A Dandelion in the Babble Bouquet

December 4th, 2012

Being named to Babble’s Top 100 Mom Blogs for 2012, and what it means to me.

I went ice skating for my birthday last month, and it made me so happy, I spent the entire time grinning like this:

Yesterday, I got news that put the same goofy grin on my face: Planting Dandelions has been selected one of Babble’s Top 100 Mom Blogs for 2012.

The list has been around since 2009, so I have had plenty of opportunity to watch how people on and off the list react to it. When you’re a person whose work is being recognized, it’s wonderful. When you’re a friend and fan of the people whose work is being recognized, it’s wonderful. When your own work is not being recognized, it’s not always so wonderful. I know this feeling first hand, and I know some of you reading this feel it today.

So tomorrow, for a Writing on Wednesdays post, I promise to share some acquired strategies for working through the why-not-me days that inevitably come to us all. I have lots of practice in this area.

Today, though, I’m going to grin this goofy grin, and have my Sally Field moment. When the barista asks for a name for my cup this week, I’m going to tell him “NUMBER FORTY SEVEN.” Let people who are cooler than me play it cool. It means a lot to me, as much as any of the recognition I’ve gotten for my work in print.

  • It’s meaningful because many of the Top Babble Moms are women I think of as friends, colleagues, and alumni–we grew up together in this medium. I’m so proud to be numbered among them.
  • It’s meaningful because I read most of the Top Mom Blogs of 2011 –nearly every day–and it’s a good list. I don’t love every single post, or every single voice on it, but you could stack up the content against any women- or family-aimed media outlet and be impressed with the quality and variety.
  • It’s meaningful because the list is a great introduction to unfamiliar voices. When I added all 100 Top Mom Blogs of 2011 to my reader last year (those with full feeds, anyway), I was subscribing to numerous bloggers I’d never heard of. Today, some of those are my favorite daily reads.  I’m excited to see lots more new-to-me names on this year’s list, and I look forward to meeting new readers of Dandelions.
  • Especially, it’s meaningful to know that this medium’s definition of success can include a small, slow blog like this one, with an editorial calendar based on “write when I can, don’t write when I can’t.” Though blogging has played an immense part in my professional writing career elsewhere, around here, it is still largely amateur hour. My audience is influential, but small. I’m hoping to launch an ad/sponsor program in 2013, but on pretty selective terms. I love blog conferences, but I just don’t have the budget to attend many.

My networking strategy?

Try to be kind and supportive. Avoid meanness and drama.

You may not believe this, but not every industry rewards this approach to doing business.

I’m so happy to be part of one that does.

Thanks, Babble, for including a dandelion in your lovely bouquet.

And thank you, readers, for your attention over the years, list or no list. That’s been the greatest honor of all.



13 Responses to “A Dandelion in the Babble Bouquet”

  1. Asha says:

    Grinning with you!

  2. Alexandra says:

    Thanks. I am happy to see you on it, and I find comfort in your words here. Yesterday and today on twitter, so many people are saying, “dumb list” “who cares” “I’ve never wanted to be on it.”

    The thing is, it’s an honor and validation fuels us, it fuels me.

    I am happy for those who made it, I am glad to see new faces on it.

    I follow almost everyone there b/c they are kind supportive and geniuinely happy for those that are recognized.

    That’s the best way to operate in this universe. But, yes, I saw lots on twitter: Saying “babble’s top list up again, big whoop.”

    We should rejoice for others, or keep quiet.


    You speak my language, your posts inspire me, and I feel a connection to your words here.

    It’s how I want to live: happy for others, or if I don’t care, then not raining on other’s parades.

  3. Kyran, I admire you and your writing from afar (I read often, don’t comment much 🙂 ) and am so happy for you. I totally agree about the Babble list – a collection of wonderful voices and a great place to discover new ones. You deserve to be on it, 100%. -Sarah Powers

  4. Martha says:

    Found your lovely blog last year when I started working lonely night shifts – love your IG photos, too. Congrats!

  5. Lindsey says:

    Congratulations!!! I’m so happy to see you on the list, amidst many other voices I love as well. xo

  6. Kathleen says:

    Congrats! So happy for you. It is a well-deserved honor.

    Actually, the fact that you do just write when you can and don’t when you can’t is refreshing for others (like myself) who are also struggling working from home, children in tow (meaning climbing the back of the chair shooting rubber bands over your head while you try to type out a few coherent thoughts) and also pursue other paying writing opportunities to pay the bills. It’s nice to know you can “have it all” in the sense that your blog can and should be appreciated along with the others who post every day and perceive it more like a business.

    So, keep ’em coming! Looking forward to reading in 2013.

  7. Congrats! I started reading your blog after your session at AWBU and have enjoyed it a lot. I don’t usually like mommy blogs (hello gratuitous pictures of children that I don’t know nor care about, call me cold) but I do like yours. Why? The writing is a hell of a lot better. You deserve it.

  8. Kelly Jo says:

    Love the grin! Congratulations!

  9. Lesley says:

    Congratulations! You absolutely deserve it! I started reading Planting Dandelions after attending one of your sessions at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop in April. I enjoy your warmth and gentle insights. Thanks for writing! I hope you don’t mind – I put a link to Planting Dandelions on my blog page so my readers can enjoy you, too.

  10. lomagirl says:

    Hurray for you! And glad I’m a not quite long time reader who can say- I discovered her BEFORE the Babble. (See, something for all of us to be proud of today!)

  11. alex says:

    I’ve been reading your blog..since, well, when it still had that other name. I read for the skill and the care that goes in the writing and return comfortably to dandelions because of your willingness to allow, over the years, for an overarching narrative about the struggle and effort and the many thump sounds of small failures which characterize the writing process. I’m happy for the timely recognition and thankful for the quiet determination that underlies it! Congratulations!

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