Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Another Blissdom Post: You are not Invisible

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I started a little conversation on Twitter that seems worth exploring a bit. First off, let me explain that I spent several years as a SAHM, I did a little "work thing" on the side, maybe three hours a week just to make a teensy bit of money and get me out of the house now and again. But mostly, I was invisible.

If you've been there, you know what I mean. For the most part, I loved taking my kids places and doing things with them and just being with them, but I felt marginalized by society. It was as though walking around with a stroller indicated I had no brain, no voice in the larger world.

Until I started a blog.

But honestly, it was not until my first BlogHer conference in 2007, over 1.5 years after I started my blog, that I became aware of the larger conversation that is the mom-o-sphere, that I became a part of it.

And then after BlogHer, I eagerly popped over to read what new blogfriends had to say. I recall reading how Mom A enjoyed dinner with say Jane, and Jonelle and Josephine. And I'd think "But I was sitting right next to Josephine and she didn't mention me."

I remembered having a long talk with, say, Jenny, but not finding my name among the dozen or so bloggers she was so excited to meet IRL.

I was crushed.
I felt hurt and left out.
I felt invisible again.

And no doubt there is at least one mom, likely dozens, maybe hundreds, reading the Blissdom round-ups feeling the same thing right now.

We want to be recognized. We want to be validated. We want to know we matter. We want to feel a part of this fabulous community.

But oftentimes these round-up posts are hastily written after several exciting, but near sleepless nights. Sometimes it takes weeks (uh, years in my case) to sort through the large pile of biz cards we collect at conferences. Sometimes cards fall out of our neat little stack. People get left out despite our best intentions.

My advice to you: hold your head high, comment on the posts of people you met, link to them on your blog even if they didn't give you a shout-out. Continue to put your best foot forward on your blog. And then blast some Rocky theme music or a song like "I will survive" and do jumping jacks until that negative energy is out of your system.

On a related note, great post by Liz over at Mom-101 today on the truth about the mommy wars.

53 comments:

Liza said...

Not only were you visible at Blissdom, you rocked. Your panel was awesome, and you were even more fun to hang out with than I hoped.

Thanks again!

Briana said...

Kim - This was great. I'm always afraid to do a round up or mention specific names because I don't want to leave anyone out! and sometimes the whole thing is just a big blur! :)

Kim Moldofsky said...

@Liza - Thanks! That speaks to how far I've come and the power of perseverance.

Jo White @Mediamum said...

The fact is that the mommyblogger community is what it is because of every single woman, with every single story. No conference would be complete with the same 20 or so people at it - when I attend Mom 2.0 Summit in a couple of weeks, I'll be sure to be mentioning every woman I meet who is brand new to blogging! It's a mission. :)

MelADramatic Mommy said...

You are absolutely right! I sometimes hesitate to write posts with the link love because I worry I'll offend someone unintentionally by not including them.

I think that's something unique to women, we worry so much about each others feelings (which is not a bad thing).

No one should question their worth based on something like a recap post!

Musings of a Housewife said...

Well done. It was so lovely to finally meet you after all these years!!!

Carmen said...

You are EXACTLY right - and I'm SO embarrassed, because you were one of the highlights for me, and I TOTALLY forgot to link you. I owe you an email. You ROCKED your panel.

Isabel Kallman @AlphaMom said...

So happy that you thought to write this. Well done!

Liz said...

Thanks for writing this! I definitely get my feelings hurt way too easily by just such a thing. But I will take your advice and hold my head up high! Thanks again, and I enjoyed seeing you again, we met briefly at the NYC Europro event.

sarah said...

this is a great post! I wasn't at Blissdom, but I was at BlogHer '09 and it was overwhelming.

VDog said...

Love this.

Sage advice.

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

Nicely said. I wasn't at Blissdom, but I saw a lot of people get bent out of shape in the post Blog-Her melee. In the end, it's not about the roster you're on, it's about how you play the game when you get back to your home field. Play well, play honorably and the stands will fill.

Jennifer James said...

That's why I can't do round-up posts. I always forget someone and plus, I'm just lazy.

BTW -- loved lunch on Friday. Truly, one of the highlights of my Blissdom!

Nap Warden said...

Well said Kim, great advice. I look forward to seeing you at a Chicago function soon:)

happygal said...

