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Ouch

 |  Interwebs, WTF

I got called a mommy blogger yesterday. Ouch. It was a harmless remark, included in an otherwise genuine question, not intended to offend. And yet nearly 24 hours later I’m still thinking about it.

I guess what bothers me the most, aside from my distaste for the “PPP” / sponsored posts crap that most ‘mommy bloggers’ tend to involve themselves with, is the order of the words: Mommy. Blogger.

Now, I’ve been blogging for over 10 years. I’ve been a “mommy” (ick) for nearly 2. By my calculations, that’s a good 8 years of blogging where I’ve not been a mother. Even if I’d blogged about motherhood, babies, poo, breastfeeding and who knows what else each day since the conception of my child, the post count would still not come anything close to the total of non-parenting blog entries I have (or had) in my entire blogging history. My blogging is not defined by my ‘status’ as a mother, any more than Karl’s is defined by his as a father, or my sister’s as an aunt, or my child-free friends by their “lack” of offspring.

I am not a mommy blogger. I am just a blogger.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

21 comments so far

  1. Ann said:

    I disagree. Blogging is what you do now, not the past collection of previous posts. You blog mostly about child-related stuff now, so though I wouldn’t call you the absolute epitome of what people recognise as a “mommy blogger” and I personally wouldn’t identify you as one because I have known you for longer, right now, you are one. And I’m not in the least bit surprised that the new readership you’ve gained since having Isabel, and probably before that as well, now see you as one too.

    But don’t worry, that’s not intended to offend either. And your self worth certainly shouldn’t be remotely tied into your internet identity – you’ve been involved in enough drama to know that by now.

    • Jem said:

      My child related posts are about 50/50 with the other random crap (and that’s not counting the posts you don’t get to see that aren’t published here). But, this is missing the point. Why do I have to be labelled based on motherhood?Nobody calls me a “cat blogger” (to my knowledge) because I have blogged frequently about my pets. Nobody has ever called me a dentistry blogger because I’m always moaning about my teeth. Why a mommy blogger?

      For the record, I don’t really have any new readership – aside from the odd comment here and there from ‘stray’ mums via twitter, it’s still the same ol’ same ol’.

      • Ann said:

        Interesting about your readership. Still, I have to say your child related posts are the really interesting ones. They’re the ones I remember, they’re the ones you’re obviously passionate about and have something to say about. And everybody is labeled by what they say, do and think. Human nature. I don’t think it’s a massive deal to be labeled with something you’re passionate about.

  2. Sarai said:

    I must admit, sometimes I get the mommy blogger vibe from some of your entries talking about breast feeding and Isabel so I can see why people might label you as such. It’s definitely going to happen. People love putting labels on things. They also live in the present. If you so happen to blog more about child rearing now than you did in the past, you’ll be remembered for the now, not what was before, and that’s not always a bad thing. Embrace it!

  3. Meggan said:

    I dunno… you’re a mom and you blog? Seems pretty straightforward to me.
    That said, I think a lot of people don’t realize the connotation – I dislike being called a “mommy blogger” too, and find it kind of… dismissive? But truthfully, I am a mom and I blog, hence I can understand why someone might (either unknowingly or not) use “mommy blogger” to describe me.

  4. Stephanie said:

    The problem here is that you are not (and should not be) defined by your role as a mother, but for some fucking reason, the world seems to be under the impression that the most important thing a woman would do ever is be a mother and/or wife (preferably both). Therefore, once you become a mother, everything you do for some reason must revolve around your kids. Which is total bullshit. You are Jem, interested in a million things — and your daughter. You blogged about your life before you had a kid — now you have a kid, she’s obviously a part of your life, so it makes sense you’d blog about her too. You’re not doing anything new here — just a new component was added to your life. It’s bullshit that your blog is now automatically colored by your status as a mother simply for BEING A MOTHER and not for blogging solely about mommy things.

    Argh, feminist hulk smash.

      • Stephanie said:

        Haha, hell no. It’s patriarchal bullshit at it’s finest. There are plenty of male bloggers who are fathers, and yet they aren’t immediately daddy bloggers, now are they? Nope, women are defined by being mothers and wives — it’s what good little girls do, after all, so therefore once we become those things, it pervades our very lives and it becomes our identity. Men are allowed to have multiple identities — their career identity, their parent identity, their hobby identities — and they’re all equal. But for some reason, in women, their mother identity is supposed to outweigh and overshadow your other identities; I’m not saying it’s not an important identity, but I AM saying that your other identities as a programmer and as an individual and whatever else are JUST as important in making up who you are.

        I’m ranting again, aren’t I?

      • Jem said:

        “But for some reason, in women, their mother identity is supposed to outweigh and overshadow your other identities”

        The irony, of course, is that I’d never felt as undermined, undervalued and judged as I have since I became a mother. We’re to blame for anything and everything, apparently.

    • Melissa said:

      What Stephanie said is exactly how I feel! I don’t get why, once a woman becomes a mother, she is not allowed to be anything else. And gasp, god forbid you still dabble in things that you enjoyed before becoming a mother! Why are fathers allowed to have lives outside of parenting, but mothers are not?

  5. Mumblies said:

    I’m happy to be a mum/mommy but refuse to blog. Why on earth would I want to inflict my self opinionated crud onto other people? As if anyone would read it anyway. You stay as you are Jem, you are damned good at it. You blog and you also happen to be a mum too.

  6. Julie said:

    Well, you are a “mommy blogger”, just not a “mommy blogger”. You’re a mommy and a blogger, but we cannot contain the whole of you in only that.

  7. Stephanie said:

    To me, a mommy blogger is just a mommy who also happens to be a blogger. You are not one of those mommy bloggers.

    I am grateful for the existence of mommies who blog, like you. I learn a lot about parenting and life with a job and a kid. As a twenty-year-old who’s slightly fearful of the future, the extra knowledge that I get from you is awesome.

  8. Kitty said:

    You’re a mother and a blogger, that’s a fact. But it doesn’t have to equate to “mommy blogger” just because that’s what a lot of other moms out there are.
    Eh sorry for the broken English. :)

  9. Adrianne said:

    Maybe I’m just being oblivious in the “blogging” scene, but never really thought that there’s labeling going on among bloggers. But you’re a blogger, Jem, regardless of what you blog about, be it about parenting, PHP or Pants Awards. Is there a “rule” that you’re no longer just a blogger in general if you write about parenting? Are there any “daddy bloggers” out there where male bloggers talk about parenting (I’m sure there are out there)? I just find it amusing. :)

    Don’t let the whole “mommy blog” label get to you, Jem. More power to you always. :)

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