Saturday, June 14, 2014

With Time on 'the Books'

So I haven't been posting here as regularly these past couple of weeks for two good reasons.
One, being that I am deliriously in love with this new baby and spending a good chunk of my days in bed, hiding (when I can) from the regular non stop chaos that reigns just outside my door while trying my best to soak in all the bliss that comes with seeing this new tiny being you waited and imagined for nine or ten long months here at your lap, loving you back with fierce but silent adoration. Nursing, napping, loving, laughing. Exhausted, naturally, but head over heels in love.

The second is that I've been devoting what free time I do have (none really . . .) to getting The Ma Books to where it needs to be to match the initial vision I had from the start. A few weeks ago, when I caught wind of another, very similar style mother based communal blog that popped up right after the release of ours I was at first excited to see that maybe the trend of connecting experiences regarding different women and their take on motherhood on the whole was starting to take shape. That maybe we would in fact come to have a nice variety to read and learn from. And that maybe, just maybe, more people than I realized were finally sick and tired of being played a fool, seeking out blogs and bloggers  that house content you actually look forward to reading and relating to, while only winding up feeling lost in another superficial cyber abyss shoving tribal kiddie leggings, exotic rugs, overpriced toys and ever changing trending decor, Swedish sandals, and ridiculous"mother must haves" in an array of consumer links so cluttered and enticing that you forgot what it was you were initially seeking to connect with or read about because you got so caught up pinning and pining after every stupid overly curated imagine / item tossed your way. In short, it became clear right away that this new glossy, over polished site was just more of the same. Only worse because while touting itself as a all encompassing embrace of motherhood, it appeared to lend about 85 percent of it's content to peaking the rise of your credit card rather than anything even slightly weighed with an ounce of humility or heart. I visited once and had a dizzying overwhelmed reaction similar to stumbling into the grand opening of a Sak's Fifth Avenue. Or something worse. . .

And if you're not sure what I'm referring to here, consider yourself lucky.


On the bright side, it pushed me to see that while feeling fully exhausted at the moment, I really needed to invest in growing this other site because it was starting to feel increasingly vital. Putting out what I yearned for in a "mom blog" trusting that others out there felt the same way. Eager for real life voices, stories and issues from real life moms not wholeheartedly concentrated on perfecting the corners of a fancy mid century nursery but rather sharing bits of their lives and journey, leaving you feeling part of something rather than less than something. Especially when that special "something" isn't even remotely real to begin with.

So I am here to say that if my posts on this site feel sporadic or briefer than usual, this is why. I do enjoy sharing here because at the end of the day I like simply having it down as a documentation of our life as an ever evolving family. But I also feel like the time now is more desperate than ever to put an end to the gross misconception that we as women and mothers are mere numbers with over anxious desires to buy and spend and not much more.

For now, just know that I am dedicated to building this other site slowly, steadily. Hoping to find more time to invest in more in depth, personal posts of my own as well as sharing outside stories from those contributing. And please, if you do have any ideas or experiences or photography pieces you wish to share with us, feel free to write us at: themamabooks@gmail.com



And a warm thank you, once again, for reading.
Xx
J


26 comments:

