Gathering Research

I wanted to first thank everyone for the thoughtful response to my post on Friday. I have much more to say about the subject, and have even committed myself to a large project inspired by that William Morris quote. If you follow me on Twitter, you know what I’m doing. I’ll share more this week once I iron out the details.

The above is a picture of me and the boys (oh, Nicholas) at Legoland this summer. I didn’t blog about Legoland because…I don’t know. It’s exactly the sort of thing a mom blogger should do that I don’t. I’m not so great at this niche of mine. In fact, I’m almost terrible at delivering the required. When I first signed on with Federated Media, we were divided into smaller groups like parenting, living, technology, food, etc. I scanned the bloggers in my section, technology, and made note of which blogs I recognized and how many were bigger than me. I’m kidding about the technology bit, but the end result is the same. I recognized one name (Dooce) and everyone was bigger. I’m drawn to design blogs, lifestyle blogs, and blogs where the author seems intent on bettering herself or living to her potential. I read very few parenting blogs.

I went to Blog Sugar yesterday, a faith-based blogging conference hosted by friends Rachel and Andrea and expected to walk into a room full of people I wouldn’t recognize. I was right! I wish I would have told you of my plans to attend but, again, I didn’t due to my shoddy blogging practices. Two people recognized me there, so that was nice. But outside of the two, I was as new to the attendees as they were to me. In short: I don’t read mom blogs, and mom bloggers don’t read me.

What do you think of that, Federated? Are you still glad you brought me on?

I thought about the incongruity of this fact most of the ride home, but I have yet to make sense of it. I need to process the event, replay conversations, and over think before I find an answer. That, however, is going to take a few days. Showing up alone to an event where I knew less than 1% of the attendees was a big deal for someone as shy as I am. I couldn’t sleep last night from the adrenaline so today I’m dragging. I can’t possibly beat a dead horse under these conditions! I need my mental faculties at 100% to over analyze to the best of my abilities.

Having said that, I’m not too tired to gather research, which I love even more than analysis! I want to know what your favorite mom blog is and why you love it.  I also want to hear from those who don’t read mom blogs. If you don’t, why are you here? (And thank you for reading, of course.) As I sat and chatted with the people at my table and exchanged information, I came home excited to read more about them. After reading a few posts, I realized I didn’t know what I was missing.

 

 

Comments
90 Responses to “Gathering Research”
  1. Heather says:

    I don’t read mom blogs :) I don’t have kids and I’m not married, although I will be next summer! I read your blog because I hope one day that I’ll be a mom like you – a mom who also has her own identity and is funny, witty, charming, and totally the kind of person I would hang out with. If I lived closer I would offer to babysit your sweet boys just because I think you’re the coolest. And while I’ll probably never be able to bake an orange cake, excite with stories of my fascinating heritage, pick the perfect paint color to go beside a stone hearth or laugh at my imperfections (which are obvious only to me and not the world!!), I admire you so and you inspire me to keep on keeping on :)

    Oh p.s. And I love your generally humble attitude and the fact that you don’t have a problem bringing up faith in your blog posts. God bless you woman :)

  2. Annie says:

    I’m actually not a huge “mom blog” reader, mostly because I’m not a mom. That being said, there are a few “mom bloggers” who I read, not just because they are moms, but because they blog about things I, too, am passionate about: faith, writing, life, style, books, home, etc. (You, Andrea from Four Flights, Rachel from No. 17, and a handful of other women fall into this category.) The only true “mom blogger” (meaning those who really blog mostly about their children) I read is Kelle Hampton from Enjoying the Small Things; I don’t have children, but I love reading about hers and about what her life means to her. She’s a beautiful writer, and I think, really, that’s what keeps me coming back to any blog, whether it’s about style, faith, or becoming a mom.

    • Leslie says:

      Yup, I’m not a mom either. I read a lot of bloggers who are also moms, but like Annie said, I read their blogs because of common interests, such as writing and photography. I keep reading your blog, Jules, because your writing is so thoughtful.

  3. Aimee says:

    I don’t think of you as a mom blogger. I think of you more as a lifestyle blogger. In my mind, mom bloggers blog mostly about their kids. Your lifestyle includes your kids, which is entirely different, from my point of view. I kind of take the same approach…I blog about my life, which happens to include my kids, but they aren’t the focus of my blog.

    • Jules says:

      Interesting! I’ve talked about your comment more below. So, what is your favorite mom blog–or does your comment mean you don’t read mom blogs?

    • Jules says:

      p.s. YOU LOOK AMAZING!!! Congratulations on your weight loss! SO inspiring.

      • Aimee says:

        Thanks, Jules!

        I guess I read a mom blog or two, but I don’t seek them out. Maybe because my time on the computer is MY time…when I don’t have to be mom, I can just be Aimee.

