A few months ago I was a guest at blogging event in London. It was attended by a vast array of bloggers – beauty, fashion, travel, lifestyle and, of course, parenting bloggers. At one point there was a rather heated discussion in which the phrase ‘just a mummy blogger’ was used. It irritated me and made me feel deeply uncomfortable. I’d go as far as saying that I felt animosity towards mummy bloggers (and parent bloggers in general). Are we lower down in the blogging food chain? Apparently so. Perhaps because not all of us take it so seriously? Perhaps because some of us do it as a hobby? I’m not sure why there’s such hostility but I don’t think it’s right.
Lately I seem to spend a whole lot of time feeling like I’m not enough. ‘In real life’ I feel awkward and embarrassed when people ask me what I do. Because, you know, I’m just a mum. And now, it would seem I’m also ‘just a mummy blogger’. Ever since that day I’ve completely lost my blogging mojo. I question everything I write because it all seems so inconsequential. What’s the point? I’m just another one of those mummy bloggers.
To be honest, I’ve probably said it myself a few times, when asked what type of blog I write. (Not that it would take a genius to work it out.) “Oh you know, I’m just a mummy blogger”. And that’s because I don’t fit into any of those other categories. And I probably never will.
Let me completely straight with you, Dear Reader. I wake up and dress myself in jeans and t-shirt (probably the same jeans and t-shirt I wore yesterday), I scrunch my hair into a bun and that’s me sorted for the day. This has nothing to do with being a mum and not having time to make myself ‘look presentable’ but because this is the way I have always dressed. That is what makes me feel comfortable. I’m low maintenance. But let’s face it, I’ll never make for a fashion blogger. And I’m certainly OK with that.
I rarely wear make up and have very little interest in anything beauty related. So, I’ll never be a beauty blogger. Well, that’s OK.
My passport is God knows where, gathering dust. I sure as hell won’t be ‘travel blogging’ any time soon. That’s fine, too.
And then there’s ‘lifestyle blogging’. This is the area I supposedly have to ‘move into’ if I want to be ‘successful’ blogger. What determines a ‘successful blogger’ anyway? Money? Stats?
The thing is, I am completely and utterly aware of the fact that I do not have a desirable lifestyle. Nor will I go to great lengths to create the illusion that I have one.
I am plain and I am ordinary.
That’s not to say I don’t have a happy and fulfilling life, of course. But I’m like any other stay-at-home-mum in any other house, on any other street, in any other part of the country.
I write about the plain and the ordinary. I write about being plain and ordinary.
I don’t want people to lust after some made up ‘lifestyle’ I’m selling. I want people to nod along as they read my writing, to recognise themselves in my words and to feel like they can relate to the things I’m going through. That, to me, makes me a ‘successful blogger’ in my own right.
Listen, I love that there are so many varieties of blogs out there. Some people are so good at what they do – they’re beautiful, inspiring and live utterly wonderful lives (or so they will lead you to believe). The internet is a big place and there’s room for us all.
But should I be ashamed because my blog mostly serves as digital scrapbook of my daughter’s life?
I don’t think so.
Should I feel embarrassed because I talk about the ups and downs of motherhood instead of, say, beauty products?
I don’t think so.
Do I not deserve to feel proud of my space on the internet because it’s not all white walls and geometric interiors?
I don’t think so.
I am just a mummy blogger. And I’m OK with that.