Blogging Chloe

Mummy Blogger is a derogatory term

IMG_5738-Edit-Edit-copy

Three years ago, after I just started this blog, all the talk on Twitter was about Cybermummy – an upcoming conference for mums that blog.

As someone with an aversion to all things ‘mummy’, (and coincidently to the word ‘Cyber’), my first thought was to instinctively recoil at the lameness of the title and declare it as definitely NOT my thing. “I’d rather hang out with my friends. I don’t want to label myself as a ‘mummy‘”, I said to Sam.

I have seen the derogatory way in which the term ‘mummy blogger’ is used. A quaint little hobby where we don aprons and talk lovingly about our stay at home life, making homemade baby food. (I swear I’m not paranoid in thinking this – even at this year’s Britmums I counted two non-parent speakers who listed nappies as an example of something we mummy bloggers might like to talk about).

Although I’m not an anonymous blogger, I tend not to promote my blog to my ‘real life’ friends and acquaintances, because I felt uncomfortable at being equated with the stereotype of being a ‘mummy blogger’. I have been scared of being associated with something I am not.

Fast forward to last weekend and we now have Britmums Live, which is the UK’s biggest two-day social media conference and blogger event.

britmums live 2014

I have been to the past three Britmums conferences, (and other blogging conferences), with varying degrees of feeling. At the first one, I hung back, unsure of whether it was really ‘my thing’. At the second, I was half and half. But this year, I fully embraced that it really is, most definitely, my thing.

I loved meeting so many friends. I loved the targeted sessions  (I wrote more about that here). But the overriding feeling that I kept taking from the event was to be proud of our status and achievements as mummy bloggers.

Mummy bloggers are a powerful, influential group who show realistic life for women and mothers today. Mummy bloggers are social influencers who reach over 8 million people per day. Being a ‘mummy blogger’ is not something to be ashamed of at all – thank you to speakers Emily Beecher and Emma Freud for really bringing home that point for me. And to Benjamin Brooks-Dutton for emphasising the importance of upholding memories. 

Mummy bloggers don’t just talk about nappies. Mummy bloggers are brave, inspiring, offer comfort and support, and drive social change. Just take a look at the following blog posts that were read out on stage at the Britmums Live bloggers keynote:

Does he Take Sugar? By Chocolate is Not the Only Fruit

 We need to talk about the M word, by Grenglish

Ross, by All At Sea

Alison’s Idol, by Tired Mummy of Two 

Something else has been brewing inside of me lately. I hadn’t quite realised what it was until a conversation with Sam one evening. He was talking about a female work acquaintance, an example of someone who had juggled career and childcare and now it was starting to pay off.

And I found myself exploding into an unstoppable rant about how I had WANTED to keep my career going until it started to pay more than the childcare, I had WANTED to keep my options open, I had never wanted to be a stay at home parent, and definitely not a work at home one. I had WANTED that distinction between work and home life. I had been up against too much for it to work out like that at the time we had Arlo, but I had SO wanted it all to work. I have watched my old company reach important milestones and expand incredibly in the past few years since I left after maternity leave with Arlo. I have wondered “What if?”, and “Where would I be now?” I have felt panic at the way in which my work life has stagnated since having children.

At this point, Sam would usually say something dismissive like ‘Yeah, yeah, so what?” and move the conversation on to something a little less ranty and boring for him. But this time, he waited quietly until I reached my weary conclusion, then turned around and listed off all the ways in which I have NOT just stagnated since having my babies. All the ways in which I have remained sharp, kept up with online marketing trends and new social platforms, taught myself SEO, schema, etc. “That’s an actual full-time paid role in a lot of companies, you know. Every company needs social media marketing, but many don’t understand it yet, and you guys have hands on experience with engagement and SEO, every single day”.

He made me see that I have not just been resting on my laurels since deciding to ‘stay at home’. And you know what I have to thank for that? Mummy blogging.

There is also the fact that through advertorials and sponsored content on my blog, freelance writing for brands outside of my blog, and photography referrals that come through from readers of this blog, I am making a really decent amount of money. It’s not always steady, but on an average month I can definitely say blogging is how I make my living now. And that is something to be proud of, too.

britmums1

I no longer hold back from posting too much ‘blog stuff’ on the various social platforms where my real life and online life collide in what used to be an uncomfortable mix for me. This year, I walked happily out of The Brewery, after an excellent couple of days learning loads and meeting up with ‘online friends’, straight to an equally enjoyable evening at the pub with my pre-children friends. This year, I tweeted and instagammed the hell out of Britmums Live, and this year I had friends with ‘proper’ media jobs say, “I really need to pick your brains about some of the stuff you tweeted”.

This year, I am blogger and mother without either one thing defining me.

There is more to life than blogging, but my life has been enhanced by it, and I wear my geeky, oversharing blogger badge with pride. Mummy bloggers are bloody awesome and don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.

————-

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 

Sorry About The Mess is a personal lifestyle and family blog. documenting the life of London blogger and photographer, Chloe. This is our family story.

