Last night I noticed that my friend and fellow parenting blogger Jade from Raising the Rings had shared a lovely little mumsnet discussion about ‘mummy bloggers’. It wasn’t really a discussion as such, more a thread of women being nasty about other women. The general consensus was that ‘mummy blogs’ are a waste of time and are either women showcasing how perfect their life is, or racing to the bottom to be ‘world’s worst mother’. I read a few comments about how these women who blog should be more focused on raising their children than writing their blogs. Naturally a lot of parenting bloggers were angry by some of the comments, but I found the whole thread hilarious and saddening in equal measure!
Now let’s put aside the irony of these women grouping together on an online platform to moan and be nasty about other women who write and express their opinion on an online platform, but in a way that can actually evolve into a business and career. What I want to discuss is the way a lot of the comments had the view that ‘mummy bloggers’ should be more focused on the raising of children, than having any interests, hobbies or god forbid a career outside of their role as ‘mother’. I mean I adore being a mother and becoming a mother is by far the most wonderful experience of my entire life and I expect it always will be, but being a mother isn’t the only part of my existence and nor should it be.
Prior to having children I studied media based subjects for five years, interned at an online magazine outlet and interviewed a range of high profile figures within the entertainment and business industries. I had a love for music, theatre, dance and art. I travelled, lived abroad and then worked within a fast paced, predominantly male orientated environment brokering deals within European markets. I became resilient, headstrong, passionate and a feminist. I harnessed a natural talent of storytelling and writing. None of those things disappeared because I grew a couple human beings and then pushed said human beings out of my vagina. I didn’t suddenly become a blank canvas because I became a mother. I still had a voice, I still had interests, talents, passion and drive. I still had all those things and I found a way to utilise them, while staying at home and spending as many waking hours as physically possible caring for my children. I did that by starting my very own parenting blog.
In my opinion mummy blogs give a lot of women a voice, a way to share their experiences and the option to create their own brand or business that fits in around raising children. From personal experience, I can say that my blog has given me an outlet to express myself and my blog has also provided my family with some incredible experiences. As a parenting blogger, I see success stories regularly, where women have been able to improve their family’s financial stability through the medium of blogging.
It seems irresponsible in my opinion to tear down these women who put themselves out there, give themselves a voice and make themselves heard. It seems rather outdated to assume a women should take the role of subordinate just because she has become a mother. If all women who bore children were made to sit in a corner, be quiet and solely look after children, think of the amount of talent that would be lost.
In the UK there is a gender pay gap. In the UK the cost of childcare before school age is extremely expensive, so much so that in my case it has actually cost me out of the traditional sense of work, where I go to an office every day. I think it is important to note that a study from Harvard University has highlighted that girls from a family where the mother works are more likely to have better careers, higher pay and more equal relationships. Let’s also note that boys from a family where the mother works are more likely to be involved in household chores and childrearing responsibilities. It’s seems an odd notion to tear down an entire industry that allows women to harness their creativity, create a business and do so around childrearing responsibilities, which in turn alleviates financial strain from men and allows men to be more involved in the family experience. The women on this forum express how wonderful an experience it is to raise children and the chances are some of these women have sons, so why tear down an industry that allows their sons to be more involved in the very thing they say is so magical? It just doesn’t make much sense to me.
But of course who I am to comment? I’m just a mother and would do better to spend time solely raising children, cooking dinner and cleaning my house than wasting my time writing about key feminist points on the internet via a ‘mummy blog’.