The twittersphere has been, well, atwitter with talk about Jennifer Mendelsohn's article for the New York Times on mommy blogging. Written in a somewhat snarky tone, the writer who is herself a mommy blogger, wrote about her experiences at Bloggy Bootcamp. Which to be honest sounds kind of awesome. They had me at sippy cup mimosas. Okay they had me at mimosas.
Since I ignore my kids and read blogs all day it was all I had to discuss with my husband last night. So of course he had to read the article for himself. And his reaction which boiled down to "this is sexist" is why I love him. It really hit the nail on the head. Would an article about any other genre of blogging, let's say a review of one of the meetings at SXSW, include a rebuke of parents spending their free time blogging?
These are valid criticisms of the mommy blogger industry (exposing your kids, trading your time for swag) ones that have been raised by several self identified mommy bloggers and at blogging conferences. But that kind of discussion would be better suited to a news article, not a style piece. Which begs this question, what was the point of this article? If it wasn't an honest look at the world of mommy blogging was it just for something for people to have to chuckle over: "Oh those silly moms and their nattering on about their kids lives. They are so naive."
What the article doer refer to but overshadows with its snarky tone, title, and illustration is that the value so many women have found in blogging. Yes a lot of women blog about their kids and their lives as moms because it is the largest part of their lives. For some it's their job. And when your job consists of clients who scream at you for their cereal then throw it on the floor it's great to find a virtual world of coworkers out there who understand. Blogs, twitter, etc are fantastic sources of support for modern parents, many of whom feel isolated from the moment their child arrives.
For me blogging is my hobby. It's what I do to blow off steam, to engage my mind, to relive the stress of raising twins with special needs and crazy personalities. I am not trying to build a brand, unless that brand is being cynical and sarcastic which I am sure sponsors love. But if I was, who cares? Don't we moms deserve to make money when we can, especially in rough economic times? The article compares the blogs unfavorably to the Tupperware parties of our parents' generation which again begs the question: what's wrong with Tupperware or any other way people can make extra money doing something they enjoy?
I'm a mom. And I blog. And I don't think it deserves being made fun of.
Links to several people who wrote more eloquently on this subject:
Grumbles and Grunts: In Defense Of Mommy Blogging
Pundit Mom: An Open Letter to the New York Times
The Social Path: Why moms shouldn't feel guilty about blogging
Mamma Loves: You May Write For the NYT But You're a Mom Blogger Too