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[personal profile] melwil
[personal profile] lizbee asked me a REALLY interesting question, and I haven't answered it yet because I've been thinking it through in my brain over a couple of days. I decided to break it into two parts because I seem to think in small chunks at the moment.

The first part went like this: "I'm curious as to whether you consider yourself a "mummy blogger", or hate that term"

Not long after I started blogging, this question was a huge point of contention in the 'blogging community' (more on that in another post). It came after 'Mummy Bloggers' were featured on Media Watch (which really was a very kind look at the genre) and a whole heap of people wrote about how they hate the term. Other bloggers (big ones) went out to 'reclaim' the term, and effectively belittled anyone who had a problem with it - while their followers fell over themselves agreeing with it. Still other bloggers said that it was just a term and you should really just get over it.

I don't consider myself a 'Mummy blogger' - I blog about Christian (less as he gets older) but being a mother is just one part of my life. Plus, I was a teacher a lot longer than I've been a mother, so educational content is pretty high on the blog (mostly early childhood now, but also things about test taking and school direction). And I've been a book lover even longer, so there's a tonne of book content over there. And craft, and home stuff.

I once called myself a Life Blogger, which is accurate, but feels terribly pretentious from a distance. A year or so later, I'm happy just being a blogger who blogs. But then, I'm not looking for advertising or product pushing, so I don't need a title to hang on myself. (More on that in the next post)

While I don't have a problem with people calling themselves 'Mummy bloggers', I do think the term is problematic. I'm not the biggest fan of the term 'Mummy' coming from anyone other than my son, or people talking to my son (as in, go and see Mummy, or what's Mummy doing). I had those horrific baby photo people address me as 'Mummy' once as I was trying to sneak past them and I dearly wanted to snark at them. 'Mummy' is a relationship between my child and myself, and it's a personal thing.

It's a term that's also used to sideline a group of women, while excluding a whole lot of other women. Mummies are seen as parents of young children, either tired and bedraggled or done up to the nines (Yummy Mummies) - where the truth is, most mothers I see from day to day fall in the middle. No matter what else they've got going on in their lives (businesses, relationships, illness, causes) they're primarily identified by their role as a mother - someone who wipes noses and changes nappies (and we know by how poorly childcare workers are paid, that these are not highly regarded skills. Though try wiping a toddlers nose . . . give me a classroom of uncooperative Grade 8s any day!) It assumes that all mothers are doing the same things, feeling the same way about it, and should be treated the same.

When all bloggers who are mothers (or ever talk about their children) are called 'Mummy Bloggers' certain stereotypes are attached. Stereotypes about oversharing, bored housewives who have little time to actually do anything with their kids while anything they do is just for their blogs. The stereotyping can get really nasty at times too - with the personal choices (like birth preferences or children's disabilities) generalised, criticised and dismissed.

So, it's fine to consider yourself a mummy blogger, but I don't, and I think the term is deeply problematic - and the use of it is sometimes offensive.

Now that I've finished that somewhat rambling response, I guess I better brave the shops for food! I'm still taking requests to say stuff if you're interested


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