15 Months
Dante's Eardrum

They Shoot Bloggers, Don't They?

I finally gave in, caved, cried uncle, cried helplessly into a wine glass, however you put it, and hired some childcare. Just part-time, a couple days and hours here and there. I was dreading it, and dragged my feet throughout the whole process to a ridiculous degree, to the point that Jason started calling applicants and having them show up at our house so I'd be forced to take it seriously and offer one of the nice ladies a damn job already. 

I had a mother's helper only once -- after about two months of screenings and interviews, she quit a month later. Oh! And when she told me that she would need to watch Dr. Phil every afternoon I thought this was a perfectly reasonable request, being wholly clueless about...well, LIFE, and in my mind I predicted the exact same thing would happen should I ever try again: I will get talked into paying someone to watch Dr. Phil.

Today, they spent all morning building fantastical Tinker Toy creations and are now at the playground. The laundry has -- get the fuck out -- been folded and dishes put away. I took a shower. Way to show me up, Poppins!

Now, of course, I'm sitting here with hours of uninterrupted work time stretched out in front of me and absolutely no idea what to do first. Mamapop? AlphaMom? Finally get around to writing something besides hurried stream-of-consciousness drivel over here? Book proposal? Book outline? A hearty laugh because I don't even have an IDEA for a book, much less the attention span to write one ooh I know I'll make more coffee look shiny coffeepot SQUIRREL.

What was I talking about? Oh, right. The enormous crazy PRESSURE that comes from being an overprivileged asshole. My first-world problems. Let me show you them. 

Whenever people ask me what I do, whenever I mention that I do work from home, my default I-don't-wanna-get-into-it answer is that I'm a "writer" and if asked, I usually say something vague about "online parenting columns." Which is true! And yet, a hedge-y stretch. I obviously don't blog anonymously, and always assume that everyone I know can and will read everything I write. So I'm not hiding the blog thing because I don't want people to find my online slam book. But at some point I got tired of the following responses:

1) What's a "blog?"

2) So do you like, just write about shit you do during the day?

3) Seriously, like, "I woke up and had coffee?"

4) And you make...(DOT DOT DOT INCREDULOUS PAUSE) money doing this?

5) How much?

6) Wait, is this a porn thing? You can tell me... (DOT DOT DOT OVERLY CREEPY FACIAL EXPRESSION)

So it was funny when Noah's speech therapist hesitantly brought up the fact that she'd found me on Babble. I saw the revelation coming before the words came out of her mouth, like yep, that thing, it is true. Am professional oversharer. One time I peed my pants at work! I got off a train in Newark! And I think Lavar Burton is a little scared of me now.

But! She was totally cool about it and thought it was funny and something more special-needs parents should do, and was all, dude, bitch AWAY about anybody here you want, WHATEVER. And then I threw myself at her ankles like, BEMYFRIEND and it got kind of awkward.

But! But! Not nearly as awkward as a conversation I had the very next day, back at Jason's company's holiday party thing, a conversation so mortifying I am just now getting around to writing about it, when I -- for once! one time! the one and only time ever! -- voluntarily outed myself as a blogger when asked what it was I did for a living. It was probably the fourth or fifth time I'd been asked, and -- embiggened by the Babble thing and the generally positive reactions I'd gotten that evening after I drilled through "writer" and "online parenting columns" and down to the details of "blawwwgging" -- I finally just shrugged my shoulders and informed a nice-enough looking young woman that I was a blogger. Hear me roar! Or...type. Or whatever it is we do. Rabblerouse. Technoratidiscohashtag.

Here's a rough overview on how the rest of the conversation went:

1) Oh, God, BLOGS. Really?

    1a) Yes. Really.

    1b) Aren't blogs kind of stupid?

    1c) ...

    1d) I...guess so?

2) Who has time for that? I mean, I guess if you stay home.

    2a) Well, I actually started it back when I worked full-time as an editor...

    2b) Oh, well, I guess if you have that kind of job...

3) I can't imagine putting stuff about our life on the Internet.

    3a) Yes, well, the Truman Show aspect isn't for everybody, but I try to tell stylized stories with a lot of humor and...

