4 cents an hour and a shiny pink button

People ask me why I blog. All the time.

Well, some still ask what a blog is. 10% of these interactions occur at cocktail parties; 90% of these interractions occur in an elevator at an actual blog conference. The person asking generally has a bad hair cut and an ill-fitting jacket, and is attending some other conference filled with people with bad hair cuts and ill-fitting jackets. And I think, don’t roll your eyes at me, Mr. MCNCAAF Conference attendee! I bet you don’t get to got to a party tonight with glow sticks and a giant unicorn cake.

Anyway.

Those people who do (kind of) know what a blog is, they want to know why I do it. They ask why I keep it up when I’m so busy in advertising and I’ve got so much else going on with my website and these two growing kids, and sheesh, don’t you make about $.04 an hour on Mom-101, all things considered?

And I say, yes. All those things are true.

I also say those thing are exactly why I blog.

Here, I do not have to make logos bigger or make headlines smaller, or convince women that their successes in life will be measured by things like freshness or sparkling, spot-free glassware. Here, I can use the word oy and not worry how it will play in Peoria. Here I will not be told that the word awesomeness is polarizing. Here I can write about things that no one else talks about. Or things that every mother talks about. Or things I can’t talk about in front of my kids. Or things that I wish we’d talk about more.

I write posts that get 150 comments and posts that get 4 comments, and either way, I pretty much never regret having written them.

Also, here I have you.

This week, when I got the phone call from a big fancy editor of Parents magazine telling me they had chosen Mom-101 as Best All Around Mom Blog in their Best Blogs contest, I was rendered speechless for one of the few times in my life.

Partly because are you kidding me? Holy crap.

Also partly because I didn’t know you could win awards these days without begging your friends to hit a big VOTE button once a day from different IP addresses until they hate you and you can never ask them for anything again.

(Holy crap!)

My inclination is generally to say such things don’t matter all that much, but to me, this one does. It feels really, really good (really good) when people you respect say, “nice job.” No matter what it’s for.

I hope you all get to feel that as often as possible in your life.

Now back to the part about you…

One of the things the editor mentioned on the phone was how much all they love reading discussions here. She noted that the commenters here always had such good things to say. And how, scanning the comments, there are so few that just say “haha you’re so funny!” or “cute picture!” or “cheap Canadian Viagra!” (Though that last one is more the doing of a good spam filter.)

So I am especially honored to post this little pink button, because I truly don’t think it’s just about the writing. It’s not about posts. It’s about the blog. And a blog is, at its best, is a community that lives and breathes and thinks and discusses and make each other better and smarter, even after the blogger has hit publish and walked away to go pee.

If you want to know why I keep coming back here for $.04 an hour, that’s as good an answer as I can come up with.

best all around mom blog

See how I ended that last sentence in a preposition? That’s another thing you get to do on a blog. Awesomeness.

{136 Comments}

136 thoughts on “4 cents an hour and a shiny pink button”

  1. Now I feel compelled to write more than “Congratulations!” So I’ll say well deserved too, because it most certainly is.

  2. I’d just love to say a huge CONGRATS!! I know it is a lot of work doing anything else when you are a mom, I’m a single mom, and hats off to you for all the work you do!! You have worked hard for this, enjoy it :D

  3. I will not comment with congrats because the guy in the elevator may not know it, but all your readers know you deserve this.

    I will give you the highest compliment ever – my husband has commented on your blog and NEVER on mine!

    Enjoy your pink button for a long time….it is so well earned! Rachel
    Rachel Blaufeld recently posted..Take and Break and Join Me!My Profile

  4. Yeah! I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for still writing here, despite everything else you do and everyone else who needs your attention. Write on!

  5. You know, I think it’s about YOU. You make this a place where people can say what they feel without fear of snarky repercussions from you, can actually learn something USEFUL without being preached to, can laugh because – Hey! – you’re FUNNY – in the real way – not the “I’m so funny listen listen listen” way, sometimes cry because what you say is oh-so-true and God bless you for saying it, and we can all walk off feeling smarter even though our 14 year old believes – KNOWS – that he can hear your brain shriveling in your head from stupidity.

