Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Sad Mums Blog (apparently)

There's an interesting article doing the rounds at the moment on how mothers who write blogs about being a mum are sad, lonely, boring losers who are oppressed by the hand of patriarchy and "duped into thinking the world exists in their tiny, safe, fragrant homes, that life revolves around burps".

The author (who makes pains to differentiate herself from bloggers by calling what she writes "art") bases her juvenile assumptions on the essentially pathetic nature of the mum; the idea that she is powerless, brainless, narrow-minded, self-obsessed and lacking motivation to get a "real job".

Allow me a retort.

One of the main criticisms this author seems to have is that women are staying at home to look after their children (shock! Horror!) and writing blogs. The point about blogging, and particularly blogs that earn money through advertising, is that women who choose to be mothers are no longer isolated, they are liberated by their laptops and able to communicate with other people who have the same worries, concerns, questions, and often, sense of humour. More than that, they are also contributing to their household income and not relying on their husbands to provide the daily bread, whilst raising their children. Never have I read a more anti-feminist argument.

What really gets my goat is this idea that mothers are a different species. We (if I can speak on behalf of mothers everywhere) are the same ambitious, energetic, spirited women we were before we had children. We've just had this monumental life change and sometimes feel the need to reach out to others in the same situation and say "this is crazy, huh?". I can't tell you (or if you're reading this maybe I don't need to) how reassuring it feels to discover that you're not alone. If you're not the type of person to rock up to a playgroup, plonk yourself down and tell the other mums that you're their new friend, having children can be an isolating and incredibly lonely experience. Reading the experiences of others, and perhaps writing about your own, is a way to feel connected and engaged with the world.

Of course blogs written by mums are going to talk about burps and colic and sleep patterns and breastfeeding: all the things I'm sure seem pathetically dull and insignificant to non-parents. But trust me, when you've had 2 hours' sleep in the last 48 and every time your baby cries it feels like someone is taking a cheesegrater to your eyeballs, finding a tip online on getting them to sleep for a few hours feels like you've just discovered the holy grail. These things are important. They are what our lives as parents revolve around, and yes; we are also aware of climate change, immigration and political unrest because we are the same people we were before!!!

I purposely haven't commented on the article itself as provoking a response is clearly the aim of the piece. And after all, I'm just a sad mum writing rubbish about nappies and tantrums; what do I know?

Read the original article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2231184/Free-You-blogging-mums-wear-Burkas.html#ixzz2C5u0rZ00

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