Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's in a name?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

Romeo and Juliette by William Shakespeare

The name of my blog, “Beyond the Diapers and Spills,” is also the title of a manuscript I wrote a few years ago. It’s about stay-at-home moms - mostly about our daily feelings - not so much about the specifics of diaper changes, colic, baby’s first steps, etc.

I was inspired to write it because people would ask me, “What do you do all day?” Strangers at the mall seemed to be puzzled as I pushed my fully occupied double stroller with another child walking beside it. Some satisfied their curiosity and asked questions, expressing a little surprise when they realized that I wasn’t on maternity leave; that there was no job to go back to in six weeks. It occurred to me that my life was a bit of an anomaly; that lots of people didn’t get it – especially when I stepped outside of small town suburbia.

No job? What about money? Aren’t you bored? Don’t those kids get on your nerves all day?

But there were others who said they’d “stay home” if they could.

So with tape recorder in hand, I interviewed twenty-seven stay-at-home moms (a few worked part time), asking questions about their lives, like, “How do you handle phone time?” and "When you're socializing at an adult party, what do you talk about - your kids, or other interests, too?"
In all, about thirty questions. I learned that there is much diversity in our thoughts, actions, and lifestyles – just as there is with everyone else.

The manuscript got shelved when I discovered blogging – no income, but immediate publication and feedback from readers.

My blog name is meant to reflect my life as a complete person. Being blessed as a mother and having the great duty of taking care of my children is much of my identity, but not all of it. I had to get beyond the diapers and breastfeeding to have this realization, and I would never trade those days. To everything there is a season - Ecclesiastes 3:1.

But lately, I’ve thought about changing the name. When blog surfers see the word “diapers,” do they bolt? I hope that many will stick around because I love hearing from everyone - female, male, parent, non-parent, young, old, from the U.S. and around the world!

How did you come up with your blog name?
If you’re not a blogger, how about your club, band, Bunco group, sports team…? What’s the history behind the name?


Jen said...

Mine is called "Starting Over" because I feel like I am...I got laid off, so I'm going back to school to get my degree...I'll have no money for retirement since I'm spending it all now, so I'll have to start at square one.

Working moms often feel guilt for not spending enough time with their kids. I think it's wonderful that you were able to stay at home with them, and I bet they appreciate it, too.

Annie Z said...

Actually, when I saw your name title, I saw it exactly as you meant it. As you finally can have some time for other things as well as taking care of your children.

My name title is a pre-emptive one. Putting out to the universe what we want as well as it still being appropriate when I finally am a new mum over 40!

Unknown said...

When I saw your blog title, I considered it as meaning that there is so much more to you than "just" (that's used loosely) being a mom. I adored that because it's very easy to get caught up in the "I'm Sammy Jo's mom" or "Little Manny is my son" instead of the fact that there is so much more that defines you. I like it even more now that I understand how the blog title came to be! :)

As for funny as it may sound, it just came to me. It sounded poetic and something that I believes, defines me.

Hilary said...

Mine is called "Hilary with one L" because I am forever spelling my name for people. And contrary to popular belief, I was not named after Hillary Clinton -- jeez people! I have been thinking about renaming my blog because the title isn't really reflective of what I write about. I don't think I will choose something with a Mommy track feel because like you say, you don't want your readers to bolt if they see the words "diaper" , "playgroup" and the like. I've got a few ideas but am always open to suggestions. Maybe I'll hold a contest :)

Donna. W said...

My first blog, an AOL Journal, was called "My Country Life". That was fitting, because that's my life and that's what I blogged about.
When AOL journals closed, I had already set up a Blogger site and called it "Just Me". So I continued with my ramblings there. I like both blog titles; I'm comfortable with them, and I feel they reflect who I am. If yours does the same, I'd say you have no need to change it.

Steena Holmes said...

Chocolate Reality ... I love chocolate and being real is important to me.

Anonymous said...

Always Nesting because that is me, Always Nesting.

I've worked full time, part time and been a SAHM. I hated working full time after having children. They didn't get enough of me. I ran myself ragged when I worked part time. Best place to be for me,home because I have time for me.

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Well...I am here and I haven't had a child in diapers for about 13 years! I like your name! We all need each other no matter the age or the stage!

hugs, Carrie

Anonymous said...

