Surrounded by ‘Mommy Bloggers’

, , 15 Comments

BlogherI pulled my car into the hotel garage where the BlogHer conference would take place and found it ironic that two women with infants tucked snuggly in Baby Bjorns were there to greet me … well not greet me exactly but happen across my path. Tourists? or Mommy Bloggers? was my first thought. It’s tourist-heavy San Francisco after all and we’re in the heart of Union Square.

Upon making my way through the revolving door into the hotel, a veritable mommy-palooza was taking place in the lobby — babies seemed to be the latest “must have” fashion accessory. I knew BlogHer had a large contingent of Mommy Bloggers but surely they weren’t in labor and delivery in the meeting rooms, or were they?

My second thought: Now why did I elect to come here again and is it too late to change my mind?

Just minutes later in the speaker training/welcome session I finally got to meet Lori and Mel for the very first time. Was I relieved to find I wasn’t alone in what otherwise felt like an alien land? Like totally.

I know I’m not supposed to focus entirely on my infertility but it’s sort of hard NOT to when during the intros 70 percent of the 45 speakers in attendance introduced themselves leading with the “M” word.

“Okay, Pamela, but don’t fall into the trap of looking for differences…”

This recommendation came from a gay woman — who is also a mother by the way — after I shared my initial observations during the BlogHer reception.  Point taken. If she can look beyond the world as straight or gay then I surely I can try to look beyond the fertile and infertile factor.

So this morning as I prepared (somewhat nervously) to walk into a ballroom of 1,000 women I came to realize that it’s not just the mommy factor that had me nervous. I am simply more comfortable walking into a room with 1,000 men. I know how to act, what to say and how to relate. That’s simply the world I’ve been socialized to operate in.

So, my objective in the next two days is to get out of my comfort zone and try to take a fresh look — not just at mommy bloggers but at women in general.

My next post: What happens when I introduce the topic I blog about…and the infertility panel.

 

15 Responses

  1. luna

    July 18, 2008 7:14 pm

    I couldn’t believe they had a button that said “breastfeeding at blogger.” now I don’t mean to look for those differences either, but they tend to smack me right upside the head. like the m-blogger who writes about how all 3 of her pregnancies were unplanned, or the one who was “so fertile” that she got pregnant with an IUD… ugh.

    I’m with you sister. literally. happy hour in less than 5 hours, and counting!

  2. Kelly D

    July 18, 2008 7:21 pm

    You’ll do great on your panel. Your message will help many of those women learn how to be more compassionate to those going through infertility. Good luck!

  3. Jenny

    July 18, 2008 9:30 pm

    I love the comment about not looking for differences. I am so guilty of doing that — I’m an adoptive mom who is constantly scanning other families for signs of adoptive-ness, so that I’m not alone — and I definitely think it’s to my own detriment. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. loribeth

    July 18, 2008 10:32 pm

    Yikes!! I’ve just been thinking of this event in terms of you, Mel, etc. I knew there would be mommybloggers there, but I didn’t envision them with babies in tow (although goodness knows, parents seem to take their kids everywhere these days). Shows how out of touch this childless woman is, I guess.

    Interesting point about feeling more comfortable in a room full of men than women. I’ll look forward to your next updates!

  5. Phoebe

    July 18, 2008 11:30 pm

    I understand about the being more comfortable with men thing. I think that because I’m not a girly girl, I sometimes have a hard time relating to women. Or maybe it’s just that because my relationship with my mother is so weird, I have a hard time relating to women in general. Can’t wait to hear how your session went!

  6. Rachel

    July 19, 2008 12:44 am

    You go girl… you’re gonna’ be great… I can’t believe you had the courage to walk through those doors, or rather, that what you found there didn’t make you run… actually, knowing you, I can believe you had the courage… I should say, I’m impressed by it. Not an easy feat to face head on that which ails ya’…. like I said, picture ’em all naked, or doing something very ‘human’ (wink)… helps keep it all in perspective. And boy, can I relate to relating better to men. And abundance of estrogen makes me nervous any day of the week!

  7. MLO

    July 19, 2008 1:58 am

    I have worked in both female heavy and male heavy environments. Male heavy environments can be easier in some ways. They are not interested in knowing details that women invariably want to know.

    That said, I think the bigger issue is the figure of 1,000. (Granted, at some conventions / conferences that is a relatively small number.) You’ll do fine.

  8. Jeanne

    July 19, 2008 3:05 am

    Pamela Jeanne,

    Enjoy BlogHer the best you can as an opportunity to look for COMMON LINKS rather than differences… AND to make the moms there MORE SENSITIVE to the fact that there are many infertile women (and men) who have a tough time with all of the “parenthood and children hoopla”.

    Hang in there! I’ll bet you’ll be glad you went to BlogHer by the time you’re done with it!

    It sounds really interesting and I wish I could be there myself! 🙂

    Take care,

    Jeanne
    http://www.endendoat.blogspot.com

  9. Bea

    July 19, 2008 3:38 am

    I love your shirt, and in fact it makes me want to get a similar one of my own.

    Looking beyond the differences is a great piece of advice. And I know what you mean about men – so much more straightforward, sometimes.

    Bea

  10. HeidiM

    July 19, 2008 5:05 am

    I just want to thank you for making the trip there to represent hundreds of infertile women bloggers, I’m happy you’re there to communicate what it’s like on this side of the fence. As for all the moms, I’d be weirded out too, but I bet they’ll make for a great nurturing and understanding audience.

  11. Me

    July 19, 2008 2:35 pm

    The last few years I’ve been trying to learn to interact with females better too. Growing up I always hung out with mostly males. Then in high school and college I was dating so more of the same. And now in the business world 90% of the Clients I interact with are male. I understand how to be a strong, confident woman surrounded by males. Understanding how to be a communicative and compassionate woman surrounded by females is something I’m still working on.

  12. peesticksandstones

    July 20, 2008 1:22 pm

    Wow! I can’t wait to hear more about how this goes.

    I’m definitely guilty of immediately “sorting” women these days into categories. Every single lady I pass on the street, I immediately look at her gut to see if there’s a bump. Even the grannies, I swear.

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