    KUDOS KUDOS KUDOS – all the more because you DIDN’T ask for it.

  6. I think your professional experience has meshed well with your personal experiences in this blog. I look at the traits that make it so easy to read and think of changing my format. I look at the topics you discuss and wonder if I should let my politics show more publicly. I wonder if my kids could stand a bit less privacy. All in all, I think you are able to meet us, your readers, where we are and to push us a bit further. All while entertaining, informing and keeping us company. Congrats!

    1. Oh Jill, I have the same conversations in my head. I read Amalah and think wow, I should share more. I read Girls Gone Child and think my photos suck. I read Motherhood Uncensored and think I should be more candid about some things. I read the Bloggess and I’m like wow, I’m not funny at all.

      All we can do, really, is write what we know. Dammit, all those creative writing teachers in college were right.

  7. Ack, you ended with a preposition!??! Title revoked!

    Oh, you know I am kidding and am so thrilled to love your blog and love you. You are the reason I started blogging b/c it looked like so much fun and I loved reading your posts. (still do!)

    And, yes, I LOVE your commenters. I think you must have a secret IQ test that keeps the really bad ones away.

    (hugs and many congratulations! And I hope Nate was impressed!)
    Fairly Odd Mother recently posted..When the storm passesMy Profile

  8. I agree with Parents 100%. You deserve the pink button and the very public kudos. I love your honest writing and your hilarious, yet poignant blog, Liz, and I’m so glad to see someone so talented get the recognition you deserve.

    All that’s left to say is the obvious: Cheap Canadian Viagra.

  9. Liz, I found your blog about four years ago when my oldest daughter was just a baby (and was still my only daughter) when they did a style piece on you in Parents Magazine. I remember thinking, “Huh. ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, either’. I can get with that.” Reading your blog inspired me to read other blogs, then inspired me to start writing again myself, and now, four years, two more daughters, and a blog later, I’m still reading, enjoying, and being inspired by your blog. Thank you for not quitting your $0.04/hour job. The pay sucks, but the benefits are awesome (for your readers, anyways).
    Janel recently posted..Things Bella Has Done That Scared the Crap Out of MeMy Profile

  10. First, congratulations! And second, Amen. The community you’ve built is amazing because of the conversation (and Canadian Viagra, obviously). The reasons you talk about for having a blog are exactly the reasons I have one. You also touched on the advice I give friends who want to “blog to make extra money.” You have a blog to write or vent or post pictures; and, you sould do it all with the thought that nobody will ever read and it’s just for you. Luckily for us, your writing and venting and photos are full of awesomeness.

  11. You summed it up so well. When I first starting blogging back in March of 2006–you were one of the first blogs I read regularly and thought–“if only I could be like her…”

    It is such a great community and I am thankful to be a little part of it. Congrats–it is very well-deserved.
    The Dalai Mama recently posted..That ParentMy Profile

  12. I feel like I’ve known you from the moment I started blogging way back in 2006. It’s been awesome to watch your girls grow and to be part of a community of moms that I didn’t have access to when my kids were little — way, way back in the 90’s. Yours is one of the few parenting blogs I still read. I laugh and I learn and I thank you for that.
    Amy Sue Nathan recently posted..Write the Right Dialogue And Dialect Into Your Women’s FictionMy Profile

  13. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you consistently make me laugh, cry, think and rail against this or that.

    This time I cried happy tears. Raising my cup of coffee in your general direction.
    Amanda recently posted..Years go byMy Profile

  14. Liz –

    I have been reading your blog for a few years now and you are one of the reason I started blogging. You showed me I can be myself and no boss or anyone else can tell me that I need to change what I’m saying.

    It’s a creative outlet for me to share and I am so glad you are sharing a big part of your life. The conversations that go on here are always worth my time – and with three kids there isn’t too much of that to spare these days.

    So, I say to you, congratulations! Well deserved recognition.

    Show off that pink button sister!
    Jill V. / TerraSavvy recently posted..Fun FridayMy Profile

  15. Congrats! Don’t know you except thru your blog which I enjoy immensely. You are one cool and funny and thought provoking person.