        Part of it, too, is that there is so much infighting among moms, and I’ve been putting up with that since I joined Babycenter.com as a naive little pregnant gal in 1999. Homebirth vs. c-section turns into breast vs. bottle turns into private vs. public school vs. homeschooling turns into who knows what…I’m tired of it all. I think part of me hopes to avoid that by not reading the mom blogs. Does that make sense? I’ve recently begun reading ‘stark raving mad mommy’ and ‘rants from mommyland,’ probably because their irreverence is a refreshing change.

        The thing is, my kids are older now. Mom blogs seem to be focused more on babies, toddlers, preschool, and getting brains wrapped around sending kids to Kindergarten. I’m so past that, it just doesn’t hold my interest any longer. Kind of like how A Wedding Story on TLC couldn’t hold my interest after our own wedding, and A Baby Story was boring after I’d given birth myself.

        Maybe if I found a mom blogger who was smart and funny and blogged about their kids’ inability to make friends in 6th grade? Oh, I know someone I love reading: Attack of the Redneck Mommy. Her blog is mainly parenting, but she has teenagers and a special needs child; it’s very different than most of the other mom blogs I’ve seen. Plus: the irreverence. I guess I like sarcasm in a mom! It makes me feel at home. :)

        As an aside: I honestly have no clue what is considered a lifestyle blog in the industry, but to me, it’s simply anyone who blogs about their life in general. Is that narrative? I’m so confused… :)

  4. Jules says:

    A couple of things:

    1. When I first wrote this post, I had a sentence that said (basically) that maybe the people who read my blog don’t read mom blogs, either. The whole birds of a feather thing. I took it out because I thought that sounded presumptuous, like I somehow know what whats and whys of everyone who stops by here. Also, truthfully, I’m really, really tired and couldn’t get the sentence to sound right!

    2. Aimee, you aren’t the first person to tell me that! I haven’t heard lifestyle blogger yet, but I have heard often that I’m not really a mom blog. Believe it or not, I get lumped in with design bloggers a lot. NO ONE knows what that happens–not even the ones who lump me in that category!

    • LauraC says:

      That’s so funny you haven’t heard of “lifestyle bloggers” because when I was creating categories myself a couple years ago (far more ignorant about blogs than you), I named a category “Life Blogs”, to which I added you. I counted a total of ten mothers who also fall into that category. All write about their kids, but not exclusively, so I don’t know if they are mommy bloggers or not. I don’t want to hijack this thread, so I’ll leave the rest of my comment below.

      • Jules says:

        Oh! My bad. I’ve heard of lifestyle bloggers, I just hadn’t heard of anyone referring to me as such. :)

        p.s. Hijack away! I love that everyone is tossing in their opinions.

  5. meghan says:

    i remember that i found your blog because you wrote a post about making the choice to stay home with your kids. which is something i want desperately. and i continue reading your blog because your words about that subject were so powerful to me. and because you have such witty prose.

    i don’t read very many mom blogs. and the ones i do read are more lifestyle blogs anyway. i love the way shannan writes at flower patch farm girl, and i love the eye candy on megan’s blog whatever.

    long and short. you are a really talented writer. i like the way you think.

  6. I don’t think of you as a blogger with an adjective attached. You’re just a blogger, a writer whose writing I like and find amusing, thought-provoking, and/or inspiring. I feel like my blog isn’t really that easy to categorize either. I do blog about my kids, of course. They’re a big part of my life and the main reason I started blogging was so far-away family can keep up with what we’re doing. But I also blog about cooking, crafts, crocheting, travel, being a Navy family, faith, homeschooling, and the geeky TV shows I love. I just blog about my life.

    I do read a few blogs that are considered mom blogs, but picking a favorite is hard, because most of the mom blogs I read are written by people I’m friends with in real life. I’ll list a few: amalah.com, awfullychipper.blogspot.com, julia.typepad.com (LOVE her), http://www.secret-agent-josephine.com/blog, http://blog2.queenoframbles.com/, and zebrabelly.wordpress.com. They’re all moms and blog about their kids, but most of them blog about a lot of other things too.

  7. Allison says:

    I am a mom, but not necessarily interested in the typical “mommy blog”…most of the blogs I read do on some level relate to motherhood/parenthood, but they are about other “stuff” too.
    I like your blog for that reason…other “stuff”. I would not mind however hearing more about your thoughts on motherhood, staying at home etc. From what I have already gathered about you from reading here, I know it won’t be the typical stuff, that quite frankly makes me roll my eyes!! I like people (moms) who keep it real…it’s so easy to present a perfect life via a blog, and I avoid those like the plague…

    Whatever you want to call your blog, I like it, and I’ll keep reading it!

  8. I would probably say I don’t read mom blogs. I do, however, read several blogs that happen to be written by moms (and it increases as my cohort has babies!).

