Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Parenting Bloggers who kind of suck

Bonnie Fuller, she of Glamour, US Weekly, and Cosmo fame, has just released a book called The Joys of Much Too Much.

I will buy this book, stay up all night reading it, and pass it on to friends who are also Fuller fans. (Come on! Who doesn't think US Weekly is, like, the best publication in the entire world?)

If I had Fuller's private e-mail, I'd send her a nice note asking her to be my friend. "Bonnie," I'd write, "Will you be my friend?"

Anyway, I read a blog entry, by parenting "expert" Andrea Gordon, who writes for the largest newpspaer in Canada, The Toronto Star. Ok, I'll let Andrea Gordon have the title "expert" because she is a mother, and all mothers become "experts" after they have children, right? Whatever.

I read her blog because, well, I feel I have to, being a mommy blogger myself. I do not know Andrea Gordon at all. She may be the nicest person on the planet, for all I know. I just feel I need to say something when she critises Bonnie Fueller for being out of touch. No one is allowed to critisize my Bonnie!

I think Andrea Gordon is the one out of touch with the real world.

Maybe it's not all Andrea's fault. She's overly-earnest, which annoys me. It's the same reason I don't read the Toronto Star. It annoys me, without even trying. But I will read Andrea's blog, and Antonia whatever-her-last-name's blog.

Anyway, Andrea came down hard on poor Bonnie Fuller, in the typical Canadian way. I hate when Canadians do this.

One of the reasons I hate Canada is because of people like Andrea Gordon. Can't you just be happy that a Canadian has done well in America? N-o-o-o.

God forbid we ever congratulate or support a Canadian who has done well. Can't you just say "Congrats on your book. I may not agree with it, but you got a book out and that's coolio daddy-o?"

Can't you just be like, "I admire how much you've accomplished?" Oh, n-o-o. Us Canadians don't like anyone who succeeds.

But I'm getting off topic. Andera Gordon didn't like The Joys of Much Too Much because she can't understand a woman who, essentially, is very ambitious, super busy, career-oriented, and a mother. Andrea Gordon can't understand why any woman doesn't want to slow down and smell the roses and scratch their cat.

She says that Bonnie Fueller is not an "inspiration." I find Fuller completey inspirational.

I completely understand Bonnie Fuller. I can completely understand how she works so hard, and wants to work so hard, and also be a mother. Hello? Is there really something wrong with her because she lets her husband stay at home and loves her career? Is this not the year 2006?

"Go Bonnie, go!" is what I say. Why slow down? I think I probably think a lot like Bonnie. You only live life once. Why not try to do all you can? Why not try and be the best in your field? Why do anything half-hearted and half-assed? There's plenty of time to rest in your grave, as the saying goes.

"The full life I'm aiming for isn't about never stopping. It's about stopping a lot more and feeling okay with that. It's about sitting still and digesting and reflecting and finding the meaning in the ordinary," writes Andrea Gordon.


Who the hell wants to find meaning in the ordinary? Who the hell wants to sit and reflect? The only time I want to digest is after I eat a Big Mac and fries at Mcdonalds.

I'm the type that takes on way too much. If I could tell you - hey, it's my blog! I can! Well, let's just say I'm working on a handful of books coming out next year, freelance at least a couple feature articles a month, write a weekly column for the Globe and Mail, work-out, see friends, do this blog, watch a lot of tv, and also am a mother.

And, you know what? I like being busy.

In fact, I think most people like being busy more than they like not being busy. Be honest. Do you feel more comfortable having things to do and people needing you, or do you feel better about yourself lying on the coach, watching America's Next Top Model, and cramming your face with SmartFood?

Not that there's anything wrong with that. You choose the life you want to lead. I would never come down hard on a woman who is ambitious, just like I'd never come down hard on someone who chooses to spend their day getting their nails and hair done.

I do come down hard on women who moan, like Andrea Gordon, about how she has too much to do and she doesn't like it. Poor you. You're s-o-o-o busy.

