I feel like I should, by virtue of the fact that I, myself, am a mom blogger. But I don’t read other mom blogs, or dad blogs. Really, I’m slowly losing interest in reading on the interwebs about random people’s parenting experiences, for reasons that, until now, I haven’t really thought that hard about. Contrasting the current me with me sans children, who was eager to read anyone and everyone’s story about all things pregnancy and baby (but NEVER anything related to life with a toddler and beyond, which I realized too late would have been extremely useful), it’s hard to believe that I’m just not into mommy blogs anymore.
Here are five reasons I can come up with for why this avid reader, and professed mommy blogger, who sincerely hopes that others read ME, rarely so much as sniffs at a parenting-related headline or blog title these days:
1. I already know it’s hard. I don’t need to read about another mom’s misery.
I’m not telling anyone to avoid complaining in their parenting blog. Pots and kettles and all that. But I think I reached my threshold for “sympathize with my pain” posts. I know they are still out there, but I don’t need to go looking for them. I know, it’s hard for you, it’s hard for me. And childfree folk will continue to roll their eyes at us, and you and me have this sisterhood thing going on (and dads, don’t fret, because bros are sisters too. Uh, I think). So yes, sisterhood and support – but just trust me when I say I am silently sending you my support, blissfully unaware of your particular struggle. I’m just generally aware of the shared struggle, in general terms, and hopefully that’s good enough.
2. The answers are not going to be found in someone’s blog.
I used to eagerly click on blog posts that looked like they were going to not only describe a similar problem I had or something I was going through (see #1), but actually offer a solution, advice, or strategy for addressing said problem! And guess what? Exactly zero parenting blog posts I have read have offered tangible, practical, actionable solutions to my or others’ parenting dilemmas. Instead, the posts end with a sad sort of nod to things being the way they are, and the need for a glass of wine or a coffee to help ease the pain of accepting such things. Or, in the case of the positive and sunshiney type of mommy post—the kind I happen to be so terrible at writing—there is no answer, because there is no problem. It’s just a celebration of motherhood or children or you or gratipositude or being one with your inner some such. And that is totally fine. I’m just not likely to read it. But mostly, in the vent and moan style posts, what the writers are looking for are shows of support and understanding. That is wonderful for those who find it helpful, but I’m action-oriented. I don’t want to vent; I want solutions.
Pro Tip: sending me a recipe is not a solution in my world.
3. I don’t fit in with other mom bloggers.
I want to—oh how I truly want to. But I think the reason I was such a voracious consumer of mommy blogs and parenting articles back before I actually had kids is that I was so excited to be entering the mom club, secret handshake at all. Now that I’ve succeeded in keeping between a child alive for the past four years (two children, actually, for over two years now!), I am finding that I am getting my inspiration as a writer, and in the other roles I play, from many other aspects of my life—just as I did before motherhood. Parenting is just one aspect of who I am and what my interests are, and I think I’m outing myself right now as a non-career mommy blogger (hint: the “working moms” part of this website refers to the day jobs we all perform when we’re not blogging). I just don’t fit in because I’m not like, ALL MOM ALL THE TIME.
And then there’s the subtler ways that I don’t fit the mom blogger stereotype. For example, I don’t like to trash my DH, ever, not even in a cutesy “my husband forgot to give Mackenzie her pink Frozen water bottle she likes best for school because OMG OF COURSE HE DID” way. Actually, strike that, because see, that’s not even cute. I refuse to subscribe to the “husbands are always incompetent and the mom automatically does everything better” meme.
I can hear you out there now. B-But, I don’t do that either! And lots of moms do blog about how great their husbands are! And your use of the word ‘husband’ is heteronormative by the way! But truly, you do know what I mean when you catch me generalizing for the sake of a post. Of course these things don’t apply to everyone, but they are familiar tropes in the mom blogging world, and that is actually my point: we have our commonalities, but we also have a myriad of other things that make us different, in good ways. There’s a certain uniformity in the world of mom bloggers, and I fall out of step with that at times, both in terms of my own writing and in what I choose to read online.
4. I would rather make friends with moms than read parenting blogs.
I like reading blogs about obscure, bizarre, and sometimes even disturbing topics. You know why? Because I appreciate that there are bloggers out there writing about this stuff, but I don’t actually want to meet these people in real life. Like this cool blog about chirurgeons, which I found by accident the other day when I was Googling neo-victorianism and steampunk culture, which I am wont to do. Don’t get me wrong, chirurgeon lady, because you seem very smart and cool and I would probably totally hang with you in real life. But, uh, I don’t seek to form a personal connection with you in order to further explore … whatever it is you’re doing there. Keep on keeping on.
On the other hand, I do want to talk to other parents and reflect in real time about our mutual challenges and differing viewpoints. I would find a lot more meaning in having coffee with a friend and discussing our preschoolers, even if just to share and pass time, than I would in Googling issues with preschoolers so I can read about some stranger’s preschooler on her blog.
5. I have more productive ways to spend my time.
I’ve been reading about this low-information diet phenomenon. I’m not likely to try it, because I freaking love information.
However, I do see the value in whittling down our media consumption, not for the sake of sheer minimalism, but in order to cull the wheat from the chaff. From time to time, I will indulge in a particularly juicy post, one that poses a new question for us to consider as parents, or does an exceptional job placing a tired topic in a fresh light. But I will wait for these articles to come find me, in a sense, rather than seeking them out. Also, in the case of bloggers with whom I disagree, I don’t want to waste my time, energy, and good mood getting riled up and leaving angry comments. I haven’t done that in a long time, and I hope that’s a trend that continues. The non-judgmental stance of CTWM has helped me with that to some extent, but every so often, the urge to fight someone who is wrong on the internet rears its ugly head. A good way to suppress that urge is to just avoid reading blog posts written from a perspective with which I vehemently disagree.
Now that I’ve concluded my list . . . please keep reading my blog! But honestly, if you want to stop now, I totally get why.
[computer and cheesecake via wikimedia commons]
4 thoughts on “Mom Blogger Confession: I Don’t Read Other Parenting Blogs”
Thank you for your honesty! And number four. Now pardon me while I go make another cup of coffee and steal another piece of my toddler’s Halloween candy (I’d prefer wine, but I still have to get work done today).
Melanie — I always love your posts. And this is so much how I feel, most of the time. Except for when I’m griping about my DH. Which, by the way, I feel a little embarrassed about doing now. But that’s ok … because it’s just me being honest as it’s occasionally something that causes me enormous frustration. I will continue to read your posts though because I long for honesty, and sometimes jagged perspective. Thanks for another good one.
I adore your writing, so I will be one of the ones continuing to read your blogs. 🙂
YESSSSSSS! Thanks for the props. Mostly, I seek to entertain people. If what I’m writing is neither informative nor funny, it doesn’t go up!