I got your name as well!

But I would be interested to see what the answers were in your questions to moms.

Thats where my name came from...because Stay at home moms are everything and anything but literal Stay At Home Moms!!!

Chapters From My Life said...

One of them is chapters from my life.. and it is.. Just pages from my life .. one at a time.
The other one I am trying to travel into the past.. a disturbed childhood and clear my doubts there so that it will not interfere with my present. That is called discovering myself.

I like your title.. beyond Diapers and spills. Though at one time I thought there was nothing beyond it LOL.

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

Hi Anita, My blog name began as the title of poem I wrote; then became the title of a collection of poetry I copyrighted and then became the blog.

angsiaufang said...

awh.. mine is "babypunk's journal" :) It's really a place for me to post anything I like.. My thoughts, my arts, etc.. ps. I love your blog title!

Sharon said...

Nope, the name didn't scare me off...

How I got my name? Hmmmmmm, well, I'm almost fifty, and I'm a mom...not very original, eh?

Anonymous said...

When I saw the title of this post, I did a double title today too, but totally different subject. I like the name of your blog. I thought it meant one of two things-one being that there was more to you than being a mother or two, your children were past the diapers and spills age but were still very much a mother...both of which are good things. I like the variety of subjects you touch. I was a little weary that my blog title would attract people thinking that I was an actual witch, when I really chose the tile because it was different (maybe controversial), and my dad was a dowser by hobby, but really nothing "witchy" about it. Still I think your blog name is great, but I'm sure if you change it, you'll come up with something equally creative.

yonca said...

Oh,another good topic! Ok, I don't really remember how did i decided to name my blog 'yonca is cooking'
I wanted to share my recipes and it was the first thing came to my mind I think. And honestly, I wasn't even know what was i getting into when i started blogging(2 years ago:)) Hope you are having a great Sunday!

Tammy @BeatriceBanks said...

I like your blog name b/c after having a child in my 20's, 30's and 40's, I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever get past the diapers and spills. Honestly,content is more important to me than the title. Upon the adventure of blogging, I really didn't know what my blog would be about other than me. Two of the things I'm passionate about are my husband and my home so "A Doctor in the House" seemed fitting. I think it's just putting a title to your journey at that moment. My hubby is in the middle of med school, our journey. Somehow, I, too have managed to stay home with each of my babies until school age. Totally worth it. In fact, love it so much I could stay home forever.

Thanks for another thought provoking post!

Dorraine said...

Your manuscript sounds quite special, Anita. I hope you won't totally give up on it. I was always lucky enough to stay home with my children as well. I'm so thankful I could. Not everyone that wants to is able to. I always felt like I was lucky that way and enjoyed my kids to no end. You're doing a grand thing.

Regarding blog names: Free Ice cream just came to me. Who doesn't love ice cream? Unless you are lactose intolerant. :-)Free is even better and the correlation had to do with free information and musings.

gayle said...

I love your blog name!! and I knew exactely what you ment! When I was a stay at home mom..I loved every minute of it...I regret going back when my youngest daughter was in 3rd grade. If I had it to do over again I would not have. They still need you even when they are all in school.Most moms that work(my daughter does & I wish she didn't have to)are so tired when they get home. When I picked my blog name I only knew 2 others that blogged & they both had the name of there family as their blog name. I didn't know about all the bloggers out there. I thought that you only followed people you knew. I don't like my blog name because I feel that it is a boring title. I didn't know you could change your blog name...I would love to but not sure what I would change it to. Also, I wish that some of my relatives didn't know about my blog because it limits me as to what I can express!! All that said..I love your blog and your title!!!!

Anita said...

HELLO EVERYONE, I LOOOVVVVEEE all the answers about your blog names! Even though I could have guessed the reasons for some of the names, it was fun to hear YOU tell me.

Thanks for all the stay-at-home mom stories and encourangement too.

Continue with your writing, poems, pursuits, and creativity!


Anita said...

Oh, and thanks everyone for the opinions on my blog name too.


Jenny said...

What a neat concept. I'd like to read your manuscript sometime. I hope you incorporate bits of it through your blog. That would be neat!

Tracey said...

