Moms Gone Wired: One Woman's Journey Through the Mommy Blogosphere to Gain Parental Prowess and Free Stuff

People talk about the "magic of birth" and the "joys of parenthood" and, yeah, in my 12 months of mom experience, that stuff's all totally real and exists, but that part's like the Hallmark movie part. And in between those Hallmark movie moments, there's a reality-show marathon.

Sure, a baby is a gift. But it's also a giant poop sack.

When I found out I was pregnant, people told me that when I had my kid, all of a sudden I'd "know what to do" because, see, my "instincts would kick in." But I have no faith in my instincts. I've lived in Dallas since I was a kid, and I still don't know what direction I'm going when I take the Dallas North Tollway South. And I'm pretty sure my instincts were the ones who told me I wasn't ovulating in the first place, so I'm gonna go on record and say my instincts are a bunch of lazy, untrustworthy bastards.

Top mommy blogger Heather Armstrong is so famous she even inspired a hate site on the Web.
Top mommy blogger Heather Armstrong is so famous she even inspired a hate site on the Web.
Maria Bailey has made a business out of helping marketers sell to moms.
Maria Bailey has made a business out of helping marketers sell to moms.

And sure enough, when delivery day finally came a year ago and they handed me that bundle of joy, my instincts were like, "Peace out! Have fun with that." So I talked to my mom, but even she was pretty sure things had changed since 1980 when you'd give your kid "just a little whiskey" to help her fall asleep. I needed information from moms who were in the trenches right now, rock-star moms who were currently succeeding at the task of keeping baby happy.

I'm pretty sure I found one a while back when I went shopping in the Super Target in Northeast Dallas, after being told that Target is where all the moms who know what they're doing shop; that's where I saw one of these rock-star moms in the wild. She saw me pushing a cart with a baby in it and, since I was doing a pretty good job of pretending to be a real mom (picture Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist), she recognized me as one of her own and pulled her cart up to mine. Her baby sized up my baby. My baby waved. And then Target Rock-star Mom spoke to me and asked me out on a play date.

I said, "OK," figuring that's what you say to someone who is a) a normal mom just trying to meet other moms in the Target or b) a total crazy. And that's when it happened: She handed me her business card. Her business card that reads, "Sally Baker: Gregory's Mom." This wasn't handmade on construction paper or anything. This was a mass-produced Mommy Business Card. Whoa.

Those four words on that business card speak volumes about this woman. Some people will think, "Oh, that's sad that she feels like that's all she is now: Greg's Mommy." But I could tell this woman obviously thought her baby was the bomb, and she saw it as a real privilege to be attached to that radness. Seemed like the words on her card were there to say, "Yeah. I made that with my magic lady body. Jealous?" Or maybe she just made the cards as a public service to every frazzled mom she meets who's got zero chance of remembering her name, let alone her kid's name.

No matter her reasons, I suddenly felt out of the loop. "Wait—am I supposed to have these? I didn't get business cards from the hospital after I shot out my baby. What the deuce? Was there some membership fee I didn't pay?" She was really proud of them too. She'd seen a link on some mom blog, and she thought they were really cool, so she had some made. I began fantasizing about having one made for my daughter. "Penny: The Ultimate Grand Supreme of Badassery." And I'd hand them out to other moms, and people would think I'm totally on top of my shit, momwise. I mean, if I have business cards I must be a pro at this, right?

I wondered if that was how mom trends start. One blog links to a business card site, one mom creates some and then she starts handing them out to her friends, and her friends think they're cute and then, somehow, in order to be an awesome mom, you've got to have them.

And if mom blogs were good for business card info, maybe there was a blog that could help me be a more instinctive, more professional, more MILF-in-training mom. Just like rock-star mom.

I needed information. It was time to Google this shit.

Enter: The Mom Blog. Holy options. There are more mom blogs on the Internet than there are people on this planet who want to bone George Clooney. Google the word "mom" followed by any other word in any language and you'll find a mom blog dedicated to that.

And these aren't just women sitting at home posting photos of their baby's 11-month-and-1-day cupcake party. These women are reviewing products, making political change, teaching other moms how to change a diaper and still more moms just sharing their everyday successes and failures so that I can feel better about the fact that I'm not the only mom who let her cat eat her baby's crusty umbilical cord. They speak around the world about the power of moms in social media. Some of these mom bloggers have literally millions of followers and as many brand sponsors as a pro athlete.

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