It meant so much to me to read this. I wasn't at Blissdom and I have never gone to a conference, but I too feel very marginalized. I often feel like all of these conversations swirl around me and I am not a part of them. I have to remind myself why I blog, to write, to remember, to reflect. If other good connections come from it, great. But that it what is at it's core. All that said, great post. Thank you!

Scary Mommy said...

I'm always afraid to do those type of posts for that very reason. Blogging conferences can be a blast, but are also a great way to get your feelings hurt. They're tough!!

Theta Mom said...

New reader here - Found you through a tweet. Excellent post and it really gives me food for thought. I began my blog this past summer and I have purchsed tickets to BlogHer 2010 which I know is a large conference. As excited as I am to meet the very people who read my blog, I can easily see how a blogger may feel lost in the shuffle.

Thanks for the post and look forward to blogging with you!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Very well said! And kinda like how I was feeling a little bit...thanks for the encouragement.

Mom101 said...

No one can make a difference to everyone. We can only hope we make a difference to someone.

(and thanks for the shout out for my post mama)

Laura from Chambanamoms said...

You are so spot on with this. Sometimes it's hard to break into the conversation. I think twitter has made it a little easier. Thanks for your great insights as always

tara said...

i'm so glad you wrote this!

i'm a bloggy conference virgin (sortof) headed to mom 2.o ... sure to be feeling all sorts of invisible.

Vodka Logic said...

which is why I am uncertain whether or not to attend one of the conferences.

Great post and great advice

Hollee Temple said...

You were so NOT invisible at this conference (you were our Steaz Fairygodmother!), but I am sure some women felt they were. I just try to be genuine and caring and people do tend to pay it forward (not all people, but most). I'm glad you said this -- know that you helped someone today!

Wendy said...

Everyone feels that way some time. (at least I do!)

Thanks for putting it in words.

Kim Moldofsky said...

Thanks for all the great comments. I should add, and you comments made me remember this, that after my first BlogHer, I was never going to go back to another blog conference! But I did (many times) and each experience gets better and better. So give yourself a couple of chances.

BTW, I will be at Mom2.0!

Ann said...

This is a glorious, wonderful post Kim!

I want to print it and put it on my desk forever

Malia said...

Kim, you rock! I'm so glad to have met you this past weekend. Alli was singing your praises before Blissdom and I felt a bit intimidated introducing myself to you. But you were warm and sweet and well, you rock!

This is awesome advice. It was very timely as well because I had just read a couple of those linky posts (that I was not mentioned in) and was feeling a bit, well, invisible. You reminded me to not take myself too seriously and to revel in the memories and the new friendships formed without being overly sensitive and getting my feelings hurt.

Lisa B @ simply His said...

Great post! I have been on the invisible side of things, and I try to remember that when I'm at conferences since then. I intentionally look for those shy ladies who seem to want to fade into the corners. I hate that I wasn't at BlissDom this year, but perhaps next year -- and then I'll be hanging back making friends with other invisibles -- then we won't be invisible any more :)

Amy said...

This is so true!! (I'm sorry we did not get ot meet at Blissdom. Next time!)

Alli Worthington said...

That is why I don't do round ups. I love them, even when I am not in them, and yes it always stings if I am not.

How could I put into words all the women I hugged? All the women I saw and thought how beautiful they were, how poised and wonderful? I post bits and pieces, but could never say it all.

And there is that lazy factor that Jennifer mentioned above. (giggles)

Mama Laundry said...

Even though you've attended many conferences, you remember what it was like to feel overwhelmed after the first.

You summed it up perfectly.

Thanks for such encouragement!

-Lauren

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Kim it is funny that you wrote about the wrap-up because after I posted the few pics I took I realized there were SO many people I met and wanted to recognize in some way that I didn't. So I've been trying to go around and comment on posts, Flickr pics, and adding new people to my feed reader and on Twitter.

You always have sage advice and you are a class act!!!!

laura @ hollywood housewife said...

I really appreciate this post. I met you briefly during the ice breaker on the first day, but we didn't get to chat. I wish we would have!

I felt kind of invisible at Blissdom, but then I managed to offend someone by omission in my recap post. (she left me a comment, but I think we're square now.)

