The Mommy Blogs

This is the post I was referring to the other day.  Please note, before you read, that THIS IS NOT A POST TO BASH ON MOMMY BLOGS.  This is simply a post making a few observations about blogging in general.  Please don’t read anything between the lines.  I enjoy looking at pictures of your kids just as much as you enjoy posting them.

That being said, here we go…

Something has been irking me lately, and I haven’t had the wherewithal to sit down and actually write through it, so here I go…


Voyeurism at its Best

I read a blog a while ago that disturbed me.  It was a blog by a LDS woman who has a GRUNDLE of readers.  I’m talking comments by the 1000’s.  The top story when I visited was a “secrets” post where commenters would reply anonymously with their deepest, darkest secrets.

As I read through a few of them, I was deeply disturbed.  These were soul-destroying, life-altering, family-betraying things that people were just causally posting on the wide open internet, all served up with a hefty dose of guilt, shame, and a follow-on promise to never tell anyone and let the problem perpetuate.

Then I start to think of the people involved in this – your friends and neighbors.  The ones who drive your kid’s carpool, coach their basketball team, and teach the Sunday School lesson on Sunday.  In their off time, they retreat to the supposed anonymity of the internet and air their dirty laundry for all the world to see.

Things like this have gone on ever since Crazy Uncle Albie invented the internet, but I have only recently seen it hit a new level and availability with the ‘Mommy Blogs.’

So let’s have a chat… about what a blog is, why people blog, and what bugs me about some bloggers.

Navel Gazing

Navel gazing is a fun hobby.  Navel gazing is examining something (usually involving yourself or your own life) which is absolutely irrelevant to anything.  Navel gazing is the fascination with the useless and uninteresting.  In a certain sense, it’s the definition of this blog and most blogs out there.  I mean, you can only write so long before your writing about the same aspects of your life and personality over and over again.  Life is really only slightly interesting for most of us – most of us have pretty mundane, run-of-the-mill lives.

‘Mommy Blogs’ are also navel gazers, but to a stronger degree.  Some have fun, interesting content.  Some of the stories literally have me falling out of my chair with laughter.  But by and large, most of them are boring rehashes or useless diatribes on some irrelevant detail of their mundane personal life (and of course, throw in a picture of a kid).

This is absolutely fine if your audience is your family, your friends, and those who you expect to care about such things.  No sweat!  I’m not bashing you (see prologue).

I am bashing on those bloggers who write out about the most mundane, uninteresting, unoriginal things, who give no original thought or perspective to their life, and expect to (and in some cases become) incredibly popular and widely read.

See, some of them actually think other Mommies are interested in and care what they write about – but honestly, many don’t.  Mostly, they are out there looking for the proverbial scratch-on-the-back telling them how cute they (or their kids) are… which leads me to comments…

i wuz here

When I was in elementary school, I remember it suddenly becoming popular to write ‘i wuz here’ everywhere you went; on the chalkboard, scratched into the desk, in the sandbox at recess… everywhere.  We were young, budding graffiti artists!

I love commenting on blogs.  Mostly, because I enjoy saying something unexpected or in some other way adding to the conversation that the blogger started. Sadly, most comments I read on Mommy blogs contain hundreds of fun-but-meaningless comments. They just as well could have written ‘i wuz here’.

Really, that’s what they really want… Ok.. we… I’ll include myself here.  That’s what we really want.  We just want to know someone is out there and listening.  If you don’t have anything useful to say, but want to them to know you care and you read, then just post ‘i wuz here.’  It’ll be our new little thing, k?

Are You Just a Trail Horse?


To illustrate my point further about the blogging popularity contest, I’ll tell you about horses.  I’m no equestrian expert, so I grossly lump the horses I have known into three different types of horse categories: trail horses, wild horses, and ‘awesome’ horses.

Trail horses are completely useless to me.  They simply stick their nose up the rear end of the horse in front of them and walk in a line.  Don’t even try to get them to go anywhere else or do anything else.  They have no free spirit and have been trained and ‘broken’ beyond repair.  They are a total bore to ride.

Then there’s the wild horse – the ones who not even experienced cowboys will attempt to ride.  These horses are incredibly spirited, but also absolutely useless.  You can’t approach them, use them, or get anything but a toddler-like tantrum out of them.  I run away from them.  They’re bigger than me and have no qualms with trampling me.

Then there’s the “awesome” horses.  I call these awesome horses because they’re spirited, powerful and independent, but still obedient to their rider.  These horses make decisions themselves about the terrain and speed, but bend to the suggestions of the bit and the spur when pressure is applied.

The pantheon of Mommy Blogs I was referring to before, are largely just a huge a boring trail horse ride – each one with its nose up the one in front of them, dragging along merrily.  They are blissfully unaware of their lack of originality, and don’t seem to understand that they are reading the same thing as they are writing all day long – over and over again.  They depend on each other for their direction, speed, power, and energy.  They think they’re having a good time, but are completely unaware of the possibilities around them, and their own power as a horse.

So I really just shake my head at those bloggers who go on a blog popularity binge, amassing thousands of eBFF’s, and pretending that they are something amazing gift to the blogosphere, when all they have done is jumped in the trail horse line with 1000 trail horses behind them and 1000 ahead of them.

