I’ve been wondering about this for a while. I don’t identify as a mummy blogger, but you could say I am one. After all, my social handles are ‘Divamum’ —kind of a give away. Did I used to fall solely into this category – I don’t know. Do any ‘mum bloggers’ define themselves as just such?
I know where it began. Mums such as Constance Hall and The Unmumsy Mum, Mother Pukka and Selfish Mother all brought their experiences to social media and it created a movement. A movement where mums felt safe to share their realities. A queenhood. It really was a beautiful thing. People opened up about their parenting struggles. We accepted we’re not perfect, we rooted for each other and clapped for motherhood. We wrote about our experiences and shared photos of non perfect moments.
Then the influencer movement appeared and these people made their living out of sharing their stories. The rest of us attempted to keep up. I’m not knocking influencers by the way. If someone paid me to write and post pictures on Instagram regularly, I would gladly accept. But Instagram suddenly became all about the likes and less of the cause. Engagement groups boomed and captions got longer, but were read less. Many real writers are paling into insignificance because if you’re not an #Ad or a #Brandrep are you even worth following on Instagram?
If you’re not sharing why your kid’s a bit of a dick or the ultimate Mummy Hacks you’re not a mummy blogger, hun!
I love writing about topics I’m passionate about, including parenting, but I don’t want to be defined as the ultimate mummy blogger writing only about my kids. Mainly because I believe a mother is more than just a person with kids. She is allowed to be a woman, a grafter, have an opinion on topics that don’t include her kids. She is also allowed to be all about her kids. But for me it’s about choice not definition by social media.
It’s a fact that we now live in a world where trolls linger around hashtags instead of under bridges. Opinions are voiced in support and against. Someone will always be offended by your beliefs, you can have them despite this, but that doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way to offend people either. The balancing act is wavy.
I’ve noticed a few mums that I follow have recently dropped the ‘mum’ from their social titles. It’s something I’ve considered too. It’s now seen as less of an attraction and more of an eye roll if you profess to be a certain way – whatever that certain way is.
There will always be an eye roll.
Whatever you choose to voice it will offend someone. If you choose to be honest about your parenting struggles the perfect parents will berate you. If you choose not to speak about tough times you obviously have it too easy, are disingenuous or fake. If you say nothing it’s assumed you have nothing to say.
I am not a perfect mother and I have a range of problems that affect my parenting, but recently I’ve felt sad for women who have happy parental experiences, because it’s feels sometimes now if you had a normal birth, you didn’t suffer enough. You’re lucky. If your kids are well behaved you must be a lying.
The judgement is always you’re not doing enough. You’re doing too much. Whilst the rest of the world is on the fence.
You can be a mummy blogger and blog about your experiences without your kids too.
You can be open about your troubles and still love your kids.
We say we love an honest post, then we judge someone for opening up too much.
We say we want real but we judge people for being themselves.
We say we want more happy posts then we’re jealous of these people and their lives.
Is the mummy blogger phase phasing out? Maybe.
Or maybe we’re growing. Maybe we’re learning more about ourselves as people. Maybe we’re reclaiming our identities as mothers and women and taking back control.
Maybe we’re bored of competing with an algorithm that makes you feel like shit if your posts get under 200 likes.
Maybe we’re battling the addiction that is the internet.
Maybe insta squares really are windows into people’s lives, or maybe it’s all smoke and mirrors.
I believe in sharing the rough with the smooth. I seem to be one of those people that have a lot of experiences to write about and not all of them good. I like honest and raw posts. I like real. But I won’t unfollow you just because you DONT complain about your kids like I do.
I will read your blogs about your birth trauma and about your banana bread baking, because I see you as a person not a stereotype.
What I don’t want to do is be herded in to being someone or something I’m not.
I want to just be myself. Of course I want engagement, it’s all we all want. We want people to read our posts and blogs or why write them at all?
But I think the reason we’re moving away from the Mummy Blogger byline is because we are all trying to find our own niches in a virtual market, where there’s always someone who’s already written your next piece.
If I can provide any advise based on this it will always be, don’t force it. Just because Mummyxxxx got 100 likes doesn’t mean you have to bake banana bread or homemade focaccia to get the same.
Be your wonderful authentic self. The movements will always keep moving.