A friend who also writes a parenting blog asked me if I thought that her writing might someday have a negative effect on her children. GOOD QUESTION.
The professional in me probably could have engaged in a philosophical discussion about psychological theory and individual differences of children and blah blah blah. As a mom who blogs, I had less to say. The mom simply answered her question with the question,
“Do you think your mom blogging will have a negative effect on your children?”
I wonder how many mom blogs there actually ARE. I’m sure it’s some unbelievable number, probably hundreds of thousands of moms (and dads too), are writing about their spawn, creating platforms to chronicle their experiences and for MANY different reasons.
I think that IF as a writer of a parenting blog, you are experiencing a gut feeling that YOUR kid is going to use your blog as fodder for their future therapist, or an excuse as to why they are living in your basement and unemployed when they are 42, it’s probably time to re-evaluate things a bit. Like anything else we do as parents, we must constantly be ready to make changes when necessary. The moment we stop trusting our instincts when it comes to our kids, we are at greater risk for making decisions that will have a negative effect on our kids. But sometimes the gut feelings are vague, little twinges of warning that we can’t interpret without help.
So what makes the mom blog different from parenting magazines and websites? In my opinion the difference is that blogs bring REALITY and CLARITY to us when we are confused because they do three things really well.
First, they provide humor. Some more than others, but even the bloggers that have 10 followers (all of them family) are injecting laughter into situations that could use some comic relief.
Second, they provide choices. Most parent bloggers do not claim to be experts. They give you their experience and encouragement, NOT hard fast rules for potty training, feeding, T.V. watching, etc. Some ARE laced with strong opinions and harsh judgment, but most are focused on providing a shared experience for the greater good. As Dan Savage once said, “There is no gay way to change a diaper.”
Third, but not last, they provide community. Becoming a part of a like-minded group gives parents a lifeline. The frustration and isolation during the early days of parenting puts us at risk for all kinds of not so good experiences such as depression, burn-out, and God forbid, physical harm to us or our children.
Personally, when I can’t decode my kid’s crazy behavior or when I feel in need of some support, humor, information or direction, one of the things I do is seek out some of my favorite bloggers and writers. Not every problem requires a call to the pediatrician or adherence to inflexible and old school parenting “rules.”
For the parent who reads but doesn’t write blogs, I would say that mom blogs will have a positive effect on YOUR kiddos. For every blog that makes you pull a George Costanza and do the exact opposite of something you read, there will be one that inspires and comforts you. So I guess the kids of mom and dad bloggers are taking one for the team, contributing to the greater good in some way.
Either way I’m going to keep writing. I’m not going to worry that something I write is going to send one of my kids to the clock tower with a rifle. I trust my gut, and the opinions and support of the community I am incredibly proud to be a part of, Funny Mom Bloggers.
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