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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mommy Blogging Breakdown

In 2005 the newfound organization BlogHer held a conference called BlogHer, BlogMe. This conference covered a variety of topics in the blossoming blogosphere. However according to one participant, Alice Bradley, the whole conference was "annoyed by an undercurrent of derision aimed at the “Mommy Bloggers” (no matter how I try, I still hate that term). At the Mommy Blogging panel, an editor admonished us for always being the ones who attack each other and also for being upset with the NYT article. Which, um, isn’t true (for the first part) and misses the point (for the second). But whatever. If we’re not valued enough, it’s our own fault, and look, even when we get attention we whine about it" (Finslippy; BlogHer, BlogMe; August 3, 2005). She later went on to post what became the theme of the 2006 BlogHer conference. She stated, "Mommy blogging is a radical act" (August 5, 2005. This post has unexplainably been deleted, however several papers I have read make reference to it. See the Lopez article cited below).

How then is mommy blogging a "radical act"? "Motherhood is impossible to perform perfectly, it is all-consuming, it places women into dueling camps and forces them to decide which side they are on, and yet it is the one thing that all women are told that they must desire most out of life" (Lopez, 732). Mommy blogging presents an alternative view to the ideal of "New Momism". Mommy blogs are "creating a different picture of motherhood to what we see in the mainstream media. Instead of the vision of the loving mother, we see women who are frazzled by the demands of their newborn baby, who have no clue what to do when their child gets sick, who suffer from postpartum depression and whose hormones rage uncontrollably" (732).

"For the most part, women categorized as ‘mommy bloggers’ are simply women who are mothers and occasionally write about their own children" (Lopez, 734). Due to this fact it is necessary to break mommy blogs down a little bit in order to better understand why "New Momism" is applicable to the blogosphere. First, I feel the need to clarify that not all mommy blogs are created equal. They do not all post about crafts, cooking, fashion, organization and being a perfect mother all at once. Most of them, in fact, only cover one topic at a time. Below is a very incomplete list of mommy blogs (not all blogs on this list are written by Mormons). My wife and I have broken them into different categories, which are popularly recognized.

"General Mommy Blogs" - Blogs that discuss life, parenting, children, husbands, or family life in general.

          Marriage Confessions
          C Jane Enjoy It
          Nie Nie Dialogues

"Fashion Mommy Blogs" - While these blogs may discuss family life or parenting their primary purpose is to discuss fashion. They piece together outfits, talk about vintage clothing, and discuss how to "[find] style in the world of diapers and fishy crackers" (The Mom Uniform).

          The Daybook
          The Mom Uniform
          Cardigan Empire
          What a Nerd Would Wear
          Clothed Much

"Crafty Mommy Blogs" - Much like fashion mommy blogging crafty mommy blogging may discuss family life or children. Its primary purpose however is how to make things. I've seen posts from everything from fabric flowers to reupholstering a crib. This blogs sound the cry of thrift. They're mostly written by middle class Americans who want to show women how to make trendy items while saving a few pennies.

          Little Miss Momma
          MADE (Dana Made It)
          Make it and Love It
          HoneyBear Lane
          I am Momma: Hear Me Roar

"Cooking Mommy Blogs" - Cooking Blogs teach people to cook, it's that easy. Most of the popular ones have cookbooks published because of their blogs.

          Our Best Bites
          Pioneer Women Cooks (You can also check out her wide variety of blogs from that link)

"Organization Mommy Blogs" - My wife actually introduced me to this category today. They're blogs that teach families how to stay organized while six kids are running around trying to destroy everything.

          Clean Momma

Works Cited

Lopez, Lori Kido. 2009. The radical act of 'mommy blogging': redefining motherhood through the blogosphere. New Media & Society 11:729-747. 

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