I have a blog and I am also a mum, but that does not make me a Mummy blogger. On social media you are never more that three tweets away from a Mummy blog, or a Daddy blog either for that matter. Both are on the increase and both seem really popular.
As a parent I am followed by a lot of parent bloggers (or rather, I was…*nervous laughter and a whooshing sound as I am unfollowed en masse*) so maybe I’m just a bit over-exposed to them. But I’ve had enough.
After dealing with children all day, the last thing I want to do is read about other people dealing with their children. Children are like dreams; our own are fascinating and an endless source of entertainment, but I’d rather gouge my own eyes out with a rusty spoon than hear about someone else’s. My children are brilliant. They are clever and funny and kind and beautiful, but I would never expect you to feel that way about them as to you they are just some children. I’m designed to feel like that about them, in evolutionary terms it’s what stops me leaving them outside my cave for bears to eat, but even though I might find it hilarious that one of them can burp their own name, I wouldn’t expect you to. (although, let’s be honest, what’s wrong with you?)
And what about privacy? These are people. You wouldn’t blog about a friend’s embarrassing little ways, so why do it with your children? At what point do children become adults with rights? That funny toddler you’re blogging about, the one who just can’t get the hang of potty training, will grow up to be a really pissed off adult one day and they’re not going to be happy.
I saw a blog recently where a dad had taken a picture of his son every time he cried. For a start, maybe if he picked his son up instead of his camera he might cry a bit less? Also, it’s all part of development, something we all went through, in privacy without someone making a big deal of every little thing. I really hope that child grows up to be a blogger who writes a blog post every time his elderly dad pees on his slippers, or dribbles gravy down his chin.
I don’t want to be defined by the fact that I have children. As I mentioned in my ‘G for Genre Snobbery’ post, I find labels very limiting. And a little bit patronising. I pushed a person out of my womb, not my brain, so please don’t talk down to me. My children are a huge part of my life but there is so much more to me and I am perfectly capable of having a conversation that doesn’t revolve around them. I don’t need a special label, or separate compartment, I quite able to join in the real world.
I don’t like the suggestion that once you have a child the only thing you have to talk about is children and everything has to have the word ‘mum’ in front of it. Like Mumpreneur. I hate that word. To me it’s almost the same as patting someone on the head and saying ‘look how clever you are, despite being a mum. Maybe one day you can be a proper person again but in the meantime you run along with your little cupcake business.’ (Cupcakes, by the way, are just normal little cakes with more stuff on. It’s a con. Eating them with a fork does not justify doubling the price.) And Yummy Mummy. What is that? Someone who’s yummy despite being a mummy? Great. What an honour.
Being a parent is part of life, it’s not an excuse, you don’t have to put your life on hold for it and join a special group. It just is. So go and burp your name with pride in the privacy of your own home.