    I think of you as a narrative blogger (who happens to be a mom!) and you’re in a very small group in my reader. I think I would classify Dooce as narrative as well, actually. Basically, people who write well enough to keep me reading and my reading doesn’t rely so much on the content as it does the delivery (i.e. I am reading primarily for pleasure rather than recipes or DIYs or style choices, not that they don’t also provide content).

    General categories that I read – lifestyle (LOTS of blogs here, and it’s probably where I would lump myself), curatorial/design (I read limited curatorial blogs because they tend to make me want-y), crafty, food. Narrative is a much smaller category because it’s so hard to find people who do it well. You do it well, lady.

    • Samma says:

      I deliberately commented before reading others comments, but I agree 100% w/ Rachel here (and, though I’ve read her blogs occasionally, I never really understood the whole Dooce phenomenon – I’d rather read you)

  9. Jessica says:

    my favorite mom blog is definitally soulemama – i started reading it for the knitting but i love how peaceful, cool and interesting her family life always seems to be – even homeschooling with 5 kids and a farm! i’m not a homeschooler, or a mom

  10. Maria says:

    I didn’t know this was a mom blog. I don’t have children and I don’t read mom blogs. I read this blog because it feels very honest. I love the snapshots of your life (which does sometimes include children) and the way in which you are trying to live with intention and meaning. I guess if someone asked me, I would say you are a lifestyle blogger.

  11. Jill says:

    Excuse me, a mom blog? I am quite surprised and slightly offended (no offense). Is it weird that I’m offended (for you and for me)? Not that there aren’t great mom blogs out there…I just don’t read them (and yes, I’m a mom). I read your blog because it’s different and I guess, in a way, it’s relevant to my life since I have two small children…so maybe I DO read it for the “mom” part. It’s so much more (to me) though – it’s entertaining, well written, insightful, charming, smart, etc. Your blog is my favorite non-design blog. I agree with Aimee, I think of you as a lifestyle blogger (one who is often inspired by her two, lovely, children).

  12. Jennifer says:

    I am a mom. And, wait for it….. wait for it…. yes, your blog is the one I like best, and the one I look forward to reading everyday. It may be because I identify with you (I am an attorney with two boys). I like how you write – you don’t sugarcoat, you are snarky, and you don’t apologize for it. I LOVE the Star Wars pictures. Really. You should sell those. :) I also like that you seem to be “real” – there’s nothing packaged, or “look at what cool thing I did or my kids did, or my house does, or etc. etc.” I also get turned off by the overtly religious blogs (as I am not religious) – and although you are – you do not come across as holier than thou – which many others do – nor do I feel like you would damn me to hell if you met me. :) Why do I read blogs? To find out things I don’t know (Mom Tech, GeekDads), to feel some kind of camaraderie (you, two rowdy kittens), design/food/books (BookLady, and others Ican’t think of right now, but I’m sure that I do look at these…)

    • Jules says:

      Holier than thou people bother me, as do people who proselytize or believe their religion is the one and only way. I believe in attraction, not promotion. Funny you should say that, though, because it ties into something someone said to me a while back that I wanted to blog about.

  13. Nan says:

    I don’t really think of my blogs as “mom blogs” or “lifestyle blogs” or “home improvement blogs.” I just think of them all as blogs. And for me it’s all about the author’s voice and his/her authenticity. I really think I’d read a blog about condiments if I liked the author’s voice.

    You are a terrific writer, and although I do not know you, I like your voice. I like the way you see the world. And I think that’s sort of the best thing about blogging — reading about how someone else sees the world.

    So although I don’t categorize my blogs mentally, one of the blogs I enjoy, which I guess happens to be a “mom blog,” is kellehampton.com (Enjoying the Small Things). I also enjoy younghouselove.com and bowerpowerblog.com. (They both have children so I guess you can consider them to be “mom blogs.”)

  14. Kate says:

    Jules
    I know you are a mom but I’ve never thought of you as a mommy blogger. I think of Amalah as a mommy blogger and when I want that content, I go there. I guess I would put you somewhere between Making it Lovely and Momastery or Ivy League Insecurities. You write about your life (lifestyle blogger?) and design and parenting and the self discovery of yourself that tends to accompany parenting. You’re “real” to me. and you make me laugh.

    • Jules says:

      I know Making it Lovely! :) Amalah was one of the people on the Federated site I didn’t recognize. (I know, I know. She’s huge.) I’ll have to check out the other blogs you mentioned. They sound good just by their titles.

      • Kate says:

        I know :) I love reading the twitter exchanges between you and MiL – its like getting a glimpse at what the cool girls talk about at their lunch table ;) I think what the 4 blogs have in common is the “real” factor and the skilled writer quality (i.e., you all got an A in high school English I’m sure!)

