When I tell people I have a blog, their first reaction is often, “Oh, what’s a blog?”, swiftly followed by, “And what do you blog about?
I never know how to answer the second question because, the truth is, I blog about almost everything. Politics,
Michael Gove rants education policy, my outfits, interiors style, life as a working mum, parenting struggles, opinions on current affairs, pregnancy, relationships… the list goes on.
I started this blog for two reasons: to have somewhere to air the thoughts that were in my head as I pushed my baby on never-ending walks in her pram, and to create an online portfolio for my writing. But, mainly, I wanted a voice. Somewhere to say stuff.
And say stuff I have. For the last three and a half years I have said a lot of stuff. In that sense, this blog has most definitely served its purpose. More than that though, people have responded. I’ve made genuine, real-life friends with other mums who also blog (hello Jane, Gemma and Emma!) and we’ve agreed and disagreed on all sorts of topics. It’s one of the things I LOVE about being a “mummy blogger”.
Notice I called myself a “mummy blogger”. That was deliberate, by the way. It’s a label I know lots of people loathe but, personally, I don’t mind it. Putting aside the fact I hate it when strangers call me “mummy” (I’m not YOUR mummy – that’d be weird, you’re 38) I genuinely am proud to be a “mummy blogger”.
But I think I get why others hate the label. It conjures up an idea for people who don’t “get” it that all you blog about is cupcakes and snotty noses. It lumps you into a niche that restricts you to only writing about parent-related topics. You can’t write about politics and current affairs or have your photography taken seriously if you’re a “mummy blogger” can you?
At least, I don’t think so anyway. For me, one of the things I hated – HATED – when I became a mum was an assumption from some people who didn’t have kids that all I would be interested in now was breastfeeding and nappies. Don’t get me wrong – of course I WAS interested in those things (less so the nappies), but it’s not ALL I was interested in. I felt sidelined. I was on maternity leave, out of the workplace, not earning money and then when I went to the pub people would ask jokingly if I’d joined the “mum mafia”. I couldn’t win. They had me labelled and that was that.
But then I started my blog. And I wrote about all sorts of things. Yes I wrote about breastfeeding, but I also wrote about relationships and charity campaigns and things that really hacked me off in the news. I think I proved that I DO still have opinions that aren’t solely revolved around my role as a mum.
And that’s why I’m happy to embrace the label of “mummy blogger”. I don’t think being a mum blogger means you can’t write about politics, current affairs or post amazing photography. Why should having a “mum” label automatically negate what we have to say? Why can’t we write intelligent stuff, get involved in political debate, showcase our incredible creative talents (whether through cupcakes or illustration!) and still be mum bloggers too?
The thing is, I do blog about being a mum. I blog about parenting battles just as much as anything else. But I think that’s OK. Being a mum and a woman is a huge element of who I am. It’s what I do every day and I would be incredibly naive to think it has no bearing on my opinions about things and the way I approach life generally. I’m not saying it’s ALL I am, but of course it makes up PART of who I am. A part I’m pretty proud of, actually.
That’s why I’m standing up and embracing the “mum blogger” title. Yes I’m a mum, yes I like to do the odd bit of gardening and sometimes get involved in a spot of baking (all stereotypical “mum” stuff, apparently). But no, that doesn’t make my opinions on other stuff less valid.
Funny, I wonder if this is ever something dad bloggers worry about. I expect not.
Anyway, what do you think? Do you love or hate the “mum / mummy blogger” title? Do you think being labelled as a “mum / mummy blogger” negates what you have to say? How would you define a “mummy blogger”? Are you a “dad blogger” currently struggling with your blog identity? I’d love to hear some other views on the subject.
P.S. If you think “mummy bloggers” can’t take amazing photographs then check out Mummy Daddy Me. And if you think “mummy bloggers” can’t write cracking opinion pieces then read Not Another Mummy Blog. And if you think “mummy bloggers” only write about jam and cupcakes then head to Write Like No One’s Watching. I could link to a million more here, but it would literally take me all week. Anyway, you get my point.Follow
I’ve thought about this a lot over the last year or so – I’ve toyed with the idea of changing my blog name to better reflect my content, but actually, I feel pretty strongly that it IS a mummy blog (hence my newish header which nods to this) and that I’m proud of that.
I started it at a time when I was just coming out of that foggy ‘what the HELL do I do?’ time as a new mum, and wanted to share any advice and tips I’d picked up that might help other mums. As my daughter has grown (she is now 3) the content has shifted but as well as style, opinion, travel etc there are also loads of posts about being a mum. And I’m cool with that.
I can see why some bloggers are moving away from the mummy blogger tag – while at Britmums Live, one hugely successful (non-parent) blogger speaker hinted that she thought the audience she was speaking to just blogged about nappies and kids’ shoes, which speaks volumes about how the blogging world (and non bloggers) probably view mummy bloggers. But I’m keen to wear my badge with pride, and carry on blogging about being a parent and everything else that matters to me.
I think your blog is proof that mum bloggers don’t just (and sometimes never!) blog about nappies and kids’ shoes Alison! I also think that denying the label may just be playing into that stereotyped idea of what mum bloggers are. Of course I understand why some bloggers want to lose the “mum blogger” tag, if they’re no longer writing about parenting or their life as a mum, but for me this is still very much an element of what I blog about and it’s not something I can see changing any time soon.
Yes, definitely, if you never write about your kids or being a mum, then it’s daft to call yourself a mummy blogger. I like having a niche – ‘lifestyle blogger’ seems so broad and vague.