I often say that raising these kids isn't going to be the last thing I ever do. And I don't mean it to sound snotty, but honestly, if what kind of kids would I be raising if I considered this the end of the road for me personally.

My blog name, "uno, dos, tracey," is just a play on my name.

Bernie said...

I like the name of your blog, but it is you who must be comfortable with it.
Being a stay at home is the most important job on earth and takes such sacrafice at times but you certainly sound like a wonderful mother......:-) Hugs

Michelle Schraudner said...

My cousin started calling me Mishka a few years ago and when he'd get pretend sick of me he'd say "Oh, Mishka" and it stuck.

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

I was attracted to your blog because of the name. I also saw your blog name as you meant it-that there is more to being a stay at home mom then just ...diapers and spills! I was once a stay at home mom and to tell you the truth when I started working my "day job" was WAY easier than staying home all day! When people asked me if I "worked" I replied...yeah..I work my butt off 24 hrs a day and don't get paid overtime!

My blog name changed over the course of became what is now because fit.

Robin said...

I love your blog title and was interested when I read it...I liked my other title better..but lost it (amomwithaview) but this one represents to me..what makes up most of my communication with others in blog and personal, as well as a therapeutic process...Insights and Belly laughs seems to be a common theme seen over and over in blogland..!

RANdom said...

Very interesting post.

I named my blog RANdom Walkway because it's a play on my initials which are RAN and the contents of the blog aren't focused on one theme/subject but are very random.

I wanted it to be RANdom Walk to tie into the economics theory related to stock market prices because that's the field (finance & banking) that I work in but alas RANdom Walk was taken on Blogger so I wound up with RANdom Walkway which is a bit odd but it's as close to the name that I really wanted as it can be.

Iva Messy said...

I like your blog title!!

Claire Gibson King said...

Hey Anita, Thanks for your comment!!! I am happy to now have you blog to look forward to each day. Don't change your has become something and now is what it is. Gibson( my middle name) King ( my last name) came about because those were two names that I have had for 27 years and now will be not so front and center since getting married.

Karen said...

I've been a stay-at-home and am currently a work-from-home-mom. I started my blog "Over the Back Yard Fence" in part to connect with other moms, wistful of the days when there were neighbors to have coffee with, chat with and share our lives. I explain it all in my very first post.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Mine came to me in a moment's time. And from having read it, you know I'm all over the place and not only jobhunting.

You should get that manuscript out again. You might find a great market.

Anita said...

HELLO AGAIN EVERYONE, you've told me more interesting stories about your blog names, and each story is so different and interesting. Thanks for commenting. And thanks to those of you who are encouraging me regarding the manuscript. You're about to make me get it off the shelf!!! :)

Morgan said...

I agree that your name made sense in the way you meant for it to.

I'm in a similar situation with figuring out whether to keep the "diapers" in my blog name. I don't know what to do.

Anita said...

MORGAN - The "diapers" in your blog title says to me that you are still a mother of babies or toddlers. And because you're pregnant, you'll still be in diapers for a little longer. :)
A blog title is bigger than the actual specific words. You've helped me by making me think about our title.
I think we're both okay with our titles for a while.

the mom said...

I like your title, even though the words themselves are not very nice - diapers/spills.
I think your title go well with the content, and apart from the title I like that you stick to a read line.
Mine, "BALLET HERE...GYMNASTICS THERE" is because I in the afternoons run from back and forth between these places. "jump through these hoops" well, hoops - gymnastics, but also that I do all this for my kids.

Rachel said...

Oh, I don't bolt at the word diapers. It just tells me that someone is not easily fazed! :)

I think being a stay at home mom - or a part-time stay at home mom can be very challenging. It's great to find some support!

Our blog is "Once Upon A Miracle" because we started it to keep in touch with our family as our little miracle boy grew. Now, everytime I open the page, I see those words and am reminded that life is so precious. (Even if my 3-year old has just dumped a box of Cheerios in the kitchen and there are eleventy-hundred loads of laundry to be done).

Nice to have "met" you!

Anita said...

THE MOM - Your blog title does go nicely with what you do. What are you going to do when little brother starts to take you in different directions? :)

RACHEL - Life IS so very precious.
Looking forward to reading more about your life with your precious little "miracle." What will he spill next - you do know that there will be a next. :)