Another Project Purse Club member sent me a blog post earlier that made me ... sad. It's from a woman blogger and the title of the post is "Top Ten Reasons I Hate Mommybloggers."
As the creator of this site--a site that is based around lifting women up without judgment no matter what--it truly makes me sad to see women grouped together and someone commenting on them as a whole.
I've met the author of the post at a conference and I want to say that this is not in any way a bashing post or a post to put her down. I just want to comment on her points to give my experiences that are different from hers.
Author writes: "1.) I hate the term [mommy blogger] itself"
I think her point is valid because there are so many bloggers who are real writers--many with journalism, business and other degrees--who want to be categorized as more than just a "mommy blogger" (even though they write about their families).
I'm actually OK with being called a "mommy blogger." Many companies don't mean anything derogatory by it, it's just a "category" for them--like travel blogger or fashion blogger. I'm published in the medical academic arena (yes, I write medical books, sorry to let you know that boring fact about me) as well as other places, and as a professional writer the tag "mommy blogger" doesn't bother me. However, I can see how many moms who are also bloggers would want to stay away from it.
Author writes: "2.) Many mommybloggers are secretly bitches."
Wow. This once made me wince. (You probably know why.)
It makes me sad that this is the author's experience because this is so not my experience. Are there snarky, back-stabbing moms out there who blog? Of course, but there are also those kind of women who are like that in every other industry. I try to stay away from those people because I think they are creating drama where there is no drama. Instead, I've created relationships with mom bloggers who are supportive and uplifting and are more likely to be secretly great (and humble!) instead of secretly mean. Many of these women have become my closest friends and we support and talk about everything. We've been there to support each other in very trying times in our lives.
Author writes: "3.) Ohmygod the Money."
The author's point here was that we can't say what we want on our mommy blogs because we afraid sponsors won't choose us and "getting free swag from sponsors is why many people blog."
Personally, this has never been a concern for me. I have always been 100% myself on my blogs--language, photos, confessions and all. I don't want to work with sponsors who want me to be different because it wouldn't be a good fit for me and my readers. I find many other bloggers like that, too.
Also, "getting free swag from sponsors is why many people blog" was true ... about five years ago. However, bloggers are serious now and looking to get paid for their work. Many mommy bloggers turn down a multitude of free stuff every week because we want to get paid for our work. (Diet Coke, if you're reading, CALL ME. We can totally work out some free exchanges.)
Author writes: "4.) They Aren’t Writing Anything."
I think this is a just a preference thing. Some people come to my blog to read about my cat. (He's the most searched term on my blog. Yep.) Some people come to see the silly cartoon movies about things my husband and I argue about. Some come to read reviews about products. This is my full-time job and I really do write stuff ... and people even read it.
Also, I feel like I'm writing about many important things, especially when I catalog things my kid does/says so that she will have her own life story when she grows up. Dude, I NEVER filled those baby books out. It's the only thing she will have!
Author writes: "5.) They Do It Like It’s Their Job."
I blog like it's my job ... because it is. Since 2005 I've been blogging as a full-time job, and yes I make money from it in many different ways. I do SO LITTLE marketing for my businesses now, it is all done just by virtue of my blog and connections I make through my blog.
Many "mommy bloggers" blog as part-time (and make money from it!) while they are working full-time during the day elsewhere. These moms are transitioning into being work-at-home moms through their blogs. (GO GIRLS!)
Author writes: "6.) Seriously, Shut the Fuck Up About Your Kid."
This one made me laugh because if you're a "mommy blogger" you're going to write about, um, your kids. I write about my kid for many reasons: she makes me laugh so I know others will enjoy it, she makes me crazy and I hope others will relate, and parenting sometimes sucks and I just need plain old support.
I know that there's an audience for people, generally moms, who relate to my blog and are going to read it. Other people (like single dating women or men who like NASCAR) aren't going to relate to my blog and they won't read it or follow me on social media. I'm OK with that.
Author writes: "7.) I’m Just Jealous and I Don’t Fit In."
The author goes on to state, "Yeah, probably. I don’t get invited to the momblogger meetings. Not that I want to hang out with some of these condescending bitches anyway. I’ve seen how they act at the conferences. It’s like high school all over again."
I'm not going to comment on this one because I really don't know her well enough. (Meeting in passing a couple of times at a conference really isn't enough to comment about someone. And that's not why we're here anyway, right?) However, we all feel this way, ALL OF US are self-conscious and feel like this when we go to conferences. Why do we do this? Why can't women get over it? Weird, right? We need more discussion about this as a group.
Author writes: "8.) Too Few of Them Are Actually Cool Moms."
I think the title was misrepresenting for this section. I actually agreed with the author on most of this section, which boiled down to what she wrote here: "Blogging has given women a voice we never otherwise would have had. But the good voices are hard to hear above the masses of clutter."
I can't disagree with that; however, we don't need to expect bloggers to be journalists. I read a few FANTASTIC blogs from BRILLIANT women who stream-of-consciousness write (without correcting grammar, etc.). Their writing is amazing. I think one of the great things about the blogging community is the imperfection. It gives people who are super interesting and can tell a story the platform to do that without being intimidated if they don't have a writing degree. I appreciate that because that's how an authentic person comes out.
Author writes: "9.) So Many Are One Trick Ponies."
The author says, "There are many mommybloggers who have found their niche audience and their exact post style and they stick to it. Read the last 50 posts they’ve written and they all sound the same."
I, personally, don't see anything wrong with this. Many successful fiction writers follow this same formula. And, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Right? If it works for you and your blog, go for it!
Author writes: "10.) The “Mommy”ness."
"Motherhood is only one aspect of our lives as women, and I’m not sure it’s the one that should define us."
I agree with this from the author. It is only one aspect, which is why many "mommy bloggers" write about other things that interest us on our blogs--some of that includes our kids, some of it doesn't.
You know, we talk a lot here about women supporting women without judgment. The majority of you joined this network citing "tired of mean girl mentality in blogging." However, what are we really doing about it?
Well, here's our chance.
I want to see more posts lifting women up, don't you?
If you have a blog or a business site, I would like to encourage you this week (by Sunday, March 3, 2013) to write a post titled "X [x being how many reasons you want to come up with] Reasons Why I Love Women Bloggers. I think it's a great way to remind ourselves (and others) that there is a huge network of women in blogging and we can be supportive of each other. Remember, this isn't about bashing the author of the original post. She's certainly entitled to her opinions and we should respect that. This is about celebrating why you love being in a network of other women bloggers!
Join me this week in showing others some #pursepact action? Also, spread it on your network so that other female bloggers can write about it!
When you have written your post, come back here and leave the link in the comments and I'll compile them into one amazing list of women who are changing the climate! YAY! Also, use #pursepact when Tweeting or Facebooking about it.
READY! SET! GO!
PS: Women rock!