Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored has been posting some awesome thoughts on the issue of mom and mommy bloggers. I’ve been following this topic with great interest, trying to understand it as best I can.
I’ve tried to wrap my mind around the debate going on in the blogging world, but I still have no definite answers, so I’m going to try to throw some thoughts out here. This is by no means a coherent post, and the best way for me to consider the issues is by interviewing myself. Yes, it’s weird. Bear with me.
What is the difference between mommy blogs and mom blogs?
To me, I see no difference. I know that others see a big difference, however. There are mommy blogs, which are self-absorbed blogs that do nothing but chronicle the lives of their children and their domestic activities. Mom blogs, on the other hand, are cool, hip women who happen to be mothers, posting often humorous takes on life and motherhood. These are not my definitions – they are just what I have gained from reading lots and lots of blogs. Could it be that the only differences between the two are that the moms don’t take themselves seriously, are funny and don’t focus on the minutiae of daily activities?
Then again, there are plenty of people out there who don’t care about the differences, and see any blog by a mom as a “mommy” blog, and therefore write them off as being trivial and a waste of space. As an example, I will point you to this post, where the author snarked me for being a mommy blogger, and therefore a waste of the internet. That author seems to say that posting pictures of your child is an exercise in vanity and is a topic that no one other than great-aunt Hilda would find of value. It may be of no value to that person, but that person can’t determine that no one else is interested in the subject.
Are you a mommy blogger or a mom blogger?
Truthfully? I’m a mommy blogger. It’s a mommy blog, dammit. Deal with it. Hey, I think I just found my new tagline!
As I said at Kristen’s blog, to me, mommy sounds more youthful than mom or mother, so anything that will make me appear younger is fine with me. Also, I started this blog as a result of my daughter. I had an old LiveJournal that was truly boring, and only of interest to my close friends (and not even them, sometimes). I’ve done lots of interesting things with my life, but motherhood was the one thing that flipped my world upside down.
I chose to create a blog for two reasons. First, I wanted to write again. Having quit my job as a technical writer to spend more time with Cordy, I found myself missing writing. Second,seeing how blindsided I was by motherhood, I wanted to get my thoughts and feelings out there and see if anyone else felt the same way.
You’ll probably hear very few stories of domesticity here, unless it begins with, “I tried to cook something today and burned down the kitchen,” or “In attempting to glue a picture into Cordy’s baby book I accidentally glued myself to the book.” (Which, in those cases, are things worth blogging about.)
What about the mommy “wars”?
I’m reminded of the saying “The Irish fight themselves because they haven’t found any worthy opponents.” Dismissing the stereotype of women, I say women are fierce creatures, but we waste too much of our venom on fighting each other. Who cares if one mom is a SAHM and the next is a WOHM? Obviously there are reasons for each of them, situations that we don’t know the details of, and personal feelings that need to be considered. We’re all moms, all trying to raise our kids to the best of our abilities, constantly trying to do what we think is best for them. (OK, maybe not the mom on last week’s Nanny 911.)
Why spend time fighting each other when we can work together to fight for common causes? We want our kids to have good education, good healthcare, and a safe neighborhood – fight for those causes! Too big for you? OK, fine, then help fight the stereotypes perpetuated out there about moms. Don’t assume that a SAHM is either rich or uneducated, and a WOHM clearly doesn’t love her kids enough to stay home with them. Wouldn’t a culture of understanding, where all moms are valued regardless of their work status, income level, etc. be a wonderful thing?
Do you think we’ll ever get to that level of understanding?
Probably not. I remember trying to join a MOMS club last year. I e-mailed the leader of the closest club, and asked when and where their meetings were. I received an e-mail back asking me where I lived. I explained that I lived south of their area, and she replied again asking what school district I lived in. When I told her, I received one final e-mail telling me that I didn’t live within their area, and I was not welcome. It was clear that because I didn’t live in the ritzy school district, so I wasn’t good enough for them.
Just like high-school, cliques are present in the mom world and are probably here to stay. Everyone wants to feel like they belong, and choosing some way to limit themselves, such as school district, gives them that comfortable “us vs. them” feeling. Personally I think it’s juvenile and limiting. Had I limited myself to factors like that, I wouldn’t have the diverse set of friends I’ve met over the years.
Getting back to blogging, my hope is that people can get past finding something to bitch about and stick to writing about what they know and like. If you don’t like “mommy” blogs, well then don’t read them. I can’t force you to read my blog, just as I can’t force you to look past any stereotypes you may have already formed about mommy blogs.
So there. It’s a mommy blog, dammit. Deal with it.
Whew. I feel better now. I have no idea what all I just wrote, because it kind of spilled out, so please excuse the stream of consciousness.