I was honored to make Babble’s list of top mommybloggers last week. Because it’s always nice when some writers I think are talented look at my writing and say Hey, we like your writing too! But the problem with lists is that they are, by definition, finite. And I hate when people feel left out.
I’m also not crazy about a format that actually ranks us (I’m evidently better than Chris Jordan but not quite as good as Rookie Moms) or requires me to ask readers to vote for me because frankly I bet that every one of us would just as well throw our support behind NieNie and call it a day.
After a silly Twitter chat about it with Mrs. Kennedy yesterday, an idea was born: A list to honor some of the crazy skills, big and small, of lesser known mom bloggers. Particularly mom bloggers you might not be familiar with if your reading is limited to those on lists. So I asked people, Hey! Who wants to be on a list! And looky here at all these cool and interesting people who did appear.
Hope you find some fun new reading along the way.
In no particular order (seriously, nooooo order):
1. A Mommy Story: Christina and I have been blogging about the same amount of time and she’s so consistently smart and insightful she needs to be on more lists, and her kids have cool Shakespearean names. Also, she is a walking compass. She can always find north, so feel free to get lost with her in a haunted forest any time.
2. The hilarious and effervescent Melissa Chapman writes the WCBS parenting blog, among others, and has become a delightful friend in recent months. She is also the only Jewish girl in NYC who married a doctor and wishes she married a plumber instead. Long story. Has to do with union benefits. The book’s coming out soon, don’t worry.
5. Speaking of politics, Dana Loesch deserves serious props for influence. It was pointed out to me that she’s the only member of Momversation that didn’t get a Babble shout-out which is just stupid. If you’re a Republican, you need to be reading Dana. If you’re a Democrat, you probably should too. She’s a great writer, even if her politics are all turned around.
6. Did you know that Amy Turn Sharp is not just a blogger and mom and all around nice person, but she also makes some of the most gorgeous handmade wooden baby toys in the world? It’s true, I saw it on Cool Mom Picks.
7. Kelly Mocha Momma Wickham is the brilliant mind behind the Purse Drive. She also once famously asked at the BlogHer conference, yo, marketers, where are all the pitches to the bloggers of color? At which point everyone started sending pitches to Renee instead. Champagne manufacturers – send Kelly some samples for review. I hear she uses her mighty and powerful thighs to open them and is willing to share the photos.
8. I was reluctant to include Joanne Bamberger, aka Pundit Mom here, because she’s so famous now she’s made the CNN.com masthead or something like that. But she doesn’t make mommyblogger lists much because ooh, politics…skeery. (See also: Dana Loesch)
9. I really like Momtrol Freak since I first met her this summer at BlogHer. However she neglected to tell me then that she is certified in SCUBA, drives clutch in San Francisco, and can do eleven different accents not including a mosquito impression. Of course, I’m not impressed unless she does it with a 17th century Irish Brogue.
10. Jennifer Taggart, or The Smart Mama can tell you what may be toxic in any consumer product, which won’t surprise those of you who read her blog. She can also fold her tongue into shape of a clover, an odd side effect she acquired after licking one too many BPA-laden sippy cups as a kid.
11. Mamikaze calls herself a slacker, but I beg to differ. Evidently she can give “the look” that stops any kid dead in her tracks, which means I may need to borrow her to help me get through the next three years or so. Or at least this week.
12. Linsey K can remember vast amounts of useless information, so if any of you have any questions about pretty much anything at all, I suggest you look her up immediately and call her at home and she’ll be sure to help.
13. Deaf Mom is a bona fide deaf mom, raising three deaf or hard-of-hearing kids. I don’t know her well enough to make dark jokes at her expense and be sure that she won’t hate me, but I do admit I wonder what she says to her kids when they’re ignoring her because “What, are you deaf?” won’t work. She also can fake clean her house in ten minutes and if that means more than imagine it getting clean, that’s pretty darn good.
14. Jennster is the one chick who could make Dennis Rodman blush, and I’ve met them both so I know of which I speak. She also has this amazing ability to cut the bullshit, take an unpopular stance, and write what’s on her mind without being an asshole and making people hate her. Quite a few of us could take a lesson there. Me included.
15. Mommy Mae claims she can fall asleep standing up at a concert, although that doesn’t count if it was a John Tesch concert. Poison? Warrant? The Crüe? Yes. That would be a skill. I think we need more to this story…
17. Laurie White of Laurie Writes is by all accounts, the first ever mommyblogger that is not a mom. (Although Elisa Camahort Page is a close second). Laurie is even on several Twitter lists of power moms because – eh, no kids. Minor technicality. She is so thoughtful and insightful, even in 140 characters, that she makes me want to be a better person. But I won’t be. Because I’m too busy.
18. Kami Lewis-Levin- is a great writer who takes on working mom issues on her blog; and on mine, she’s one of my favorite commenters. But you know, you think you know a gal and then you find out that she can reinterpret portions of Balanchine’s Nutcracker set to Beatles songs.
