Thanks, Erma

Today is Erma Bombeck’s birthday. For those who haven’t heard of her, Erma was an American writer. She started out as a newspaper writer, but got married and had three kids, and for a middle-class woman in Ohio in the ’50s, that was the end of a reporting career.

She couldn’t stop writing, though, and starting writing a "little" column called At Wit’s End for her local paper, talking about the light and dark sides of parenting. Her writing was self-deprecating and inclusive and funny. And other parents responded. In a year it was nationally syndicated, and eventually ran a few times a week in hundreds of newspapers. She went on to publish a dozen books of her collected columns.

I think Erma Bombeck was the mother of parenting blogs. Think about what you like about parent blogs–the not feeling alone, the not feeling like you’re the only one who sucks at it sometimes, the not feeling like it’s harder than you thought it would be–and realize that Erma did it first, by herself, with no comments section to help out. And she was funny. I mean, I sometimes crack myself up, but she was actually funny. Every column. For years and years in a row.

Spend a few minutes looking at the Erma Bombeck Online Museum. And then smile at another parent the next time you’re out.

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