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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Tuesday
Nov162010

Suggestion Box

I was talking to an old friend on the phone the other day. One thing led to another and this blog came up. The person mentioned they don't read it anymore because of all the "pregnant stuff". It got me to thinking...

Have I turned into a boring "mommy blogger?" Is reading this blog like going to a party and watching someone's vacation slide show for an hour?

I guess I'm also wondering if the links to Babble annoy you? For instance, today I was going to post this:
Serge knows this drill well. He turns up the jazz music he insists on playing and begins to be-pop along loudly. If you’ve ever heard someone be-pop and thrum their fingers on the steering wheel along with jazz, well, that’s enough to induce vomit whether you’re expecting a child or not. So I prepare to puke when I notice holes in the bottom of the bag.
The Puking and Peeing Pregnancy Blues, that's what I'm babbling about today.

Is that annoying? Truth is, I get paid by the page view on those suckers, you know? So if no one's looking, there ain't much point in writing over there. But I also don't want to turn The Girl Who into a big pimp fest, ya dig?

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and see what y'all think. Thoughts? Suggestions? Pretend like this is a suggestion box at your job. Except for no, I can't give you a raise or more vacation time.

Reader Comments (70)

I'm not into mommybloggers and tend to find all crap related to kids kinda dull, but I keep reading your blog because of your sense of humor and your honesty regardless of the topic.

I guess I'm saying it's your writing, not the the subject matter, that I find compelling. You could probably write about accounting and I'd still read.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

I think you need to direct to your babble articles...like you have been doing. I don't find it annoying. It isn't like you are neglecting this blog.
I like reading your blog and I think that your true fans will continue reading and enjoy going through the journey of life with you. It is a blog, you really can't NOT write about your pregnancy. Sorry about the double negative.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMjorie

I enjoy the links.. I find your Babble blogging to be funny, but I'm not a huge fan of other Babble bloggers, so if you didn't post links here, I'd likely miss some of the hilarious things you've been saying over there.

I mean, if someone doesn't wait to click, they don't have to. Right?

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole R

I like the "mommy blog" stuff! When you post a Babble link I usually head over to check it out, and otherwise I probably wouldn't read your stuff over there. I say keep posting the links!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRachel C

Yeah, I'm just not that into your pregnancy. Mostly I scroll past anything pregnancy related. That said, write for yourself. If you want to write about your pregnancy on your site that's your prerogative. There's no point in having a popular blog if what you're writing about doesn't interest you.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I love your blog, and I love the posts about pregnancy/motherhood. I don't have kids and I have a weird fascination with the ladies who do! However, I don't like the linking out to the Babble stuff. I come to your blog to read your blog, and what you post in other places is kind of another thing. I would read the same posts if they were on your normal blog. Maybe I shouldn't be so picky, but I don't read the Babble posts.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

The links don't bother me. As long as you post non-mommy stuff here, I think linking to the babble articles is perfectly fine! If every single post is a link to babble or mommy-related, I might get a bit lost. I actually like reading some of the mommy stuff, but I don't have children and I can't relate to all of it.

But then, I like the Mormon-to-Manhattan stuff and I've never married a rocker either. ;)

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie

I'm not a mom or a mom to be, and so I pretty much just don't click on those links. But I still read your blog and I'm not one bit offended by you putting them in.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMishell

I love your insights, mommy-related or not. We read personal blogs to share in the human experience with people both different and similar to us—I think the blog would suffer if you didn't write about what was happening in your life just because one person didn't want to read about one aspect of it. I also like the links to your Babble pieces because I like your writing but I don't have the time to filter through everything posted to Babble to find your stuff. No one should be able to persuade you to stop writing about something you want to write about, and if they don't want to read a particular kind of post or click a link, they don't have to!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCait

You can do what you want. Even though I am a mother, I skip over some mother/pregnancy posts just because it is not too interesting to me. I love your more cultural and/or political posts. So, as an adult, I will read what I want and if I don't want to read it, then I won't. But overall, you are a very entertaining writer and I am certainly glad I found you!

I am not a huge fan of Babble (the sight rubs me the wrong way and some copyright infringement issues in the past left me with a sour taste) but if it pays the bills, that's your choice.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngeerah

I think the only way we can be genuine is to write about what we know- pregnancy is a big part of your life right now, I would think you would pretty much have to write about it!

I think we can't be all things to all people- you have a "real" take on things (as opposed to a grandios/exaggerated one, which sometimes happens with bloggers) and that keeps me coming back.

I hope that helps!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShauna (Fido & Wino)

I read because I like your voice and your writing. When's the baby due, by the way?

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie allison granju

I read anything you post on there and I always click to babble. I'm not a parent but I still like to read about it.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

I enjoy the links and all "the pregnancy stuff", but that could be because I am also pregnant. I read you before, I continue to read you now and I really think that I would continue "after baby". Your blog is just that, YOUR blog. You write about what is important in your life at the time - this time being pregnancy and babies. I say keep it up.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Hate the mommyblogging (but your daughter is beautiful) and hate the links but read regardless. You got to make a living and if this is what you blog is now everyone can either read or not (me included).

