curse words and talk about grown-up topics has nothing to do with my skills as a mother. After all, the blog is not FOR children; it's for their mothers. That kind of complexity is understood on blogs like motherhood uncensored, and it's too complex for most marketing companies to grasp.

Read amalah today. She wrote a great post about this very topic.

I feel like I lose my shit all the time. Whether or not people discredit my ability to parent for it? I don't know. I suspect that my readership is comprised of people who are on edge as frequently as I am (and I know I'm not the only person out there who stoops to using sarcasm with a 3-year-old). The smiling chipper mommies probably don't read my blog.

CRAZY...I feel exactly the same way! And I started a blog for almost the exact same reason! So that I could find other people that feel like I do so I would feel better and to make those mom's that feel bad...laugh! I hope I'm achieving my goal!

This is something I wrote about this very thing...


I do believe an inaccurate view of Moms is perpetuated, particularly by other Moms. I aim to be open and honest about my life, family and motherhood and have often been censored. My husband and I both work full-time and attempt to share the care and upbringing of our child accordingly. Sometimes the balance shifts a little too much onto my shoulders. If I complain to other moms, I get reminded that I should be thankful my husband does any housework at all and instead focus on all the contributions he makes instead of the slips. They're missing the point. I want to let off some steam without fighting with my very much appreciated husband. My biggest mistake was attempting to left off that steam with other moms.

A long way to it, but I do have a point. Companies aren't going to take risks on 'edgy' moms until moms are ready to accept the grittier side of each others lives. There seems to be a desire to only talk about the fluffy happy cuddly parts amongst ourselves. Anything more leads to introspection and discontent which only seems to add to the already overwhelming job we do everyday. Why would a company want to associate with that?

This is so far out of my league that I feel funny even commenting, but I will - because I'm a regular mom. So I'll answer this from the other side of the equation.

Don't try to make me cry, don't be maudlin, don't pretend to know what I want or need. Hell - don't even try to be funny. Be genuine. Be authentic. And if there's no one on your staff who's able to do that, who's able to reach out to the right people and make the right partnerships, maybe it's time to look at your hiring practices. There's a damn good chance all those people who are trying to reach moms are men.

Try hiring (and, gasp! promoting) a few moms.

I think people mean very different things when they say "bad mother". In fact, I named 10 different types of "bad mothers" on my blog, but concluded I would only call one of those types bad.


With regards to marketers, I would get them to tell mothers' stories, rather than trying to make up a mother's story. Their attempts to make up mom stories and mom characters just seem to go wrong. Find a real mom and a real story that is a fit with what you are doing and selling and that will make for a more compelling pitch to other moms.

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