  16. Well deserved! There’s something to be said for having your work recognized by pros, and you’ve certainly earned the accolades. (I don’t get too excited about awards, but when the folks at Parents sent me the email saying DadCentric had been chosen by them for the Dad Blog equivalent…I may have man- squeed. It IS pretty cool.)

  17. Congratulations!

    Your blog was one of the first I ever I read and kept coming back to. You inspired me to start blogging, even if it took nearly 3 years to build up the courage to do so.

    Your posts are always full of awesomeness and the recognition is well deserved.

  18. I rotate through my regular blog reading list, but month after month, year after year, I always come back here. When the proverbial shit hits the twitter fan, I always wonder what Mom101 has to say – and it’s always the level-headed voice of reason I was looking for. Also, funny stories and cute kids.
    Rebecca Keenan recently posted..Poor IreneMy Profile

  19. More than congratulations..
    On a daily basis I am awed by what you express and the way you express it. You make me laugh, you remind me to be compassionate and most of all you continually demonstrate how truly powerful social networking can be. Personally, I can’t thank you enough.

    Celebrate and be deeply nourished…
    you are FABULOUS!

    more to come I am sure.
    Sean Naughton recently posted..The Paper Chase – Part DuexMy Profile

  20. Hi Liz,
    Well deserved! I enjoy reading your posts and envy your sense of humor. And I totally, totally get why you blog. I often think “what if” blogs existed when I was a journalist… (Hmm, perhaps I should blog about this…).
    Keep bringing those smiles in our day and show off that pink button!
    We’re proud of you :)
    Or-Tal
    Or-Tal Kiriati recently posted..Travels With My Family – Part IIMy Profile

  21. You are authentic, you’re honest, fearless, creative, funny…it’s what make you and your blog so great!
    Congratulations, and I can say that on behalf of all my (mom) blogger friends here in Manila, Philippines!
    You rock!

  22. I love it – very well deserved. I also agree completely that Mr. MCNCAAF isn’t going to have near as much fun with his fellow conference attendees and isn’t going to do near as good a job keeping up with them once he gets home. Congrats a million times over. :)

  23. Congrats, Liz! I have to agree with the editors on this one- I always come back to your blog because not only are your posts often incredibly thought-provoking, but your comment section is fantastic too! I always really enjoy reading your perspective, even when it’s radically different from mine. You make me think, and I’m so proud to know you. :)
    Lindsay recently posted..The Big RevealMy Profile

  24. I agree with their assessment. The people joining you here to discuss are very awesome. The post are well-written and thought provoking. I visit often and leave with new ideas or perspectives to puzzle and I like that. I also like that you are a great mentor to the “rest of us” with small little blogs that are working on writing and reaching out. I think, in short, both you and the blog are so multifaceted that it really works to build a community and a richer virtual relationship. Thank you.
    abbeyviolet recently posted..Ten on TuesdayMy Profile

  25. Wow, incredible. You work so hard at this, at the whole community thing, it’s amazing. You deserve a shiny pink button.

    Also, they CALLED you?! People still DO that? That makes it all the more impressive!
    Rae recently posted..Writing DayMy Profile

  26. You were in my dream last night, and were appropriately horrified when I showed you the giant (half wood! purple!) tooth that I had just pulled from my mouth. If that’s the effect you have on my subconscious, you can imagine the impact you’ve had on my conscious brain.

    What I’m trying to say is, CONGRATS.
    Helen Jane recently posted..Saying Thanksgiving GraceMy Profile

  27. Parents magazine didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know but it’s nice to see a mainstream pub validate what I’ve thought for a long time. Yours is definitely the best all around mom blog. As I said over on CMP, yours was one of the first blogs that I bookmarked years ago and have never tired of. I don’t always comment, mostly because I’m lazy, but you’ve inspired me to be a better writer, even if you didn’t mean to.

    Congrats, Liz.

  28. Here’s something hardly anyone knows: you can’t NOT write. You have always written. Journals filled with snippets of overheard conversations; observations about people and events; simple phrases; couplets and doublets and silly rhymes. When the student was ready, the teacher (call it a Blog if you must)appeared. You would have found an outlet for your great gift in any case. Your community, and I, are grateful you’ve made time to share it with all of us through this new medium.