    3b) Can you imagine, honey? If I wrote about our life on the Internet? HA HA HAHA.

    3c) ("Honey," who may or may not actually work for my husband, begins to look vaguely panicked.)

4) You don't put your kids' photos on your blog, do you?

    4a) (abort abort! mayday mayday!)

    4b) Because my sister is really careful and won't put her children's photos anywhere online.


    4d) You know, because of the child molesters. And pedophiles. Aren't you worried about that?

    4e) Jason magically sees someone else that "we absolutely have to talk to real quick, but we'll see you guys around okay bye now!"

5) Nice to meet you! What do you do?

    5a) I'm a writer.

    5b) I write some online parenting columns.

    5c) THE END.

So that was really fun, basically getting every well-trod criticism of the Internet Age thrown in your face during a five-minute conversation with someone you've just met, right when you absolutely cannot think of a single well-reasoned response because your shoes are too pinchy. Hi there! I write quality things on the Internet! You can tell by all the "uhhhhs" and "ummms" and deer-in-the-headlights stares I use when dealing with real live human beings.  I also live in a hobbit hole, my best friend is a webcam and I think breathing through one's nose is overrated.

Also, I paid someone to watch my children just so I could write the crowning achievement of modern literature that you have just wasted entire minutes of your life on. 

Aren't blogs kind of stupid?

Yes. Yes they are. Happy to help prove your point! I'll be here all week. All month, even. And longer, because like it or not, this is just what I do.



I love your writing. Love it. I think you are awesome at stylized humor or whatever it is you want to call it. Here, have $10.00. There's more where that came from!!

Forget the ignorant and cater to the rest of us hungry souls. We know where our bread is buttered. We appreciate you. We love photos of your children and most of us aren't perverts at all!!

Now I shall go fix me some toast.


It's what you do and I LOVE it!

That lady was a stupid dummy and honestly what do people do that don't read blogs?! I pity those people (ha! I can't offend anyone here! Look at me playing to my audience!)!! People that read blogs are awesome!! Almost as awesome as people that write them (good ones at least, like yours)!! fin.


You are the reason that I started blogging!


Oh. My gosh. What a tool. Seriously? Does she say "please" and "thank you" and chew with her mouth closed? Because asking what someone does, and then immediately disparaging her profession to her face is just about as rude as it gets.

I've stumbled across a lot of blogs. Some of them are written by people who have really exciting lives and do really cool things. *yawn* Most of the can't write or tell a funny joke. They just recount exactly what they do, and what they do is exciting enough to carry a blog, but it sure bores me.

No, my favorites are the ones written by totally normal people with boring lives (boring in the I-am-a-totally-average-person way, not actually BORING) who make those lives hilarious and entertaining. That takes writing skill and a sense of humor and a decent bit of intelligence. And--sucking up time, but not really, because I'm being sincere--that's why you are my favorite blogger on the Internet. You make me laugh until it hurts, and those are just your posts about deodorants. And when I don't laugh really hard, it's because you write a post so profoundly moving that I sob (well, maybe that's partly the preggo hormones). So that lady can shove it.


*throws self at your ankles*

Erin (Snarke)

I get the same type of reaction. I had one friend once say "well it isn't like you're REALLY working" when I turned her down for a get together because of a deadline. Yeah because getting paid is effing optional. Pfffft. Of course, this is the same friend who swears that I'm not really a writer because I haven't written a novel or been published by a major publishing house.

You are a much nicer person than I am. As soon as the "aren't those stupid?" was said I'd have been all up in her face with "why? What do you do?" followed up with a "and THAT's saving the world?" (unless of course it WAS something that saves the world in which case it would be "well compared to what you do, sure, but at least I make people laugh.")

But, um, I'm not very nice usually. :)


I'm a pediatric psychologist and some people make comments that tell me they think I have a fake job too. I think she should be embarrassed by her ill-informed, boorish comments.
Anyway, as a peds psychologist and mom, I LOVE your writing and I tell people that I read blogs. I figure we readers can do you writers a service if we don't slink around in shame about how we spend the wee hours of the morn, wine glass in hand, by the computer...

