Mommy Blogging Remains a Radical Act
In 2005 at the original BlogHer, Alice Bradley declared mommy blogging a radical act. By 2009, Lindsay Ferrier and others declared that ship sailed. The general consensus now seems like blogging lost its soul, that parent bloggers have sold out in favor of swag, and that parent blogging no longer matters like it once did.
I'm here to say that mommy blogging remains a radical act, that it still matters, and that it's full of heart and soul and authenticity and beauty.
Yes, yes. I know. Mommy blogger so-and-so posted a sponsored review of such-and-such diaper even though you know she uses a different brand. And someone else "sold out" and hasn't posted anything of "real merit" in "forever." And no one tells real stories anymore or writes authentically or shares the hard stuff or is actively making connections with other bloggers or their own readers.
As the Family Editor here at BlogHer, I read all the parenting blogs. Every day—every single day—I read something amazing. If you feel that no one is writing anything real or authentic or beautiful or moving or hard, if you feel that people still aren't making real connections via their blogs, you're just not looking. You're not peeking into the blogs popping up every day to meet new bloggers where they are in their journey. You're not reading the blogs of veteran bloggers who have ridden the wave of free stuff and come back to the heart of why they started their blog in the first place. You're not reaching out beyond your own sphere. You're missing out on a lot of good stuff.
Speaking specifically of the parenting blogosphere, I can rattle off a list of ten real, honest-to-goodness radical pieces written in the past few weeks that I've had the honor to read. You know what, I'll share them with you here.
- The Walls Come Tumbling Down: Fears Dissolve with a Simple Hello
- In Mourning
- Your Story Matters More Than Your Stats
- On Being Over Whether I Want It To Be Over or Not
- Perfection and Motherhood
- What Happens Next?
- Notes All Around
- Just Write 136
- Learning to Be Enough
Countless others exist, are being written right this second. People are reading them right now. Connections are being made. People are feeling understood, less alone.
Moms and dads are still talking about important things in their online spaces. They're talking about health and wellness, both physical and mental. They're raising $150,000 for postpartum depression. They're rallying around a young mother with breast cancer. They're talking grief and loss—and the life that comes after. They're raising awareness for their causes. They're asking hard questions about faith and the way religion plays out in our country. They're demanding to be seen for who they are, not for their title or role or whatever someone else wants to pin them down with, by, or for. They're still writing real things. Every. Single. Day.
And every time a scared mother Googles, "I don't want to live anymore, what do I do," mommy blogging remains a radical act.
I'm one of the moms saved by the community offered by and for bloggers.
And every time a parent loses a child and turns to a blog written by a parent who has already been there, parent blogging remains a radical act.
And every time someone learns a little more about the nuances in adoption. And every time we see two mom families or two dad families are just normal families. And every time a mother feels less guilty for working or not working, for breastfeeding or formula feeding, for needing two freaking minutes alone without a little person touching or asking a question or needing all of our being... mommy blogging remains a radical act. The Google juice we have made along the way helps those that are coming up now, the ones just starting their blogs and the ones who will never blog. The ones who just want to know that they are not alone in the exquisitely awful void. The ones who want to reach out but are too scared to do so. The ones who decide that maybe, just maybe, their story matters too.
Because it does.
Whether those stories run alongside ads or come before or after a sponsored post matters less than the fact that those stories matter. These human beings matter. In telling our stories, in doing so even though we've been told that doing so no longer matters like it used to, moms and dads are stepping to the plate and saying, "I matter. And the people I connect with matter. And the stories I am sharing matter, to me, to my children, to others."
Whether you take the time to read, to connect, to be in relationship with those who are still writing, still connecting, still relating is your own choice. The radical act of mommy blogging will take place with or without you.
I hope you'll join us.