  29. You deserve this honour! So, so amazing. You’ve always been one of my top three bloggers of all time. You also always get me inspired and give me ideas for blog posts. Like now? I’ll be working on my “Why I Blog” post, thanks to you!

    Congrats!

  30. Yours is one of the first blogs I started reading when I set out to find this mythical community of funny, smart moms online, willing to share their stories and experiences and tears. I remember skimming through posts on other sites thinking, well I don’t make my own food so no to this one. Or I don’t herd my own sheep then shear them and knit booties from the wool, so that one probably won’t interest me. And then I read yours. And we have virtually nothing in common, other than being wives and mothers. But it doesn’t matter here, in this space. Whether you’re writing about your work or your kids or books or politics, I can always relate, in some way. I feel welcome here.

    And that’s why you are so deserving of is award. Many, many congratulations. And twice as many thank yous. Really. Thank you.
    Jayme recently posted..I Think My DVR is Taunting Me (NaBloPoMo, day #15)My Profile

  31. Love your blog and agree that writing whatever you want – especially that wild ending a sentence with a preposition thing – is the best part of having a blog and congratulations! Keep sharing your super funny and smart take on it all!

  32. Couldn’t be happier for you. I love reading your blog. It is always honest and authentic, and so clearly comes straight from your head and your heart. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes thought-provoking. But I’m always glad when I click through and read what you have to say. I’m so glad you write here.
    Goddess in Progress recently posted..CopingMy Profile

  33. This will sound all lame and crap but whatever. Not like I haven’t been saying silly things here since oh 2006. (Good lord Liz, I remember your first posts.) Anyway, when people start blogs or are just new to the community and they ask me where to start? I point them here.

    Congratulations. You deserve that pretty pink button.
    Issa recently posted..It takes courage to feelMy Profile

    1. That’s high praise Issa. I always love seeing your name pop up here. Thanks for bringing so much to the conversation all these years.

  34. WOOOHOOO!!! I love coming here and am glad you are recognized for your writing. You can tell this is something you do because you enjoy it and have something to share, not because you feel obligated. That’s what makes it so enjoyable. Also that you don’t try hard to be entertaining – you just ARE! (I like that I can also write comments that aren’t grammatically correct)

  35. I agree with the award wholeheartedly. I love reading your blog, and especially the comments afterwards. I am sure the editors at Parents Magazine were impressed because you cultivate the best (and most thoughtful) conversations.

  36. The blog as a community is great. But it is also about YOU, and what you write. I follow lots of blogs, and some I only occassionally remember to skim. But I always remember to check you out. Well, you and Crappy Pictures.
    No Drama Mama recently posted..Parents Who SmokeMy Profile

  37. Congratulations, Liz! I’m so glad you blog. Not only do I enjoy reading what you write, I enjoy the conversations that you start, this community that you have helped foster. So thank you for building this space and for welcoming us into it. I like it here.

  38. Ending a sentence with a preposition is one of my favorite things about blogging too. And starting sentences with “and” and using lots of passive verbs…..it’s freeing. Congratulations on your well deserved honor.

  39. Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading when I set out to find this mythical group of moms online, willing to share their stories and experiences and tears and smiles. It was the first one I read where I felt “at home”, if that makes any sense. We have virtually nothing in common, other than being wives and mothers. And yet, as I read through your archives and got caught up on what I’d been missing, I found myself nodding along, or laughing, or crying, or feeling some of the same emotions you wrote about. You make us feel a part of your life, not just as readers of your words, but as actual players in the show.

    To me, that’s why you are so very deserving of this honor. Many, many, many congratulations are in order. But so are 100 times as many thank you’s. Really, thank you.
    Jayme recently posted..I Think My DVR is Taunting Me (NaBloPoMo, day #15)My Profile

  40. One of the things I love *most* about you is that you can recognize your own worth, talent and place in this community while being so obviously humble and grateful AT THE SAME TIME. You thank us even though you’ve done most of the work, and we feel like we’ve won with you. We feel excited for you AND a little proud of ourselves…that’s what you do. Everything you achieve, every recognition you get, you embrace it…and you share it. Amid all the self-promotion in this space, there’s plenty of false modesty to go along with it. I truly admire how, after all this time, and after all you’ve done for mom blogging as a writer AND as a community voice, you continue to empower us with your example. xo
    Asha Dornfest {Parent Hacks} recently posted..Baby wipes as face cleansing clothsMy Profile

  41. So, yes- Parents stated exactly why I keep occasionally commenting. I feel safe and I feel respected. The comments are filled with others who have smart points of view- they may not be the same point of view as my own but I actually respect each and every one of you. The blog-this goes without saying, really-is why I keep coming back.

