Wednesday, July 30

Thoughts on Mom(my) Blogging

by Ajike Akande 

Blogging about parenting has become so big over the past few years.  I enjoy the parenting blog, but I should admit, that I typically read parenting blogs written by moms.  It’s certainly not because I don’t think that all parents have interesting perspectives on parenting, it’s just that I like to obsessively compare myself to other people so I try to at least have gender identification in common with the blogger whose work I am reading. 

Based on my limited research, there seems to be three types of mom(my) bloggers.  

1.  The Pinterest Mom
She is all look at me in my clean and enviable organized house.  I cook all the things; I teach all the things; my children have all the morals, and all the soft and hard skills that reflect all the intelligences.  I also happen to live somewhere that never has winter or rain, except when it conveniently adds to the mystic beauty of my day.  My kids are conventional looking or strikingly beautiful.  I’m also a photographer on the side so everything looks even better in my photos.  If I have all the money, I have access to many more things than everyone else, but I never mention this.  If I have only a little of the money, I like to share my tips on living on less and perfectly couponing.  I’m probably married, and straight and white and able-bodied.  If I’m not, not only am I Pinterestly perfect, I’m also marginalized so you should read my blog because then you can say how brave and strong I am (We love to point out the strength and braveness of people who are marginalized, which is another way of othering, but that’s a different rant.). 

2.  The Self-Deprecating Mom
She is all I get you.  I see you.  I am you.  I’m tired and my house is messy and my kids are making me crazy.  I suck at cooking but I do it most days except when I take out the frozen nuggets (chicken, fish or veggie) and serve those.  I loathe all those moms who post their perfect meals, including the school lunches that are pieces of art, all over Pinterest to make me feel bad.  I wear “mom jeans” or slightly stained work clothes.  My kids swear and tear the house apart and forget everything, everywhere, but they reach out to the lonely kid at school and help the neighbours and write me chocolate stained notes reminding me that they love me and I’m the best mom ever.  My life is a mess but I guess I’m doing something right because my kids are loving and confident, and creative and a gift to the world.  I make you feel okay about not being perfect (nobody is sister) but my posted photos, like yours show the world that my kids are better than alright.

3.  The “I’m–The-Worst-Mother-Ever-And-I’m-Not-Afraid-To-Prove-It” Mom
She is all like here are all the ways that I suck – in a list because lists are the bomb-digitty in the blogging world.  My kids are impossible and I don’t deal with it well.  I look like crap all the time and I drink too much wine and eat too much chocolate.  My kids are probably the same as anyone else’s – loving, healthy, sick, somewhere on the ability continuum, a bully, bullied, etc..., and like most kids, they will be better than fine in the end.  I am perfect when you need late night laughs and reassurance that compared to me; you are the best parent ever.  You’re welcome, by the way. 

That’s how I see the Mom(my) Bloggers out there. I obsess over the perfect Pinterest moms, especially the ones with large families and children with special needs.  Every time I read one of these perfect mom blogs, I walk away from my computer and whine to Wife about how other moms can handle raising many children and children with special needs.  “If they can do it why can’t I?  And they even cook!  I never cook!  What’s wrong with me?  I’m the worst.  Why am I the worst?  And you know what Wife?  You’re the worst too.  We are the actual WORST together!" But then I post this picture on Facebook:

And then I’m all “look at my perfect, beautiful children” right? 

I regularly look to the self-deprecating moms for virtual, and totally one-sided friendship.  Whether they work outside of the home or in the home, whether they have many or few children, whether those children are developmentally typical or not, healthy or not, we are the same.  They get me.  I get them.  And mostly, they make me feel hopeful, but sometimes, they make me feel like a total failure because in this mothering competition (It is soooo a competition!) everyone, even self-deprecating mom is beating me. 

They post photos like this too:

Pictured: The Littles swimming in an entire bag of $9 organic, gluten-free cornflakes that they dumped on the floor.  Self–deprecating mom's caption reads: “I can’t manage my kids, but aren’t they adorable?”

I occasionally glance at the blogs written by the “I’m–The-Worst-Mother-Ever-And-I’m-Not-Afraid-To-Prove-It” moms but honestly discovering that we have many things in common, makes me feel as bad about myself as discovering how little I have in common with the Pinterest moms.  At least from the Pinterest moms I can learn a few things! 

As I hashed out a description of the three types of Mom(my) Bloggers, it occurred to me that I may actually be all three types of bloggers at different times.   Hmmm… interesting and so self-reflective.

Anyway a good friend told me that I may be getting close to being one of those mom(my) bloggers who make other moms feel badly about their mothering.  If that is the case, Girlfriend, I’m sorry.  That is not my intention.   Let me tell you something, you know how Rome wasn’t built in a day?  Well, children aren’t raised in a day.  And we can thank the creator for that, because for most of us, most parts of most days are a sh%t-show.  And when it’s not?  Total win for that day!  Truthfully, I think we are all messing up  this mothering thing except for a few blogging mothers who actually are doing it all right.  I have list of their names and web addresses .  Contact me if you would like this list so you never accidently land on their blogs and totally give up because you’re obviously so far at the back of the race, you’re not even really part of it anymore.  I kid you not, some mothers are out of our league and we just shouldn’t play with them! 

Keep on, keepin’ on friends.
XO Ajike


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful family!!!

Staysh said...

Oh my god I laughed out loud! We are most days of the s$&t show variety but yes a total win when it's not! This week was first week that our 4 are officially in school and everyone is still alive = big win:) I totally troll pinterest haha, you know so I can think about all the amazing ways to organize the kids rooms which I'll never do ;) thanks for the great blog! :) Stacia