Ten years ago when I had a 4 and a 2-year-old running around the house, I read a small item in a magazine about a new thing called “mom blogs” where women complained about their husbands and shared about their kids. And I thought I can do this. This is what the AJC needs.
So I researched the mom demographic in the Atlanta area, wrote down more than 30 ideas for blogs and wrote three test columns and then submitted them to the then head of digital for the AJC. He called within minutes and said you need to come down here. Let’s talk about this.
They matched me up with a senior editor to develop the content, and Amy Glennon, now publisher, then head of the Gwinnett section, agreed to run a weekly parenting column. By October we were up and running online and in print.
It was all experimental then. Google wasn’t a verb and we had no idea how much trolls would affect the conversation. We just wanted to share and interact with other parents in Atlanta.
I was stunned by the reactions from the column and blog. I was stopped in grocery stores, restaurants and playgrounds. I was even stopped by a nurse when I was trying to check my brother into a hospital for heart failure.
They would always say, “You’re that lady.” (A photo ran with the column and the blog and my big hair often gave me away.)
I would try to figure out if they were going to yell or be nice to me. I would say, “Well, do you like that lady?”
Most of the time they did “like that lady” and just wanted to share about rearing their own kids. I often heard potty training and breastfeeding stories from white-haired ladies while shopping for produce at the Publix.
Since the start of the blog, we’ve added a whole new person to our family and moved three times to two different states.
I won’t miss being insulted and judged by readers, but I will miss having a community to bounce something off of and get a consensus.
From writing the blog, I have truly learned not to judge. I just don’t judge other parents. I have no idea what they’re dealing with. I have no idea what’s going on at home. You have to be doing something pretty outrageous or awful for me to even look twice at you.
After repeated beatings over the head by our community, I do understand now that I have some control issues, which I have really tried to work on.
I also understand that I am lucky. I do appreciate that a lot of my worries and problems are small potatoes and we are blessed not to have bigger problems.
I haven’t shared everything that our family has gone through but I have shared a lot of it. I hope that other families have been informed, entertained and mostly just didn’t feel alone.
I will miss our regulars – many of whom I chat with off line via email and on Facebook. Jessie’s Girl, Mother Jane Goose, FCM, Catlady, DB, HB, ABC, and even Shaggy always helped boost our conversation and rein people in when things got out of hand.
With three kids in school (now ages 13, 11 and 7), I am excited about new projects and new opportunities especially being so close now to New York City. We will see where the new path leads.
I am glad you stayed with me for almost a decade, and I hope you enjoyed the time as much as I did.