On Mommy Blogs

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.

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Comments

  1. Yes, it’s a mommy blog, and I like to read it. We don’t need to please the masses. We draw our own fan base!

  2. We are mommies,and damn proud of it. I look at the mommy blogger world as an outlet to read and laugh about other’s kids and life, that totally can RELATE!!!

    The dude that put you in his blog, really if you think about it, has really nothing else going on in his life, but to make fun of others. Read his profile, YAAAAAWWWNNNN…what a shocker.

  3. Christina ~

    I love how you own it…

    Nicely done.

  4. The best moms are the ones that claim their identity and stand by it. You rock for standing up for who you are.

  5. Don’t change a thing. I don’t know what category I fall into. I talk about being a Mommy, I talk about other aspects of my life, and I post pictures of my child. Screw everyone trying to over analzye this stuff.

  6. I think it’s a little ironic that people “identify” themselves as a Mom blog, in order to distance themselves from the Mommy blog nomiker–when in fact, it doesn’t really matter what *you* identify yourself as. If someone is going to dismiss you as a mommy blog, I doubt they will believe you if you insist that you are instead a mom blog. Know what I mean?
    Anyway, I completely agree with you. Personally, I don’t really care what anyone else calls me–I call myself a blogger. Or a mommy blogger. Or a mom blog. Or whatever.

  7. “women are fierce creatures, but we waste too much of our venom on fighting each other.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  8. Rock on, girly.

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  11. Very well stated!! I have pondered writing about the war on my blog, I just can’t seem to get the words right. I am a Mommy Blogger and darn tooting proud of it. If “they” do not like it they do nto have to read it!

  12. We’re on the same page (figuratively, of course!); I just covered the same territory over at my MOMMY BLOG and am entirely in agreement with you.

    And yes, it does feel better to just be out with it, doesn’t it?

  13. god that dork who put a picture of cordy as an example of a waste of internet space has such a lame blog. so boring. I could never bring myself to really blog before we had Juniper, because it would have been so much more narcissistic without writing about this common experience. the reason parenting blogs have so many readers is because there is a commonality of interest that draws them there. what some jerk watched on television the night before just doesn’t interest most people.

  14. Dr. Blogstein says:

    I said she was cute…I thought I was being nice!

  15. I’ve tended to steer clear of this whole argument….it just seems so pathetic coming from some people, and by that im talking about those that ‘stereotype’ blogs!! Blogs are like people, it takes all sorts, all are individual, some you like, some you dont, but ALL are worthwhile if only to the person writing it, it satisfies some need in them. In real life if you come across someone that doesn’t appeal to you, you leave them be, in the blogging world, come across something you don’t like, then just dont read it! I don’t like political blogs, or blogs just full of links, but I don’t go around bagging them, I just don’t read them. I’m a blogger, who happens to be a mum…if people want to judge me on that one fact alone then to be honest I don’t want them reading my blog…
    Good for you for sticking up your hand and saying it out loud on something that you have such strong views on. I also have been reading over at motherhood uncensored and between the two of you i’d say you got it covered so on that note, i’ll be off! Have fun and I’m glad the venting made you feel better,it always does!

  16. I love your definitions of Mommy and Mom Blogs…and why you prefer to be the former of the two. I think that mine is a Mom Blog because my kids don’t call me Mommy anymore unless they are begging me to take them for ice cream (they are 14 and 11). I have not happened upon as many blogs by mothers of preteens and teens as I have by those with younger children. Am I wrong? Because I’d LOVE to read some if they are out there. And, since it’s all a matter of personal taste, I like the quick quip of Mom Blog. Perhaps I will use that sometime if that doesn’t break some kind of blogging code of ethics.

  17. I think Dutch said it best. Who could possibly say a picture of your gorgeous daughter would be a waste of ANYTHING???

    This is a very interesting format. I want to interview myself one day. :) Loved this post. And I don’t give a crap whether you’re a mommy blog, mom blog, gorilla blog…I’ll read it as long as it’s here.

  18. I started reading your blog because, like me, your a Mom (Mommy, Mama, whatever)… I stayed for the excellent writing. I still don’t really understand the difference, or the need to differentiate, between Mom and Mommy but if you decide one day to drop the “my” from your title I’ll still like ya!

  19. We’re a community first-and other bloggers can choose to be part of our community or move on!

  20. I love your new tagline! LOL..you have a great mommy blog!

    I wrote about this topic too. I’m surprised that so many moms are still in those highschool cliques.

  21. The last comment was mine and I was logged in under another blog name.

  22. Don’t change a thing about your blog. It’s your blog, and I love reading it.

    Didn’t know there were blog snobs lurking about.

  23. Hey, just some info about the MOMS club thing — the geographical guidelines for a specific chapter are set up by the regional MOMS club director, which is overseen by MOMS Club international — there are actually very defined boundaries (why, I don’t know, but there are, and it isn’t based on incomes or anything else.) The person you were in touch with should have told you what chapter of the MOMS club you were eligible to join. Ok, sorry for the long explanation, but felt like I had to defend the MOMS club, mine has been my lifeline for the past 4 years — I still am an active member even though I work full-time now! Like your blog

  24. Andie D. says:

    Freakin’ well said. I see SAHMs and anyone who “works outside the home” as two sides to the same damn mom coin.

    Why fight? Why divide ourselves? In the end, we’re all mommies anyway dammit!

  25. good job! I can never figure out why it MATTERS. it’s okay for us to look at some guys blog about how many computer monitors he has, or about how drunk someone got last night, but if we write about our children we are a waste of internet space? it’s been bugging me, too. I like to read your mommy blog.

  26. Mommy blogger here, I definitely don’t think that posting pics and talking about your precious child are wastes of space. I love reading about other peoples’ children and the joys that children bring to life. I think people should be able to post about what they care about and if it is diapers and dinner then so be it and if it is American Idol and Fashion, then that is okay too. You are right that no one is forced to read anything and to lay off beating one another up. Moms are too hard on each other and need to remember that we are all in the same boat trying to bring up healthy and happy children. Good post!

  27. Amen.

    I am proud to be a mommy blogger. I have many family members and friends that live far away and keep up with our family through my blog. It is cheap therapy. I love it and I love reading others.

    Keep up the outstanding work, Christina.

  28. “Why spend time fighting each other when we can work together to fight for common causes?…”

    Brilliant paragraph. Great post. You are so right, why spend time worrying about our differences (and fighting about them) when there’s so many ways we could organize and rally for common causes?

  29. Really, you hit it when you said “I’ve done lots of interesting things with my life, but motherhood was the one thing that flipped my world upside down. Motherhood does turn your world upside down — and it deserves to be chronicled. Love the new tag line.

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