Motherhood blogging up your life?

THERE was a little convention in the UK over the weekend for  all those mummy bloggers out there (and I’m discovering there are plenty).

In fact, mummy bloggers make up the biggest community of bloggers on the internet, an interesting fact that I shared with my husband last night.

“I’m not suprised,” he said. “They don’t do any real bloody work.”

Icy silence filled the air as I met his cheeky twinkle with a withering glare. I informed him that that comment would go online.

If you’re unfamiliar with what I do, I was once a journalist/subeditor who wrote a weekly column. It was my favourite part of the job. I discussed everything from politics to pop stars, from feminism to fashion, tourism to terrorism.

When I stopped working (and later returned as a remote subeditor – translation: work from home), I decided to continue my column-writing but keep it simple. I would focus predominantly on pregnancy, parenting and maybe a dash of feminism (because sometimes I just can’t help myself).

But as I’ve waded into the shallow end of the “cybermummy” pool, I’ve discovered I’m not exactly the 435,397th woman to decide to journal her nighttime sojourns, the baby’s latest development and the social context of smacking.

There’s an amazing community of women bearing two things in common: babies and blogging. But they make up a veritable hodge-podge of working mothers, breastfeeding junkies, first-time freak-outs, Small Business supermums, cloth nappy do-gooders, mini-van boycotters, the list goes on and on.

I read a new blog just today on Kidspot where a woman transcribed 12 hours of her life in a type of prose. Of how she wrestled the baby back to sleep time and again, before waking up the other kids for school. Of the quiet equilibrium mothers try to maintain in the family home. She did this ‘because she had to’. Then SNAP, her husband made some offhand comment about his miserable life that sent her into a tirade.

All this before a full day of work.

Not only did she describe what most women will experience post-baby (sleeplessness), she injected the harsh reality that sometimes husbands, no matter how caring, just don’t get it. How comforting it will be to another mum having a similarly shitty day.

And that’s the beauty of the blogging community – it has the power to unify what can become a very insular occupation.

Between naptimes, toilet training and temper tantrums, there’s plenty that can make you incapable of leaving the confines of your home. So I think we’re pretty blessed to live in an age where women discuss openly their post-natal depression, their three-day long labour tales and their ingrate husbands without having to leave the house.

Beyond the logistical problems of socialising, motherhood can be very clique-ish. There are plenty of reasons why mothers don’t identify with other mums: smacking, bottlefeeding, controlled crying, the list goes on and on and on.

We’re all grown-ups (ahem!) and can admit that different methods work in different families for different children. But on a bad day, say, when you’ve had nought sleep and your child is screaming on the ground at playgroup for a banana you didn’t bring, then you’re probably going to be a tad more sensitive about another’s “constructive criticism”.

Thankfully most mums I know don’t bother dispensing advice unless asked, and instead just reassure the other they’re doing the right thing – bless ’em.

It’s also very hard to make friends when you’re wearing your “mummy face” (noun: when you talk to a woman who is clearly busy watching her child grapple with another toddler for a turn on the extremely high slide) and calculating how long she has till one child falls asleep and the other needs the toilet.

Yes, blogging is a way to say all the things on our minds and in our hearts and the more open accounts there are of motherhood, the better prepared we all become.

I think it’s even more wonderful that a convention could bring these women together to meet face-to-face. After all they’ve shared as relatively anonymous sources, it’s a brave act to put real faces behind the content. Though perhaps it was just an excellent excuse to leave their daily routine behind and bask in their fabulousness!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. marketingtomilk
    Jul 06, 2010 @ 05:26:38

    I enjoyed this post. It resonates with me. I often feel like the 435,397th blogging mother, and wonder why i’m doing it, just what i’m going to bring to the mele that hasn’t already been said a million times. I think the truth is probably not much, until i happen to write one post that does say something different, or at least in a slightly different way, or at a different time, that has more of an impat for some readers. I suppose its those moments you wait for.

    http://marketingtomilk.wordpress.com

    Reply

  2. Trackback: If you can’t be the best, why bother at all? « From marketing to milk
  3. 4everalway5
    Jul 09, 2010 @ 16:54:41

    I think it is absolutely wonderful that there are women such as yourself putting themselves out there and sharing their motherhood stories. I must admit, I am a bit obsessed with “mummy blogs.” My best friend just had her first child, my beautiful God-son, and she blogged all through her pregnancy and is still sharing stories of her trials and tribulations. Because of her, I have discovered this wonderful community of witty, intelligent women that are bearing children and staying home to care for them and are still fighting the feminist fight. I don’t think enough young women know that those things are simultaneously possible, I sure didn’t!

    Reply

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