Sugared Harpy

Wow, you say, "I'm a _____" and someone viewed the polite response to be "Oh, aren't _____ kind of stupid?"

Methinks you aren't the asshole!

I'm an art historian. I get that idiotic type of response all the time until I finally started saying, "I'm a teacher." People are dicks.

Jessica (@ It's my life...)

Ah... The joy of living out in Silicon Valley. Out here you're only not cool if you DON'T blog!

Anyway, you should try telling them you're a web celebrity and leave it at that! Cuz you are. To us. We luvs you.

a fan

Amy, that was a pretty funny post. I read your blog every couple of days. I have one son, born a couple of weeks after Ezra. I started reading your blog before either one of us had kids. I stumbled across your blog somehow. It was my first and still is the only one I read regularly. I live in DC, work full-time as scientist at NIH, am a big fan of food and was embarrassed today that I had to order groceries from Peapod. You are a great writer and have kept me engaged and laughing for a few years now. I hope you know your worth.


A. If it weren't for your blog, I would have no idea how tough it is being a parent, which would probably result in my being a condescending asshole to my baby sister.
B. I'm also a writer, but one who works from a cube in a big building, and I wish I had half the passion, craft and voice you do.
C. Which is why, on more than one occasion, I've pointed other professional writers at your blog to see how it's done.

Which is my long-winded way of saying you kick ass. (And that I would like to kick the ass of the condescending bitch at the party.)

Big Gay Sam

My God! I wish I had a smidgen of the talent you possess. I'm entertaining the idea hiring a voodoo priestess to steal your power. Only, I lost her number and she's not in the book... You know how it is.

I love your writing style. Screw the snobs. Better yet, Don't screw the snobs and eventually they'll die out.


you make me laugh all the time- don't listen to that dumb cow. also, isn't it more dangerous to be alive, walking around in public, where people could actually reach you or your kids, than have a picture of them online, where some dude, somewhere, probably in his mom's basement, might look at it? big deal.


I read this post when you first published and while I try to prevent myself from posting a comment when I'm feeling particularly ranty, my mind kept brooding over this and feeling irked. First of all, has this chick been hiding under a rock for the past five+ years?! Blogs are now where most people get their news, their stories... their friends! To be a good blogger not only means being a good writer (a huge feat in itself), but being up to date on culture, trends, advice, computers and a whole host of other stuff (right, obviously I am NOT a good blogger, but I tried, failed alongside MANY others, and now just stand back in admiration). You are a successful, wonderful blogger and you have helped so many (including myself) have a sense of humor while transitioning to this hard, crazy place of Momhood.

My husband and I are musicians and when we tell people who don't know us, they assume we sit under a subway tunnel with a hat, even though we trained for most our lives, have masters degrees and play in many of the world's major concert halls. Ignorance is ridiculous. Try not to take it personally. We, the enlightened, love you.

P.S. Bitch.


I'm so glad you are a blogger and not a horse jerker-offer!


Well, I for one am really glad you do it! I love your blog. It's the first thing I do when I get to work, drink my coffee and read something good you wrote. It's a great way to start my day and i'd really miss you if you ever stopped. Be propud of what you do!


I thought the worst thing to admit in public was being a poet.
At a meeting were aspiring poets
chaperoned by someone who has fulfilled his aspirations meaning he/she got published. I admitted having four children. Question: And then you are writing poetry?
Are you a teacher? I: No, why?
The other: Because of your glasses.
And when the eminent author found my poems actually quite good, someone thought it unfair. Why, I can only guess. Presumably because I don't look or act like a mother although I am one, Iam not a teacher, although I look like one meaning I don't look like a poet, although I write poems. Confusing....


And personally, I'l so glad that you DO the thing that you do.


Blogs are reall fucking stupid, but my sister and I both read yours religiously because it's like a good book. There's a plot and at the end of every post you leave us wanting more.

The City Sisters

As evidenced by all of the comments...you ROCK! And frankly I'm surprised you didn't kick that chick in the shins. She is just jealous.


I love your blog. I think it's awesome that you do this full time and inspirational that you started it while working another job full time. I've never thought it was easier for you to blog because you were an editor, perhaps that was related to why your writing is better than many people's.

