1. I had some babies — duh! Most mommy bloggers also have a hunky blonde husband, but all I’ve got is Jeff. Jeff is pudgy and “in outside sales” (read, straight commission) for a high-end knife company that shall remain nameless, but let’s just say his income isn’t quite “cutting it,” if you know what I mean.
  2. I researched successful mommy blog names and came up with “Messy But Blessed,” because a cursory scroll through Pinterest will reveal that this is the particular combo that sells.
  3. I studied mommy blog lingo until I could effortlessly write sentences like, “I’m not the perfect mom, and heck knows I’m not a Super Mom! I’m just a regular gal trying to survive my crazy-busy, crazy-awesome, crazy-messy-but-totally-blessed life!”
  4. I learned how to mine the soul-killing activities of motherhood for clickable content. For example, last week I took Ethan’s Pull-Ups® away, and in response he started pooping in that egg-gathering basket I “wove and decorated myself” for last week’s blog shoot (we don’t even have chickens, LOL). Rather than putting him in time-out or shaking him to death, I decided to turn the whole literal shit show into a blog post. I made a family of puppets that sing encouraging jingles to Ethan while he’s on the toilet, and I had Jeff make a video of it to post on the blog. This is the secret of successful mommy blogging: Transform hands-on mothering from a temporary survival period into a decades-long, media-rich, highly-curated performance art series. Once you get the knack of it, it’s stupid-easy. I mean, fucking puppets!! Mommy blogging is hilarious.
  5. I re-allocated some of my time with the kiddos so that I have more time to spend at the salon. In order to succeed at mommy blogging you must be good-looking and, even more important, thin. Lucky for me, I’m naturally pretty and thin PLUS smart enough to co-opt mommy blog rhetoric and exploit it to my financial advantage.
  6. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior. I mean, not really, but just for the sake of the blog. I’m not sure why this is a requirement, but it’s pretty clear that it is, and it seemed like an easy enough and no-brainer thing to do.
  7. In that same vein, I now subscribe to an extreme level of heteronormativity (again, not “for reals,” as we mommy bloggers say, but for the optics). In the make-believe world of “Messy But Blessed,” I am a stay-at-home-mom who “enjoys the privilege of appreciating every single moment with Sophie, Ethan, and Cora, even on the hard days!” but in the real world I have 2.6 million followers on this blog and Jeff’s still trying to sell his first paring knife, so who do you think is putting organic vegan lion-shaped pancakes on the table?
  8. I perfected the craft of writing narratives about my children doing totally ordinary things and then linking those things directly to Jesus Christ and glorifying Him for things like “blessing little Sophie with the inquisitive mind, open spirit, and heart for discipleship that enabled her to graduate from kindergarten her first year!”
  9. I had another baby as soon as Cora, my youngest, started preschool. You can’t keep mommy blogging without someone to actively mommy! Isaiah is such a sweet little soul!
  10. I got my 500-hour yoga instructor designation. I don’t really DO yoga, but I strike a pose every so often for the blog, and now Lululemon sends me free leggings to wear for photo shoots.
  11. I had two more babies, just for future use. I can’t remember their names.
  12. I used some of my blogging income to hire Jeff a personal trainer, a hair stylist, and a wardrobe curator so we could include him in a photo shoot now and then. That all proved futile, because Jeff is a lazy-ass failure on every single measure — the man wears Velcro shoes because he lacks the work ethic to double-knot. So to make up for and distract from Jeff’s lack of appearances in the family pics, I rented a Bernedoodle puppy to include instead (actually owning a dog is not feasible — I already have like 6 or 7 kids). When I first thought of this idea there were no puppy rental companies, so I started one that markets directly and exclusively to mommy bloggers. It’s been a very lucrative side gig.
  13. I joined the PTA. Hahahaha, I’m just kidding, I would never join the PTA.