  42. I will add to the congratulations. I love your blog and I have no children. Your writing is interesting, thought provoking and very often, funny.
    Thank you for continuing to educate and entertain us!

  43. SQUEEEEEEE!!!! Now excuse me while I go around telling everyone “I know her!”

    (And sorry but, after reading the comments, I just may love your mom a wee bit more than I love you. )
    Mrs. Q. recently posted..Treats!My Profile

  44. Well, now. Isn’t this wonderful news! Congratulations to you, Liz! Totally, totally deserved. So very happy for you. Even if you are knocking the Viagra my country works so hard to export.

  45. You deserve every penny of the enormous cash prize that I’m sure Parents is sending your way…(Just kidding, Parents’ editor – great choice!)

    And I LOVE your mom commenting on this post (so poignantly)!

  46. I was going to say “congrats”, but the focus group hated it, so I gave them a few options, and they went with “underpants”. So “underpants” to you!!

  47. Oh my goodness! This is making me cry! And I’m working so it’s a little awkward. But I’m so excited for you, and so happy that people get rewarded for doing good, and for loving their kids, and writing about it, and making us all be better parents and people by the very fact that you allow us to think and talk and write and be honest. So thank you. And congratulations!
    You. Are. Allsome! (which is what the 7 year old I ran a race for said, so it’s the highest, highest compliment.)

  48. So glad to hear you received this…even though I didn’t know it existed and I don’t read Parents magazine because it makes me feel like a bad parent. You are a voice of sanity in an insane world. Love your writing.

  49. Oh my goodness!! You were the first ‘mom blog’ I started reading, and the only one that I haven’t considered kicking off my google reader at some point over the years. Congratulations – you do deserve it!

    You have a great writing style, pick interesting topics, and seem to genuinely care about your readers!

    Way to go! :)

  50. Way to go Liz. Your blog is by far one of the smartest, most entertaining and well written out there. Congrats on a very deserved honor. :)

  51. Congrats! You deserve this recognition. And let me add, Mom-101 is one of the select blogs I read religiously, and was was partly what influenced me to start my own blog this year. I admire your work very much, thank you for doing what you do. 4 cents an hour is one way to look at it, the other way is priceless and immeasurable.
    Tamara recently posted..Get Ready for Holiday Decorating!My Profile

  52. Just wanted to say, big fat thumbs up! I only recently found your blog and read many of your posts (after putting “single mom” in the search box) during most of which (and I am a little bit reluctant to admit) I cried, no…wept, and then laughed my ass off at your wit, your candor, your familiarity with smart mothering lexicon… I am an avid fan. You absolutely deserve this recognition. OH, and after your story about the post-salon trip to the restaurant with your girls, I WAS inspired to acknowledge and comment on jobs well done to some of the mamas that came into my restaurant today. (Is it terrible that I secretly enjoyed the super-duper uber conservative women horrified by a hippie mama nursing her one year old, strapped to her front in an ergo, AT the table in the middle of lunch rush, with all the boob exposed? i wanted to freakin’ high five her right there!) Anyway – THANK YOU for all you do, and think, and write. I’ll be looking forward to reading ever more.

    1. AND i *just* realized I’ve read you before! in Brain, Child magazine!! (another one of my absolute favorite reading materials, especially when finally getting one or two hours of uninterrupted naptime wherein I didn’t fall asleep myself) Seriously, way to go.

