Hell Yes, I’m a Mommy Blogger


This article originally appeared in 24hrs Vancouver on May 21, 2008.

2008-05-17 mango (11)Don’t hate me, but I’m a daddy blogger.

I realized it this week when I looked down the article list at The Blog According to Buzz and found I had written more about the horrors of daycare and mango pits as teething aids than media and pop culture.

It’s not such a bad thing, I’m a new parent, it’s what my life is about right now and I’m meeting other new parents and sharing stories and support.

Heather Armstrong is perhaps the most famous parenting blogger on the internet. Online, she’s known as Dooce – a word that is also a verb. To be dooced is to be fired for writing about your work online. In 2002, Armstrong was fired as a graphic designer for writing about her experiences at a dot com startup. Since then she has told stories of depression, pregnancy, parenting and her family life in Utah. Her blog became so popular she didn’t need to look for another job and her husband quit his to handle the ad sales for Dooce.com.

Dooce was recently invited to be a guest on The Today Show, for an interview she thought would be about “the business of mommy-blogging,” she says on her site.

But host Kathie Lee Gifford quickly turned on her for posting photos of her children and writing about her family life before confessing, “I don’t know much about computers, and what I do know scares me.”

And therein lies the rub against parent bloggers. We’re accused of using our children and life experiences for personal gain by those who don’t really understand or appreciate what we’re doing.

Unlike Dooce, most parenting bloggers aren’t making full time income from their sites.

“If, by rich, you mean I’ve connected with some wonderful people from around the globe – then, yes!” laughs Carolyn, who writes at Laughing Alone in the Dark.

Carolyn doesn’t make any money from her site and admits she’s writing the blog for herself, and her daughter.

“Before I started blogging I was collecting tidbits of conversations and snippets of her days on slips of paper that I kept in a box. Sometimes I would forget to write the dates on the papers, sometimes I would loose a slip of paper,” she says. “I love writing about our daughter as a way of recording her life and the blog format works really well for me.”

Carolyn draws the line at posting photos of her daughter, Csilla, which is in contrast with Angella’s inspiration for her blog, Dutch Blitz.

“I started it almost three years ago as a means of allowing my Mom and other relatives see photos of my kids,” she says from her home in Kelowna.

“I now see my site as basically an extension of myself. I write about all aspects of my life. Whatever is on my heart that I need to get out.”

With or without the photos that so spooked Kathie Lee, all parenting blogs share one theme: the emotions, and struggles of life.

“I have three kids and it is hard to actually get together with other Moms,” says Angella. For her, the blog becomes “an outlet, and a community.”

“The comments and support I am showered with truly uplifts my spirit,” Carolyn confesses. “’Blogging it out’ is incredibly rewarding and a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy.”

Angella flinches a bit at being labeled a Mommy Blogger, mainly because of the tone.

“The term “Mommyblogger” has been shunned by many Moms who write online, mainly because it has a kind of “pigeon-hole” connotation.” But even she admits, “I am a Mom and I have a blog. That makes me a Mommyblogger.”

Dooce gives all parents reason to take to the keyboard and embrace the title.

“All this writing about motherhood is bringing people together and changing lives,” she writes. “So you go ahead and wrinkle your nose and dismiss those mommy blogs. And I’m going to sit over here at my laptop and be totally flattered that someone thinks I’m worthy to be among their ranks. Hell yes, I’m a mommy blogger.”

BLOGOSPHERE BUZZ

• If you want to start blogging and meeting other parents, first visit Blogger.com or WordPress.org to get started – both are free. Here are some other parenting blogs I read: Strollerderby, Geekdad and Parent Hacks.

• For those wanting to securely share photos with family without setting up a blog, check out Kinzin.com. You post pictures in your own private social network viewable only by those you invite. This Vancouver site also has a $4 monthly service where it will mail out pics to family who like the old school feel of photos.

• The Apple Store at Pacific Centre will open this Saturday morning at 10. There had been rumblings of a late summer opening, but Apple’s PR rep, Simon Atkins, has confirmed the early opening in the old Holt Renfrew site.

Cossette West is hosting Convergence 2008, a Digital Marketing and Communications Forum, at the Arts Club Theatre tomorrow. Marketers will be meeting to learn how to stay competitive in the ever-shifting digital landscape.

Megan Cole writes at Megsjargon.org about a great discovery to help her maintain her 40 day yoga challenge. YogaToday is a free online yoga class with new 60 minute sessions each day.

catch the buzz… pass it on.

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