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.