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdr dr

I love your blog. Don't change it.

http://mothersofbrothersblog.blogspot.com

MOV

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMOV

I definitely don't think its annoying. Like someone else said, its your PERSONAL blog and I can't really think of anything more personal than being pregnant/being a mother. It is who you are and what you are dealing with right now, so of course you are going to write about it. I think it would be weird if you didn't write about that stuff, because it would seem strange (especially coming from you) if you were leaving out such a big part of your life.

As for the babble links, I like those too and think you should link to them. I like reading it and wouldn't know when you have posted otherwise...I don't really feel like going there myself and searching for your posts. THAT would be annoying.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterali

I don't mind the babble links, that way people who want to read mommy prego stuff can go there and you can still post the "Monica" stuff here.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

i think your mommy stuff is timely thus babble-blog worthy both here and there. So what? It's all good. Keep it up.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergina

Shit, now that I know I'm paying for your Pampers by clicking those Babble links I won't miss a one! I'm totally kidding! I love your writing and sense of humor and am happy to enjoy it wherever I find it posted, here or on Babble.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Your blog is great just the way it is. Love it!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDayna

I'm a 21 year old who definitely does not have kids and is more of the kid than the mom, but your mommyblogging stuff doesn't bother me. You're a really great writer, so you make everything interesting to read. If I don't want to click on the babble links, I won't. Of course you should link them if you get paid for it.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary

I am neither pregnant nor a mother and I love your blog regardless of what you choose to write!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternadine

I'm a relatively new follower, having found you through Mamapundit's pro/anti Mormon commandeered comment section after one of her posts on religion. I liked what you had to say over there, so I followed you here. Being a recovering mormon myself, I felt a connection. I spent two full days (at work - don't tell my boss!) reading all your stuff - including Babble, so now I'm your #1 stalker, uh, well, ummm, I mean #1 fan...and I love you. There, I said it. Well, more so, I love your writing, and I'm completely intoxicated by it. Hope I didn't scare you, I'm not really a stalker, I just wanted to let you know (like many, many others here) that you've struck a chord in me. Keep doing what you're doing, cause you're doing it BRILLIANTLY.
Okay, love-fest over. Back to work....

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJust Jill

It's only natural that your blog would evolve as your family grows. I'm not a huge Babble fan, but do read your stuff over there, mostly. I do like when you comment on ideas/society/relationships and of course fell in love with your stories when you lived in New York. I don't relate as well to the baby stuff, but don't mind it at all. I love the pictures of that curly-headed Violet!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

This blog is hella good! I just wanted to say thanks for keeping it real all the time. i love reading your blog (btw, i love the combo of you & Serge's). Seriously I would pay to be a subscriber! Honestly! That's my suggestion. ..maybe have a donation box or something because sometimes i feel likei am getting all this enjoyment from you & I feel guilty "shoplifting" all the cool vibes I get. Love you.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterali

I don't inherently have a problem with the Babble links, but I do think they integrate a little better when they're part of a larger post and it's not JUST a post directing people over to Babble. I do appreciate the links, though; it makes it a lot easier to read your writing (which I'm interested in) rather than sifting through Babble As A Whole (which I'm not). I also think that since you're writing a few babble posts a week, if you still want to give them unique entries, you could just batch post that in an entry at the end of the week. That way, people who are interested can click over and people who aren't (or who are getting there via your twitter) can just scroll by.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMadison

Yes you've turned into a mommy blogger. It's getting a bit old even though I'm also pregnant it's kind of nice to not think about pregnancy for a bit. Link to your blabbing blog but I'm just being honest it's getting a little dull for me.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiff

I dig ya, that's why I read. I don't care if it is about being a mom or being an activist. You have a great voice. Oh, and you can bet I'll click every babble link now that I know it's putting money in your pocket. It's been 12& 1/2 years since I've been pregnant, but it's the least I can do for all of the joy your writing has brought me.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

I'e always loved everything you write, and I love the pregnancy/mommy stuff just as well. You are such a fantastic writer.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkds

It's funny you posted this. I was just debating if I should bother. I loved loved loved the story of how you met your husband... but it just randomly stopped without an endpoint. (I can't figure out if I'm just missing something or if you really did just move on from that topic) I don't dig the mommy stuff at all. I think a mix would be fine but I really just don't relate. You are a fantastic writer. I guess you could say it's me not you.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErin

The story of how I met Serge was written several years ago... which means I'm no longer happy with it. So when I have time, I pull it up and rewrite a portion of it and post it up. I should probably get my act together and put the whole thing up. It's not finished, but it will be!

