The ‘Momblog’ phenomenon

Bit of a whinge today, I’m afraid – I’ve discovered the online equivalent of ‘that time when everyone’s pregnant except you’ – and although it’s wonderful and I love the phenomenon of ‘Mom blogging’, it does rather bring home what I will potentially miss out on.

 
Perhaps I’ve gotten halfway in with the wrong crowd and am wondering if there are any other crowds out there but the corner of the blogosphere I know and love seems to be jam-packed with those blogs which can only be categorised as ‘Momblogs’. There are even ‘mom blog’ awards, circles, networks, published books and so much more and it’s absolutely staggering how much mileage people get out of writing about their kids. I do it a little too sometimes, though there’s little to recommend the ‘Auntyblog’ as a viable alternative, and I suspect that it would be undersubscribed – the ‘Momblog’ is queen.

I wonder if this is because ‘children’ is something we all relate to – after all, we all were one once, and there’s an innate recognition of the wonder, joy, innocence and you-little-GIT-ness of children, which we can all tap into.

‘Course, it could just be because children are damn funny; sources of endless entertainment as they strive to make sense of the world around them and find their place within it (and goof it up with stunning regularity).

The slightly deep-and-meaningfuller possibility is that in seeing the lessons they learn and the struggles they come up against provide us with a reassuring sense of achievement (as we check that this lesson is something we have already learned) or astonishment (if we realise it’s one we haven’t). In addition to this, there may be an inherent sense of nostalgia evoked within us as we remember back to the time when ‘I did that’.

The other thing the ‘Momblog’ provides is all-important solidarity.

There are no doubt a number of men out there who also seek (and find) this (no doubt a psychologist could give you an opinion on male and female brains and how they’re not necessarily as clear cut as ‘men have male brains; women have female brains’) but I daresay that the majority are women, for whom communication and the reassurance of the written word, by other mothers, who’ve gone through ‘exactly that’ (or close enough as makes no difference) are so important – especially perhaps in the face of isolation (real or perceived).

The thing is, this phenomenon has its own cliques, clubs and traditions, and because I’ve fallen in with a group of them (not literally, of course – as ever, anonymity in the blogosphere means we don’t hang out…in fact, it’s all rather one-way as I only follow their blogs because they’re funny and great reads – they don’t know me at all, for the large part) I get to see not only peeks into the world of motherhood, but the world of blogging about it, and as with any clique when you’re standing on the outside looking in, I want to participate.

I mean, I want to anyway (and to cite most children I know when they want something; I really, really, reallyreally…REALLY, really want to) and though I’m feeling a bit more peaceful about it these days (or am not thinking about it in the aftermath of moving house) I’m still quite conscious that the date of the medication change and the beginning of a rapid descent into infertility is still creeping inexorably closer for Husby and I. Which sucks.

I suppose I wouldn’t feel quite so sensitive about being on the outside if it weren’t for this. I can be relatively thick-skinned when I want to be, but it compounds with the physical pang I’m beginning to feel each time a Facebook friend posts an update about their positive pregnancy test/20 week scan/baby shower. I’ve not quite got to the stage of unsubscribing from the update feeds of people I’ve built up a friendship with, but acquaintances’ messages of joy-of-impending-motherhood are well and truly banished. I don’t feel anything but happy for the whole lot of them, but it still hurts.

Even the ‘AdoptionMomBlogs’ (of which there are plenty, with all permutations of adoptions, many of which I read regularly and enjoy), which have a very slightly different feel to the straight-up Momblogs, if only for the virtue of the manner the child came into the family, even though the minutiae may be the same, are inducers of the green-eyed monster.

Such is the lot of couples who are infertile, and though we’re not quite in that club yet, the knowledge that we will be before the end of the year is cause enough for my heart to panic just a little. Husby’s far better than I am at ignoring it ’til it happens. How I envy his Manbrain.

In the meantime, I shall continue to enjoy the Momblog offerings; to laugh, roll my eyes, worry and rejoice with those mothers who share their experiences of their beautiful children – the highs, lows and in-betweens, and yearn to join them.

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6 thoughts on “The ‘Momblog’ phenomenon

  1. I like that idea – to try to develop the other aspects and use them on rotation depending on the situation. I hadn't realised that was the idea! Love it. Thanks for the further feedback.

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  2. …not certain how effective it might be, but one of the things we maintain is that our predominant (individual) worldviews, as personal realities, are only one of three possibilities. Better to say there are three sets of overlapping, but non-identical range of choices represented in this idea of worldviews. As clarks, our worldview, or 'how we relate ourselves to the world around us' is characterized as the Outsider and, as such, our form of expressing this (we sometimes say, 'how we manifest our Outsider personality is by our reason and rationality'). Within this framework, we try to understand, to figure out, to learn what it is that will make our efforts successful. And this works, to a certain extent, but in some situations it is inadequate, which is one of, but not the only reason for our tendency to second-guess ourselves.
    The bottom line is that there are 2 other 'ways to perceive' what we call reality, as a scott and a roger. None of the three are inherently better or worse, but it is the goal of the Doctrine to find the way to allow us to step into the world of the scott or the world of the roger when it would benefit us… in theory not only would we have a whole set of different tools (to deal with problems and challenges), but the problems that we are trying to overcome may very well be 'different' or perceived differently, in a very fundamental way from these 'other two' perspectives.
    Thank you for the opportunity to try and see if I can't express the Doctrine in terms that might offer an (additional) viewpoint… as a clark, we know there is no such thing as knowing too much. lol There is much about this thing that must be better expressed, so that it is useful to as many as possible.

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  3. The ones which just talk about their kids I might read once then not go back to; the ones I regularly read…perhaps their kids are in most of the posts, but so are they – their style, their views, their opinions, their very essence – and I love that.

    I guess I just haven't found a non-mommy alternative which has an equally universal hook to join in with.

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  4. The whole Mommy-Blog phenomena is a bit scary, isn't it. Truth is I try to avoid them as much as I can. I don't mind if a blogger has kids and includes stories about their kids in their blog if it's interesting and funny, but sometimes the full on ones where every entry is about the little one gets a bit too much.

    I suppose it comes down to whether they're amusing their readers, or just talking about their kids. There's a big difference.

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  5. Thanks. I daresay all the above taps into part of why I love the Wakefield Doctrine so much and can easily identify with it. I often struggle to trust my instincts as my pattern is often to second-guess myself. Not sure how to get out of that one! Perhaps you have a handy Clark-like perspective tucked away somewhere on that…

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  6. (for the faux-obvious reasons) I will not attempt to Comment on the matter of children and family and such, but I do identify with the perspective of (being) the (an) Outsider.
    This is, of course, a relationship (that of the Outsider to the group) that may be created with any number of premiseses, but there is also the state of being an Outsider by virtue of what we, (at the Wakefield Doctrine), call one's worldview.
    Having said that and (hopefully) qualified as a person who can identify with the emotional experience of being an Outsider, I would say simply, trust your instincts and intuition, even though there are times when it seems reasonable to doubt them.
    this is a Post that I was glad to have read.

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