It's the same way I felt about people I used to work with, who moaned, "I hate it here. I hate my job." Dude, get another job, then. Or appreciate what you have and that a million other people would glady want your job. If you don't like your life, change it. But don't come down hard on someone who actually likes the way they live their life.

Maybe Andrea just had a bad day or something. In any case, don't come down hard on Bonnie. She is an inspiration. She has a kick-ass career, a large family, a husband.

Anyone have her e-maill?


Anonymous newfie2u said...

does that woman know that there are a million canadians living in just the state of california alone? so many doctors and nurses have migrated down here it's unbeliveable, just 1 state...who knows how many are stread out over the other 49? florida and arizona have tons of canadians, too. you'd have1elebenty billion people in canada if they didn't leave i have so many friends that have dual citizenship or who have just kept their canadian citizenship so they can retire up there... anyway those people come here and are mostly very successful, maybe andrea is jealous?

2:52 PM

Blogger York Region Baby said...

I agree -- can't we all just get along!!

Rebbeca, Wondering how you handle criticism, which you get from all sides (reading your amazon review for Knocked UP I sa wa few)I've been chatting with some moms about my new obession reading your blog -- and I get the "I can't believe she's got 2 nannies, blah blah..."

4:29 PM

Anonymous Jen said...

I agree with a lot of what you said, Rebecca, although I do often enjoy Andrea's blog. I am a mom and don't just love being busy, I need to be. But...I cringed when I read "one of the reasons I hate Canada" yah?

5:48 PM

Blogger Blogette said...

A to the MEN!

Best blog post EVER. I could not agree more.

And what is it about the Toronto Star anyway? Seriously, that paper BUGS.


6:32 PM

Anonymous Kristin said...

Rebecca, I'm a Canadian who does find joy in the success of others, and I think there are a lot of us.

You say that you hate people who moan that they hate their jobs, that they should just get out of them, already. I agree.

You also say you hate Canada. So shouldn't the same logic apply?

Just wondering. (I happen to think we have a pretty great country.)

7:00 PM

Anonymous Jen said...

maybe andrea is "s-o-o-o busy" because she has four teenage sons, no help from anyone other than herself and her husband and a limited budget. and maybe she enjoys "the ordinary" in spending time with her children and reflecting...versus rushing out of the house to write scathing trash on celebrities. there's nothing wrong with enjoying the everyday parts of life instead rushing off to fill a vacuous hole with material possessions. since when is contentment with "ordinary life" something to be frowned upon? some people are happy with their lives and don't feel the need to constantly reach for the bext step. maybe they're already at the highest step and are entitled to their enjoyment of it. you seem to be pretty harsh on andrea's choices simply because she's been harsh on someone elses-maybe you both need to take it down a notch?

7:17 PM

Anonymous jen b. said...

by the way, i wrote the previous comment but i am not the 1st Jen to post-sorry for the confusion if there was any mistaken identity...i'll be "Jen B." from now on...

7:45 PM

Blogger Kim said...

I've come to think that the world can be divided into personality types A and B. I'm a Type A, married to a Type B. I am energized by stress, love being busy, take on too much and thrive on it. I'm a self-employed marketing consultant, a mom (who runs a kick-ass moms' group) a volunteer... it goes on and on. My hubby is a cool dude, grounded and appreciates a quiet room. All this is to say: each to their own. Some stop to smell the roses, others take it with them to smell while multi-tasking world domination schemes.

9:02 PM

Anonymous TwoSprouts said...

Wow. And you think Andrea Gordon is out of touch? In my world, "work-out, see friends, do this blog, watch a lot of tv" counts as goofing off, leisure time, not "busy". I suspect Bonnie Fuller would agree.

5:34 AM

Anonymous Jenn B2 said...

