Because It's Still Cool To Blog

People You Should Read: The Mom 2.0 Edition

I have told this story in public but it still embarrasses me a little. When I started Boston Mamas I was in a crazy place. I was trying to work my way out of my postdoctoral fellowship emotionally and physically unscathed, forge a new career, navigate early parenting, and cope with the loss of my father. While I built Boston Mamas -- in the wee hours of the night, still working at Harvard/MIT full-time -- I operated in a bubble, churning out content like a crazy person (3-5 posts a day on my own…what was I thinking?) and basically powering through with my head down.

My head was so far down, in fact, that I didn’t really read other blogs. Yes, I had a lot of crap going on, but I totally didn’t get the karma thing. Or that the online community could very well have helped me see my way out of my emotional fog.

I did eventually catch on (though still, weirdly, I largely was a lurker...I'm a better commenter now), and then a real turning point for me was the inaugural Disney mom blogger’s mixer. Meeting that group of amazing women in real life was so powerful. And it made me realize that despite living so much of my life online, at the core, in real life matters enormously to me. So much so that with a few exceptions (I’m looking at you Asha), I tend not to become a regular reader of someone’s blog until I meet them in person and get a read on their vibe. It probably seems totally weird in this space but that's just how I operate.

All of this is to say that being at Mom 2.0 was pure awesomeness because it not only allowed me to connect with friends I read regularly, but also meet folks who, as of Sunday, have my loyal readership. So without further ado, here’s my People You Should Read: The Mom 2.0 Edition post; recommendations for friends old and new from the conference. If you were where I was at in 2006 – powering through cluelessly without reading other blogs (oh wait, then why would you be here of all places?), then the below will offer excellent fodder for exploration.

5 Minutes for Mom. Because Susan’s energy astounds me. And she’ll ever be my shopping BFF.

A Southern Fairytale. Because Rachel has a lively spirit, mad cooking skillz, and a keen photographic eye through which she even can make my bunion-ridden feet look artful.

Alpha Mom. Because Isabel knows everything. Period.

Blog Con Queso. Because Laura gracefully managed to assemble 350 conference attendees under one roof and inspire us all.

Cecily Kellogg. Because you can’t help but be intrigued by someone who can pull so many random objects out of her cleavage.

Chookooloonks. Because Karen has remarkable magnetism and talent that is pervasive online and in real life.

Design Mom. Because Gabrielle not only is brilliantly creative, but she somehow manages to make you feel like you’re the only person in the room when you’re talking to her.

doobley-vah. Because Amy somehow manages to be an eloquent poet and artist, even when she’s swearing like a sailor.

Dooce. Because even though Heather is the most famous blogger on the planet, she remains grounded; we only met briefly, and she was truly lovely.

Faint Starlite. Because Esther tackles deep personal and professional matters with remarkable thoughtfulness.

Finslippy. Because in addition to sporting perfectly applied lipstick, Alice is a beautiful writer and an utterly lovely person.

Girl’s Gone Child. Because Rebecca is fun, passionate, and inspiring. Because of her session, I’m thinking of dabbling in the world of video. (One microstep closer to my father’s dream of me becoming a talk show host.)

Gwen Bell. Because Gwen’s social media smarts are so impressive, and she makes you want to meditate on the spot.

Her Bad Mother. Because we recovering academics need to stick together.

Joy Unexpected. Because Yvonne’s words and photographs are just as expressive as her amazing eyes.

Julie Pippert. Because Julie is incredibly thoughtful and articulate. And she uses rating scales appropriately.

Lisa Stone. Because I could talk to Lisa for hours. What a smart and lovely person.

Make and Takes. Because Marie makes even non-crafty people feel comfortable crafting with their kids.

Mamma Loves. Because Amie is, in fact, awesome in the now (not just in the 80’s).

Marketing Roadmaps. Because Susan gets off (her words) on distilling important regulatory information that the rest of us can barely comprehend.

Mediamum. Because Jo has a wonderfully strong point of view, which she delivers in that delicious Aussie accent.

Mighty Girl. Because Maggie is smart, stylish, and utterly adorable. She’s another one of those people who focuses their attention right on you in the moment.

Mom-101. Because Liz’s personal and professional posts alternate between being funny as hell, moving, or illuminating (and sometimes all three at once). Also, she’s the kind of friend who takes you under her wing if she detects you might be lost in a headwind.

Momtrends. Because Nicole is thoughtful and speaks her mind while (of course) being beautifully on trend.

Motherhood Uncensored/Mominatrix. Because Kristen breaks Asian Nation boundaries with her raw and hilarious writing about family and sex. (It’s particularly good reading for us waspy New Englanders.)

Petit Elefant. Because Allison creates awesome inspiration boards. And she carries off the looks in person too.

Pundit Mom. Because Joanne knows about and can analyze the issues beyond what I could ever dream of doing.

Red Neck Mommy. Because no one crafts a PR response like Tanis.

Rock and Roll Mama. Because Lindsay truly rocks her niche, while also stretching beyond it.

Suburban Turmoil/She’s Still Got It. Because Lindsay is truly gifted at both satirical and style writing. (Warning: considerable credit card damage ensued in February due to discovering her style blog.)

The Bloggess. Because Jenny’s the Czar of Nothingness. But she’s wonderfully everything too.

The Mom Slant. Because Julie makes you think. About the hard stuff you otherwise might shy away from.

Tip Junkie. Because I can't help but align with a fellow tip junkie (or should I say the tip junkie?). Also, turns out one of Laurie's neighbors in Texas is a good friend of mine from high school. Weird.

Clumber Kim, Laurie Writes, Mommy Melee, Sarah and the Goon Squad, & Woulda Coulda Shoulda. Because my interactions with Kim, Laurie, Maria, Sarah, and Mir were brief but I fell in love with them immediately.

Jenny on the Spot, Mamaista, Mom it Forward, Mom Spark, & Multitasking Mommy. Because Jenny, Elina, Jyl, Amy, and Jodi were good sports (and are lovely people) and consumed my pasta without complaint.

Sassafrass & Foodmomiac. Because Jessica and Danielle are adorable and I’m psyched to rock the Eat. Blog. Run. relay with them.

And a few final recommendations:

Gretchen Rubin and Katherine Center. Because they write amazing books and are truly lovely in person.

Laurie Smithwick. Because she’s lovely, down to earth, and is a gorgeous designer. (And she didn’t cringe when I told her I'm a self-taught designer.)

Emily McKhann. Because she and Cooper Munroe are amazing community builders.

I'm sure I'm going to kick myself later today for forgetting someone amazing. Please chalk it up to Olympics-induced sleep deprivation. I adored connecting with all of these women and more at Mom 2.0 Summit and I'm already looking forward to next year.

Finally, again, huge thanks to Care.com for making this trip possible financially, and also to my in-laws for taking care of Laurel while I was gone. I couldn't have done it without both of these wonderful parties!