November 18, 2008

A Parody Was The Pill I Needed

Now THIS IS funny. Just what I needed to soothe my pain.
And you know how much I like boob jokes.

I hope we can move past this soon, but not before we learn some important lessons from it all. (And when I say 'we' I really mean 'me' but ya can't blame me for hoping for a larger collective.) I really wish someone would put an end to the original Motrin ad on YouTube. I mean, seriously — why hasn't THAT been pulled? (Just in case it has by the time I publish this post, as of now, it's still being linked to and it's got over one hundred thousand views.) Isn't it illegal to scrape it from the site and post it to YouTube? I wish someone would explain to me why this is ok. Isn't it counterproductive for the same people who complained about stopping the original ad campaign to keep linking to it and promoting it? I used to think that there was a simple common goal: to possibly get the original ad removed or revised on the company's website and educate people about the misconstrued facts of babywearing. (The Sept. 30th ad campaign wasn't even popular before this past week but sure is now while it's on YouTube.) I just don't get how that got all messed up. I'm also still peeved about the people who bitched about the ad in the beginning who keep trying to milk it for their own selfish and personal gain. I am no longer linkbaiting anything that drives traffic towards the original ad or the people who stirred the pot and spoiled the stew. I'm even considering removing the links from my original post on the whole thing. I'm just talking about how I've allowed myself to feel about the whole experience and what I'm trying to learn about myself from it.

One annoying thing is that now we've got all sorts of "experts" spewing their psychobabble about the effects of the "mommy mafia" on marketing who then link to the Queenpins which pushes more traffic to their sites. I don't quite yet know just what to make of that whole bag of hurt. Maybe the "marketing analysts" are right. Maybe they're also for hire. It frustrates me though because of the perceived ill threats this poses to moms with blogs and the sincere business efforts they try to achieve through social media on their behalf. I'm attracted to the idea of moms having a say and maybe even getting compensated for their ideas about how marketing could be improved to make advertising more effective. I'm also kind of turned off though when we act like the market owes us something just because we're moms. I joke about it at times when something pisses me off and I feel like I can "threaten to blog about it" but I'm also part Italian and the whole "mafia" thing has always been a tongue in cheek thing with me.

I suppose it's only human for us to always look for some kind of a power trip to makes us feel worthy in situations where we feel our personal beliefs are being threatened. I have to wonder though — are we mommy bloggers (whatever you want to call it or not call it) so desperate for attention these days? The competition is really getting the best of us I think. (Present company included.) I used to think it was a nice community in which to belong. Moms promoting other moms just because we think each other are cool. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Blogging with other moms used to be one big happy lovefest for me. It made me feel giddy and like I belonged to a group who accepted me even when I didn't shave my legs or put on a bra.

I'll be honest, I sometimes felt like I was exploiting the "#motrinmoms" situation by the couple of times I tweeted my blog post link or used the #hashtag to link myself to the conversation stream. I was excited at the prospect of commenting on another's blog to get a linkback in return. Oh the things we do for some traffic or to get noticed. This practice has been bred into us by the mommy bloggers who paved the way before it was a popular idea to have your own blog. They taught us the ways of the modern-day sewing circle. All the stitching of blogs together makes one collective group of moms with common goals and ideas.

My real intention of my original comment on the subject was to speak my mind on something I felt knowledgeable about and to then share that knowledge with others. (ok, this is the last time I'm going to apologize for myself.) But I couldn't leave it at that. I was too proud to let my comment — my content— to sit idle on another's blog who was getting attention. I don't want to just give my ideas away when I've got a stale post on my own blog just hanging there. The thoughts belong to me and I may want to revisit these thoughts in the future when I feel the need for reflection. When I began to copy my own comment and post it on my own blog, I thought about a way to introduce it. Then I thought it was a good opportunity to post on something I was passionate about which also brang back fond memories of my son from before I even had a blog. For so long I had been wanting to post something about my earlier parenting experiences for my son's portion of the "baby log." My blog is mostly about preserving my memories of my life including the people, experiences and philosophies I've had during my lifetime.

I also begin to wonder about this whole blogging for "business" scheme I've been thinking about getting in to. I'm trying to be more careful now. It's hard in this day and age of the modern-day-depression "economic downturn." The pressure to be an entrepreneur and push for self promotion to get by and rise above the competition out there is immense. I wonder if the stress of it all is starting to turn people into something they wouldn't normally be.

The more we dedicate, the more we medicate.
What the hell is in this water we're drinking?
If it is not laced with pride then it is tainted by greed.