19. Laura Mayes is that name you know even while you don’t know how you know it. That’s because she flies under the radar of the press a lot, too busy writing amazing books, founding brilliant websites, running highly successful conferences and stealthily spreading good cheer. She can also tie a cherry stem in a knot with her tongue. I’d like to get her and Jennifer Taggart drunk together at a party just to see what happens.
20. Elizabeth of Adjunct Mom isn’t actually an adjunct mom. She’s a full-time mom, and an adjunct professor. Also a quilter. And knitter. And cross-stitcher. But that was all far too long for a Twitter handle so Adjunct Mom it is.
21. Kim Tracy Prince of House of Prince has been blogging since you had to chisel your thoughts into rocks that were just shaped like computers. That’s 2004, in case you’re wondering. She also does a killer Nancy Kerrigan impression and knows her way around a pool hall. Take that as you will.
22. Maternal Dementia has one of the best blog names ever, although she’s not demented enough to have lost her ability to sing all 50 US states in alphabetical order. I’m convinced she just memorized some arcane B52s song, but who knows. I love her tag cloud on her blog, with words like France, gratitude, memories, morning and mother, which I mention whenever I write about her. Which is now twice. She’s a cool lady and one day I’m going to buy her dinner at El Bulli.
23. The Weird Girl is in fact weird, because she really wanted me to know how great her homemade cranberry oatmeal cookies are. I hate fruit in my cookies. But I love the Weird Girl. And so I forgive her for not remembering some post I wrote three years ago about fruit in my cookies. And by that, I mean oh, I’m sure your cookies are just delish and if I were to like any cranberry cookies at all they would definitely be yours.
24. As long as the penis-owning Dutch of Sweet Juniper made the Babble mommyblogger list, I feel it’s only fair to include one more here. Penis owner, that is. Not that I can vouch for it, but I’d assume Laid Off Dad has one. Doug is a real life friend and member of the NYC blogging posse that kindly gets me out of the house for grown-up time every couple of months. He’s also ambidextrous, and has pretty much every Monty Python movie set to memory so if you start to quote Life of Brian together, you can be there all night together. Pack provisions.
25. Mrs. CPA claims “I can do a tax return so pretty and neat it would make you weep” which only sounds like a plug for her business. In fact, she’s not actually a CPA but a Tunisian circus clown, and that’s sort of their brand of humor. Down there. In Tunisia.
26. I admit I’m a bit envious of Not Ever Still Life With Girls, who has the enviable ability to speak fluent backwards English. David Lynch, are you reading? Make this woman a star!
27. Cecily Kellogg thinks in blog posts and 140 character blurbs, which is either a talent or a pathology. I’m going to go with talent because until health care is all fixed, I’d hate to saddle her with a documented pre-existing condition.
28. Susan Wagner is that blogger that everyone wants to be friends with and probably will be, because Susan is just that nice. She is also pretty. She’s kind. She’s a fantastic writer. She dresses well. And evidently she can tie a bow so perfectly, that if they had a Project Runway spinoff called Project I Can Tie the Best Bow, she would take it all. That may in fact be why they haven’t come out with the show just yet. Who could beat her? Nobody. Where’s the drama in that?
29. Speaking of TV, Marinka, a fellow New Yorker claims she can watch Snapped for hours guilt-free while the laundry is just sitting there. Now that’s a mother we can all take a lesson from.
30. Similarly, Miguelina can ignore her blog for months at a time and feel zero anxiety about it. That’s because pretty women can get away with that sort of thing. Plus she’s not lying awake at night worried that the free cleaning products from PR people will dry up. Smell that? That’s the smell of liberation. Or maybe Marinka’s dirty laundry. Hard to tell.
31. High-powered PR executive by day, Julia Beck of Forty Weeks has Gumby-esque powers of impressive flexibility by night. Surely that delighted all the boys back in high school and scared the crap out of their mothers. And now she’s a mother. Hm. Karma.
32. Carmen of Mom to the Screaming Masses is one of the first mom bloggers I ever found, and the one good thing about the south. (No! I kid! There are eight good things about the south, not counting Laura Mayes.) She could quite possibly kill me for saying that though, because she’s a purple tip in Muay Thai and a yellow belt in capoeira. I don’t know what those things mean, but they sound painful.
33. If you don’t read PHD in parenting, you should. Unless you like blogs filled with cute pictures of babies and paragraphs with no punctuation and canned bean dip giveaways. Then nah, she’s not for you. She’s polarizing, but rarely infuriating which sounds easier than it is.
34. Andria Stanley has the amazing gift of timing: After a ton of fertility treatments to conceive her son, she somehow manages to get pregnant again, on her own, only weeks before filing for divorce. Whoo! Being a single mom is talent enough in itself. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if she can do stuff with her tongue too.
