Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Mommy Blogger In All Of Us

When I first considered becoming a blogger, I did my homework.  I researched the various types of blogs, read books about how to make money as a blogger, and spent way too much time surfing through the blogosphere.  Along the way, I stumbled upon a fascinating creature that intrigued me, yet also left me feeling slightly disturbed.

I discovered the mommy blogger. 

As a mother of two young children, who enjoys writing about all things mommy-related, I might have immediately embraced the role of mommy blogger as one for which I am ideally suited.

I, however, chose not to.  In the beginning, my thinking went a little something like this: 

I do not, under any circumstances, want to be one of these women.  

I do not want to share intimate stories about how I can't pee in privacy with the rest of the world. 

I do not want to inundate the internet with pictures of my half-dressed children.  

I do not believe anyone cares about my narcissistic belief that said children are endlessly entertaining and adorable. 

I do not want to churn out poorly written and gramatically incorrect anecdotes about the most mundane details of my existence on a daily basis. 

I do not want to chase advertising deals with big-name companies who offer me peanuts in return.  

I do not want to use my blog as my personal therapy session, with my readers as my therapists. 

I do not want to churn out post after post under the misguided belief that a six-figure book deal is just around the corner.

I do not need to join the masses and become just another number sharing the same old story about how I used to be hot but have learned to love making baby food. 

I do NOT want to be a "mommy blogger." 

Yes, my first reaction was fairly negative.     

I'm pretty certain that the poor writing I came across so often had much to do with it.  Anyone who enters adulthood armed with an English degree is cursed to go through life constantly decrying our national inability to use the words "their, "there" and "they're" correctly.  They're not interchangeable, people!!!!

Shouldn't there be some prerequisite for starting a blog?  Like maybe a basic grasp of the English language?

But, despite all that, I've had a change of heart.  I've decided that my inner mommy blogger is a creature worth embracing.


At first glance, mommy blogs may seem to be about trivial things, and that makes it all too easy to trivialize their contribution to the world at large.  But don't be fooled.  Mommy bloggers are making a contribution.

The lives and experiences and perspectives of the women who write these blogs are real.  Even the blogs that aren't so well-written are having an impact, because there are still people listening to what their authors have to say. 

And the blogs that are well-written?  These blogs and the women behind them are out to change the world, and they're building the audience they need to do it successfully. 

Mommy bloggers may be laughing (and sometimes crying) about their exploits with their kids, and some may be questioning their choices and looking to change their lives, but these women are also addressing the deeper issues head-on.

Mommy bloggers are talking about more than potty-training and Elmo.  They're addressing real issues that most of the "puff" pieces in the big parenting magazines fail to even mention. 

They're talking about jobs and husbands and gender roles and childbirth and breastfeeding and why they feel so judged by other moms. 

They're talking about the complicated decision to stay at home or go to work.  They're talking about war, and politics, and sex and sippy cups.  They're commenting on breaking news as it happens. 

They're connecting with other women who share their experiences and opinions and passions.  They're building a community for themselves and making their voices heard.  They're numbers are growing and those voices are getting louder. 

Mommy blogging is not just about being a mommy; it's about being a women in a world where that's not easy. 

It's about embracing motherhood as a valid and integral part of the female experience. 

It's about telling it like it is, and addressing the real issues that plague women as mothers openly and honestly.  It's about commiserating with like-minded women, and discussing and disagreeing with others who see things differently than you. 

It's about admitting when you're wrong, and when you've changed your mind.  It's about making each other laugh, and also sometimes cry.  It's about joining together, and saying the things that need to be said.

Every mother has a story and an opinion that deserves to be heard.  There's a mommy blogger in all of us.

 I've embraced mine.  Where's yours?

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