I’m a blogger. I’m a mom. But I don’t call myself a ‘Mommy Blogger’. Everyone has an opinion on this: there are some that take pride in the name, others who hide from it, some who just don’t care.
Why don’t I call myself one?
Because in the way that our misogynistic, paternalistic, sexist and capitalist society is wont to do (time and again) the Mommy Blogger moniker is weighted down with stereotype, scorn, mockery and devaluation. The image that comes to mind? Well…
- stay at home mom
- bored mom
- gossipy mom
- bitchy mom
- coupon mom
- Walmart, juice box, Wii Fit mom
And, some of the Mommy Bloggers are exactly that. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it or them – but it doesn’t define many of us or what we do. The problem is that it is the only image that is being portrayed. In the last month, there have been five articles from major media outlets telling the same story (four of them were in the last week). It goes something like this:
“Colleen Padilla, a 33-year-old mother of two who lives in suburban Philadelphia, has reviewed nearly 1,500 products, including baby clothes, microwave dinners and the Nintendo Wii, on her popular Web site Classymommy.com. Her site attracts 60,000 unique visitors every month, and Ms. Padilla attracts something else: free items from companies eager to promote their products to her readers.” New York Times
This article, and the ones from CNET, AOL’s Daily Finance, Wall Street Journal and Newsweek then go on to discuss whether it’s okay or not that mothers who blog should be able to write sponsored posts, receive freebies, get paid by companies, etc. And the headlines are derogatory; Newsweek says: Trusted Mom or Sellout? If I cursed on this blog, I would be yelling, ‘Fuck you’ at Newsweek right now.
Putting the Mommy Bloggers into a box is bad enough, why do you have to kick them in the groin? Oh, and journalists, is it still great media if you’re the fifth person to tell the same story? It’s getting old and you’re missing the boat here. Attention: there is more to Mommy Bloggers than product pushing and diaper geenies.
Let’s talk about Mommy Bloggers finding creativity, financial independence, community. Let’s talk about the incredible exchange of knowledge between these mothers. Let’s talk about the Mommy Bloggers who talk about the law, business, health, science, sports, animals, non-profits, marketing, PR, religion and parenting. Let’s talk about the Mommy Bloggers who have been published, built empires, are household names. (Arianna Huffington anyone?)
Am I a Mommy Blogger? Hell yeah. I write about copywriting, business and marketing on this blog; social media on this blog; parenting on this blog…and just about everything else you can think of on Twitter – the ultimate megaphone. And I’m a Mom the whole time.
Let’s redefine the term. You can’t put Mommy Bloggers in a box. We’ll kick, talk and write our way out. We can change this, ‘Moms that Blog’, we really can. We’re good at creating change, banding together and having our voices heard. In fact, that’s exactly what we were all busy doing when they came and shoved us into a box.