  1. Somehow The Ma Books totally passed me by.
    Always greatful for more good reads.

    Good luck on the project.
    I will keep reading here, and now there

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. i know exactly what you mean about that kind of "mom" blog. you really nailed it in your description. i'm impressed you've blogged as much as you have recently with as much as you have on your plate. i look forward to your blog posts very much because they definitely fit into the kind of lifestyle/parenting blog that i enjoy. i would like to say more but my own two boys literally will not let me type more than three words with out asking me to make them a sandwich, how rainbows are made and if they can borrow their dad's pliers (NOOOO!) so just let me say that i very much enjoy both this blog and your new one, and get so excited to see a new post on either. thanks for having such great blogs!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yet again Jessica you hit the nail right on the head! Perfectly put. With my second baby on the way I am thrilled at every post on The Ma books and here, always making me feel part of something rather than not good enough for something because my newborn wont have 40quid tribal leggings (this part made me laugh so loud!). Appreciate your goals, honesty and authenticity that always shines through rather than a commercial goal...I have said it before and no doubt will say it again its awesome. The Ma Books come across as a way of celebrating motherhood and the community that happens as a result, with an emphasis on celebrating each others efforts rather than frankly a place to show off which so many sites do and be about the "look at all this cool shit I got, bet you want it too but you probably cant afford it so maybe you aren't a good mum" bullshit message the site you mention but don't actually mention seems to give off! Anyway my message is loud and clear I love both your blogs! Also, just a small idea I would love to read birth stories, I love them! Another also, have you seen the midwife Ida May Birth documentary? About the farm? Its brill! Keep doing the good work (with your lovely family and lovely blogs!) xxx Congratulations on baby Haynes too x Emily xxx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am LOVING the Ma Books! THANK YOU! Wild fantasy is to write something for you all someday. And I am just about 100% positive I know exactly which site you are referring to that came out around the time of The Ma Books, and while I was initially worried yours would follow suit (prior to reading it of course), I'm thrilled to see it has not. Have fun loving on that new baby - we're pleasantly enjoying our fourth as well (who arrived just a few weeks before baby Hayes). xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. So glad that you are enjoying that little fellow and savoring those sweet moments..... and so you should!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such thoughtful words on the mind-numbing superficiality and materialism of the mommy blogging world these days. Thank you for offering us something else!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have seen this new mommy mag. Given that one of the founders changed her name from Amy to "James" (I can only guess in a exaggerated effort to come off as hip and cool and good for "branding", too) not that many years ago, I wasn't surprised to see that her new glossy mag is, indeed, incredibly superficial - focused on looking hip & cool with a abundance of pins and shopping links. The writing, what little there is, is horrific with phrases like, "coveting", "want/need", "we need now", "obsession", and the all important - "brand you need to know". In the 'about' section, she states she is, "appealing to readers beyond the typical "mommy blogger" demographic." I am left to wonder what that "demographic" is exactly.

    Jessica, please keep on doing what you're doing, you're doing a great job. I love The Ma Books and it is needed now more than ever. So many young women are out there and probably feeling more than a little disillusioned , looking for something real, something they can relate too, something thoughtful, intelligent, humorous, informative, fun...keep The Ma Books coming!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jessica - this is off topic but have you read - A Midwife's Tale ? It won a Pulitzer Prize and its about the life of Martha Ballard based on her diary - 1785-1812. I think you would enjoy this book. Talk about women supporting & helping each other in a very real way...this woman was amazing. Her account of riding horseback, alone at night, in a storm no less, and having to cross a raging creek...all to get to another woman about to give birth...stunning. I'm almost emotional thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I know the site that you're referring to and I'm not impressed. I'm loving The Ma Books though. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am in love with the Ma Books. Gives me that warm and happy feeling of connection for sure. Thanks for the work and love you've put into it. It definitely comes through. XO, Cassie.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I know just the blog/magazine you are referring to, and I was really disappointed too. I keep trying to get something back, something I felt was there when all the blogging started. But it's just buy, buy, buy.

    I love the Ma Books. Keep going, people are looking for substance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Loving the Ma Books and looking forward to what's to come. Agree with all the points made about the other blog, especially the 'buy buy buy' ness of it, and think it's a shame as there are some nice profiles of mothers and also some nice ideas (tips on how to help a new mother, the motherlode, even some of the consumer stuff is useful - practical diaper bags/flats etc). I guess the aim is for it to be 'aspirational' but it lacks diversity and isn't what motherhood is really. Keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete
  13. ooh ooh ooh also please it would be amazing to read something on how different siblings are from one another, your three (now 4) come across as quite different souls. I've got baby number 2 on the way, due at Christmas, so obviously really interested in this subject!! Can't help imagining it will be exactly the same as with number 1 (I know I'm in for a shock!!).

