Whenever I feel sheepish about this mom blog, or that it's too narcissistic or self-important or somehow just frivolous, I think about what another mom blogger (this one unapologetic and proud) once said.
She wrote a piece celebrating our collective voices. That through blogging, the lonely struggles and secret triumphs of motherhood, long hidden from public view, finally have a spotlight. There's a certain power in that.
And then she said this: I wonder what our mothers would have written if they had the opportunity to share their experiences with the world. What would they have blogged about?
This idea, that were we not to blog, there would be something lost - to history, to the public conversation, to societal knowledge - hit home.
I still don't think this particular mom blog is earth-shatteringly (or even glass-shatteringly) important. But collective we are. There's a record and broader conversation now, of thoughts and ideas impressions, that might once have been relegated to the kitchen.
Still, as a window to motherhood, we are incomplete. In as much as momblogs in some way define the conversation about motherhood, we are still missing a lot of moms. Moms who are computer illiterate, who are simply illiterate, whose poverty keeps them from accessing the Internet, whose life situation keeps them from thinking they have something valuable to say. We are missing our grandmother's voices. And I can imagine how much richer our conversation would be if we were able to include those voices.
It's for this reason that I wanted to start an initiative at the World Moms Blog*, called "Casting a Wider Net," that would profile these missing voices. I wrote the first piece about a remarkable women I stayed with during a recent village stay. The other talented contributors will, over time, profile other women from their communities.
It's not going to entirely change the conservation, but at least we'll do a bit include some lost perspectives from the current discussion. Maybe we'll even be able to find some answers to what our own mothers might have blogged about.
* The World Moms Blog is a blog of mothers around the world sharing their stories. It's already going a long way to expand the conversation around motherhood, with terrific writers from many corners of the earth. You should check it out!