Yes, Yes, But What About Meeeeee?

MMM Showcase, Parental Intel Thursday, September 20, 2012

If you’ve read MMM for the last two years, you know that I’m a fan of journalist/blogger Lisa Belkin. In fact, I used to do a weekly, blog/link wrap-up called And So It Was Blogged (clever, I know), and a week rarely went by where I didn’t include something from Motherlode (the NYT‘s wildly popular parenting blog that Belkin headed up for three years before moving on to Huffington Post Parents last fall).

Turns out, Belkin actually read MMM, and once left a comment on this post inviting me to email her (yes!) to discuss writing for her on Motherlode (YESSS!).

I giddily wrote two essays for Belkin’s Motherlode: this one about being mistaken for the nanny (girrrl.), and then this one on dealing with other people’s bratty kids.

Last month, at BlogHer ’12, I got the chance to meet Belkin, in person. We had only emailed and spoken on the phone up, so it was lovely to hear her say: “Gimme a hug!” Indeed, she’s cool like that. Anyway, we chatted briefly, but it reminded me how much I enjoyed working with her. Now, if you’ll kindly allow me just a little bit more self-promo here, we’ll get to this:

My first essay on Huffington Post Parents!  

It was great working with Lisa B., and I’m definitely looking forward to doing it more.

This piece is about battling, what I call, The Borings that often come attached to parenthood, like a weird, checkered pouch on an otherwise fab skirt. Happy to say that the response on this has been great. Lots of mothers (vets and newbies) told me some form of, “I can soooo relate!

Anway, have a read and let me know some of your tactics for tackling The Borings.

Got 99 Problems, but a List Ain’t One

Life As Mom, MMM Showcase Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All right. So I don’t have 99 problems. Maybe there are two sorta complaints, if I’m being particularly grouchy about things. But this was probably my one opportunity to quote Jay-Z on a parenting blog. #justletmebegreat

Big, happy news to report, friends. Ms. Mary Mack made Babble’s Top 100 Mom Blogs. And we’ve got a splendid badge to show for it, too. Here it is below, and also in its new home: just glance over there to your right. A little lower. There! Pretty, ain’t it?

Making this whole thing even sunnier? MMM came in at Number 50!

“I like to kick, stretch and kick — I’m 50!”  

Sally O’Malley and S-dot Carter quotes aside, this is really a great honor. To be listed along with these remarkable women I admire and respect — mothers carving out their own molds for how to parent — is just the extra sprinkle of sugar on what has been a delightful blogging experience. Thank you, friends, for reading along through it all.

Now, let’s celebrate a bit. Since we haven’t given a Fa-la-la-lala Alert yet this week, this feels like the perfect time to just that.

The question: What are your top two (or three!) Christmas/Holiday songs? These are the ones that raise your cheer every time. So much so that you might even consider listening to them in the middle of the year, during a heatwave. These songs are THAT happy-making.

Here are mine, I think, and in no real order:

  1. “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole
  2. “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney
  3. TIE (why not just make it top 4, right? I don’t know. A tie seems more Yuletide-y.):
    “This Christmas” by Donny Hathaway + “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” by Bing Crosby & David Bowie.

Leave yours down below in the comments or head over to the MMM Facebook Page and list your top songs there (while you’re at it, do “Like” us if you haven’t already. Thanks!).

The prize: A $15 iTunes gift card, so that you may load up on some of these holly, jolly jams.

Guest Post: I’m Becoming My Mother … Yaaay!

Life As Mom, MMM Showcase Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I cannot tell you how I met author and blogger Ernessa T. Carter. It’s a secret. Well, it’s more like a secret group … but already, I’ve said too much.

What I can say is that she’s a smart, funny writer-mom raising a two-year-old daughter with her husband in California. Also? I’m rather pleased to have her on Ms. Mary Mack today with a guest post about becoming one’s mother.

So before loose lips sink any ships, I give you Ernessa …


The other day while working at my office (Starbucks), I overheard two college-aged girls giggling over something one of them had done or said at a previous time. This something must have been pretty heinous, because the doer declared in the most dramatic of voices, “I’m like, ‘Oh no, I’m becoming just like my mother!’”

