Not 'just' anything: in defence of parent bloggers

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

So last week I read this really scathing article in a newspaper I will not name *cough* about the Facebook motherhood 'challenge' that's going round at the moment. In the article, I read about the rise of 'smug Mummy bloggers'. And then I did a bad thing: I went to the comments, and I read all the vitriol that people have for people who choose to write about their kids. (Don't do it, people! Never skip to the comments section on articles like that!)

Apparently we should have other things to talk about.

Apparently we are vacuous and airheaded.

I don't understand why it is fair for people to make money from just, you know, being horrible about things. It would be different if they were joking around, because heaven knows I like to laugh at myself. Or if they were giving constructive criticism. But to get paid just for being nasty towards whole groups of people? Bonkers. And kind of unfair.

The thing is, some bloggers do seem to have beautiful lives, and immaculate children and homes (never do their kids have jam or toothpaste around their mouths. Nor do they seem to have piles of wetwipes and pombears lying around on the floor like my house does). I like those blogs and Instagram accounts. though, because they are usually beautifully photographed and they give me inspiration.

But as well as those bloggers/vloggers/Instagrammers, there are a diverse, interesting, inspiring group of people that happen to have one thing in common: we like to write about parenthood.

It annoys me that for that reason we are counted as boring. Like, motherhood isn't an interesting enough thing to talk about. I'm not sure I like what that says about the way we view parents and family life. It speaks volumes about how we as a society view stay at home parents: the attitude of 'What, and you don't do anything else?'. As though raising children alone is not worthy enough of respect.

The reason I like blogging (and reading other blogs) is the feeling of connection. As a reader, I love it when I read a passage in a book or in a blog and it just resonates with me. Something kind of clunks into place. I love that words can create that connection between you and another, even though previously you might never have known the others' existence. You might never meet that person. You might not even make contact with them. But you feel that connection. It makes the world seem smaller, less intimidating. And it makes you feel less alone.

Obviously you need relationships IRL because, you know, you can't rely on that alone, that wouldn't be healthy. But it helps. I like that things are more transparent now; we don't have to hide the way we feel, we don't have to pretend that everything is perfect, we don't have to feel like we are the only ones that struggle while everyone else is getting on perfectly. That is what I love about blogs: the ability to be able to see into someone's life and understand that nobody is perfect.

I like the community. I like that if you have a question, you can tap into the wisdom of dozens of parents who have gone before you. I like the knowledge I can gain by learning about other people. You can learn what it is like to be a paramedic. What it is like to battle cancer. What it is like having a child with autism. How you cope with having twins. How to deal with postnatal depression. As well as things like how you start weaning your baby, or how you can keep your children entertained on a rainy day with no money to spend.

There is a wealth of good things to be had from reading blogs. And people are mostly doing it for free: there isn't a huge amount of money to be had in blogging. Yeah, you can make a career out of it, but it takes a LOT of dedication to get to that point. Mostly, as a blogger, you want to offer people something of worth: whether that is through words or vlogs or tutorials. You want to make a positive difference to someone's day. And the feeling when you know you've done that makes the hours of effort so worth it.

So 'Mummy' bloggers (which is a term I don't love because I feel it leaves Dads out - I prefer 'parent bloggers' really) - I salute you. Keep going.

And if you don't like it? Click away and try something else :)

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I will be doing a bonus post with some excellent parent bloggers you should check out!

Linking up with:

My Random Musings


  1. I adore this post so much! I think it's strange that folks have time to judge mommy bloggers. How about we just skip the blog, hmmmm? I agree, the vast land of mommy blogging connects us. As a home schooling mama of four, it can be really tough to connect with like minded folks every day in real life...but it's easy online. It's all about balance, isn't it? Great read, thanks! #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Ah, thank you! :) I know, I don't understand why people can't just click away ... you're right, it's so much easier to find like-minded people online! Thanks for reading x

  2. I think people who write things like that don't understand just how much effort and hard work goes into running a blog! Clearly they think we just have far too much time on our hands. If people don't like reading blogs, its not like its being forced on them. Keep up the good work mummy/daddy bloggers! #twinklytuesday

    1. Yeah, I don't think people realise the amount of time that goes into it! It's not just popping out a post every now and then. I love blogging, it's nice to have a creative outlet, and I enjoy seeing other people's creative efforts too :)

  3. I haven't seen it Megan but it sounds as if it might have been to do with everyone presenting their lives as if they are perfect too ... and it's well known that quite a few people only share on FB what they want others to believe of them. I certainly don't share much personal information there.

    I think a lot of the public have no idea about blogging (in any genre) and don't know the value (which you have eloquently written about in your post).

    We all have different perceptions don't we and unfortunately people will always judge others. It's their mindset :(

    I remember when our CEO (we're an academy and belong to a trust) was taking over a nursery because it failed OFSTED. The comments were so personal and cruel online (just a notice in the local paper about it). They don't know him. But parents jumped on the bandwagon with their vitriol. He is successful. And for the record, when our observations were made, the children were at risk with lack of care and attention. Tragic accidents just waiting to happen.

    People will only see and believe what they want to ...

    Great post! x

    1. Wow, that's shocking! Poor guy. Have you read 'So you've been publicly shamed' by Jon Ronson? It deals with online hate and goes into the damage that can be done when a huge amount of people turn against someone. I haven't read it yet but its on my list.

      As good as the internet obviously is, the damage it can do to people's reputations (even if they've done nothing wrong!) is scary.

      I guess what annoyed me about that article is the assumption that if you write about your kids that you have nothing else in your brain to occupy you! Which is insulting on multiple levels really ... x

    2. Thanks for mentioning the book. Just read the blurb. Looks great Megan (added to my wishlist).

      It is very insulting and I totally understand how you feel.

      The media should have better things to do with their time (like blogging hahaha). xx

  4. Well said!! I only discovered the this amazing network when I became a blogger myself and Monkey was 2 its such a shame as I could have done with it well before then. Yes I like to believe my house is immaculate that my child never has a tantrum or is generally a little wotsit some days but we know thats not parenthood!! #AnythingGoes xx

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I'd been blogging for a while before I realised there was this great, supportive network of other bloggers!

      Hehe ... when I look at other people's 'perfect' Instagram feeds I remind myself that they haven't photographed the tantrums/mad bed hair moments/overflowing washing baskets x

  5. Yes! Bravo! A round of applause for you. This is absolutey 110% what goes round my head ALOT! #TwinklyTuesday


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