  15. I guess technically I’m a mom blogger, though I don’t like that term, and I don’t read many other “mom blogs.” I was drawn to your blog because it’s real and the writing is lovely and authentic. My followers tell me that they appreciate that about my blog too, and many of my followers aren’t parents, so I’m not sure what that says….hopefully just that the definitions are changing?

  16. Lisa in Seattle says:

    Long-time lurker who found you a million years ago on Young House Love’s blogroll (back when they were This Young House). We have nothing in common – I’m not a mom, and you live in what I consider The Desert, and I lack your faith and your strong sense of family. But you are on my short list of daily reads because of your writing style and the authenticity of how you share your life with us.

    I checked out many of the other writers on your blogroll and have to thank you for introducing me to Posie Gets Cozy, Raising Colorado and The Brick House. I think you are also over on Nerdy Baby as well, yes?

    Although I don’t have kids, I love reading about your (and Z-Dub’s and Tiffany’s) kids. I feel as proud of them, as worried for them, and as entertained by them as if they were my own. And that is a testament to your skills as a writer.

    • Jules says:

      I haven’t been on Nerdy Baby, but I will check her out. Never tease a mother with babysitting, Lisa. I might move to Seattle and take you up on your offer.

  17. Jo says:

    Ummm….you are my fave “mom” blog…you write about home and kids and mommyhood and include an occasional recipe, but you also write with an unpretentious honesty and wit that I appreciate. I only read one or two other “mommy” blogs, so maybe I’m not the most qualified reader, but I love your blog, just the way it is.

    P.S. I think “Empire in the Empire” would make an awesome coffee table book…love them!

  18. creatingquerencia@gmail.com says:

    I don’t read mom blogs. I never planned to have children. I don’t identify with moms I talk to. I’m not a mom but 3 boys call me mom. I love them fiercely and ferociously and they are the most precious part of my life. I just don’t identify with mom’s though. I never address myself as their mother. They can change their mind about calling me mom, they tried on calling me their otter for awhile. They’re my family though now. However it shakes out. So I like your blog. Yeah, I think of it as a lifestyle blog. A lifestyle blog that includes some interior design, some faith, some family, your interests. I like the values you bring to your content and I like your concerns. I have to laugh at worry of makeup melting in heat and photo quality sandwiched between displays of deep friendship and faith. I stuck around after finding your blog for the excellent writing.

    • Jules says:

      Yes, I can swing back and forth, huh? I’m like a People magazine with an advertorial for college tucked in the back. Your step children are lucky to have someone so honest and passionate.

      • Querencia says:

        rofl I’m not even a stepmother. It’s part of why I avoid mom/kid centered blogs and am thankful for ones that focus on life including family. You really do meander all over the place in a wonderful way.

  19. Tanisha says:

    I am new to your blog, and loving it! I do read mom blog’s. My two favorite’s are flythroughourwindow.com ad ginaraemillerphotography.com

  20. Kate says:

    I read blogs by women(all of whom are moms) who share about sustainability, frugality, kindness, diy, design & decor, cooking and organization. I’m at home with my kids almost every hour of the day, so really the last thing I want to do is read straight mom blogs. I find many blogs too saccharine, some too crass, some I read every word, some are on my feed reader because I enjoyed one thing one time and can’t let go because I think perhaps one day I’ll enjoy another tidbit, but probably never will, and to be blunt, some are just there because they have great give-aways. Jules, I think what I enjoy most about your blog is the fact that I never quite know what I’m going to see when I click on it.
    P.S. And, I adore the edit function in the comment section.

    • Jules says:

      The edit function is there because I was constantly finding mistakes in my comments on other blogs AFTER I hit send. RAGE!!!!! I knew I wasn’t the only perfectionist with clumsy fingers out there.

      You know what type of mom blog I just don’t like? The kind where they brag about what a BAD mom they are. I’m not perfect, and have given examples several times, but something about taking pride in your distance or selfishness bugs me. Also, the blogger ends up looking like a one-dimensional character.

  21. Susie Davis says:

    I remember going to a blogger conference alone last winter … had bizarre internal dialogue throughout.
    Wanted to stay & relish.
    Escape & go home.
    Proud of you for doing it.
    And for sharing your life & thoughts online.
    You’re a writer. That’s why you’re a joy to read.
    Keep it up.

  22. I like the moniker mentioned above, I think “lifestyle” accurately describes your blog. At least from what i can tell, I’ve been reading your feed for a few months now.

    I don’t subscribe to a lot of blogs that I would consider strictly “mommy blogs”. I read a lot of blogs by women who happen to be mothers. I enjoy sewing blogs, as I love being inspired by other peoples art! I was scanning through my feeds to share with you a favorite or two…I really like Girl In A Party Hat, Amy is a editor of a local publication, also the mother of two daughters- one who has down syndrome. What I appreciate the most about her writing is her honesty. I know that it might be cliche or people may roll their eyes, but I really do enjoy reading Cjane. I appreciate her perspective on motherhood, her tongue in cheek approach can be a good reminder sometimes for me to just relax more!

