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How two moms started blogging together to stay sane

Allana harkin and samantha bee - how two moms started blogging together to stay saneThe title “Blogtastic” may be a
little over the top but more often
than not it’s just about right. I
love when people ask me why I
started writing a blog because
the answer is very simple: You
think of something, you write it
and then you press “Publish”. It’s
completely subjective and 100
percent my truth. Like a miracle
of sorts.

When Sam (Samantha Bee of
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
and I first entertained the idea of
writing a blog for the parenting
site Babble.com we couldn’t
get our heads wrapped around
it. We can write whatever we
want? Like, anything, anything?
It seemed almost impossible
because, for the most part, both
of our careers as actors involved
the opinions of dozens of other
people. From the writers who put
the words in our mouths to the
editors who cut the final product,
we actors only have control over
so much. Sure, Sam and I are
both writers and creators of our
own work but blogging gave us
the opportunity to use the word
“poop” frequently, and to an
audience who totally understood
where we were coming from (you,
the awesome parent). How could
we say no?

Sam and I first started talking
about parenting, on what seemed
like a full-time basis, about 24
hours after my first child was
born. Her daughter was almost
one year old so our conversation
went something like this:

“This is what you have been doing
for a year? How do you… I mean…
what is the… No really, what is the…?
Poop everywhere, just everywhere
poop, and barf… I love her so much
(insert crying; happy tears); I
can’t, I mean does she latch on like…?
Because I feel fangs, it really hurts
(insert crying, falling tears), Have I eaten? Oh no, I totally forgot to eat
(insert sound of devouring entire
baguette)” …and so on.

The conversation never ended.
Sure it got easier, I remembered
to eat and then magically Sam
and I started to laugh at how
insane, how misunderstood, and
how truly challenging this whole
motherhood thing is. Because it
is extremely challenging. If the
TV show Survivor really wanted
to put their contestants to the test
they would devise a challenge
that involved individuals having
to find a lost pacifier while a baby
is losing their mind. Forget the
walking on a plank while wearing
a Survivor scarf makeshift bikini.
That’s for sissies.

So what have I learned as a
blogger? It’s very simple: We
are all in this together and we
moms have to stick together. We
don’t have the same opinions
and not all of us want to say the
gross things out loud…except
for me, oh how I love to say the
gross things out loud! But I’ve
also learned how parenting can
deeply bind a friendship. Who
knew 13 years ago when we were
first performing sketch comedy
in smoke-filled back room bars
that one day Sam and I would be
trading stories about how to get
our children to eat things that are
green. I wouldn’t dare want to go
through this without her on my
side. Please publish that.

Allana Harkin is a writer and actor who lives
in Toronto. She and Samantha Bee write
the popular blog Eating Over The Sink at
Babble.com. You can watch Allana on Dino
Dan (TVO/Nick Jr), Degrassi, The Ron James
Show and many more. Follow her on Twitter @AllanaHarkin.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2013.

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