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just lost myself in the Ma Books. Completely agree with the opinions about the current state of motherhood blogs and mags: full of stuff but no substance. As a working mother of two, I hardly ever see my reflection in these blogs and I have to say that the Ma books brings the substance I'm looking for. Motherhood is so unique in that there are many out there who share that title and responsibility but not one of us have the same exact experience in this position. Seeing that those stories come to life is a worthwhile endeavor. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh my heart. Your words literally just came right from my heart to this post. I can't even put into words how much this bothered me and my admiration for you just went tenfold. I love Ma Books for its simplicity and to the point stories of amazing mothers, I deplore wish lists and items to buy. The issue is seemingly getting worse and it has made my love for Instagram fade quickly. Thanks for you amazing site and the true identity you have given it....it's what is missing and what I crave.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just want to say I'm really enjoying the Ma Books. It is a blog that has more heart felt and sincere real topics and stories that resonate with me. It's definitely headed in a direction that is needed from a mommy type blog. I have visited the other blog I think you're referring to, but it really is more of list of links rather than an actual blog. The only stories are "interviews" with mothers that are so out of touch with what the average mother does, thinks and feels. I enjoy reading both of your blogs and am surprised at how much you've managed to build on the Ma Books after just having your fourth baby.

    Something you share a lot of on this blog that I feel would be great on the Ma Books is a post about camping with kids. I love it and do it as much as we can, but there are so many mamas and families that would enjoy it but are intimidated about camping with little ones.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I rarely comment, but your writing here has inspired me! Thank you so much for pushing and fighting to create a beautiful and honest space for us mamas. I've read several mom-geared blogs and mags and always feel empty and lacking by the the end of it. My life doesn't look anything like the ones of mothers portrayed in their articles and they miss the simple thing that, actually no two mothers lives are the same but we can find community and connections if we look past all the stuff and simply be present, honest and heartfelt in our conversations and support for one another. Really looking forward to more from The Ma Books and finding my own crew of women and mothers who can get together and relish in the crazy wild and beautiful children we are helping to raise and the crazy wild messy imperfect lives we lead! xo, Benicia

    ReplyDelete
  18. When I first became a mother I looked at a ton of mom blogs. Now three years in and two boys later I can count on one hand the "mom blogs" I read. I got to the point where I was simply DONE. Thanks for being true.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ya, I used to have a little respect for James. She's got great taste and style but... When she re-did her blog and referred to herself - in the third person no less (I mean, hello disconnect) - as a "writer" and "photographer", I vomited in my mouth just a little. I think the most sincere thing I've read from her over the last year was an emotional fueled defense about an obnoxiously done sponsored post she did for some ridiculously priced brand of watches. Then came her new site, with interviews that include ultra deep questions like "what is your favorite room in your house" and "where are your favorite places to shop" and as if they aren't surface level enough, below each response is an italicized paragraph that reads as long as a novel - when compared to the actual answer, which is typically not more than a short sentence - about what each person pictured is wearing and a link to where you can spend $1000 to buy the same things. I stopped reading and following. Integrity is everything. Cheers to The Ma Books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um, best thing about her blog was finding you through it, haha. I don't remember exactly when I started reading but basically Hooper was a little babe and then you were pregnant with Van and I related because I was pregnant with my Olivia at the same time. But now, I'm pregnant with my third and now I definitely need some Ma Books!

      Delete
  20. You said it so well. The overwhelming feeling and frustration of a huge department store. Leaving you feeling defeated and lost and finding yourself looking at a pair of three hundred dollar shoes you can't afford and would never buy.

    Then you find The Ma Books. And the connection. And the "hood" of motherhood you were looking for. The kinship. If that blog is a department store the Ma Books is your favorite thrift shop. Or no, something more special... Your grandmas attic. Yes. That feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Why did I not see this post sooner! Perfectly said Jessica �� I've been following her blog for awhile and everytime I leave there I feel like I need to buy something. I just came across the new mother blog I didn't like it I tired to give it a shot but for some reason I just couldn't get into it.... I'm not even sure how I came across your blogs but I love them your word are so real and I myself am very real and live a very real life however crazy the day may get the fantasy was a little much for me. ��cheers

    ReplyDelete
  22. The beginning of your post brought tears to my eyes. So beautifully written! Oh... I remembered how I was in a little shock to see another person starting a new blog with similar idea behind it but...hey... it is TOO much! It is not even that interesting. It literally offers what you could find on the regular magazine rack. No story behind it and people I can't really relate to.. I quit reading it.
    Enjoy the beautiful moments with your family! Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are so totally my west coast soul sister. Thank you for your honesty. So, so refreshing and candid and visceral. Looking forward to reading more.

    ReplyDelete




  24. Find best Online Jobs on Facebook...
    JobzCorner

    ReplyDelete