Saturday 19 November 2011

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I'm a WHAT Kind of Blogger?

There's some things that nobody told me (and I didn't bother to research) when I started writing this blog. Nobody told me that the actual "writing" wouldn't be the hardest part. For a guy coming in with zero knowledge of HTML (and after a while it gets embarrassing asking your kids to explain it to you again) it never occurred to me that things would go wrong with the website. The hours spent trying to get things running the way I want have far exceeded the actual time I get to spend putting posts together.

Ummm, baby...Can you help me with my HTML now?
It also wasn't pointed out to me that the world wouldn't beat a path to my site. I had a vision of everybody waking up in the morning and Googling "What did Steve say today" to make sure that they didn't miss out on my latest brilliant train of thought. (Ironically, I now know that "What did Steve say today" wouldn't get them to my website, even if they did Google it.)

Most importantly though, nobody told me what happens when you decide to write about your kids. Oh they told me not to give out too much information about my kids. They also told me that, on occasion, my kids would take exception to what I wrote, and it would be the cause of some friction. They were right, but neither of those have been a major issue. No, it was something far more important that they forgot to point out:

They didn't tell me I'd be writing in the realm of the Mommy blogger.

How did I discover this alarming bit of news? Well the first hint came the other day when, during a link exchange, I got a comment from a new visitor on one of my posts. As I always do, I followed the link back to her site to take a look around, and hopefully find somewhere that I could return the comment. There was lots of great articles, but everywhere I looked were the words "For Moms". Seriously, it was everywhere, in the header, footer, sidebar, and pop-up. There was no mistaking who her target audience was, but it made me feel like I'd ended up somewhere I wasn't supposed to be. Kind of like the time I got lost in Compton at 4am on the way back to the airport, only maybe a little less hostile.

A second clue came later, when I came across a discussion for a blogging camp that sounded interesting (It's in Mexico in January. Of course it sounded interesting!). Lots of the writers who I follow were talking about it, so I thought I'd check it out, but when I clicked through on the link to get more information, I found out the name of the event was "Mom Blogger Camp". Now I'm sure that it wouldn't be a problem if I wanted to attend,
but that's not how my mind works. I envisioned an entire Mrs. Doubtfire scenario where I had to get into a dress and talk in a super high voice to attend the camp. Even if I was willing to go to that extreme, the plan would certainly fall apart during the cocktail receptions. High heels and I just aren't going to work together enough to pull that off.

Now despite my chagrin at this discovery, it's not that I don't want to be associated with Mommy bloggers. There's some absolutely fantastic content out there being written by people that I would consider a stereotypical Mommy blogger. Most of them can put me to shame with their writing ability and creative ideas, and the business acumen of some of these ladies is phenomenal.

They're also exceptionally welcoming. Every single Mommy blogger that I've had a chance to talk to has been super friendly, and many have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome when visiting their site. I've been included in blogging groups, encouraged to cross post with many of their sites, and they've helped me out with any problems that I've had without even a snicker at my "rookie questions". Short of inviting me on their girls-only weekends, I'm not sure what more they could do to make me feel more included.

What happens when Dad's in charge....
So what's my problem? Testosterone I guess, and probably a little male paranoia. Nobody has ever called me a Mommy blogger, and considering the ensuing chaos whenever my wife leaves me in charge for more than a few minutes, it's doubtful that they ever will. Yet it seems that everywhere I go on the web, I find myself running into that term, and it makes me want to go screaming back to ESPN (where my football picking pool is currently being led by a Mom of twins). I love the genre of the Mommy blogger, I just hate the name.

Alas it seems to be my fate. Writing about traveling with my kids is what I like to do, and if the only price I have to pay for that is occasionally being placed in the company of Mommy bloggers, then I guess it's time for me to accept that. It's a fun group of people to be involved with, and despite occasionally feeling like I'm trespassing in the girls locker room, there's usually a way to fit in to conversations. One day there will hopefully be enough Dad's writing about their kids to level the playing field, but until then I guess I'll just keep learning from the Mom's who do such great work. Just for my own sake of manliness though, I'm going to have to pick it up in the football pool. 28th place just isn't going to do it.