Best in mama blogging
I read Babble's 'Top 50 Mommy Bloggers' with mixed feelings. First, I was pleased that a local blogger or two and many mamas (and one dad) I consider longtime friends -- people who really deserve approbation for years of hard work and amazing content -- were getting recognition. There was ParentHacks, who won the category 'Most Useful'; I really think of Asha as an original urbanMama (in spirit if not in fact), she's been inspiring us for as long as I can remember. Dutch and Wood from Sweet Juniper are so warm, inspirational and creative -- and both eloquent and moving writers -- that I can't imagine any 'best of blog' list without them. (And yes, Dutch's popscycle is on my fave family bikes list.) Citymama used to be a Portlander (she'll always carry our city in her heart, yes Stefania?); Alphamom is generous and sweet and oh yes, stylish!; Mom 101 is so smart and connected; thanks to the fact that my job as a professional blogger started in parenting blogs, I've had the pleasure of meeting, chatting with or working with many of the other top 50 (but no, I can't say that I know Dooce, famous mommy blogger numero uno).
But hey: it's the in-iest of in crowds and the whirlpool of popularity, I feel, misses a lot of the true gems, the sorts of parenting writers who work their craft for no other reason than because they must, who forge beautiful writing in a "build it and they'll come" mindset to which I, too, have come to subscribe. No matter how many come, the castles of words and images keep slowly forming, each at their own pace. In my opinion, Sweet Juniper is the only true, sparkling treasure on Babble's roster; the other mamas I consider gorgeous, pearls of great price were receiving, at best, a few dozen "likes" from the open-for-nominations list Babble began after its editorially-selected rankings were published. Perhaps the soul-startling bloggers aren't great places for Mattel and H&R Block to advertise, but they're quiet and sweet and real.
If I were making a "best of all possible mama blogs in the best of all possible internets" list, it would include these:
- Sweet | Salty. I discovered Kate only in the past year and we were well-met. Her journey to a mama's joy despite the loss of one of her sons as a newborn has me gasping.
- Notes to Self. Kyran weaves stories with such mastery that my face is hot with emotion just peeking into one of her blog posts.
- Secret Agent Josephine. Unfailingly charming and creative, Brenda always makes me smile.
- Slouching Past 40. Sarah's poetry makes me weep and her parenting writing is so full of stunning sight and insight -- it's to what I aspire.
- Oleoptene. Well-met in Portland, Mara's eloquent, cerebral musings are worth the time it takes to unpeel their layers.
- Irene Nam. A Parisienne who writes in English just for us, each post a small gift, a poem. Her photographs sing to me in whispers.