I came across a blog yesterday that stuck with me. In this blog, the author, who does not refer to herself as a “mom blogger” because she dislikes the title, discussed the downfalls and shortcomings of mom blogs. In her post, the author complained about the misinformation generated by mom blogs; particularly bloggers who were not very experienced parents. The blogger went on to point out how some blogs seem to exist solely for the purpose of creating controversy, and that many bloggers today seemed more interested in generating page views and money than actually helping mothers. The author more or less ended her post with the notion that perhaps it was time for the mom blog to die, and in the future she will at the very least avoid reading information posted by Babble.
I appreciate this author’s point of view; however, I feel just the opposite. Let me start by explaining why I became a mom blogger, and no, I don’t mind the title. I started this blog because I needed/wanted a creative outlet. Originally, I didn’t know exactly what this blog would become. Advice? Hot topics? Personal anecdotes? I really didn’t know. Eventually, I found my niche was sharing humorous stories and lists revolving around motherhood in general, and since, then I have generated a small group of followers; followers who I deeply appreciate and respect. I like the idea that the posts that I create allow parents a certain level of escapism. I feel like I have created a nice, symbiotic little system here, and for the most part, I think the majority of mom bloggers feel or want the same.
The root of my opposition to this blogger’s view point lies in the idea that it is better to have all sorts of viewpoints than to have none at all. I would rather shuffle and grumble through “bad blogs” with “bad advice” than to have the only available outlets for support and advice be close friends, families and bookstores. Sure, you are going to have crappy advice and ideologies make their way onto the computer screens of unsuspecting mothers; however, you will also have the exact opposite occur. You have really great blogs with really great information make their way into households that might have never found that information anyplace else. Let’s face it, information on the internet is free, and even though I have gotten some great freebies in life, I have also gotten some pretty crappy ones. The difference is that I make the decision about what to put on my mantle at the end of the day.
I don’t mind reading advice given by inexperienced mothers or parents. Why? Well, I have met a lot of idiots with a lot of experience, and I have also met a lot of newbies that were eons ahead of their time in the parenting department. And if that was the case, I would rather take advice from the newbie who is inspired by parenting than listen to the insipid rants of an experienced professional mom. Time and experience don’t make the advice good or bad; it’s the quality of what is being said that determines the worth of the information. Additionally, isn’t listening to bad advice almost as good as listening to good advice? Bad advice at the very least usually produces a laugh or an interesting discussion.
Furthermore, I dislike the idea that caring about page views and receiving payment for blogs is viewed as being negative. I don’t currently get an overabundance of page views, but you can bet that I pay attention to them. Why? Because I take pride in it. I take pride in knowing that my little post made somebody happy in Australia. I feel good when I know that someone in Sweden has experienced the same bizarre parenting fiascos that I have. It is a reminder that although the world seems huge and at times scary, there is an interconnectedness of the mothering experience that makes the world seem warm and less frightening. I don’t get paid to write my blog, but if somebody offered me money to do what I am doing now and allowed me to write the same way I do now, I would do it. And there is nothing wrong with that. I don’t knock my hairstylist for handing me a bill, just like I wouldn’t knock a mom for earning a living online. There is a difference between getting paid to do something that you love to do and giving up your creative and personal integrity for the sake of a paycheck.
I think when you go out on the internet in search for anything parenting related or for that matter anything life related, you have to learn to cherry pick. Just because there is bad information out there doesn’t mean that people are going to take it to heart, and that same theory goes for the good information too. Sure, there are sites that pretend to have the best intentions for new mothers when in fact they are sponsored by companies that value the profit more than the parent; however, such is life. Parenting can be a very lonely world sometimes, and as silly as it may be to some, these blogs and websites help fill voids that need filling. And quite frankly, I am glad they are there.
Yes, there are certain blogs that I think are dumb, idiotic, ridiculous and pointless, but at the end of the day, who cares if they exist? I care more about the fact that there are just as many wonderful sites and bloggers to provide alternative view points. I am glad that for every yin there is a yang, and I don’t blame bloggers, no matter how crappy they are, for the choices that parents make. Because remember, if you see a typo, it’s not because the computer made me do it. My mistakes are my own.