I occasionally get the impression that people think I live some charmed little life where I sit on my arse all day, eating bon-bons and writing blog posts; all on Daddy’s dime.
Here’s the deal: we need to clear a few things up.
I’ve had two children at home full-time for the last five years. I spend my days cooking and cleaning and doing craft activities and grocery shopping and mopping up emotional messes and reading picture books and exorcising playdough from my carpets and running kids around to appointments and playdates and playgroups.
Newsflash: I have just as little time to blog as anyone who works full-time. Being at home with small children does not provide large swathes of quality time in which to become an uber-blogger.
I blog after the kids are fed, bathed and put to bed at 7pm. Correction: I blog after the kids are in bed and ONLY after all my freelance work is done. I work evenings and late nights and weekends. My creative writing gets squeezed in last, around everyone else and their needs.
To do this, I have to sacrifice certain things. I sacrifice time with my husband. I sacrifice down-time. I sacrifice sleep. I sacrifice hobbies. I sacrifice socialising. I sacrifice every single season of The Block. It’s not quite as charmed as it seems.
All of this made me think about some other Mummy Blogger myths in dire need of busting.
Myth #1: Mummy Bloggers Have Too Much Time on Their Hands
I’ve kind of covered that already but it’s mostly the opposite. This one always puts my pelvic floor to the test, because mums are some of the busiest people you’re ever likely to meet. Some of us work, study, have special needs children or do volunteer work as well. Having children to care for is a time-suck of colossal magnitude, even under ideal circumstances. The supreme miracle is that we manage to blog IN SPITE of the fact we are mums. Not because of it.
Myth #2: Mummy Bloggers are Amateurs Who Can’t Write
Wrong. Some of us have backgrounds in media and communication. Some of us have worked as teachers or educators. Some of us have been writing since we were young. Some of us are only just discovering a natural flair for writing that we never knew we possessed. And some of us are amateurs who may not have the best spelling or grammar or syntax, but what makes us special is that we have the guts to put ourselves out there anyway.
Myth #3: Mummy Bloggers are Narcissistic and Self-Absorbed
Not true. We build communities, we find tribes of like-minded writers, we pimp each other’s material, we swap guest posts and share audiences. We read and support each other’s work, we leave thoughtful comments for each other, we send gifts in the mail and we rally around when someone is in need of help. Marquee-name mummy bloggers generously share their time in private mentoring groups and spread the world about lesser known bloggers, all at their own behest.
Myth #4: Mummy Bloggers Have Nothing of Value to Contribute
Sexist bullshit is sexist. Mummy bloggers are an essential form of support, connection and camaraderie for other mothers. People who’ve never done this gig before have no idea how isolating and scary and downright boring it can be. Mummy bloggers share information, discuss taboo topics, organise fundraising for charities, raise awareness of important issues and empathise with other mothers, creating a virtual back fence where mums can meet to debrief, vent or chat about their day. Wine may or may not be involved.
Myth #5: Mummy Bloggers are Over-Sharers Who Talk About Their Kids Too Much
It’s no surprise that lots of mummy bloggers talk about their children, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Kids do funny shit all the time. Why wouldn’t we write about that stuff? But there are also mummy bloggers like me. The ones who don’t post photos, or discuss personal details or even mention their offspring at all. You could spend a big chunk of time on Hugzilla and be completely unaware that I even have children. Some mummy bloggers talk about feminist issues or self-empowerment or cooking or travel. We aren’t a single hive-mind of spawn-obsessed over-sharers.
Myth #6: Mummy Bloggers are Boring and Whiny
Guilty as charged. However, for every annoying snark-merchant like me there are countless other mummy bloggers who focus on positive things. Intriguing, intelligent women who share stories that inspire, educate and uplift. And then there are the mummy bloggers who are among the funniest people I know: sharp, quick-witted women who take life’s lemons, whip up a round of tequila slammers and drop hilarious blog posts like it ain’t no thang. Boring, they are not.
All the mummy blogger disdain needs to stop. It’s patronising ass-hattery at best, an insidious form of sexism at worst.
So you can wipe the sneer out of the phrase “mummy blogger”, and while you’re at it you can stick your condescending quotation marks up your arse.
We’re mummies and we’re bloggers. Any other resemblance is purely coincidental.