Kristen Chase

Kristen Chase is a tall, dark and beautiful woman, currently pregnant with her second child. She blogs at Motherhood Uncensored as well as all over the web. (See full list below.) I saw her from afar at Blogher this past summer and wondered if she would ever want to be my friend. I think it was the pink pasties she had on the outside of her shirt all night. Someone else I met had a candy bar with her URL on it. She was using those candy bars as her business cards! Clever, that. I’m easily swayed by chocolate. She should run for something. She would win based on that alone.

Kristen has a quality to her writing that is hard to describe. Kind of grainy yet soft. Classy with a touch of down-home southern drawl. You could sit on the porch and drink lemonade just as easy as go out to a bar and do shot after shot. (After she has baby number two, of course.) I think it is her unclass-ability that draws me to her. It’s a surprise to see what she’s writing about every day.

Blog Birthday:

November 23, 2005. This year I will give thanks for 1 year of blogging.

Why do you blog?

I started blogging to share my difficult experiences with motherhood, since from what I could tell, everyone except me thought it was the easiest, greatest thing in the world. Turns out I wasn’t alone. Now it’s an outlet, a means to improve my writing, and a way for me to connect with other people. I imagine it will continue to change.

What do you talk about?

Everything, although lately it’s mostly pregnancy and in-laws. I look at my “post status” and see five posts in a row with my pregnancy category listed and think “shit, people are going to run away from me.” I try to be authentic to what’s going on in my life when I write, and the baby is on my mind.

What don’t you talk about? Why?

Anything goes for me. I blog about my in-laws while living with them and typing on their computer so, writing about my hemorrhoids or even my clueless husband seems like small potatoes. I won’t flame other bloggers. I figure there’s enough of that going on and I’d rather save my energy doing something more productive. Like flaming my in-laws.

Worst/best experience regarding something you wrote in your blog or put out on the net?

I wrote a follow-up post to Mom-101’s discussion about how she had failed Gloria Steinem with wanting to buy pink clothes for her daughter and it’s spiraled into the conference call and a regular spot on the Rolonda Radio Show. You just never know who’s reading.

Worst? None yet, but the potential that my in-laws find my blog and read it cover to cover haunts me. However, I don’t think they know what google is. Nor do I think they can read that well.

How many sites do you blog at? Why do you choose to blog at each one?

Motherhood Uncensored – It’s home to me. Plus someone referred to me as raunchy last week. I can’t get that anywhere else.

The Mom Trap – my paying gig at Clubmom. The paying part helps, but it’s been fun to have a place to go where folks don’t really know me and don’t expect me to blast someone’s kid leash.

Cool Mom Picks – my shopping blog co-founded/edited with Liz Gumbinner. It’s become my passion to find cool handmade indy stuff (much of which is mom-made) and tell people about it in a cheeky way that won’t make their eyes bleed. Plus, we’re helping moms who are living their passion, or at least finding a new one for the sake of their kids, get noticed.

I’m also a contributor at dot-moms and a columnist at Mamazine. Just other great outlets and ways to challenge myself as a writer.

Favorite/worst thing about living where you live?

I live with my in-laws – the kind that clean your plate off while you’re still eating on it, check your room now and then for neatness, and think sugar-free jello is where it’s at.

And that’s being nice.

The flipside is that I’m 10 minutes from my best friend in the world, and close to my own family and friends. And Wawa. I love Wawas.

However, living with my in-laws is a pretty close second to suffering it out for four years in Mississippi. I’m still trying to get over the irony of that one.

If you were president of the US:

I’d pull all the troops out of Iraq and bring them home to their families where they should be.

What do you do to stay sane and healthy?

I blog. And obsessively check email while watching reruns of Project Runway and Sex and the City.

Except I haven’t done that lately. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling a little nuts.

Do you parent the same way you were parented?

God no. I was raised by an abusive alcoholic and a fundamentalist Christian (yes at the same time…), so basically anything I do that does not involve hitting, emotional abuse, or guilting my kids into believing they are going to hell will be pretty damn good.

I’d love a parenting tip.

From me? Oh jeezus.

Mine generally include ways to increase my daughter’s fat intake and solidify her poop, however, I try to tell people that you just have to do what you think is right. Don’t try to live up to what you’ve read, or you’ve heard, or what someone else told you. They’re your kids – listen to them (and not just what they are saying – but sometimes what they aren’t saying).

Favorite color:

Lately, brown.