All of these experts but no one to self mediate.
Where do we draw the line before blinking?
If we keep on wanting to belong we will always perceive the need.

It's not good enough to just be a stay-at-home-mom and especially when you have already started a career before choosing to stay at home to raise your family. I have found the stress to be overwhelming at times. I feel I still have to prove myself. I have to prove that I'm good for more than just changing diapers and cleaning toilets. Especially, since I have a college degree, I have to prove it to myself that I'm not letting it go to waste. We had to take out a second mortgage on our home to money launder our own debt, the bulk of which was my college loan. I feel so insanely guilty about that and I punish myself by allowing myself very few privileges in life. If I'm not working hard all the time, I don't feel worthy.

Despite the fact that I give great hugs, mend broken hearts, listen to troubles and dry tears, make things by hand and enjoy helping others for nothing in return — I still feel guilty for not doing enough.

You have to prove yourself to stay at home moms if your work out of the house and if you're a stay at home mom you have to prove you're just as active as a mom who works full time AND raises a family. I don't see where there is a win here. I've done BOTH now and BOTH sides have their merits. I decided to stay at home for many reasons. One of which was because the money wasn't enough to keep me slaving away at my previous full time job. I enjoyed the job very, very much, but the expectations and bureaucracy killed it for me. It's hard to say, but I'm inclined to think that a very LARGE amount of money would have been required to keep me punching someone else's clock, even at a job I could stomach. If I were making the equivalent of above and beyond mine and my husband's salary combined, I would have been harder pressed to quit and that's why I can understand the plight of the "working mom." Lucky for me I wasn't so embedded in my job at the time that I felt a sense of obligation to keep it. I knew I was easily replaced — not my efforts or ability — but me as a warm body to fill a slot that wasn't given a whole lot of priority. In other words, in my situation, I feel like I could always go back to a similar job or even a different job and that staying wasn't going to change that fact. After having so many different jobs, it's hard for me to feel any sense of loyalty for any one particular place. Take me or leave me. I'm an outstanding worker and if you compensate me and treat me well, I'll bend over backwards for you. But if you try to micromanage me or cheat me out of my worth, then there are other things I can do.

One skill I have that no one really ever thinks of putting on a job application is the ability to live on unemployment, still pay on my debts and take care of myself. I know how to hunker down and live within my means. I don't mind eating macaroni and cheese with tuna out of a can. I work to make a living doing something that I love. If you expect me to work to live, then I can make working livable, but not lovable or lasting.

I'm frustrated with myself for getting sucked in to what turned Twitter into a major soap opera. I have been trying to take a break from Twitter for the past couple of days now. It hasn't been easy, but I am trying to focus my attention on other things now. I do miss the way it used to feel to me. When people started using it for selfish promotion and to say nasty things to each other, it became tainted. It was like a bar fight broke out and now I'm not sure I want to go back to that bar. I think I've actually reached a point of burnout on it.

A couple of my friends have experienced this burnout too so I know I'm not alone. For me, Twitter is like the Cheers of online networking like AOL chat rooms used to be. Have you ever read the lyrics to the Cheers theme song? No? Well, you're in luck! You know you wanna. AOL chatrooms lost their appeal when the meat market and pr0n spambots took over. I fear Twitter might soon suffer a similar demise, but I really hope not. I know Twitter seems like a really powerful force to be reckoned with and people are claiming that companies will now be shaking in their boots about what affect it will have on marketing, but anything seems powerful enough when you live in a bubble. It's really easy to get sucked in to Twitter like it's your little world. Sometimes that makes it harder to be more objective.

I'll probably get back into it soon, because I still love it for all the great feedback I get when I have a question about something technical or feel like being silly geeky. I also do like to use it as a mini baby log by posting little #hashtagged thoughts about my son throughout the day and archiving the RSS feed on it.

If my blog posts aren't in the form of a personal journal entry to myself or a baby log about my son, they are usually in the form of a review, tip or promotion for something I enjoy and want others to know about. So, I'm going to keep reminding myself that this blog is for ME and these are MY feelings whether I'm right or wrong or just passionate but unsure.

Now, it's time to laugh about it, dammit!
Aaaay! Fuh-gettaboutit! You jes tell em' TheMacMommy told ya – iz all gonna be alright! Oh-KAY? sheesh. Fuh-gettaboutit! You should lissen to your own motherboard. Ya know? Deep down. Be true to yaself. Ay-ite?