I launched my blog, SoCal Mom, back in 2003. It feels like a lifetime ago, and I guess it is – in cyber-years.
In 2003, I was a stay-at-home mom with a daughter in the second grade. The economy was booming and we felt confident about the future. We had gotten into the habit of flying to the UK to visit my in-laws at six to 18-month intervals. In fact, the impetus for beginning my blog was to document one of those trips because we decided to include a side trip to Paris.
A lot has happened since then – most of it cataloged at SoCal Mom (on the original Typepad site and then moved to its own WordPress installation).
In 2003, I had to explain to people what a blog was (that is, if I chose to tell them that I had one in the first place). Writing a post felt like an isolated act — I never expected my posts to see the light of day by anyone other than a handful of family and friends. So you can imagine how excited I was when I started to receive comments from total strangers who responded positively to something I had written.
Those folks did not stay strangers for long. People who commented on my blog often had blogs of their own, and I left comments on their posts, too – and before long, I had an entire world of new friends (literally, because they lived all over the world).
In 2003, the tech community thought of blogging as an activity practiced mainly by men, illustrated by several essays that wondered “where are the women bloggers?” This was such ingrained “common wisdom” that it led a trio of savvy ladies to respond by producing a conference just for women who blog. By this time, I was plugged in to a rather sizable community of mothers with blogs, a personal network that grew after I attended the first BlogHer in 2005.
Today, women online are recognized as a marketing powerhouse, capable of driving consumer sales and opinion – and mom bloggers are either held in high esteem (by brands) or denigration (almost everyone else). This is pretty typical of American society in general, which both venerates motherhood in abstract but shows little respect for actual mothers.
In 2003, when I tried to think of a name for my blog, SoCal Mom was the most appropriate name I could come up with.
In 2014, with my only child about to become a college freshman in a faraway state, it doesn’t seem to fit me any longer. The problem is: If I’m not SoCal Mom — who exactly am I? For 18 years, my identity has been so wrapped around my role as “Megan’s Mom” that I barely remember what it was like to be just “Donna.”
For several years now, my sister and I have toyed with the idea of doing a project together. We actually started one last year, but the concept was fuzzy and never quite gelled. “Two Drinks Away” is a second attempt to create a space where we can hash out the things we’re thinking about and even have a conversation of sorts… much as we would if we were living in the same town and chatting over coffee… or cocktails.
Because in our experience, the answers always seem to lie just Two Drinks Away.