I find it so amazing how quick you are to judge and criticize. Especially after you have spent the past weeks describing your month away spending your days at the 'club', shopping (with such priciple I might add... just enough to turn down the jeans, not quite enough to return the rest), pawning your daughter off on one of two nannies... oh yes, you did have her on your own for a full four seconds - what an accomplishment! Anyhow, I digress - the whole point is, you put your life out there and have very serious support and harsh critics when anyone judges you, then you go right back and do it yourself. Truth is, I enjoy your blog. You are funny and quirky and your writing can be hysterical ('Lost', and 'Abdul' both very witty). Stick to this stuff, why bother with the stuff seemingly written to incite fury (designer jeans for children, the triviality of your single friends issues). Accept the fact that you are a 'Bonnie', and there are also 'Andreas' out there that compliment each other in your differing ways.

6:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You speak with such a profound and refreshing knowledge, that only a functional idiot would dare refute your words. Keep up the great commentary.... L in NY

7:10 AM

Blogger Rebecca said...

I'm waiting for the day when writers like Andrea Gordon start asking successful businessmen, "You do all this, and you're a father!?!"

On another note, while I also like to keep busy, I somehow always find time to watch TV and cram my face with SmartFood.

10:54 AM

Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

i don't get why the one type of mom can't accept the other type of mom (I like Kim's 'type A' and 'Type B' ideas).

I personally don't give a rats behind if, say, Rebecca is a type A mom who is on the go all the time, shops, goes on holiday, on business trips, has a nanny (or two, who the heck cares? It's her child and her money) and I'm a type B who stays home, tries to never shop retail, and prefers to just pet my cat.

Each mom makes her own decisions and should be allowed to say: "I wouldn't do it that way" 9especially on her own blog. It's the ones who say: "She's an idiot for not doing it MY way" who are wrong.

We need to stay out of each other's mommying.


1:11 PM

Anonymous Canadian Babies said...

But can I be super busy....and still sit on the couch, eat Smart Food and watch American Top Model! Pllleeeaaaase! :)

1:59 PM

Blogger ninepounddictator said...

Canadian Babies, you are right on - live your life and then eat a large bag of Smartfood while watching America's Top Model.

Really, it's all about the Smartfood and Tyra.

I do not mean to criticize Andrea as a person at all. Like I said, I don't know her. I'm positive she is a great mother. I know she is a v. good writer (Like I said, I read her and will continue to and that says everything in itself.) Maybe she's even a good cook?

But I do think I'm allowed to not agree with what she writes and voice that opinion. Just like many, many, many people disagree with what I write. I'm more than happy to post people who disagree - even anonymous posters who you really can't trust - as long as they aren't overly and unecessarily cruel. Making fun of my religion, and my family? Nu-uh. Not fair.

Actually, if anyone makes fun of my ass, I won't post that either.

I guess I won't post any comments that, basically, hurt my feelings. JOKING. I have thick skin.

Anyway, Andrea, being a journalist for 25 years, I'm sure welcomes all opinions. We're differnt kinds of mothers, that's all.

She does not understand, for example, why I've bought a portable DVD player for my toddler, when practically every mother I know personally has bought one. (You must get one!)

Obviously, blogging as part of a newspaper job is all about starting discussion (or why else blog on your employer's web site if not to invite the public to share their views, right?)

In fact, one of the most fun aspects of blogging is seeing what everyone has to say and contribute to mommy blogger posts. At least it is for me.

3:20 PM

Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Maybe if Andrea watched a little ANTM she would loosen up. 'Cuz Tyra will do that for you!

6:46 PM

Blogger littlepinkcar said...

i'm confused.
when did the 2nd nanny come to town? i swear it was just nanny mimi and then 2 grandmas. do 2 grandmas = 1 nanny? so do you have to PAY 2 grandmas? that sucks, if so. pls tell me it ain't so.
seriously rebecca you're getting screwed if your mom has convinced you she's a 2nd nanny and is making her pay her. you should look into that. (n.b. read: sarcasm)

6:22 PM


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