Just a mommyblogger

First of all I had a blast at BlogHer this year!

Now here’s the rant. I kept hearing people say they were “just a mommyblogger” or “not just a mommyblogger”. Come on, people! To the women who say they’re “not like those mommybloggers”, think what you’re saying. Why do you have to distance yourself so carefully from that? Do you think it devalues what a person has to say, because they have a child and write from that as part of their identity?

This Military Mama and her baby
tara and baby

Mommybloggers are diverse. Moms write about politics, activism, technology, business, health, and everything you can think of, along with their work as parents.

It’s like saying “just a worker”. “Just a steelworker.” Would you dismiss a whole class of men that way, because they were talking or writing?

It’s a job. We write about it.

One of my favorite moments at the conference came during the session on national security, blogging, and the war, “Talking about War and Peace: How Women Are Changing the Security Debate” moderated by Lorelei Kelly. During the course of the session, everyone in the room described their interest in the topic, ranging from professional interest, having family in the military or having a military background, being political journalists, or anti-war activists. A young mom sat against the wall in the back of the room during the entire discussion, soothing and breastfeeding her tiny baby, listening with great interest. When it was her turn to speak, she said, “My husband’s on a submarine right now. I’m a Navy Wife. And the other navy wives I’m around all day on the base don’t understand why I’d be critical of this war even for a second, or have any doubts.” That’s why she blogs. It gives me chills to think of it.

And my mom told me after the conference that she usually doesn’t notice people much, but that now, post-BlogHer, she never could look at another woman she passes on the street without thinking, she has her own individual experience and perception, and is a uniquely interesting person.

Those two statements combine for me into one thought. As women we have rarely had moments of public interaction without being mediated and filtered by editors. Part of the power of our storytelling and unmediated position of having access to the means of cultural production, now, is that our voices are heard — for example, Military Mama’s descriptions of her own life — and we also see each other as people with voices — as my mom described her epiphany of others’ subjective position.

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11 Responses to Just a mommyblogger

  1. Kristin says:

    You are so awesome. Sitting next to you and your awesome martini at dinner -and surviving your mad driving skillz – were two highlights of the Conference for me.Like I said, coming to get you for lunch next time I'm there and can duck away from meetings.

  2. Biggie @ Lunch in a says:

    I totally get what you're saying about the "just a mommyblogger" comments, pro and con. I heard the same comments at the conference and was a little taken aback by them. It seemed unnecessarily belittling and contrary to the supportive, empowering spirit of the event. May I never hear that phrase from the lips of another woman blogger again!

  3. Liz@thisfullhouse.co says:

    It was so nice to meet you (and your mom) and — though, I wish that we could have chatted longer — I felt the same way and it only takes a few minutes to realize that we are all that and a bag of chips!

  4. Skye says:

    I can't believe people are still using the phrase "just" around either mommyblogs or personal blogs. Wow.

  5. jenijen says:

    liz, you are so wicked smart and right-on.xoxo

  6. RookieMom Heather says:

    Funny… I think when I say "I'm not really a mommyblogger" its because I think "real mommybloggers" share their personal journeys way more than I do. My "site" is about activities for new moms. I think of it as a "resource" and not a very personal "blog".That said, I also share my dramas about different stages of my kids, products I like, and some I hate. I take way more pictures than "normal moms" so I guess I'm a blogger after all. So I *must* be a mommyblogger. Yay me.

  7. To Think is to Creat says:

    I don't think I ever introduced myself to you, but I did get a few pics of you (go here: <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/percivale25/sets/72157606317128688/)http://flickr.com/photos/percivale25/sets/7215760… />You have an amazing energy to be around. So glad to have captured your smile for the world to see. 🙂

  8. nonlineargirl says:

    Nice post. There is not really any "just a" in mommy(blogger). My other job rarely makes me want to pass out from exhaustion. We know how much society values parenting, so some internalize that and put themselves down before anyone else does.

  9. Kate says:

    Amen.

  10. This Military Mama says:

    Hey! It was so awesome meeting you at BlogHer. Really it was such a treat.Thanks for mentioning me, that's really awesome of you. BlogHer, especially the "Talking about War and Peace: How Women Are Changing the Security Debate", really has inspired me to do more with my blog. I will for sure be blogging more about what I talked about it.I'm so glad that I meet you and now have the chance to read your blog. Thanks again! I'll be back to be reading more from you!

  11. deerinheadlights @ h says:

    I love it! Let's face it – if you are a woman and you have kids and a blog, you're a Mommy Blogger. I think a lot of women are afraid to become Kathy Lee Gifford back in the Regis and Kathy Lee days. You know, rambling on and on about her son CodyCodyCody. Oh, I'm getting irritated just thinking about it. But my son Joseph on the other hand…