Taking the internet by storm sometime in March 2011 (though in one Facebook debacle, a hater claimed to have been reading her for years…), Mama Tao has been accused of stalking, hacking, trolling, lying, having a mental illness, and being fantastically hilarious. We here at 10centimeters wanted to know more about the woman (?) everyone is talking about, so we sat down for a little interview.
10centimeters: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Mama Tao: I am a 29-year-old, married mother of two. Working on number three. I have an AA degree and am one semester away from a BA in history with a concentration in Revolutionary War. I would like to go to law school when I am done. I am pretty crunchy– I cloth diaper, make my own baby food , baby wear, breastfeed and the like. I’m not a crazy bitch!
10centimeters: Was there something in particular that made you decide to say what so many people like us were thinking? Like an article or statement that offended you?
Mama Tao: There are two reasons I made the site. The first is a serious reaction of anger considering all that surrounds the natural parenting movement. The second is that I needed an outlet to release all that anger without becoming physically violent with people. I guess it was Liz Paperella’s story that made me angry to begin with. It might shock many people to know that I actually used to be a Natural Birth Advocate™ . When I was reading Aquila’s story there were so many parallels to my own life. My daughter was born a few weeks before Aquila was. I could see myself and Liz on a similar path up until a certian point. We were both pregnant and expecting little girls. We had natural ideas about what birth was and how a woman was “made” to do it. And then the path diverged and we went in seperate directions; mine was a path of joy and hers was of loss. I look at my daughter now and see a playmate she will never meet–A baby that died for no real reason and cannot seem to find justice. Then there were the stories that followed, Mary Beth’s, Wren’s…the list goes on and on. And where was the anger? These babies were dead and all people could say was “babies die in hospitals too”? So that’s where the anger comes from. The site was brought together when a few friends and I were discussing the abomination that is lotus birth. I began to wonder if certain people whould believe anything they read on the internet. For example, would someone consider eating a newborns first poop, just because someone on the internet suggested it? We wrote that article but we needed more to go with it, to make the site seem legit. Everyone started sending articles and it just took off from there. We have actually gotten some people with the mec post too. Ick!
10centimeters: Do you hate natural birth?
Mama Tao: No, not at all. I had two natural births. What I hate is people telling others that medicated birth is dangerous and that there are no risks to natural birth. There are risks– and there is nothing wrong with seeking pain relief. We live in a time where pain relief is very safe and effective. I don’t think I’d ever actually have an unmedicated birth again. There is no real reason to.
10centimeters: Please explain Tao’s …Law.
Mama Tao: Ah ha! Tao’s Law was invented in the comments section of The Skeptical OB. The idea is that there is no parody one can write that cannot be outdone in wackiness by the World Wide Web. Nothing is too gross or insane for some people to try.
10centimeters: What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever read online?
Mama Tao: Oy! I think the article that said you could change your blood type with raspberry leaf tea was pretty good. That is the same web site that proclamed you should ask your 34 week old baby if they are ready to be born instead of seeing a doctor…Eek! Always good times.
10centimeters: Why “Mama Tao”? Does it have any special meaning?
Mama Tao: When my son was learning to talk he used to call a “cow” a “Tao”. I always thought it was funny and seeing as how I was nursing when I started the blog I often called myself a Mama Cow–Thus, the Mama Tao roughly translates the the Mama Cow in baby talk
10centimeters: How many people read your site?
Mama Tao: I get anywhere from 400-1200 hits a day. It usually rounds off around 600 unless I piss someone off.
10centimeters: Do you get real hate mail? (if so…Are you willing to share it with us?)
Mama Tao: I don’t get as much as you would think. But I usually do share on my Facebook wall. I have been called everything from an idiot who should shut up to being told that my kids would have been better off aborted. All those comments are posted on the blog so have a gander if you like. I post all comments, unlike most crunchy forums. The way opposition disappears in their self-created worlds is astounding.
10centimeters: What do you have against placenta teddy bears?
Mama Tao: I don’t really have anything against placenta teddy bears, more so the idea that body parts are magical. I often wonder what people would have said if I had made a top for my kids out of my appendix or an earring out of my old mole. Seriously, WTF?