mommy blogs

Well, some people are a little, uh, pissed off over the article that ran in the NYT this weekend about mommy blogs, especially those who were interviewed for it.

Bad Mother

I just have a few things to say:

Most of the “mommy blogs” I read are not o n l y blogs about parenthood; in fact, many parents blog about a bunch of crap as well as parenting. In fact, I am in the midst now of working up some kind of half-assed argument that ANY blog that thinks it is a KIND of blog (parenting, cooking, research, diet, etc) is out of its gourd. Blogs resist this sort of mono-topic stuff.

I would also be interested to hear mom bloggers respond to why they blog about parenting (I don’t suspect it’s because they don’t have anything else to write about). In fact, I’d wager that most of them are responding to audience currents.

The thing that is lighting people up most, though, is the stuff about mom bloggers being self-absorbed, attention- and validation-craving egotists.

Possibly? I’ll grant that I’m self-absorbed. But I think all writers are, to an extent. And I would argue the same for attention-seeking: writers of all kinds seek some sort of attention through audience. But validation? I write about baby poop and vomit not because I need any kind of validation, I don’t think. I write it because it’s funny. Because it’s real. Because it is what I’m surrounded by right now. Later, when I’m surrounded by teenagers who sneak out and steal cars, I’ll blog on that. When my kids are gone, I’ll blog about my dentures. Whatever.

But the last thing, here: the writer of this article appears to shun parents who wish to be acknowledged by the rest of the world, because, HELLO, parents frequently are the invisible silenced voice in the background of their children’s lives. (Mom, help me out here.) Face it, we are the stage managers of our children’s lives. The producers. The backers. The custodians in every sense of that word, but MOSTLY the mop-wielding sense.

By parenting, we accept and allow someone else to be the MOST IMPORTANT person(s) in OUR lives. It is selfless. It is hard, wrenching, thankless. It is not looking out for number one.

To blog is to put a voice back into that silence. Yeah, I might be arguing here that parents are oppressed. I just might.

We are oppressed when some dumbshit thinks they know why we do what we do.


7 thoughts on “mommy blogs

  1. Thanks for writing this, Madeline. After reading the article and seeing others who have written about it, I was trying to figure a way to discuss the issue of *if you are a parent do you have to be shunned for giving up your desire to have a voice as your own human being?* It is easy for me to say emphatically NO! damn it because I am speaking from the non-parent perspective that thinks that it is possible to be a parent and work to keep your own identity. Parents are interesting individuals who are involved in an excessively time consuming process. But that process is not the whole of their identity.

    This article incenses me because It places so much emphasis on the child and his/her space in the world that the parent *has to* become the selfless, person-less person. Parents are people, too! And I can’t believe we still have to have this conversation.

  2. All bloggers and writers are just writing about whatever they are paying attention to at the moment that they write. Reporters sometimes grasp at straws to FIND things to fill their precious “need-to-keep-filling-it-or-loose-it” space.

    They are writers, but maybe they just don’t do enough on their own to write about themselves. They are intimidated by those whose lives are full to overflowing with interesting and attention-demanding occurrences. Because of their jealousy, they dis you. It’s OK. Write what you want–what’s important to you, and know this–they’re READING what you write!! Who cares what they think about it!

    Are you self-absorbed? Am I? Was I? Is everybody, whether they write about themselves or their kids puking?

    Pretty much.

  3. Like you, I write about parenting because it’s something I do every single day. I write about it because there are so many books and people that tell us how we should be parents and they’re so often wrong. I write about it because it’s interesting to me. And I write about it because it helps me connect with other people.

    I’m not looking for validation or visibility. Sure, I’m self-absorbed. But not so much that I can’t enjoy reading other blogs.

  4. Man oh man, very well said. I had some troll comment on my blog saying, “the only reason I did it is to justify my own existance.” I mean did you EVER??

    The last for lines of your post are “perfectly” said!

  5. Man oh man, very well said! I had some troll comment on my blog saying “the only reason I did was I did was to justify my own existance.” I mean did you EVER?

    The last four lines of your post are “perfectly” said!

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