Kudos to you for not snapping her photo and announcing "well, let's see if any pedophiles want this photo" but then I'm a little crazy.

I do think it should be up to the parents whether or not to post their kids photos online. But you're not posting your address or anything insane. You seem responsible while still being open and providing support and help to tons of people in DC and beyond. You probably help more people in a week than that bitch does in a year.

cindy w

I would just like to say, that woman? Is an asshole. Like, of epic proportions.

Also, congrats on the childcare. I'm currently ripping my hair out (and sprouting all new shiny gray ones) trying to figure that out myself. Woe is me and my bourgeois lifestyle.


I once had a "mother's helper" who would sit my twins down in front of Jerry Springer. Never lifted a finger to fold laundry (ONLY the kids'), etc. Feh. She lasted a week.

And try talking to people when you're a librarian: "Really? Do we still need those? We have the INTERNET with WIKIPEDIA and stuff now."


[Clarification: I only expected her to fold the kids' laundry, not that she refused to do any but the kids'.]


Any "breathtaking dumbness" issued from your interlocutor, not from you. I am an English prof (*gives Heide the secret handshake*), a revelation which prompts one of two reactions: "Oh, I guess I'd better watch my grammar when I talk to you!" (Yes, because I am such an mannerless dolt that I will correct your speech out loud to your face.) And my favorite: "You know, I always hated English." That one leaves my mouth agape. As I have said to friends, I've never met a chef and said "You know, I always hated food." Maybe the awkward silence is the best response to these ham-fisted comments--gives the person who spoke them time to marinate in his/her own dorkdom.


What you do is wonderful. When an acquaintance of mine was struggling with her child who reminded me of what you described going through with Noah, I referred her to your blog and it helped her a lot. You do good!


That kind of job? HUH? It's not like you were some stoner pizza delivery woman who worked every other Wednesday and Sunday.

You had like a professional editing job with DEADLINES and a BOSS and OH YEAH, LONG HOURS TOO.

Wow. That's some nerve.

Well, I LOVE you blog. Love your honesty. Love your humor. And when your idea for a book happens, I'll pre-order that shit on Amazon lickety-split.


Well, whatever. A lot of people have stupid jobs that I wouldn't want to do but YOUR JOB IS FABULOUS and your blog is fantastic. Even if you have a job that a lot of people don't understand, isn't it reassuring to know that you're doing it better than everyone else? Because you are! My DH has the same freakishness about putting our life out there for the world to see so I have a stupid anonymous blog. But it makes me happy. I so admire you for putting it all out there!


Blogs are only stupid for people who have no clue what they are. Blogs and social media are a savior to those of us who live isolated lives, trying to do as much as we possibly can in our work at home jobs while our kids are at day care or school while feeling guilty for not being able to spend more time with them and be the perfect wife/homemaker/parent/friend. Screw the office drones. Blogs are what keep some of us sane and entertained. Yay for Amalah!


The only thing less impressive than blogging for a living, by the way, is blogging for fun which is what I do. People are constantly responding with "Oh, you must have a lot of spare time on your hands", as if I am building a garage out of popsicle sticks.

I love your blog, dangerous kid photos and all.


Dude. I would've peed.

And I like what you do. We all do. So there.


Our two-day-a-week nanny is worth her weight in gold (granted, she's a petite size 0, but she'd be worth it even if she was plus size) - she looks after 13 month old Snackbox PLUS an 11 month old, and she texts me during the day "Is it okay if I clean your bathroom?" Um, like I would say no?

[I'm not even going to comment about how fabulous your blog is, because if it wasn't, would I comment on almost every single post?]

Shauna (Fido & Wino)

I like the "who has time for that?" comments. Me asshole, that is what I JUST SAID.


I wish bloggers didn't feel the need to preface so many posts with the disclaimer that they are shallow, self-centered, middle-class and "first world." I know you do this because of all those wacky commenters who yell at you. But you really should just ignore them. Because there are a lot of us here in the "first world,"and while we should have perspective and compassion for those in other situations, I think it's OK for us to talk about our problems and worries on our own personal blogs without all the first world guilt.