    • Jules says:

      Amy writes well. You can tell she’s an editor.

      Weird, I left a comment on this yesterday but it didn’t go through. No doubt I was so tired I screwed something up. Anyway, I was wondering what your thoughts were on Cjane. She used to be so popular, but is lately experiencing kind of a backlash. Could it be she became too successful and it started to rub people the wrong way?

  23. Lisa says:

    I read a few mom blogs, although not very many. My favorite is Swistle, who has five kids and a fair amount of social anxiety. I think I found your blog through a feature on your kitchen, but I stuck around because I like your writing. You kind of remind of Swistle–your blog is about your life, which happens to include your kids, but that’s not the main focus of your blog.

    I love those Empire in the Empire pictures, though.

  24. Kelly says:

    Just echoing a lot of what’s already been said here: don’t think of you as a mom-blogger, don’t think of myself as a mom-blogger. Sometimes I mention my kids, but it’s rare that I post solely about parenting. I like your take on many things, the thoughtful insights into some difficult parts of being an adult, and also, frankly, because we’re sort of “neighbors” in that I’m also out here in the IE.

    I read Design Mom & Making It Lovely, but again, don’t even consider them really mom-bloggers. I also like Petunia Face, again more narrative, and also I Am Bossy.

    • Jules says:

      I love Susannah of Petunia Face. I Am Bossy I haven’t read regularly, but I know she is a popular blogger and that many people love her. Her Blondie post was funny. Those shoes Debbie was wearing! O_o

      • Kelly says:

        Right?! (On those Debbie Harry shoes.) She nailed it with the Peppermint Patty comparison. I got to meet Bossy and a few other San Diego-area bloggers when she came through on one of her driving tours, last year. She’s pretty glamorous and had somebody filming the get-together. Overall, I felt pretty tongue-tied and uh…flummoxed by the whole thing.

  25. Amelie says:

    I read your blog because I like the way you write. I like the way you word things, the way you use language. Plus, I learn a lot of new words by reading your blog. :p I am not a mom. I do not read your blog because you are a mom. Like I said, I read it for the way you see the world and how you write about it. I think it’s the way you find humor in everyday things. I read a few other “mom” blogs, but I read them because they are funny, have good writing, have good recipes, have good household tips, etc. Their being a mom is just a detail for me, not the reason I read their blogs. For example, Small Notebook has excellent tips on keeping things simple when it comes to organization and household stuff. The fact that she is a mom doesn’t really matter to me. I also love-love-love Raising Colorado because she is freakin’ funny! I love her writing, and again, it wouldn’t matter to me if she were a mom or not (but her kids inspire some pretty funny content). A non-mom blog that I read is Finding Silver Linings because she posts lots of great down-to-earth recipes and household DIY tips and projects. I also read some other non-mom blogs (I guess they could be moms but they don’t advertise it if they are) who blog about books, movies, culture, food, writing, etc.

  26. Juliette says:

    I would describe you as a ‘personal narrative’ blog and not a mommy blog. I don’t have kids and yet I do read a couple of mommy blogs, but in the end I usually wind up getting turned off by a mommy blog and unsubscribing, only to find another one to subscribe to later for a short time. Why is that? I’m not really sure. I think there are multiple reasons that are probably better highlighted when I think about why I continue to read your blog.

    I feel that your blog’s hallmark is the quality of your writing. I actually want to read every word in your posts and would rather skip a post if I don’t have time rather than skim it, which just makes me end up reading it, taking up time I didn’t have in the first place. Maybe it’s because of my job (editor); after being surrounded by poop writing all the time I crave anything that is good writing, but I don’t think that’s a complete answer. They say content is king, right? =)

    I find a lot of mommy blogs and other personal narrative blogs to be entirely too self-centered (even, perhaps especially, if they mask it as self-effacing). I like getting a glimpse of people’s lives as though they’re characters in the world’s book, but I think it’s ultimately off-putting for me. Your posts look outward enough that your blog doesn’t come across as a Jules Show or a Nico + Mikey Show. I’m not gagging over a post with 100 photos of you in a perfect outfit, your children in a perfect outfit, or the new things you bought for your home. I mean the very fact that you started your Unstyled Life series is a perfect example of what I find appealing. I also agree with PP comments that state how your children come across as part of who you are, not the be all to end all definition of who you are; that’s refreshing.

    Please keep posting EiE photos, your DIY deodorant, observations on local hummingbird activity and other incongruities in life. You are a page turner.

  27. Amy says:

    I’ve never really understood why we have to have “mommy bloggers” … so some who blog, are moms.

