Recently I had the (mis)fortune to read a blog post about the Perfect Mother.
I’m not going to link it but to loosely paraphrase, us ‘honest’ mummy bloggers need to pull ourselves together, make a from scratch Annabel Karmel meal for our perfectly scrubbed and dressed children and never complain. EVER.
I didn’t agree with this post at all, in fact I found it a little irresponsible, but it did get me to thinking.
What is our role as a parenting/mummy blogger?
I am only just starting to feel comfortable labelling myself as a blogger. Until very recently I simply considered myself to be a woman with an opinion, wine and WiFi.
I’m just not happy with labels (I spent my whole time at art school denying I was a feminist artist when I clearly ticked the boxes) But, here I am, a blogger and more specifically a parenting/mummy blogger and, whether I like it or not I feel I may have some slight responsibility.
I was never one for reading blogs, it was only once I became a parent they actually became a bit of a life line for me.
I’d find myself in the middle of the night with an unsettled baby, an empty bank account thanks to Ebay ‘bargains’ and a lot of questions or self doubt as a new mum. So where did I turn? Why, your friend and mine Google of course. And, inevitably a click would link to a blog.
If I was exhausted and feeling useless did I want to read ‘get dressed and stop being actively crap at your job’?
To my poor tired brain that read as ‘you’re a failure, you are letting your child down and probably everyone else around you including the cat….ESPECIALLY the cat’
What I wanted to read was the experiences of parents in similar situations. Parents telling me that they had really hard times but got over it. Telling about that one day the whole family had a pyjama day and no one suffered one little bit or that giving their child smiley faces for tea with a Fruit Shoot did not instantly result in type 2 diabetes.
None of us went into parenting thinking it would be a piece of cake, we were all well prepared for the massive changes in our lives but maybe some of us weren’t entirely prepared for the mental and physical effect it would have on us, the stuff that people didn’t seem to talk about and so we look to the internet for answers. To see a post saying ‘you chose to be a parent, suck it up’ just isn’t helpful.
And so I say to all the ‘honest’ mummy bloggers out there, keep being honest.
Keep telling your tales of tantrums in Sainsburys (yours and theirs), play dates from hell and cake for tea (or a refined sugar free flapjack made in a moment of ‘supermum’ madness).
Celebrate their survival and yours with a glass of wine once they’re in bed.
If you’re like me you’ll assume no one is reading what you have to say but something you share just might make one very exhausted and overwhelmed new parent feel better about themselves and how they’re doing.
This post first appeared on www.meetothermums.com