College At Thirty

Okay, I totally don't get why people are afraid of child molesters on the internet...I mean, what do they think they're going to do? Fap off to pictures of your fully clothed children? I hate to say this, but working for law enforcement and everything, I can tell you that if a molester wants a little kid to harm, there are much easier ways of getting one than stalking some random person on the internet. They don't want pictures. They want the real thing. And that thing is for sale at a surprisingly and embarrassingly low price just up the way from your house and his house and my house, and her house. I can't say for sure if I would ever post pictures of me or my nonexistent children outside of my protected facebook page, but I never heard of anyone being found and molested/raped because of a blog. A Match.com page, yes. A blog? No. The person you talked to obviously does not know how the internet works.

Wow...this subject really pisses me off apparently.

Anyway, I think you're okay.


this was hilarious. my favorite line from the whole thing: "The enormous crazy PRESSURE that comes from being an overprivileged asshole. "


Wow. That is all that I can say, just...wow. Like everyone else here I just love reading your writing. I'm late to the party only having found your blog about 9 months ago but seriously love it. I've been working my way through the archives (yes, sounds creepy and stalkerish but wow are you a talented writer!) I laughed, I cried, I hurled....

There doesn't seem to be any 'internal filter' anymore in people. Please don't let the dumbassery of others get to you. We are your adoring fans to the end!

Also to echo a PP, I've had dreams/fantasies about being your friend. Baltimore isn't that far from the DC 'burbs.... No, not creepy or stalkerish at all...gottagobye!


Damn. You should have asked her what she did for a living and then told her IT was stupid. That woman needs some manners.

Sometimes I wish I could just live in a hobbit hole and blog for a living instead of dealing with dumb asses all day. I am JELUS.


Point the first: "Aren't blogs kind of stupid?" - such a lame argument. She just clearly proved that PEOPLE can be kind of stupid, yet SHE goes on being one.
Point the second: Does she realize that posting a picture on line is not EXACTLY the same thing as signing away all rights to anyone who sees that picture?


Don't feel bad -- I'm a dentist, and when I actually decide to say so, I get the same kind of stuff: Oh, so you like to torture people for a living; How can you stick your hands in anyone's mouth (GLOVES, HELLO); You don't look like a dentist. etc, etc, etc. It is always good to follow up with a polite "And what do you do?" to see if you can get any mileage out of that person's profession. :) Love your writing!

Ellyn B

How rude. Maybe I was just raised well, but you never, ever, ask someone else what they make. Ever. Why would your being a blogger make you open season?
(Another question you never ever ask - a woman - is "Are you pregnant?" "When are you due?" and the like. Kinda makes those of us who are not, in fact, pregnant, want to jump off a bridge. Or start yelling.)


Wow. What an asshole.

Amy I love your blog. I love reading Advice Smackdown, and Bounce Back, and enjoyed reading Zero to Forty. I have no kids yet, but I like to read these things as prep for when I do. And you are such a funny, cool person with great kids, and a awesome sense of humor that if you didn't blog it would be a shame. I look forward to every post. So keep on blogging. And next time someone acts like that just go Wow, what an asshole. And walk away to blog about it!


As someone who obsessively checks your blog daily for new writings (and am currently subscribed to EVERYTHING you write), I am freakin' excited you got a babysitter! It's hard to do anything at all with kids around, let alone anything that requires brain cells. You deserve the help. Blogging is no more stupid than staying home with your kids (which I do), or going off to do something mindless in a cubicle (which my husband does). I'm so, so glad to have discovered your wonderful writings, especially Advice Smackdown and Zero - Forty. Now, go write something for me to read!

Mrs Chaos

I like what you do. The end. :)


Yeah, well...my job is full time and in an office (does that make it more "real")...and if I didn't have blogs to read (yours in particular) I'd lose my mind. They're not stupid, they are how a LOT of people stay sane. Didja ask her what SHE does? Want me to beat her up? I will.

Seriously, thank you for doing what you do...and I'll be your friend!

Jess W

Well, I like what you do. And I work full time. And still take the time out of my day to read the funny. And adore all of the cute. Because I like it. So thanks Amy!