The Conclusion

Be an “awesome” horse: spirited, original, independent, willing to really let loose and show your personality on your blog. Be yourself, and enjoy blogging for what it is.  Blog for yourself and those who really know and love you (in real life), and don’t expect to become some overnight internet sensation.  (Lessons I have learned, yo.)

We all blog for different reasons, and I suspect that long after no one reads this blog anymore, I’ll still keep blogging just to hear myself speak.

Because I’m just that crazy.

14 thoughts on “The Mommy Blogs”

  1. So here’s what I think about this post:

    1) You’ll only get into trouble with this because you associated a stereotyped gender to the phenomenon you are observing and not because of what you observed. AND because, let’s be honest, anytime someone says anything (good or bad) about LDS-stay-at-home-moms they’ll be sure to offend someone whether they stay at home or not. (not exactly sure why that is, but maybe it’s because we feel like we always have to defend our decisions for some reason…but whatever, that’s a different topic)
    2) You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the blogger’s ‘audience.’ This is what really irks me. For some reason, it’s fine to post day-in-day-out mundane things about your family and kids when your audience is just that- your family and close friends. But, HELLO…when you post things on the internet – that is NOT your audience anymore. And people, maybe mommy bloggers are more likely to, forget that. Whether they leave a comment or not, you could have 1000 creepy, nasty stalkers reading about your kids by name and you’d never even know it. You post info all about them, pictures, where you live, and what you do during the day. That’s what I don’t like about most mommy blogs. If you want your audience to be people you trust, DON’T create a blog for all the world to read!!!
    3) I understand that most of these bloggers probably blog with the intention that they are helping to keep ties with family. OK if they are distant- but, here comes the soap box again….don’t let your blog replace real, in-person communication. Call your grandparents that live far away and then talk about your kids the way you blog about them! When was the last time you actually had a conversation with those people that you trust about the kinds of things you end up writing about on your blog?!?

    I think that you (WE) blog for different reasons than some (hence this post that’s really about WE’s take on quality writing). So the real question for WE’s readership is:
    What is the purpose of your blog? Who is your audience? and have you even considered that before you sat down and started typing??

    Okay, I’m done. =)

  2. I wuz here.

    I am a SAHM LDS mom and I am not offended.

    I think unless you know the person (the “mommy”) and her family really really well, then you read one mommy blog, you have read them all. So I guess I agree with your trail horse analogy.

  3. New to any kind of blogging I enjoyed your comments about mommy blogs. HOWEVER, as a new author of a book called Basic Training for a Safe Trail Horse, I’m obligated to describing for you the trail riding that I know. My trail horse performs at judged trail rides where he and I work as a team to navigate obstacles along a ten mile trail. We have no idea of what we will have to do at each obstacle until a judge’s assistant explains it to me. Then I use words and body-cues to explain it to my horse as he and I work together to do what the assistant told us. Of course, this is for pleasure and is a fun competition that offers a chance to win over other horse and rider teams and their performances, BUT it is to give you a new notion of what a trail horse is to those of us who ride trails for recreation!

  4. I waz here. I am not offended and I am a total mommy blogger. But I also don’t care if anyone reads it even family. I hardly take time to post and when I do it is so I don’t forget things that happen ect.

  5. It’s OK Ashley. Dont’ feel bad. As you can see, I went ahead and did whatever-the-heck I wanted anyway… which is usually what i do. 🙂 (oops… now that I’m getting a wife, I think she has a say too…)

  6. I am gonna laugh my fanny off when you slide into mommy blog land after you have kids of your own. hahaha

  7. You crack me up! How do you have time to write all these essays? I hope you’re going to publish a book some day. Anyway, I think there’s other horses out there… what about race horses and show horses and work horses? I’ve got a work horse for a husband and I don’t mind being a show horse on my blog. I totally know what you mean about the boring blogs – I have one, but it doesn’t matter. At least boring is consistent and predictable. The comment thing is funny too – you never see someone write, “Your kids are kind-of ugly. I don’t really care what you did today.” 🙂 I makes me think of the yearbook entries too – “It was nice getting to know you better this year. Hope we have more classes together next year. Have a great summer!”

  8. *Side note: See, this is the point where I try to find, again, where I fit in the blogging world. I’m LDS, and a blogger, but not a mommy. I’m married, so I don’t have one of those exciting working-socializing-singleton blogs. I’m at an awkward age.

    I do agree with what you’re saying, though. And I agree with TLS about how you read one mommy blog (Mormon or not) and you’ve read them all. I have a few e-buds who could be called ‘mommy bloggers’ who write interesting, funny posts as well as picture posts of the kiddies. I can only handle masses of kiddie pics from my family and close friends!

    My strongest thought on this post is mommy blogs and privacy. I’ve had 2 family members go private when they had kids, which I wholly support. Putting everything out there for everyone to see – especially your home and your children – needs a lot of thought and consideration. It’s why I ask permission before posting pics of my friends or nieces & nephews, and why I don’t post pics of my hubby, or give away very many clues as to exactly where we live. It’s important to guard our privacy – once that’s gone, there’s no getting it back.

    End rant. I wuz here! C/o 96 ROCKS!!

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