November 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

I would say that the writer should never ever change what they write about to suit an audience. People coming and going is just how life goes. Being a fan of something, at the same level forever, is rare. And I think that's a good thing.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterserge

Stay just like you are! I love the way you write, the babble links and all the pregnancy talk. It's what I come here for!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdawnmarc

yep, you're a mommyblogger now. and i'm not into mommyblogging. so, yeah, it gets a little repetitive for me. and i skip past a lot of stuff these days. but it is indeed your own blog. so write about what moves you, when it moves you. it doesn't have to move me. it's not like you're offending me by writing about your child(ren). if i had kids—and a blog—i'm sure i'd blog about my kids on the regular.

that said, when it comes to the babble stuff, link away. personally, i think babble blows. but the links weren't annoying before, and now that i know that your paycheck is linked to your page views, it only makes that much more sense to drive as many people there as you can.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterr

in your opinion, what is the main purpose of your blog?

i personally enjoy all of your posts though, i'm new to your blog too so i haven't witnessed much of a shift to "mommy blogging." i'm mom too so i guess the topics interest me.

my blogging style is very personal and geared toward a small audience. i don't seek readership. not that i haven't thought about taking those steps though. the trouble is finding a target audience. you have a great mix. i don't know if that's good or bad and now, i'm realizing i'm not being helpful at all. sorry.

i guess it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish here (if anything specific).

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I started reading you years back, and I still check in. I think that "mommyblog" backlash is boring -- blogs are either interesting or they're not, depending on what they're about, not so much the subject matter.

But I confess I don't usually click on the babble links -- maybe I did once out of curiosity -- because 1) I'm lazy 2) they do seem quite kid-related and I don't have kids and 3) for whatever reason they strike me as 'come share your opinion/stories' and see #2

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary T.

Uh, yeah...sorry, late and tired and still at work, so I typo'd. That comment above should read "depending on HOW THEY'RE WRITTEN" not what they're about. Way to completely negate my own point, sigh.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary T.

Keep posting the way you have. I enjoy your writing and you expose the brutal truth of what pregnancy is like, with your skillful writing.

Plus, you and your family are such attractive people that I'm looking forward to seeing your new addition who will be stunning if he looks like his big sister.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNinabi

Well to be honest I find the pregnancy stuff irritating. But that's just because I want another kid and I won't be having one so I'm jealous. However, I have a son and he's the best thing on the planet so yeay for your boy!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

@Serge. Valid point. But I admit that I write this blog for others as much as for myself. I enjoy the feedback everyone gives and I like writing about the non-pregnancy related stuff as much as the pregnant stuff... so I don't feel as if I'd be changing what I write to suit anyone, I'd just write with a little more awareness of perhaps prattling on too much about being pregnant. It can get old, I know. Mostly I wanted to know if the Babble links bother folks.

November 17, 2010 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

Someone once told me their blog was a journal of sorts that their children can look back on...
Violet and Han Solo will love reading this.
I became obsessed with this blog because I felt I got a chance to get to know a person intimately from her childhood on food stamps to now, her second pregnancy. It's like reading an autobiography and you miss a lot about a person's life when you skip pages/chapters.
Plus, fucken 'em, they'll always come back for more of your lliterary charm.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

I am four month pregnant myself and I like. Helpful stuff.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGoldie

I say the beauty of being a free person is: I don't HAVE to read what I don't want to read. I personally don't mind the pregnancy stuff, but let's assume I don't want to read your previous blog post - I can just skip it, mark it as read and there goes :)

Blog whatever you want to blog about. Just like you said, you're not running a news outlet here so you can pick and choose what you like.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermccutcheon

Hi,

I don't mind your Mummy blogging at all, and if weren't for you sharing those links, I would never remember to check on Babble. So keep going, that's what I say. More writing from you can only be a good thing, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not a mother, or a mother to be, but I enjoy your tales as they're funny, honest, and insightful!

And so you should get paid, its about time!

S

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSM

I hate the term "mommy-blogger." I hate the stigma that blogging about mom-related things is somehow paramount to walking around with a contagious disease. Way to label each other, people!

I agree with the comment that people read/ write about what interests them. I assume that we all have varied interests, and you certainly write about a number of different topics. You are very pregnant right now and as most people know, pregnancy consumes your entire body and most of your mind. Obviously that would reflect in your writing at this time. No, it's not annoying. And neither are the links. And you don't strike me as a "mommy-blogger"--oh God forbid! The HORROR!!

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterS

make that "tantamount". Oh, and by the way, your hair looks great!

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterS

I love your blog and I read all your posts here and over on Babble (but I'm a mama of a 10-month-old, so I enjoy all the pregnancy/mommyblogger stuff). And I don't mind the linking to Babble at all. Regardless, as others have said, you are honest, funny, and a great writer, so I would probably like reading your posts on most any topic. Keep it up!

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLara K.

I like reading the pregnancy stuff. It's what's going on in your life, you know? I read people because I like their writing style. I don't necessarily need to identify with their experiences firsthand. I like the links, too. I like to follow writers I enoy reading, and the links here make it easier.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPinkie Bling

i really like the "mommy" (shit i hate that word) related writing, although i never click on the babble links. it's like i'm too lazy or something because i would totally read it if it was on your blog. now that i know you get paid per view, i will definitely click.

who has ever heard of someone who is too lazy to click a button? pathetic! must stop that.

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterleyla

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