Friday, February 4, 2011

Little Known Flipside of "Hipster Mommy Bloggers"

There's been a lot of buzz lately about an article that was published at Salon.com, "Why I Can't Stop Reading Mormon Housewife Blogs" (1/15/11) by Emily Matchar. Ms. Matchar talks about her fascination with "Hipster Mommy Bloggers" who live in a Pleasantville-type world of home-baked cupcakes, chubby, happy babies, adorably decorated children's rooms, photos of "happy, shiny people holding hands" (1991, R.E.M.) and everything else that signifies the warm glow of ultimate domesticity. I've looked at a few of the blogs she mentions in her article and a few of those of mostly younger friends, and just like the Christmas newsletter of yesteryear, they do present a perfect snapshot of domestic bliss and achievement which can leave the reader feeling inspired and motivated or despairing, guilty and jealous as they compare the weaknesses and imperfections in their lives and families to the seeming perfection and strength of the one on display. It is a little like comparing the best living room in the neighborhood all ready for company to your basement which hasn't been touched for several (if ever) years. (Why do we do this to ourselves?--but that is an entirely different topic for another day)!

It is interesting that the "Mommy" blog trend seems to be mostly authored by young women as opposed to middle aged mothers, and the difference being the younger ones growing up in a technology driven world, I don't think is the main reason why this is so. Older or middle aged moms, having lived long enough to be buffeted by the storms of life which include growing old with (or divorcing) those "cute, lumberjack shirt wearing husbands" and watching those "Baby Gap"-like model kids suffer the twists and turns of their own lives that no cupcake in their lunchbox can make all better, smile knowingly to themselves and shake their heads amusedly at the naive idealism and the "look at me" self importance that these bloggers seem to purvey. One also wonders what the husbands of these bloggers blogs would look like if they had the time for it. (Does anyone know of any "daddy blogs" out there?)
In my counseling practice, there has presented more than one young husband--scared silly, and feeling a lot of pressure "breaking my hump" to financially and otherwise support and go along with all of these activities--who has admitted that this is NOT what he signed up for when he wanted to marry--most of them pictured themselves at the forefront of their "lover/wife's" attentions and that does not mean he did not want to have children and a family--he did! But he just did not know it would be like this!--"a lot of work and chaos". The thought of the less than enthusiastic husband behind the scenes, begs this question: "For whom is all this effort made?" and "Where does he figure in to it all?"

So, I guess we can all enjoy looking at these pretty pictures--which they most definitely are--and feel the pleasantness that comes by imagining the lifestyles portrayed and, yes, even be thankful to mommy bloggers who take the time to entertain and produce these things for us (just like we do our favorite authors, artists and moviemakers). And, if they inspire us to live our very own, (not what we think, by comparison, they should be), personal dreams as we take into account those of our mates and children as well, then so much more the wonderful!

(Now, excuse me, but I'm going to go read about the mom who ran a marathon six weeks after the birth of her triplets who, by the way, are cheering her on in their hand knitted (by her) "Yo Gabba Gabba" sweaters! Amazing, isn't it?)

3 comments:

  1. manfather.wordpress.com is a friend of mine. A funny, realistic blog for dads to be. -Parley

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Parley - It is funny and realistic--good insight for moms to be on how the other half thinks and feels.

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOL! My husband happens to be a to dad blogger ( Holistic Dad). I myself am a family travel blogger in my late 20s; I would love to have my life be cupcakes, crafts, and the likes but instead I find myself dealing with anxiety and trying to balance my life. Motherhood is certainly a struggle. But if you look at Nie Nie, one of those Mormon mom bloggers, she went through incredible pain, after having been in a plane accident. She shares her daily struggles and recovery on her blog.

    ReplyDelete