Top Blogger Spotlight
Becky Harks of Mommy Wants Vodka is hands-down one of the funniest people on the planet. Looking for the raw, uncensored truth about any subject from motherhood and antenatal depression to vampires and the under-representation of kumquats in today’s social media? She’s your woman. If you are not already one of her loyal minions, you will be by the time you finish reading this interview. We promise.
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Would you tell me a little about your three children?
Whenever anyone says something about "my three kids," I'm always a little shocked. Me. With kids. That's crazy-talk!
About my kids, eh? Well, okay. Don't mind if I do!
Benjamin is nine-and-a-half years old. That half is VERY important when you're nine, so I mustn't leave it out, or he might actually murder me in my sleep. Is it just me, or are kids going through puberty at a wicked young age? Because I swear to you, the kid is going through puberty. Either that, or I'm the world's most annoying person (LIKELY), because I cannot open my mouth without him stomping off, rolling his eyes because, 'OMG MOM YOU'RE SO DUMB.'
Even still, Ben's an awesome kid. He's mildly autistic, got perfect pitch, and the reason for all (gestures around) of this. Seriously, without him, I'd be nothing. He even walked me down the aisle when I got married.
Alexander is four. I spent the majority of the time I was pregnant with him awake because he wouldn't stop kicking my liver and that's pretty much an apt description for how he is today. He's intense.
Amelia is the last of my children and the one who dethroned me as the reigning Queen of the Sausage Factory. She was born in January of 2009 with a previously undiagnosed birth defect called an "encephalocele." It's so rare, such a genetic blip, that maybe I should take this as a sign to buy more lottery tickets. Her survival alone is nothing short of a miracle and yet she is here, she is healthy, she is normal and she is the light of my life.
How is your daughter's speech therapy going?
The brain is a mysteriously complex and beautiful organ. She had neurosurgery at three weeks of age to correct the abnormal development of the brain outside her head and the bony defect caused by the encephalocele. She walked away from that whole ordeal with a mild speech delay. That's a MIRACLE.
Now that she's in weekly speech therapy, it's going so well that I fully expect to wake up one day to have her say, "Mommy, I WANT A PONY. NOW." That's the kind of personality she has. Which is to say, she is my clone.
How has Mommy Wants Vodka shaped your identity?
I started blogging in 2004 at age 23, and it's (counts on fingers now) 2011 now, and I'm (gets out pen and paper) 30. Those are really important years for anyone. I'd venture to say that those are some of the most important years ever, as far as identity-formation goes.
That's why I can safely say that it's been through my blog that I've discovered myself. I cannot believe I just typed that. No seriously, I can't. But it's true. I don't exactly know where I'd be without it.
We bloggers get a bad reputation as being silly and frivolous and perhaps that's true on occasion. Life isn't always Serious Business after all.
Sometimes, though, when you need a voice in the darkness, someone to remind you that you're not alone, there's no better way to find it. I can't think of anything more powerful than writing down your most intimate thoughts, clicking that PUBLISH button, and having someone else, millions miles away, instantly read your words, your feelings, your thoughts, and feel something; anything. That connection, that sense of belonging that you feel when you find someone else like you in the world is like nothing else.
I guess I don't know if I'll always be Mommy Wants Vodka, but being Mommy Wants Vodka has helped me become me.
Can you tell me a little about your other site Band Back Together?
Band Back Together is a group blog that I launched in September of 2010. The idea behind it had been rolling around my head for over a year: "A group blog where people could submit their stories," but I couldn't figure out what the blog would be about. Most group sites have a common theme, a purpose, a mission statement. Initially, I thought it would be for special needs parents. Then I realized that was too specific. I hate being exclusionary.
So I decided that it would be a group blog for anyone who needed to share their stories about anything. I would get a team of volunteer editors and moderators and throw absolutely everything into moderation so that it would be a safe space for people to share, well, whatever they wanted to. A community for support, for love, for whatever was needed.
That's exactly what it is. And it is exactly what the blog world needed.
It is so beyond anything I could have expected. The Band is full of some of the most amazing, awe-inspiring people I have ever had the pleasuring of knowing, and it is proof that the blog world is neither silly nor frivolous.
Also: Band Back Together just won a Bloggie for Best Kept Secret Weblog which means that we're TOTALLY going to buy ponies for everyone.
(that may be untrue)
If you could go back and give your new mommy self a word of advice, what would you say?
Don't feel guilty if you don't enjoy every moment of parenthood. Anyone who claims that they do or that you should is either deluded or high. Like anything else, there are good days and bad days, so give yourself a break.
What is the most important thing you've done in your life?
Well, I should probably say "my children," right? That's what I'm supposed to say in this scenario. So let's just go ahead and add "besides my children" because even I'd roll my eyes at that answer.
Hm. Well, I did fake a having a baby on The Twitter once. That was pretty awesome. But not "important."
I'm going to go all Serious Answer here and say that the most important thing I've done is to create Band Back Together. At least, that's what I'm most proud of (I take no credit beyond creating the space). I mean, my blog is so awesome that it practically shoots unicorns and fairies from the computer screen, but I think that Band Back Together is much more important in the grand scheme of things.
Even without the unicorns, the connections I've seen, the lives it's changed, it's incredible. That, my friends, is what The Internet is all about. Well, okay, Band Back Together and dancing cactus videos.
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