Comments (20)

  • Love this! I work and blog and the two worlds can’t ever collide. That was never a problem until recently. Now I could happily blog all day, and I miss it when I’m not doing it, and not just because I love writing, or because of how much more confident it’s made me, but also because I’ve realised how powerful mummyblogging can be. It’s definitely something to be proud of x

    Reply
  • I have seen this exact topic debated so so much over the years but never has it been reasoned so intelligently, articulately and so positively. REALLY enjoyed reading this – resonates with me on SO many levels.
    Liska x

    Reply
  • amazing post x

    Reply
  • Hear hear! I love this – and that Sam took the time to show you that your career hasn’t been abandoned, just redirected!

    Reply
  • Brilliant post, sad we didn’t meet this time! I agree we all have changed the meaning of what a mummy blogger is-I’ve embraced it too. The last 2 1/2 years have seen me become a full time professional blogger and I earn the same if not more than when I was a full time director. I love it all, being my own boss, the creative side, working with brands and I love and you are right, we are and should all feel proud of what we do-I don’t mind if not everyone wants to embrace the term, and I understand why they don’t. I tell people I’m a professional blogger, writing about parenting, lifestyle, style and beauty but I am not offended by the term ‘mummy blogger’-we are so influential being a sector of the community with the biggest earning power, what’s not to love about that!

    Reply
  • Fantastic to hear how well you’re doing – not just from a financial perspective but from a personal one too. As one of the small minority of ‘daddy bloggers’, I have a similar issue with that term – I’m not entirely sure what the stereotypical image of a daddy blogger is, but it’s almost certainly not me.

    I’m trying to pluck up the courage to go to Britmums Live next year. Like you on your first time around, I’m not really sure if it’s for me, but I’m intrigued enough to want to find out. #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this post! I wouldn’t have found it if it weren’t for Honest Mum. I so agree. I’m a mum, a business owner (home worker) and a blogger now and while I’m on maternity leave my blogging is keeping my mind and skills sharp. Yet I can see this ‘mummy blogging’ isn’t just about nappies and weaning, it’s about how the thousands of women out there are juggling different priorities not just because we HAVE to but because we WANT to – and we CAN. The blogging community truly helps us all feel we’re connected even if our lives and choices are very different. I’m not looking to make money from blogging but I’m inspired by those who have turned a (gah!) ‘hobby’ into an amazing living. It’s true that many of us have skills others get paid a lot for in the business world. x

    Reply
  • Love this post! I have felt the same in the past and some non-blogger friends regard it as an amusing hobby and don’t really get it! Not all though, some of them love it though I do sometimes find it hard to bridge the blog/real life friends thing when it comes to social media, though I am getting braver about it! Fab post and just what I needed to read! xx

    Reply
  • Love love love this! I was wondering what you were going to say about ‘mummy blogging’ at first! I love how people are starting to realise the influence ‘mummy bloggers’ have. I do still feel like most of my friends and family don’t get it and I wish I was more confident about talking about it and sharing what I do but we’ll get there. Great post #brillblogposts x

    Reply
  • i can relate to this with how im feeling at the moment ive just literally started blogging and im really enjoying it but ive only told like 3 people i don’t know why i think im nervous what people will say? the people that do know are all telling me to share it on fb but i just cant yet.

    Reply
  • Hear bloody hear! Proof ifer it was needed that you can be a mum and still be intelligent, informed, and influential. And wear a tiara if you want to!

    Reply
  • *applauds* what you do is blooming brilliant, and to have done it all self taught and through your own motivation and interest is something to be proud of.

    ‘Mummy blogging’ makes it sound like a twee hobby, but the power of our voices can be overwhelming.

    Reply
    • Mummy blogging DOES sound like a twee hobby, one of the reasons I shudder at the term!

      Reply
  • I too have felt that I don’t want to be defined by the type of blogging I do, adoption. However I’ve now discovered how valued what I do is and I feel empowered by that. Really enjoyed your post. x

    Reply
  • I get to talk to anyone on any topic in the outside world because the topic that I read a lot of blogs. The topic that the parent bloggers are so diverse that I am so updated with the current events, past events and emotional events. I feel lucky to be able to read these blogs and proud that I fall in their category. Britmumslive is a dream event of mine. Hopefully next year ill have enough resources because I know that I will learn so much! #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • Yes, exactly, parent bloggers are so diverse in the topics they write about.

      Reply
  • Great post. I have also held back from Britmums for the same reasons, but I so regretted not going this year that I have altready booked for next! 🙂

    Reply
  • I enjoyed reading this post via #BrilliantBlogPosts.
    I’m a mum who blogs and through blogging I’ve learned so much about social media, SEO, HTML design etc. What used to be a hobby that pays is now a business, so whether I’m called a mummy blogger or just a blogger – either way I’m bringing home the bacon and you can’t argue with the power of that!

    Reply
  • This post is fantastic! I hate how people put down ‘Mummy Bloggers’ and would never call myself a Mummy Blogger – I’m a blogger and a parent. But the blogging community of ‘Mummy Bloggers’ is a bloody fantastic thing to be a part of x

    Reply
  • LOVE this post and glad you fully embraced the conference and fully enjoying blogging. X

    Reply

Write a comment

%d bloggers like this: