From the first diaper change on, parenting only gets dirtier and more challenging. It’s a world that most people keep quiet, sending out cute photos and silly quotes that highlight the good instead of the infuriating. In raising her own two boys, Maple Grove blogger Amy Seeman let that sugarcoated portrayal get the better of her.
“When my son turned 3, things got weird,” reflects the author of To Wit, To Woo. “The tantrums were so epic and so fast and furious I couldn’t even keep up,” Seeman admits. During a meltdown one day she took her own much needed time out, where she found a parenting blog to calm her down. “She’s beautiful, her husband is gorgeous, her children are dressed perfectly and everyone is smiling,” Seeman recalls. Instead of making her feel better, it made her want to create a blog that didn’t seem unrealistic, but could be relatable to others.
“People share approximately the best 5 percent of their life on Facebook. I’m taking the opposite approach to share the worst 5 percent,” she says. Her blog was born of the real experiences of parenthood, with a humorous undertone to outweigh the tantrums. “It’s about parenting and the real struggles. That balance between working and marriage, kids and moving from tantrum to tantrum. Then finding humor in all of that, because what you need to get through it is to find those moments of humor.”
Hence, To Wit, To Woo emerged. It’s categorically a “mom blog” but it doesn’t fit the “how to” mold. Instead, Seeman writes one to two stories each week. It often starts with a tantrum from her now 4-year-old son Deklan and culminates with how she copes with the situation. (Her youngest son, Carter, is more agreeable for now so he gets fewer posts, she says). The stories can be crude, such as the one about her lifelong tendency to pee her pants, or sometimes they take a turn toward shopping and a much-needed parents’ getaway.
The posts share a wide swath of her life: fashion and style, but also her interactions with her children, her husband Chris, and her mother. Seeman isn’t a trained writer. In fact, she had the idea for the blog three years before starting it, insecure about her writing and hesitant to share her life with the rest of the world. Deklan’s tantrums inspired her to pursue it.
“The creative outlet for me,” she explains, “is talking about my every day: my beautiful monstrous children.” She ponders sharing the blog with Deklan on his wedding day after learning she could have it turned into a storybook.
Still, balancing respect for her loved ones with sharing her daily life with strangers is a balance. Her husband is more private, she says. He’s suggested different phrases or adjectives when it comes to how he’s depicted (“financially responsible” instead of “frugal,” for instance) and she always consults with friends before mentioning them.
“I would never do anything that would be hurtful to him or to my children,” she says. The blog includes the characters of her life, but she makes certain to turn the focus inward. “It’s about making fun of myself and my situation,” she says.
Turning the uncomfortable moments into something laughable is her focus, and it’s captured a dedicated following.
“I write like I talk,” Seeman says. She’s authentic, a real mom in a real position that isn’t as glamorous as the social media pictures suggest. To Wit, To Woo isn’t the story of a spray-tanned glamour shot, it’s the story of a just-put-together hot-mess mom, wearing fashionable clothes and a dried oatmeal stain just out of sight.