After THAT Slummy Mummy Daily Mail article this week I’ve been mulling over writing this post. Did the writer, Anna May Mangan, just write it to instigate all these posts and the outrage and backlash? Personally I think so otherwise she wouldn’t have written such a pointed and single minded out of context article. First off I have to say, yes, I see a point – we don’t want all messages in the media being negative or a portraying one certain way of life. We don’t want them all only being about the tantrums or the need for wine that so many of us mums talk about needing after a rubbishy day with a toddler. Equally we don’t want blogs just portraying the perfect life, with rose tinted glasses, we’d all feel rubbish and inferior then. I firmly believe we should not be slating certain ways of life or choices people make, especially when the writer has been very narrow minded and picked certain aspects out of thousands of posts these bloggers have written about, to write a piece which hurts people. These are bloggers who, I think, show us mummies we’re not alone on our rough days. If you don’t like their blogs well there are thousands more which exist showing other view points.
As parents we all have those days with a tired toddler screaming left right and centre. An impossible shopping trip where all they did was run in the opposite direction and pull things off the shelves. Reading about others having those same experiences makes us feel better, we know we’re not alone in feeling shattered or disheartened or even depressed. It brings us together and stops us feeling down. At times I’ve felt terrible as a parent. Anxiety and self doubt are terrible things but reading just one Facebook post or blog post can make all the difference, just like friends can. It’s that ‘I’m not alone feeling’ we all need. That is the reassurance and relief that these blogs provide to so many of thousands of followers. That is why I send a huge high five and virtual cheers to all mummies (and mummy bloggers) out there as we’re all finding our way through all of these good and bad moments. We all need the support of others and that’s something the recent Mental Health Awareness Week has highlighted. I know I over think a lot of things and always have, but both friends and, when I don’t want to talk about it, reading blogs or seeing a Facebook post from someone going through similar or making light of a similar situation brings me back from over thinking and feeling as rubbish.
What the writer didn’t seem to remember is that we’re all different and yes, we all identify with certain people, while at the same time just plain and simple not understanding others. For instance everyone doesn’t have a glass of wine/gin/prosecco after a rubbish day, we all get over it in a different way, and that is what makes us unique. We all need balance and that is what blogs provide. There are millions of blogs out there all providing a unique view into parenthood.
If you don’t like one blog, read another which you do identify with!
Us mummies and us mummy bloggers do write about happy moments, funny moments and amazing days out too. Just like everyone else, we experience the ups and downs of parenthood and in terms of blogging write what we want to write about. We can’t all concentrate on all aspects of parenting, just as the Daily Mail article concentrated on one persons view point and one aspect from each of these blogs. The writer took only certain specifically selected quotes from those blogs, when there are many others she also could have included that would have given a real insight into those ladies lives. If I really am honest I think it was written to produce this outrage and instigate a backlash from mummy bloggers as well as those who were written about. It was that thought that made me not want to write anything about it, and to not givein to the writer.
If the writer had actually read any of these blogs or even just seen any of their Instagram accounts she’d know these blogs talk about all aspects of parenting, the good, the bad, the ugly, the real life which we ALL identify with. Yes, they do talk of the things she mentioned and each have their own unique point of view, but isn’t that the whole point?
Likewise her article only concentrated on the view she wanted to portray.
Life would be boring if we were all the same. We’re all different and I for one need that light relief at then end of a rubbish day. She didn’t give any credibility to the fact that thousands of people follow and identify with the blogs mentioned, it’s the light relief, the ‘not feeling alone’ on those rubbishy days and the secretly-feeling-triumphant when you’ve had a good day and the blogger didn’t. Oh and come on, who doesn’t identify with standing on kids Lego? I stood on a Peppa Pig George car and had a bruise on the bottom of my foot for almost two weeks. So, no I haven’t stood on Lego, but believe me, yes, I get it.
The whole point of writing is to take a view point and write uniquely and that’s what many blogs do, and that’s what these very successful bloggers have become known for. People go to those blogs to read exactly those types of posts.
Yes there needs to be balance but, I’m sorry if you don’t like a specific blog then click close and read a different one! It’s not hard. And, if you don’t like it that’s fair enough it’s just the same as films and books (and life in general), not all of us like science fiction books or Star Wars films. Everyone identifies with people and things differently and that’s what makes us unique, it is what what makes us friends with some people and not others. I can sit and have a glass of wine giggling away with friends but I definitely wouldn’t have that same experience, the same laughs and the same feel good feeling having a glass of wine with certain people I’ve met in my life. Let’s face it we’ve all had that awkward dinner or conversation with people that you just don’t ‘get’. Blogging is similar. If you don’t want to read ‘real life’ moments read a blog that’s all ‘perfect parenting’ or Gina Ford-y or how to’s… the list goes on.
I think the writer’s portrayal of these amazing bloggers, who many mummies obviously DO identify with, is shameful. Let’s face it, if people didn’t identify with them they wouldn’t have all the followers and comments they amass daily, they wouldn’t have the book deals or the stance that they do have. Maybe she’s just jealous?
I’ll be honest, perhaps sometimes I don’t always ‘get it’, I haven’t been there or it’s not something I’d do myself, but we’re all unique. Seriously though, we all have our quick meals be it fish fingers, pasta, reheated something-or-other from the freezer. We all do understand. Ok maybe some don’t, but an awful lot do and I must admit I do enjoy a fish finger sandwich with mayo or tartar sauce for lunch on the odd occasion, and as for McDonalds, since being pregnant with #2 it’s taken on a life of its own.
Seriously people do identify with the bloggers mentioned, their light relief and real life as it is from the front line from the front line of parenting make many of us feel better and not alone. Bad days aren’t as bad when you have a giggle at a Hurrah for Gin drawing that hit the nail on the head. But as I said, everyone is different and unique and if you don’t want to follow them, there are many other blogs to read.