Some of my lovely readers may have seen an article published in the Daily Mail today which fundamentally brandished modern parenting bloggers as “slummy mummies” hell bent on hating their off spring and sharing their mothering fails on social media for the sole purpose of gathering likes and followers. It went on to further name call some of the most popular and well liked mummy bloggers and I’m saddened to say the terms selfish, neglectful, gin-soaked and foul-mouthed were used more than once.
I’m outraged that this article was ever even published, not just because I consider myself (all be it in a very small way!) a part of the parenting blogger pack but mainly because it’s writer (ironically enough also the author of parenting book The Pushy Mothers Guide!!!) completely missed the point of why there are so many successful parenting blogs on the same theme.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog posts modern women are under more pressure than ever before, encouraged and expected to maintain a flourishing career, a spotless home and become the epitome of a natural mother. Something’s gotta give, right? And it does! Sometimes our kids eat fish fingers and baked beans! Sometimes we let them watch TV for hours! Sometimes they drive us crazy because they won’t sleep, won’t eat, won’t shut the hell up! Does it mean we love them less, wanted them less, would change them, would be without them, neglect them for f*ck sake??
I started my blog 2 years ago, for several reasons. It had a lot to do with wanting an online diary of my motherhood journey, something to look back on to remember how hard and beautiful it simultanesouly was. But it had a great deal more to do with this… I was the first in my friend group to have a child, I lived 3 hours from my closest family and my partner worked full time. I had this gorgeous baby, had no clue what to do with him and was totally isolated and lonely. Baby blues swiftly followed. I reached out for something to reassure me it was all normal and I found blogs, hundreds of them. The so called “slummy mummies” behind these blogs told me it was all just normal! Stress, disappointment, parenting fails, mum guilt, they’d been through it too, it’s all part of it and usually whatever you’re feeling, it’s normal! These blogs don’t seek to glamorous neglectful parenting, nor do they only show the bad side of being a mum, they’re honest and thruthful and in the most part well rounded and without judgement. In an age where it’s reported that 80% of women experience some sort of “baby blues” and around 1 in 8 feel post natal depression so deeply that they seek medical help for it, it’s down right irresponsible that this article can call into question the worth of what wonderful bloggers like The Unmumsy Mum and Hurrah For Gin do with every blog post. They put themselves on the line, expose themselves to judgement and illuminate their own short comings to tell other mums that’s it’s ok not to be ok. In a time where even our Royal Family are making online videos where they speak honestly about the importance of Mental Health, advocating the need for openness and to break the taboo, should these bloggers not be applauded for making the decision to do just that?
I truly want the author of today’s Daily Mail article to ascend back up to the top of her high horse with her opinions firmly shoved up her arse but, what I want more is to let every parenting blogger know that you really do a great job, to let every mum know that there are other women going through it and that it is normal to feel however you’re feeling, continue to reach out and find things which make you smile in the dark times.
Oh, and last but not least, to the Daily Mail. I may be a mummy blogger or a “slummy mummy” to you, but today I fed my child at all the right times with all the right food, washed him, cleaned him, changed him, dressed him, read to him, loved him, laughed with him and treasured him.
And then I had a gin.
So up yours!