  53. Many heartfelt congrats to you on your win! I’m sorry we didn’t bump into each other at the BlogHer conference in August: we were both moderators. (I was a speaker for Write Brain.) I was the 9-months pregnant one who spent most of my time seeking chairs. Luckily, those Dr. Scholls people took pity on me, and let me highjack their foot massage machine while my husband grabbed coupons. Yeah, he was THAT blogger. We’ve been blogging for 10 years, but only recently joined BlogHer about a year ago. That week was an incredible experience for us.

    Anyway, we share with you the same Parents Magazine awards category: Martin and I were the Readers Choice for All-Around Mom Blog. I promise, we didn’t spam, stalk, or promise an iPad to get our readers to vote. Although, we did put a note on our blog footer every now and then. Oh, and the badge on our sidebar. Whether that’s begging or not, I guess that’s open for debate. But regardless, we still think it’s pretty cool. :)

    As for this post, I always enjoy hearing why others blog, and it’s great you have a place to shed the professional and just get personal. And it IS awesomeness when something you enjoy doing so much gets recognized. This will be your third Parents magazine profile, right? They obviously love you and for good reason!
    Julie recently posted..Happy Birthday, LolaMy Profile

    1. Julie, all accolades deserve heartfelt congratulations. And a huge one to you. How wonderful to have a community that admires you enough to take the time to vote for you. Doesn’t that feel like the biggest win of all?

      Thanks so much for stopping by. And yay for you and Martin!

  54. P.S. – And can I just say I’m a wee bit jealous you actually got a phone call from one of the editors!? All I got was an email. LOL But at least I can print that out and stick it on the fridge!
    Julie recently posted..Happy Birthday, LolaMy Profile

  55. You totally deserve this award, because your blog is the Whole Package: stellar writing, on thought-provoking/interesting topics, with a great “discussion” that follows in your comments. It doesn’t get any more ‘awesome’ than that! (Sorry ~ had to do it.)

    (P.S. Long time reader, finally de-lurking, because I just had to say congrats!)

  56. I’m hopping over from With Two Cats, but wanted to congratulate you on your hard work and awesomeness. I don’t think most people understand why I blog and I’m not sure that I fully understand either, but I have something to say and I’ve found others that want to read and respond – and that is pretty darn awesome. I’ve found a group of people who share the same interest with me but that I don’t know from boo, and people I’ve known forever could give two hoots about these interests – funny isn’t it? Big props to you and your very successful following and writing – keep on having fun.
    Holly recently posted..This and ThatMy Profile

  57. I’m so happy you won this award! Even though we all know we’re not a sum of what people think of us (that would be a roller-coaster of a life if we believed that!), it’s still nice when people and companies with large nets cast good things in our direction. Congrats!!
    Heather recently posted..Photo Friday – 11.18.11My Profile

  58. now I feel tempted to say LOL and LMFAO (altho I’m never quite sure what that means) and then offer you some cheap Middle Easter Viagra, the genyooowine stuff. But I won’t say ANY of that, actually. What I’ll say is that reading your blog made me think that blogs could be flexible, smart, funny places where people could have funny, smart, intelligent discussions. Most of the time. Or just exchange fart jokes. It’s all good. Actually, though, when my blog grows up it would like to be your blog. Thank you for creating this space.

  59. Well done! I like your authentic voice. The secret of good prose is to tell a story and you write truths. Congratulations on a well-deserved recognition and keep up the hard work! I know it is difficult to be all things as a young mother – so many of us are trying and your efforts help!

  60. So delighted for you, Liz. And all those reasons you named for continuing to write this blog? I loved/agreed with every one. But I am also somewhat pissed that you’re making that much money and need to know your secret. Oh, wait. You’re the Best All-Around Mom Blog. Right. I forgot about the awesomeness part. :-)

  61. This is my first time commenting on your blog, but just from browsing around here I can definitely tell that receiving that award from Parents Magazine is well deserved. You deserve every recognition you get.

    I am very new to the blogging realm, and my family happens to read my blog everyday. They keep telling me over and over and over again how I’m supposedly “brave” for “not holding back.” If what I’m doing is considered not holding back I’m almost afraid of what they’ll think as I continue about talking about my PPD, and how my paranoid mind really works. I don’t see it as “not holding back.” I see it as my life.
    Desiree recently posted..From Newborn to InfantMy Profile

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