Oh, the horror — becoming like one’s mother.

What’s interesting about this common fear, is that you rarely overhear young men saying with such laughing terror, “Dude, I’m becoming just like my dad.”

Even my own husband often precedes a nitpicking sentence with, “Not to sound like my mother, but…” Yet, he never fears aloud sounding like his father, who had his share of undesirable traits.

When my back gets raised over what I perceive as others picking on or making fun of the women who carried their silly selves around in their wombs for nine months — which is rather often now that I’m a mother myself — I remind myself that I’d probably feel the exact same way …  if my mother were not, in fact, dead.

The nice thing about having a dead mother is that you lose the somewhat natural ability to not appreciate her. I never, ever say out loud, “Not to sound like my mom.” On the contrary, I proudly represent for all the lessons she taught me. And I often begin sentences with, “Well, my mom used to say…” in the same tone of voice that scientists introduce statements of solid fact.

Yet, even I have to admit, that many of my most important life decisions have been predicated on not wanting to become my mother. In my twenties, I knew I wanted to be in a good marriage, not just in a marriage-marriage — that’s because my mother suffered through a bad marriage. Also, I diligently attend to my inherited low self-esteem, making sure that I surround myself with people that heighten my sense of self-worth as opposed to lowering it — that’s because I grew up with a mother who admired her daughters to bits, but didn’t think much of herself.

I’ve to realize over time that I have to take the good with the bad when it comes to my mother. I continuously strive to be like her in some ways, but I know that I am happier, because I am not like her in other ways.

In any case, whenever someone tells me that I’m just like my mother, I smile. What a compliment.

In addition to running the online magazine, Fierce and Nerdy, Ernessa T. Carter is the author of 32 CANDLES, a romantic comedy disguised as a novel, that is totally worth buying.

Don’t Call It a Comeback, Been Here a Year

MMM Showcase Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For the last few weeks, I’ve hinted about the “new” that we were brewing. Now, after many, many hours of building, tweaking, re-tooling, and resetting, it’s time to share it all with you.

Welcome to the sparkling fresh take on Ms. Mary Mack (Beta*)!
*We’re still adding some more flavors to this concoction.

Big thanks go out to Todd Wilson, who has a black belt in design and a gold medal in creativity. Down to the precise shade of orange, this man was focused. (And he’s always good for an involved chat about fonts, iPads, and college hoops.)

OK. A tour …

In addition to the insanely fresh coat of paint, there are also some new pieces added to the MMM mix. You’ll see them in full as we go about ripping off the plastic wrap around here. But let’s give you a taste of what to look for this month:

  • The Confab: It’s a gallery of experts sharing essential advice for an upgraded life. As much as we have been about celebrating motherhood and sharing parental intel, I wanted to add something more, a service, to this community we’re developing. In this new section, we’ll talk to experts about a range of topics—those things that are issues or challenges for mothers/parents. And we’ll go about putting together some solutions. The Confab debuts Wednesday (tomorrow!), so be sure to check back. Plus, there’s a little treat tucked into tomorrow’s post. Hint: It’s free!
  • Global Mamas: This is the “Whoa, Mama! Worldwide” project continued, but with a shorter, snappier name. And, friends, there’s this double-scoop-of-cool map that we’ve added to the project. Nothing short of fantastic! Again, raising a glass to Todd on this. Next country: Trinidad.
  • Third Thursdays: Yes, alliteration is always special, but you’ll want to drop by for this. The ever-fabulous (and fun) One Hungry Mama will be our resident Mother on a Mission, aiming to get us eating and serving good, healthy, colorful, fresh food at home. Yes, the same home with picky eaters, young palates, and often short-on-time parent-cooks. As OHM puts it, “Kids change the way we cook, but they don’t have to change how well we eat.” Aaah. So every Third Thursday, it will be OHM + MMM chopping it up in an e-mail exchange about good food and even better family. First one up: Next Thursday, April 21. Join us.

We’re very excited and proud about our new, snazzy wardrobe, but know that beneath it all, we’re the same ol’ gal, walking along with you as we make our way down this parenthood path.

Looking forward,


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