Jen Hogan, blogger and mum of seven, explores the influence of mummy bloggers in today’s society.
If any heed were to be paid to a newspaper article about Mummy Bloggers, recently published across the water, then an assumption might be made that I had to put down the gin bottle and feed my toddler some still frozen fish fingers, just to get enough peace to write this one. The rise of the Mummy Blogger continues and she celebrates neglectful and abhorrent intolerance of her children apparently, and rages against anyone who finds motherhood fulfilling.
Of course sensationalism sells, and in reality Mummy Bloggers are nothing like this. I know, because I am one.
My blog, Mama-tude, is all about the ups and downs of rearing seven children — and there are many. Parenthood is a rollercoaster, as well as a privilege, and with the village that it supposedly takes to rear a child, often missing in action, it’s no surprise that more and more people are turning to the virtual world for support.
What started for me as a platform to discuss all things parenting, has grown to become so much more.
Yes, I post about finding breakfast waffles down the toilet, and how we fished them out with daddy’s toothbrush and yes I have openly admitted and included photographic evidence that my domestic goddess skills are more than a little bit lacking — but hey we can’t all be good at everything. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life.
And still the people who are kind enough to follow me, seem to forgive me my shortcomings and actively engage with me in so many ways. Many I feel I know through their regular posting of comments, in spite of us never having met. They share their own funny stories of child rearing and discuss homework battles and a hatred of projects. They wish me well when I share my latest adventure. A sense of community develops.
I am humbled on a regular basis as people take the time to privately message me and ask my advice on sensitive and personal family issues. I have been moved to tears on other occasions when they share their pregnancy loss stories with me. We can relate, because we have been there.
And a trust develops — a trust based on the belief that you are true to who you show yourself to be. So I stay honest and I blog about the love, laughter, fun, frolics and frustrations of parenthood. I admit that I enjoy a glass or two of red with a bar of chocolate on a wild Friday night in front of the television.
I admit that nothing beats the feeling after a long, sometimes fraught day, of knowing that they are all finally asleep. And I also admit that I love to see my children holding hands, playing together and loving each other — because parenthood is the whole package.
I’m not alone in this thinking.
Sue Jordan who blogs at “Cherry Sue Doin’ the do”, prides herself in pulling no punches. “What you see is what you get,” she explains “but I decide what you see.”
Those who “share only the highlights of their little cherub’s lives online don’t love their children more than I love mine” she adds, suggesting that it may be a “coping mechanism for some”. Sue believes in telling the truth and letting “mamas everywhere know we’re in this together. Just because you become a parent does not in any way mean you’re no longer a person in your own right” Sue also says that she will always post pictures of gin and tonic after a long week, or day, because “gin is delicious — birthing and raising two children doesn’t make that any less of a fact.”
Kellie Kearney, blogger at “My Little Babog” says her blog “is her little corner of the internet to share an honest account of parenting fails and tales”. Through her blog, she has met “life-long friends — some bloggers, others readers”.
“There’s so much pressure nowadays to be the perfect parent”, Kellie says. “I’ll never forget rocking my eldest back and forth begging her to sleep when she was a nipper. I wanted to crawl into a ball and cry.”
“I love my children unconditionally” Kellie adds, “I’ve had days that I feel like I’ve failed them, that I’m never good enough”, “when I share my woes I see that almost every other parent feels like that some days too, and it’s completely normal”
Adelle Kenny named her mummy blog “Dodees to Daiquiris”. A mum to toddler twins, Adelle shares her feelings “on the struggle nearly all parents feel when little ones don’t sleep or throw a tantrum”.
The odd time she includes a picture of herself indulging in her favourite drink or love of fashion on her blog, but this allows her “to take a very momentary step back from just being mam”. “Blogging gives me an outlet” she adds. “If one person feels a bit better or laughs at the twins many funny anecdotes — that satisfies me”.
The challenges of parenthood are real. Mummy blogs often offer people a place to go and read about others in similar situations.
Sometimes they’ll get advice. Sometimes they’ll see a solution — and sometimes they’ll have a laugh or just take comfort in knowing that they’re not alone.
So raise a glass of the varied favourite tipple, to the Mummy Blogger who seeks humour in the mundane.
Though she differs in style (and occasionally domestic strengths), I’ve yet to encounter one who didn’t adore her children — or ever served them uncooked frozen fish!
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