Favorite food:

Anything ethnic – rice. Tortilla chips. Kidding.
Basically anything non-American is great.

Is it different to be pregnant and have kids vs. pregnant with your first?

Yes. With #1, I could tell you week and day of how far I was, I did yoga, I worked out, I drank wheat grass shots, and sang to my belly. This time I couldn’t even tell my new midwife how far I was and the only exercise I’ve gotten is lifting a tastykake pie up to my mouth. I go through phases of feeling guilty about it, but then I talk to folks in the same boat and they say the same thing happens. Maybe that’s why the younger kids always get away with everything.

When you were 10, what did you want to do when you grew up?

A ballerina. Came pretty damn close, actually. I’m still a ballet snob.

Are you worried about being public on the internet regarding your kids?

No, although lately there have been some crazy assholes out there. But really, what else is new? People have way too much time on their hands.

The internet is an amazing thing, but it certainly opens up the world to folks who you would have never had any contact with ever in your life (or at least you hope it’s that way). I don’t post a lot of pics of my daughter, and I don’t use my husband’s last name, but if someone really wanted to find me, I guess they could. But then, I give my credit card # to some dude over the phone working for Omaha Steaks and in some ways, that’s probably riskier than blogging.

What do you hate?

Fear. Pantyhose with open toed shoes. Strong perfume. Being misunderstood by anyone. Weird wiry facial hairs on men and women. Ignorance.

What do you love?

My daughter. Rain on a hot summer night. Good sex. Making people smile. Laughing a lot.

What do you do that you get the most satisfaction from doing?

Helping others.

What do you want to tell other bloggers, if anything?

Chill out. Enjoy it.

Astounding facts about you:

My parents and my-laws were married on the same day same year. I can recite the books of the bible in rapid (and correct) succession. And I play a lot of instruments – guitar, piano, violin… I imagine it would be odd for folks to imagine me teaching Music Together classes – singing cutesy songs about blackbirds and kitty cats. But alas, I do and I’m actually fairly good at it.

Are you Windows or Mac? Why?

Windows. I grew up with Macs but when my dad switched the house to PCs, I went along with him. Free computers – you keep your mouth shut. Now I can’t even figure out how to open two windows on a Mac. Or maybe that’s because Macs don’t have windows. Damn. I sound like such a dumb PC user.

How would your husband describe you?

Headstrong, grudgeholding, and very principle oriented. And that I remember everything.

Oh. And that I’m hot. And if he forgot say that, I’d remind him of all the stupid shit he’s done. See the ‘I remember everything’ above.

I don’t know what great things he’d have to say about me. Perhaps that I’m smart and a go-getter. Since having a kid, our relationship is fairly strained and quite frankly, I’ve lost all my girlish charm.

Do you cook?

I can if I absolutely have to, but I find no joy, pleasure, or satisfaction in it. If I had money to throw around, I’d hire a chef in a minute.

What are you working on right now?

Way too many things, however, the busier I am, the less I have to interact with my in-laws. Blog talk radio show, Cool Mom Picks, a book, my marriage, being a decent parent, helping out folks that need it, and trying to be someone I’d like to hang out with.

Your own favorite post?

This is my clear favorite – in fact, it’s not really my own post anymore since it’s been published at The Imperfect Parent. However, it was just one of those days where the words flowed out of me like light beer from a plastic wide neck bottle at a NASCAR race (like my Dennis Miller impression?)

What will you being doing next year?

Running after two kids, trying to maintain some semblance of myself. And showering at least twice a week. Hey. A girl can hope.

Tell me a secret?

I’m horrible with sayings and analogies. For all my great grammar habits, I mess up quotes and 2 birds in the hand with one stone, all that shit. I’ve even had people email me to correct things I’ve written on my blog. My mind just doesn’t work that way.

And I’m crushing hard on Metrodad and Dutch (from Sweet Juniper), but seriously, who isn’t?

What do you wish I had asked you that I didn’t?

Do you really think motherhood is as hard/bad/difficult/terrifying as you make it out to be on your blog?

In some ways I do, but in other ways, it’s my own triple-A personality biting at my ankles. I just think the crappy stuff is funnier. We all have the great days where our kids light up our lives and remind us to be better people. I just like to tell the stuff that people want to say but don’t think they can. It’s not anything new or exciting – we’ve all had our kids shit in the tub and pick their nose and eat it. But it’s the ability to laugh at it out loud with other parents and not feel bad that makes it appealing to write about.

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