I was lucky enough to attend a mummy blogger meet up tonight (well, not actually tonight, back on Sunday when I wrote this). It was sponsored by Nuffnang. They sent the muchly cool Vanessa and Sarah to
keep an eye on us chill out with the bloggers. And I got to meet some awesome people. People like Brenda (who I’ve already met, but, hey, she’s awesome), Jodie, Eden, Corrinne, Julie, Beth and Christie.
We ate churros and chocolate and drunk coffee. And Vanessa and I smoked dirty cigarettes. We talked, we laughed, we swapped stories, ideas and opinions. It felt like meeting new people, who I’ve known for like, ages and ages, or in another cyber life. Or in my imagination. Or something.
Topics of conversation ranged from SEO, to penis (in a totally abstract form, I promise), from blog sponsors to mother-in-law’s (mine), and onto guest posts, advertising and why a review post is worth more than a loaf of bread. There was, naturally, lots of chatter about the Australian Blogging Conference. (I just bought my ticket, nananananana!!).
And, then, because most of us are, indeed, members of the mummy bloggers sect, there was a limited amount of talk about Duplo, nappies, birth and feral toddlers.
Because those are the things- blogging, and being mummies (or, in one case, a mummy-to-be) that what we have in common. So that is what we discuss. Yes…?
Anyway. As you may have guessed- the title of the blog kinds of gives it away, just a little- I’m a mummy blogger. And I’m totally OK with that.
Way back when, in my parenting forum days and before I blogged, I’d vaguely heard the term ‘Mommy Blogger’. It was something I loosely associated with woman who posted boring photos of their kids, lists of what activities they planned to do that day, and a million uses for a cardboard egg carton. And, no doubt, there are bloggers who do just that. I don’t read them, but I’m sure they’re out there.
Obviously, I didn’t set out to be one of ‘those’ bloggers. I just wanted to write stuff. Make people laugh again, the way I used to. And I soon discovered there was a whole lot of other woman out there, doing exactly the same.
Acceptance is the key, I think. I blog. A lot. I’m a mum.
A lot. All the time. Being a mum, is, predominantly, what I am doing with my life right now. Writing about anything else, when motherhood is what consumes my life and my days, would feel fake. And, hey, most days, I thoroughly enjoy having two kids under three years old. Other days, I’m losing my f*cking mind. I’m sure you’ll forgive me, if I need an outlet to let off some steam.
I know the way mummy bloggers are viewed, in general. On the InterWebs. In that confusing other realm, known as Real Life, where people are not so easy to pigeonhole.
I tell people, some people, select people, In Real Life, that I blog. “About what?”
“I dunno. Stuff that happens. The kids. Life. Being a mum”. And I watch them, even my nearest and dearest, roll their eyes and turn away. It’s very much the same reaction I get when, in those rare social conversations with people over the age of four, I get asked, “So… what do you do?”
“I’m a mum”.
And it’s the same, the half turn of a shoulder, the soft body language that dismisses you, denies you validation.
I invite anyone, In Real Life, who rolls their eyes and calls me a geek, to come read me. Read me. I might be a geek, but I ain’t boring. You might not like me, that’s OK. But I guarantee it won’t be because I bore you with endless photos of my children, or the Mashed Banana Monologues, the nutty nitty gritty of our daily routines. I write about mum stuff, because right now, that’s who I am, and what I do. I’m OK with that. Are you…?
I do rave about about pretty cloth nappies.But that’s a serious addiction I need help for, and we shouldn’t be laughing about it.
Where was I…? Oh yes. If you do click away from my little corner of the Web, it won’t be because I’m boring. It might be because you hate the way I write, or your sick of hearing about me doing dumb-arse stuff, or possibly because my review posts suck hard. But I doubt you’ll find me boring. My head is a fascinating place to be, and this is the place I spill it.
I always find it interesting when people jump up and down saying “I’m not a mummy blogger!”, like it’s such a bad thing. You blog, you’re a mum. The law of simple equations says that makes you a mummy blogger. What you do with that label, how you choose to feel about it (own it) is up to you. Some of the most wickedly funny stuff out there is by moms that blog, about their lives, and sometimes about their kids- mommy bloggers.
Do we even realize how powerful this label is? Mommy Blogging, in America, is a moving, seething, exploding cyber-institution. As any good review blogger will tell you, mums spend 75% of the money that comes into the household. We’re not stupid. We respect the opinions of other mothers, knowing they’ll tell us the truth when it comes to products for ourselves and our kids. We can bring large companies to their knees. We are revered on the Webs for our power to come together. To get organized quickly, to make things happen. We are mummy bloggers and we are damn scary. A whole something else. A force unto ourselves.
And, forgetting all that- let’s discuss my corporate whoring at a later date, shall we?- what about the love? What about the sharing? And I don’t mean Elmo-style. I mean having somewhere to be real, to take the piss, to talk about things that are raw, things that hurt. To confess when you fucked-up big time. (Everyone loves a big fuck-up. Makes us all feel better) To be happy and cheerful, to record your memories, your children’s lives. To write out the pain. To be self-reflective. To stay strong. To strip
yourself bare, and be brave.
That’s what our blogs are for. They are the heart and soul of us, our ups and downs, our good bits and our bad, poured out onto the screen. Shared, with people who can choose to understand, or not. Judge us, or not. Like us, or not.
Why do we feel so restricted by this mummy blogger label? Because you’re a mummy, you can’t drink or smoke or talk about sex or say the word fuck? Where did that ideal come from? Or is it just part of the wider perception we have of other mothers, of other women?
Your life has to be perfect, showing the best face to the world. Is that really what being a ‘mummy blogger’ is about?
I doubt it.
Mummy blogging, personal blogging, whatever sits best on your skin and in your mind, it’s about sharing our talent, our lives, our thoughts, opinions and ideas. It’s about women. Women like the ones I met tonight, who love their kids, and love to write and read the real lives of real people; happy cyber voyeurs with a delicious and unrestricted invite to the public yet personal scripture of other people’s mundane existence.
The Dreaded Mummy Blogger image is so deceptive. It taints the essence of what we do here. It diminishes the power of the very real connections and communities we grow, the hope and friendship and love we bring to one another.
I’m a mummy blogger.
I’m OK with that.
Us mummy bloggers, we’re kicking some arse.