The Guardian has been writing about mummy blogs. And, not surprisingly, people have a lot to say about it.
I love the Guardian, but I’m not usually a big fan of Guardian commenters, who tend to be up their own ar**s. Some of them genuinely want to add to the discussion and have a debate, but most of them just want to say, “This article is the worst thing I’ve ever read and is so insulting to my vast intelligence that I need to express my displeasure in the snarkiest way possible.” It makes for pretty irritating reading, but at least the SHOUTY CAPS are kept to a minimum and words are mostly spelled correctly.
So there’s that.
The article is about the rise of ‘slummy mummies’ who write about the less glamorous aspects of parenting, like Hurrah for Gin and The Unmumsy Mum. Rather than posting Instagrammable pictures of their kids making homemade bread, they post pictures of themselves drinking wine in a toy-strewn living room.
I love these bloggers. They’re funny, talented writers who have created safe places for parents to admit that parenting isn’t all cuddles and crafts and family photos in matching jumpers. Sometimes it’s gross and weird, but laughter helps – and yes, so does wine.
Not everyone agrees, obviously. You can probably see where this is going.
Some comments on the article included:
Why don’t these morons just concentrate on bringing their children up to be decent people?
Johnny, us ‘morons’ are doing our best to raise our kids, but sometimes it’s f***ing hard. Sometimes we just need to laugh at the fact that our toddler put our keys in the toilet or threw a tantrum because we gave them the banana THAT THEY ASKED FOR.
Too many pretentious mothers around, all pretending they are not very good. Do they expect us to tell them they are doing well? A lot of attention seekers the lot of them!
Honda, I don’t think anyone is pretending here. The truth is, we all have days when we’re not very good parents. Some days we pack a yogurt for our toddler’s lunch but no bib – or wet wipes. Some days we let our kids eat food off the floor or stick their fingers up their nose. We don’t want people to tell us we’re doing well – we want them to say, “Hey, it’s okay – I’ve been there too.”
Get back to work then, too many mums have this lovely choice where they don’t have to get back on the ladder again. Lucky them but too much time introspecting about how they look just means they have too much time. Woe betide anyone who states this, as i’m probably about to find out!
Ah, the lovely choice of not going back to work! The choice that forces mothers to give up careers that they may have enjoyed and worked hard for because they can’t afford childcare. The choice to leave a paid job for an unpaid one with unlimited working hours and no benefits. The choice to go all day without having an adult conversation or peeing alone. What lucky women these mums are!
There were, however, some comments in support of these blogs:
If only someone had been writing this stuff when I had a newborn…I would have felt a lot less alone. Far better that people are sharing the trials and often sheer mind-numbing boredom of parenting rather than burying it all under a pile of Cath Kidson ‘tit tents’ and the latest designer buggies. Being a bit crap at parenting isn’t a lifestyle choice – it’s just the way it is sometimes. And thank God there are women out there now who are prepared to admit it. Leave ’em alone and stop getting all righteous about it.
I find the gin and wine-soaked mummy bloggers hilarious. They reflect how it is sometimes, with an honesty you just can’t share at the school gate. You will always get people who are offended or feel sidelined by such writing, but you have to remember the bloggers do ham it up for entertainment value & it’s not a complete reflection of their actual lives – that would be boring as hell!
These blogs are usually very funny. I’m a stay at home mum and have been for 3 and a half years now with a second child now too. I can spend a day without speaking to friends or other parents so find it quite entertaining and refreshing to read the posts. Most aren’t so much about the parenting side more the hilarious situations and things that kids do. It’s nice to have inner thoughts verbalised, a bit of a laugh and the unmumsy mum book is actually really touching in places.
The slummy mummy phrase is a bit misleading and I’m sure is often criticised by people who haven’t read the blogs or spent recent, prolonged time with preschoolers recently. It’s not more literal than the ‘yummy mummy’ thing (who aren’t any more edible than the others are neglectful)
As I scrolled through the comments, getting annoyed and buoyed in turn, one commenter put it all into perspective:
I’m a mum and I don’t feel the need to read blogs about being a mum. It’s pretty much accepted by all my mum friends that sometimes everything is wonderful and sometimes you feel like drinking at 8am. I don’t need to hear this from other mums in blog form but if others want to read them then that’s their business. I don’t think we need to get annoyed about it, take it or leave it.
A very reasonable approach to parenting blogs – and the internet, and life in general. If blogs about frustrated mums getting sloshed after the kids go to bed make you laugh or feel better about your own parenting, read them. If they don’t, don’t read them. Simple.
In the words of the wise and wonderful Amy Poehler: “Good for you, not for me.”