36. Brandi B has more than 13,000 tweets to her name which, well wow. She is also a walking IMDB, and can tell you who That Guy was and what movie you saw him in which comes in very handy when you’re about to run up to Paul Rudd on Bleecker Street and ask him if you went to college together. She also has twins and a four year-old and cancer. Ugh, stupid cancer. Can you just go away already and leave us all alone? You suck.
37. Devra and Aviva are the moms behind Parentopia, published authors, and benevolent advice dispensers. Devra has an unholy love of Top Chef finalist Richard Blais (seriously, ask Kristen Chase some time) and Aviva has some kind of Rain Man skill by which she can tell you when any type of meat will expire in the fridge. It’s all connected in some strange voodoo way. Not sure how yet but it will come together if you think about it.
38. Jennifer Mendelsohn of Clever Title TK has about the most fun blogroll in history. Instead of boring links to other bloggers (yawn), she’s got links to celebrities she interviewed when she was at People Magazine–and maybe slept with? Who knows! She can also tell what any food will taste like just from looking at it, which is a skill I could have desperately used in Spain a few times. I need to spend a whole lot more time on her blog. And I think the clever title is already there.
39. Karen of Karen Chatters downplays her cooking skills but dude? Salt-crusted beef tenderloin with cippolini onions in a balsamic glaze. Also she is fearless, this woman. She is totally willing to dress her child up like an elf on Christmas with no fear of repurcussion later in life.
40. Jill, aka Scary Mommy has such an avid fan base, every time one of those top mom blogger lists shows up, her readers flock there to write, “But what about Scary Mommy?” Either that, or she has 62 aliases. Who wouldn’t love a woman who’s not afraid to post a huge photo of her kid picking his nose. Plus? she runs this lovely Kitchen Shoppe where you should spend lots of cash, now. In fact, I’m not even sure why she’s a scary mommy. Maybe she will stab me with one of the butter knives if I don’t buy something from her.
41. Amber Strocel is your go-to source for info on global maternity leave, and growing cucumbers. Not necessarily together. Although if you’d like to leave your job in Greenland to have a baby and grow some cucumbers, check with her first. She’ll hook you up.
42. Candace Lindemann has far too many skills to mention. Also, I’m getting really tired typing and it’s late. But aside from starting Bloganthropy, she also makes balloon animals which is two ways she gives back to the moms of the world. (Although no one cries when their Bloganthropy pops and now the line is too long to get another.)
43. Blogging since 2002 (!!) Jen B of Jennui is one of the grand dames of the mom bloggers, doing it with grace, humor, and a Canadian accent, all while touching her tongue to her nose. Evidently that’s a marketable skill in some country. I’m not sure which but I think it has a Q in it and no vowels.
44. Jill Anne Berry is proof that you can have a 13 year-old daughter and live to tell the tale. Next year she will be 14. The year after that, 15. And Jill will still be there, plugging away. Really, I’m just impressed with the entire process.
45. HD Lewnberg of Live Green Mom is so new to blogging, that her about page currently reads This is an area on your website where you can add text. This will serve as an informative location on your website, where you can talk about your site. Look at it as a chance to discover a yet undiscovered new blogger that you will come to adore. And proof that you don’t have to be here 6 years to get on A LIST. Besides, she taught herself to ride a unicycle this summer. There is a clear dearth in the world of self-taught unicycle-riding mom bloggers and she’s just the gal to fill it.
46a and b Cagey, aka Kelli Oliver George, and Sara Lena of The Anvil Tree share my own useful skill for identifying famous people’s voices in commercials and animated films. So clearly they are a talented, and important pair of women, worth your time, energy and money. (Should you be sending money to random bloggers for some reason.)
47. Jennifer McNichols writes a very good consumer advocacy style review blog with her husband Jeremiah, called Z Recommends. So if you ever wonder where the parent bloggers are who are writing negative reviews – there they are. All two of them. In one blog. But that doesn’t make them negative people. Can someone who makes a good pumpkin cheesecake be negative? Nope, it’s a physical impossibility.
48. Momo Fali is another writer writer, so expect more of those annoying paragraphs and wacky punctuation marks. She can also do that spoon hanging on the nose thing which is one of the best party tricks ever. Especially if you’re ten. Or have a kid who is ten. Which she does.
49. Rita Arens of Surrender Dorothy is too modest to say she has any skills besides almost curling the bottom third of her tongue (what’s with all these tongue skills anyway?) but she did happen to get the first ever mom blogger compilation published. She is also kind and spiritually generous and principled and has that pretty blonde midwestern hair going for her. (Oh, and that’s a Cool Mom Picks amazon affiliate link so don’t report me to the FTC.)
50. Anissa Mayhew can come back from a coma. Top that.
Oh yes I KNOW I left you out. And you, and you, and you. And your best friend. And your favorite blogger. These were just the 50 who contacted me. Feel free to leave your own mad skills, raging talents, and stupid blogger tricks in comments.