So I've been on both sides, and really like how you put it into words.

VanderbiltWife said...

So true! Have spent the last two days thinking no one took a single picture of me that's in the Flickr pool, thus I must be totally insignificant...despite the fact I know my pic is on at least two other bloggers' sites. It's hard, because you WANT to link to people and yet you don't want to leave anyone out.

Thanks for writing truth. :) I am sad I didn't meet you!

Jessie

Amy said...

I love this post. I was not at Blissdon (I have yet to discover what it is) but it really hit a note as to why I started blogging which I wrote about incidentally a couple of weeks ago. When you are a SAHM you just want to feel connected!

Tired Mom Tesa said...

I haven't been to a conference yet but plan to one of these days. I agree with you about how blogging makes you feel connected and like you matter - something that occasionally gets lost in the shuffle as a sahm. So I can see why being left off a conference round-up might hurt, so great tips!

Shari said...

The great thing about blogging is being able to validate your feelings about so many things. Too often we simply assume we're the only ones feeling that way.

Condo Blues said...

Thank you for writing this. I went to my first blog conference last year and it was overwhelming. Before, during, and after the conference.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Great point, Kim!!!

Steph

Angie @ Just Like The Number said...

Perfect words, Kim! It's comforting to know that everyone has similar feelings about the conferences. This was my 3rd blogging conference, and the first one where I didn't spent at least part of the conference in tears. It takes time for us introverts to get comfortable in our own skin! Thanks for writing this.

Robyn said...

This post is just another reason why I love you.

PS. I've NEVER forgotten you, my first BlogHer roomie.

Sandy said...

Hi Kim. I'm holding my head high because not only did I enjoy your talk at Blissdom, but I got to ride to the airport with you for a few minutes ... and chat!

Great post. Really great.

Rachel Boldman said...

I loved this post, and recalled your words today when I saw all the photos on the Blissdom Flickr photostream that I was NOT in! :) You rock.

Kristina said...

As always, your insights are right on. I did not go to BlissDom, although I registered for it and had planned on it until the last minute but could not go for personal reasons. I sometimes feel invisible for not having been there, and to all of the conferences as well. But I'm trying to brush aside those feelings because they're kind of silly. Seriously, though, one of the most disappointing parts about not making BlissDom was missing your panel and hanging out with you. And I can see from all of the comments that "you rocked," as Liza said.

Jendi said...

Are you reading my mind?
This year it was "but I introduced so-and-so to them and they didn't even mention me!"
I just finished doing jumping jacks.

Thanks for including me in your lunch group and giving me leftover food when I didn't get any. :)

Ellen said...

Kim, you are one of the most supportive people I had the pleasure of meeting at Blissdom. You're nice, you speak the truth, and you're fun. I am so glad to know you!

LoveFeast Table said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement....I think especially when everything is new it is easy to feel a little out of the loop...(Blissdom'10 was my first conference)... and especially when you are just learning to blog! I enjoyed watching other women who hadn't seen each other since the last conference reunite...and I thought...I'll be there some day too! And, the friendships that I started I'm excited about. Everything takes time!! ~Chris Ann

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

I think you are SO right on on so many levels.

Kelly said...

Didn't go to Blissdom, but know the feeling. You just have to keep plugging along, remembering why you started blogging in the first place.

Neena said...

I'm just one comment in the sea of many, but thank you for this. I needed it!

Joanna said...

Wait, you mean you're a real person?! I've been suffering from a delusion all this time! :-P I think it's super that you shared this, and not only because it makes you seem so normal, but it serves as a great reminder that we all start somewhere! Personally though, this happens in my everyday life already - I would expect no less at a conference! :-) People are so busy and overwhelmed anymore that you never can be sure you even made a dent.

Shell said...

Such a fabulous post. I also realize that we can't mention or post a pic of every single person that we meet at a conference.

But, still...no one wants to be left out.

Kathy said...

Great post, which definitively rings true 3 1/2 years (post BlogHer'13) after you originally wrote it. Though I don't feel invisible, I do have a tendency to be over sensitive about things like that. Thanks for sharing!

Also, I haven't finished my wrap up post yet and this certainly gives me something to consider as I write. I may link to this/your post in it and reference those who may feel left out reading such posts. Thanks again!