For two days I though the title of this post said BOOGERS instead of BLOGGERS - just realized that now. Sorry!


sure, they "could" post their life on a blog, but would it be any good.. mmmmm.. i think not. not everyone can do what you do.


I love you, Amalah! I'll be reading as long as you're writing here. ***HUG***

Also, congrats on getting some help with your little dudes (and props to Jason for pushing you a bit :) I'm very relieved for you!


I have an idea for a book for you. (I have only read this entry as far as the part where you say you don't have an idea for a book. Promise to finish in a sec. Also have not read the bazillion comments, so apologies if this has already been mentioned.

Anyway, you should TOTALLY make a book out of the Bounce Back series. There surely must be a niche out there for this sort of thing.


Okay, I read the rest. And UGH. Take no notice of the silly cow - she has no clue - NO CLUE. Yay for childcare and yay for your blog. Keep writing, please.


OMG, husband work parties are the worst. My hubby works in sales for a big company. We were at a party at a coworker's house, and I discovered that I was the only wife (the sales team is all men) who works outside the home. The looks of confusion were amazing. "You work?" "Do you HAVE to work?" "But, your husband works for XYZ, surely you don't HAVE to work!"

Even more fun was the backpedaling when, after they told me how much they love their free time now that the kids were in school, I told them I was charing a charity event and we could use some smart, energetic volunteers. Suddenly, it was "Oh, no, I go to the gym on Wednesdays." "I have bible study on Tuesdays." "I have book club on THursdays."



Ditto, sans the actual making of money. You are a Frontierswoman!! Tell them that and let the guess...


Aren't blogs kind of stupid?!

I love that. That's hilarious. People are so naive. It kills me.

So glad you're not stupid. :)


I loved this post. LOVED. I'm a work from home mom person too and trying to explain what I do to people is facedesk frustrating. I dye sockyarn for knitters. It's a real thing and I do ok with it. But everyone thinks that it's just a hobby. Or that I'm crazy. Or that I can't find another "real job" in the profession I left (was semi-laid off from) when I had my daughter. Makes me screamy. So thank you for sharing and I do NOT think your blog is stupid!!!


See, this is why bloggers shouldn't talk to anyone.


This is why I blog anonymously. LOL.

Anyway, at dinner a month or so ago I was telling hilarious stories about my kids and my SIL said, "Oh my God, you should TOTALLY start a blog!" I was like, "Oh yeah....totally." I thought my husband would choke on his quesadilla when she said that. LOL.


This cheered me to no end. Baby, thanks for taking more than one for the team. "Professional oversharer" is classic.

M. Bailey

I love your blog - and have sent so many new moms to it. Your sense of humour is just awesome, as is your willingness to share a piece of your life with us. Thank you.


I'm SO glad for "stupid" blogs. Over the years of reading them, I've been inspired, learned a lot and have laughed a lot. Thanks!

When I try to tell people about something that I've read in a blog, they always look at me kind of weird. Saying you read blogs seems to weird people out too. People just don't understand!


I've been reading your stuff for a couple of years now and found you hilarious funny.....when I read what that stupid bitch said it "annoys" me to no end.

A nice reply to a stupid bitch like that next time...(put on a nice innocent look)and quietly tell her, "I stay home to work AND teach my children manners so that they don't turn out to be rude, condescending cunts. So what is it exactly that you do?". *ZING*

I'm pretty sure you're nicer than me though :)


ROFLMAO at snarky Amber!


I LOVE your blawg. And on days where I'm down, or even days when I feel like I could give my kids a time-out for the next 5 years; you really bring a smile to my face. You have an incredible way with the written word, a true talent.

That woman sounds like a... well, a rude b1tch. Who gives a rat's patootie what she thinks.

Dee Asay

I agree that people do voice their options when you are doing something that they think will not be making money for you. People should be giving you encouragement that you are doing something different.


I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who throws out "online writer" or something else stupid to avoid the "blog" word. I proudly announced in class last semester that I blog, mostly about parenting, and was met with "Blogs are for people who have too much time on their hands and are in love with themselves." .......how do you respond to that?!

I'm trying to find a way to own up to blogging without those kinds of conversations!


And we love that you do it, because you spread humor and compassion across teh internets. So there!

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