The other day, I was chatting to someone about motherhood. The subject of Mummy blogs came up. "Ug," she said. "I can't stand Mummy blogs, They're all so negative." Asking around, it seems that while there are plenty of parents who enjoy the blogging community and read them frequently, outside of that community there are also many who find the entire genre of blogging far too negative. Common comments are "aren't they worried their kids will read it one day and feel bad?", "it isn't funny to make fun of your children", and "it's boring to read about other people's kids".
Being a Mummy blogger myself, I dismissed most of that with a shrug. Whatever. Different strokes for different folks and all that. There are plenty of things other people read online that I find as interesting as watching especially slow-growing grass grow. Life would be boring if we were all the same, and so on and so forth.
But then I remembered some of the blog entries I've read of the 'in the trenches' variety: entries about people who haven't wanted their children, who have said online that they don't always love them, ones that talk about their children's private parts and private thoughts or simply make fun of them. Some of these were pretty negative, and not what you'd want to read that your own mum had written about you. A lot of the genre is, I suppose, quite negative. I don't want to link to any specific examples here, but I'm sure you know what sort of entries I mean. We've all read them: the ones that are probably meant to be funny but stray into the mocking, negative and slightly awkward.
On the other hand, though, those are the stories that can be the most interesting to read. Reading about other parents' trials and tribulations is helpful as well; it makes us feel less alone. Blogs about parents who never struggle with anything or about other people's perfect children wouldn't be very interesting either. Besides, who wants to read a smug-fest? Not only would that be boring, but deeply irritating. Those sort of blogs would make me want to slap the computer. And, again, different people find different things funny - what I might find mocking, negative and slightly awkward might be a comedy fest to someone else. As I said above, different strokes for different folks and all that.
I like Mummy blogs: I like reading about other parents and the challenges they face. But, I do suppose we need to remain aware that our children will grow up to be able to use Google. And, in remembering that, be careful about the posts we write. The best blogs and columns I read manage to do this well.
And if you don't like the genre - fine, no need to read it. There is always that slow-growing grass to watch grow.