    That said, I do read a couple mommy bloggers– mainly, No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane and Enjoying the Small Things {when I have time}. But I read them because the women share my passions–yet they just might be different enough to make me grow as a person {a recurring theme, non?}

    As for you, my friend, I believe it was a link on No.17 that first brought me here-LOVED your blog name and tagline. It was near and dear to my heart and made me smile. In addition to reasons, above, I stayed because I love your writing. In all honesty, your blog is the only one I can think of that is exceptionally written.

    Speaking of your tag line … I guess that’s why I prefer a blog that’s simply about life … the good, the bad, and the ugly {a GBU blogger, perhaps?}… because I love it all!

    PS-I tried to leave a comment under the “Empire in the Empire” bit {mainly, GASP! I love it!”}, but it didn’t work … so … now you know. Because I’m sure you simply could not go through with it, without my blessing. :)

  28. Jeanne says:

    I found your blog googling Elephant Tusk paint (which I ended up using) and liked your writing so much I signed up. I don’t follow any other blogs and so don’t really have any experience with “mom blogs”. I wouldn’t call your blog a mom blog. I am a mom of a 14 yr. girl, and also work more than part time, but less than full time, and all the domestic (for lack of a better word) issues that you write about, speak to me. Your writing is beautiful and I often wonder when you find the time to do it. It must be a natural gift. I share your general sensibility about life and look forward to reading your postings. I am curious about the whole “blog” world, but anything on the computer can be such a time suck that I need to be careful about exploring more blogs. Always wondered how you set up this P & F gig and if it pays, etc. I hope so. . . .keep up the great writing.

    • Jules says:

      To make a long story short, Nicole from Making it Lovely made me my first blog as a birthday present. She said she thought I would be good at it. Also, maybe as a subtle hint to stop sending her long emails. ;)

      It doesn’t pay well. I don’t make more than $200/month in advertising. Sponsored posts pay much better, but I rarely get those because I am small. What I don’t make in money, however, I make in practice, experience, and connections. Writing is a skill, just like everything else. In order to get better, you must commit yourself to practicing often. Blogging allows me to do that and still maintain a connection with like minded adults, which is important when you are a stay at home mom who might be a little more eccentric than the other moms at school. I hope to earn my shot at outside writing opportunities, maybe a book.

      I never once thought it would be easy, nor did I think it would fall in my lap. I was right on both counts, but even knowing this I still get frustrated when I see people get opportunities I want. I try to remember they probably hustled for it and therefore deserve it–I’m horrible at self promotion and networking. I’m old fashioned and try to let the work speak for itself. That is naive and ineffective in this age. Also, I remind myself that my time hasn’t come yet and that nothing worth having is easy to get.

      • jeanne says:

        Jules, thanks for your reply. It reminded me of a comment my stay at home mom made to me reflecting on her time in the trenches at home, after having a career and then getting married at 34 and staying home taking care of 3 kids who arrived in 3 years. . . .”it’s hard to be on that level all day”. no kidding. . . .

        Your blogging with like minded adults is your outlet. I think eventually it will all fall into place for you when the time is right.

  29. Arlena says:

    I am new to your blog. I have read back on a few posts and I am enjoying my visits.
    As far as other blogs…if you have not yet met Edie…you should pop over to lifeingrace…She is my favorite blogger for many reasons. I am not a mom, but I love, chuckle, cry and rejoice with her. There is pretty much nothing that she doesn’t blog about and she makes everyone feel like they are part of her family and her journey.
    Looking forward to more Pancakes and French Fries…!

  30. Erika says:

    I don’t read mom blogs and I don’t think of yours as one. I read Susie Davis, Nester, sometimes Craftoholic–they all have kids but that does not make them mommy blogs. I do relate to you because after years of education I am also staying home with my toddlers. I read your blog because of your gift of writing, the adorable photos of the Empire and Captain Wentworth, how you can turn death into something where I sob because you have hit on something I am dealing with (“so they could witness what happens when you buy to fill a hole instead of feed a passion”), your views of the Catholic Church (still think of the lady in purple), and more. I keep waiting for a book and I tend to read your blog in my email.

    I look forward to seeing what you discover.

    • Jules says:

      I read Susie Davis and Nester. Both are very, very, VERY nice people. They have always been responsive and helpful when they could have just ignored my emails like some bloggers have.

  31. B says:

    Here’s my classification for your blog – so, so, so entertaining(!)… which is a fine quality indeed and one that leaves me constantly looking forward to your next post. I’ll admit that when nothing shows up in my inbox from Pancakes & French Fries, I’m bummed. Hopefully, this does not classify me as obsessed, but if it does I’ll wear it proudly!  You are such a talented writer and your mix of content is one of the best things about your blog. I am a mother (of 2 boys!), but that isn’t all that I am and I’ve found that some “mom blogs” focus so much of the mom of it all and nothing else. There are so many other things in life to be discovered and appreciated and commented on (with wit and sarcasm and charm and humor) that makes us moms who we are and make our lives whole. One cannot exist on motherhood and children alone. We must have color and books and awkward experiences and memories and design and regrets and ambitions and 80 million other elements, big and small to make our lives. You highlight these and personally, make me remember to look for moments instead of rushing past my life. For that I thank you and I hope to read more from you for a very long time!