Another thought which has struck me is that it’s so sad that we see something as AMAZING as motherhood as even being remotely negative. I think I made this point at Mumsnet Blogfest last year – being a mum is the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done so I’m bloody proud of it. When I hear people saying they think ‘mummy blogger’ is a patronising term, I feel a bit sad. How can anything linked to my greatest achievement be patronising?
Exactly that. And it would be naive of me to think that becoming a mum hasn’t shaped any of my opinions and interests – just in the same way it would be naive to think that my upbringing or travel etc etc haven’t shaped them too. I know my own personal experiences play a large role in my views on things, opinions, interests etc, so to suggest that motherhood has nothing to do with who I am now would be… well, just not accurate.
Rachel (@Parenthoodhighs) says
I’m a mummyy blogger…,and damn proud of the fact! Brilliant post – just because we are mums doesn’t mean we have no opinions or thoughts on other things!
It goes beyond blogging too, doesn’t it? I remember being so cross at feeling marginalised by some of the people I used to hang out with pre-motherhood. I felt like they had this idea of who I was and that I had totally changed just because I’d become a mum. Of course I’m proud of my daughter and the job I’m doing as her mum, but it doesn’t mean all my opinions, likes and dislikes are centred around my role as a mum!
(Mostly) Yummy Mummy says
Hear hear! I am a mummy and I am a blogger and take no offence whatsoever at being labelled a ‘mummy blogger’. In fact without that label I doubt if my blog would be as widely read as it is today. Being a mummy is only part of who I am (and part of my what my blog is about) but it is understandably a rather large part! I think those that dismiss ‘mummy bloggers’ as only talking about nappies and cupcakes are seriously underestimating us. More fool them!
I totally agree. I think it’s a shame as the dismissal often comes from people who don’t read that many blogs and have a pre-conceived notion of what they are, when in fact “mummy blogs” cover a huge range of topics and are hugely diverse from what I’ve seen in the time I’ve been blogging and reading blogs myself. Of course, if I never blogged about parenting topics or things that affect me as a mum then I’d resent the label as it would be completely irrelevant, but as it is a part of what I write about I don’t mind it, personally!
I am a proud to be a mummy blogger. I love the diversity of content that is covered in so many of my favourite blogs, and the well articulated thoughts that i find from the many like minded mummies. I of course like the comical stories of craziness that make my own crazy seem more normal x
You’re right – relatable experiences play a huge part in why I love some of my favourite blogs!
I think in ditching the “Mummy” tag, I’d potentially be doing a dis-service to women by perpetuating that idea that Mummy Bloggers all write about one thing (parenting young children). In being a proud Mummy blogger and writing about TV, current affairs, gender issues, kids, education and all that thing, I’m playing a small part in communicating the idea that women who are Mums are full, active members of society with interests and influence beyond just parenting. As are thousands of other women. Including you
You’ve basically just put in one paragraph what I was trying to say in the whole post Sally. EXACTLY this!
She’s so bloody articulate 😉
(Mostly) Yummy Mummy says
Nailed it Sally!
Jane @ northernmum says
I would like to step in and point out the only thing we have disagreed on is when it is time to put the bottle down and go home………
I love this post Molly I think the only problem with the term ‘Mummy blogger’ is the poorly conceived associations it has.
I started to blog a few times before i had this one a parent and i never knew how to fit in or find a style – my mummy blog has given me that. Like it or not parenting is a huge topic that is hugely important to so many people, I’m totally cool with the fact most of what i write about is very mummy centric – I’m just happy that some people like to read it x
I’m really proud to be a mummy and a mummy blogger. Becoming a mum is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I see it as a huge achievement. I blog about my son a lot and also write the odd political piece and travel related stuff. I know there is the risk of being seen as “just a mummy” who doesn’t think about anything more than looking after her child but it’s all the diverse strong blogs out there that are changing that perception. It always makes me slightly sad when one speaker alludes to the fact that people should move away from the “mummy” genre and all of a sudden there’s a wave of people quickly trying to switch over to something that doesn’t reflect motherhood.
Looking for blue sky says
I don’t mind what anyone calls me so long as it’s polite I do think that it’s sad that the term ‘mummy blogger’ should be seen as a bit derogatory – it implies that being a mummy isn’t valued either.
I experienced the same as you – being at the pub and everyone assuming I had this whole new ‘mummy’ identity. I HATED it.
Echo everything that Sally said, and everything you said in the post. I wrote about the term ‘mummy blogger’ after Britmums, and how I’m learning to like the term (and also noted the same as Alison in that some of the non-parent speakers thought we blog about nappies!!) I really think we should be embracing the term ‘mummy blogger’ so we can show everyone that mums are informed, with varied interests, and are not ONLY defined by our children.
Hurrah to that Chloe. I am now nodding away vigorously!
The GREAT thing about blogging is the diversity – and that means anyone can blog about anything. I get ‘that face’ a lot now too when I say I blog – especially that I share my life with a lot of strangers. However I am writing things that people are reading and that is very positive.
Gretta @ Mums do travel says
I have no problem with being called a mummy blogger, even though my youngest child is 11, nappies and breastfeeding are a hazy memory and I write about travel. I’m proud to be a mum, it’s the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It does make me sad that motherhood is at times looked down on in our culture, especially when I see how mums are revered in some other countries. I was on a press trip to Sicily recently visiting a family-run restaurant. After we’d eaten a fabulous meal the chef, a lady in her seventies, came out of the kitchen and sat at our table. She smiled expansively at all of us and said proudly ‘I’m the mother’. She was so happy and sure of herself and I remember thinking that I couldn’t imagine that happening in the UK.
She sounds amazing! And I’m glad I’m not the only one proud to use that label – looks like there are quite a few of us who are happy with our blog identities, which is a definite positive thing.