    PS – Friday’s post was a gem.
    PPS – Empire in the Empire is a hoot!
    PPPS – My fav “mom blog” is Life as Mom. Very honest and very practical – I can’t relate as well to someone with 6 kids, her life is very different from mine. But her content is solid, well-written, honest and practical and her ideas are good ones.

  32. Witty Mermaid says:

    In my opinion, a blog that boasts knowledge of the “perfect firecracker lip gloss” isn’t a “mom” blog. And, that lip gloss is awesome, so thanks for the suggestion. I found your blog because of the entry about getting sharpie out of your sofa fabric. Mostly, I was amused at who would go to such lengths?! So, I endeavored to learn more about your life.

    I don’t read any other blogs except yours, but I do observe “Sh*t my Kids Ruined” and “Sh*t my Pets Ruined.”

    As a writer, I stare at the screen all day and try to craft thoughtful sentences to teach hard stuff. I have tried reading other blogs, those you probably would categorize as design blogs or mommy blogs. Frankly, I’ve no interest in purposefully feeling inadequate on a daily basis because my house isn’t white with cute cubby drawers covered by children’s names–and some wonderful well-balanced meal cooking on the stove with herbs picked from the yard.

    Here is reality: Yesterday I had a crappy day at work because, generally, I dislike 85% of my co-workers, and my boss. And, last evening, my husband and I ate pickles out of the jar, olives, tortilla chips, and cheese on crackers–followed by a swig of eggnog–for dinner between running from work and to the middle school choir performance. I didn’t have to take my daughter because, unlike on the Mommy blogs, her father and I are divorced, after one long and ugly struggle. So, she was with her father last evening, and he took her.

    In all honesty, I didn’t expect still to be reading your blog, either, and certainly not subscribed to the feed! Typically I get bored of blogs, or their authors, when the blog becomes obviously self-serving, which most seem to degenerate into. Your site is less a blog and more like a thoughtful 18th century diary, showcasing the struggles of humanity. I think you feel things intensely and are humbly introspective. Few people are like you.

  33. Samma says:

    I ‘found’ your blog through the blogs link on Young House Love, and first enjoyed it because I’m originally a SoCal girl (raised in Lytle Creek, if you know where that is). Now, you’re a daily check to read. And, though you do talk a bit about your kids, and I love the Empire in the Empire photo series, I certainly never would have thought of you as a ‘mommy blogger’. Lifestyle, maybe, I guess I never tried to apply a genre’ to your writings.
    I just know you are an authentic voice, write beautifully, sometimes funny, sometimes profoundly moving, and make me wish I knew you. The pictures are nice too, and the local shoutouts either help (or hurt) the homesickness — I live in Atlanta these days.
    So, thanks. Whatever you want to call yourself, I appreciate you.

  34. KMW says:

    I’m going to echo the sentiments of most of the other poster. I recently started reading your blog when I was looking at YHL’s blogroll. I keep coming back because I like your writing voice, your topics, and your openness. I read Soulemama, which I know you have a link to, and I also read jasongood365. He’s a humorous daddy blogger, I guess, but like you he talks about other things than his sons so he’s not easily classified. Other than that I really only look at shelter blogs on a regular basis because I’m in the process of rennovating a house and moving into it.

    If I’m going to read a narrative/ lifestyle blog, which is what I think you are, it needs to be:
    1. written by someone who can write
    2. written by someone I can relate to and wish I were friends with
    My standards aren’t that high, but you meet both crieteria!

  35. Sally says:

    Hi. I will say I don’t read mom blogs….and yet, I read a small number of blogs by women who are moms and who occasionally write about their mom-ness. My mom-ish blogs are yours, Soulemama, Rummage, and Tiny Happy. But really, what attracts me to these is not that mom aspect but something else for each; color, images, writing style, making me laugh, making me think. Momness is part of the package but it’s not all there is. I have picked up and dropped others when they get too preachy or precious. I am a mother of 2 sons and grandmother of a clever funny 3 year old, all of whom I adore altho I don’t want to only be defined by my roles in relation to them, but I am very happy with those roles. And then here’s my ‘and yet': my PhD project focuses on mothers in European films of the 1960s…so yes there is something about moms, mums, mammas even in that context, but for me it’s all the other relationships, sites and discourses that cluster around them as well as their mothering. Moms have many facets and I love blogs who show those many facets.

  36. Val says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a good while and you know I love it. I don’t have kids yet, but I don’t feel alienated by your content about motherhood. I may not be a mom, but I am a member of a family and most of your posts are extremely relevant to me; I cook for people, people I love get sick or sad and need to be tended to, we go out for adventures sometimes (that may or may not involve Star Wars paraphernalia), I have a house to keep and attempt to decorate.

    I really appreciate that your blog isn’t just a Mom Blog or a Fashion Blog or a Design Blog or a Food Blog…it’s just a blog, just a let’s talk about what’s going on today kind of chat. It’s a once a week phone call with a friend who’s moved away. You get to talk about everything.

    And I really appreciate the ability to edit after commenting.

  37. Sara says:

    I’ve only commented here once (and I do believe it was re: Friday Night Lights and Tim Riggins’ greasy hair) but I read often. I appreciate the thought that goes into your posts, that the writing is never trite or saccharine, that you seem to respect your readers’ intellects and, additionally, you happen to be a mom with all the chaos and emotion and mundanity that accompanies it.

    As for “mom blogs,” I don’t really read them regularly. It’s not that I have anything against that type of blog per se, just that in my limited time now that I have two young kids, I like most of my reading to do double duty, i.e. be some sort of practical/parenting-related something or other that I can use in my daily life or be somehow thought-provoking or inspiring or side-splittingly funny.

    I think the best blogs, mom blogs or otherwise, play to the universality of life, to the things that tie us to others just by our being human. That said, though, in addition to this ability to write about the specific and making it more general, I should make clear that I’m drawn to the writing, plain and simple. I can read a good writer’s grocery list.

    And on that note, a blogger (who is also the author of a book and a cooking column and many magazine pieces and who also wrote a “journal” on Babycenter before the term “blog” was used) whose grocery list I would practically dig through the trash to read: Catherine Newman. She writes about being a mother (and just being human, in general) in the most honest, breathtakingly beautiful way. She is a wonder. Highly, highly recommend . . .

  38. Bobbi Jo says:

    I don’t read mom blogs. I’m guessing it’s probably because I spend so much time being a mom that I prefer Human-Being-Getting-By-on-a-Regular-Day blogs. I skim design blogs everyday because I’ve picked my mortal sin and it is envy. I’ve given up on PW, except for when those damn colorful mixers suck me back in.

    I’m not all that discerning. If you make me laugh, I stay. Also, I can tell that you care for the language. I can’t stand poor writing skills in a blog. I implore people who choose writing as their medium to please try to do it well. Our language takes enough hits when we text.

    So, I guess you’re my niche. Let me know if you come up with a catchy title for it.

    • Witty Mermaid says:

      I love the comment about our language taking “hits.” What an apt metaphor–the fair maiden, English, being violently struck by a cell phone! So true…

  39. Dorothy says:

    Holy cow, is this a comment record for you??

    My favorite “mom blog” (if yours doesn’t count) is probably littlecains.blogspot.com. She’s a great blogger – and its an added bonus that my nieces and nephew are super cute. ;) I’m not a mom yet, though, so I don’t read that many blogs, maybe just four or five.

    • Jules says:

      I don’t think it’s a record because I am being so chatty in the comments. If you take out all my comments and replies there’s, like, 12 comments. ;)

  40. vagabond says:

    When I first read your post, I was like “mom blogger?????” I never thought I was reading a mom blog. I immediately scrolled down through your posts. Oh my, maybe you do blog about being a mom quite often. Still I have always rejected being defined by the roles that we play at different stages of our life. Is being a mom, or wife, or nurse, or whatever, what defines me as a person? I don’t think so. Those are important roles I play, but they are not WHO I am. Who and what I am is so much more than those things. If, God forbid, those roles were taken away from me, would I still be me? I love reading your writings. They resonate and I check your blog first on the list of blogs I read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on all kinds of subjects with us.

  41. Rachel says:

    I don’t read a lot of mom blogs. I never read tips about parenting, although I do like to read about the experiences of people who happen to be parents, and I love to read the Stuff Mikey Says. My online time is usually me time and I guess all of that would fit in the lifestyle category.

  42. Alaina says:

    I *just* stumbled upon your blog, via Small Notebook… I think Heather and Sara pretty much wrote everything I wanted to say about why I’ll be sticking around. I don’t have kids yet, but I love that you give a voice to the life a gal can (and will) still have after kids are born. And I like that both the posts and the commenters all seem focused on getting across what it means to live your lives, and not if we all see things the same way.

    (That’s actually the most wonderful part — I really appreciate getting clear, direct insight into what it means to live /your/ life, and whatever differences exist [faith doesn't play much of a role in my life, for example] make me think about my own life in different ways, which is so good for me. Thank you :> )

  43. Liv says:

    Looking foxy!

  44. Tips 4 u says:

    Wow! In the end I got a website from where I be able to actually get useful facts concerning my study and knowledge.

Leave A Comment

Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.