Are all bloggers who are mothers mommy bloggers? Also: how do you feel about the term mommy?

Femomhist has a series of posts in search of daddy bloggers that nears the end with this interesting penultimate discussion on the term “mommy blog.”  Femomhist dislikes the term.

We don’t really have any problem with the terms “mommy blog” or “mommy forum,” if that’s what they are. Generally that indicates something focused on mothers of kids age 0-6 or so. (Older and they become “parenting” blogs… or, more often, the parents aren’t so tied to home and computer at that point or have developed other interests.) We’re not crazy about BlogHer and all its advertising, but not because of the term.  I also don’t mind being called DC’smommy because I don’t remember other people’s names either when the only connection I have with them is their kids.  If my colleagues or students called me DC’s mom instead of my first name or title, I’d get pissed, but if all you know about me is my kid, go ahead and call me by that relationship.

But what’s more interesting in the post, and the comments of her previous posts in this series is the observation that a lot of blogs are categorized as mommy blogs whose sole purpose is not motherhood, and if the parent were a different gender it wouldn’t be considered a daddy blog, even if the guy talks about his kid(s) a lot. For example, Retireby40 or Manvsdebt or even The Simple Dollar. Those are personal finance blogs. But if a woman wrote the exact same thing they’d be considered mommy blogs. That’s a problem. But it would still be a problem if they were termed parenting blogs if a woman wrote them and finance blogs if a man did.

Apple Pie and the universe added a poll to her blog– what kind of blog is it?  In the comments it is interesting how folks who joined her blog at different times have different perceptions.  But if her tag were mrcomethunter instead of mrs, would the perception be different?  Would the telescope overshadow the clipart baby?

I didn’t really get when FSP and Historiann made a big deal about coming out as moms after hiding that identity for so long, but maybe they didn’t want to be positioned as mommy bloggers instead of science and history bloggers.  It never really occurred to us.  And honestly, we’re ok with being mommy bloggers about once a week, even if one of us has never reproduced (that she knows of).

Do you dislike the term “mommy blogger”?

Are you more likely to mentally categorize a blog as a mommy blog if it’s written by a woman rather than a man?  (Would retire by 40 be a mommy blog instead of a personal finance blog were it written by a woman?)

How do you categorize your own blog?

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18 Responses to “Are all bloggers who are mothers mommy bloggers? Also: how do you feel about the term mommy?”

  1. Kellen @ Accountant by Day Says:

    Hmmm… I don’t have kids, yet I like reading your posts about picking out schools, etc. I also like reading “Dad’s Dinner” which cannot be anything other than a daddy blog, since it is ALL about kids.

    RB40 only mentions baby RB40 in passing most of the time, mostly in terms of cost. If a woman wrote that blog, I don’t think I’d term it a “mommy blog.” Like Mutant Supermodel’s blog doesn’t feel like a “mommy blog” either, except her financial blogging is very influenced by being a single mom with 3 kids. RB40′s kid is not a cause for so many budget hassles yet. I think what I’m saying is that RB40 is overwhelmingly about finances vs baby, and if a woman wrote like that, it shouldn’t be a mommy blog.

    FinanciallyConsumed is a stay-at-home dad, but I couldn’t even tell you how many kids he has, since they don’t come up much on the blog.

    I think I don’t like the term, because it makes me feel like I don’t want to read the blog. So if Mutant were strictly labeled a mommy blog, I may never have read it. And that would have been a bad thing.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I dunno, every time I read RB40 there’s a picture of their adorable little kid!

      • retirebyforty Says:

        Heh heh heh, I guess the baby pictures attract you because I haven’t post about the baby for quite a while. :) Thanks for the mention!
        I think Kellen has got it. I don’t think I would like to be call a daddy blog on RB40. If I have a blog about being a stay at home dad at some point, I wouldn’t mind it being call a daddy blog.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        The RB40 post that was up when I was writing the post was titled with baby gates! And grandma coming to help with childcare… So no, not about US being attracted by baby pictures, but that you actually do mention the kid and family. And if you were a woman…

  2. Alyssa Says:

    I’m still struggling with the identity of my blog…which might be a good thing, since I do write about a variety of topics. I don’t really see it as a mommy blog though, since I do not write about my opinions on parenting techniques or anything. I mostly just write about life. The poll results show otherwise, though, with the majority of responders putting it in the motherhood/parenthood category.

  3. feMOMhist Says:

    thanks for the love and I’m excited to learn what your readers think (as you have lots more than me :)

  4. ianqui Says:

    This is a good question, one that I’ve seen around. I don’t think that all bloggers who have kids and occasionally write about them are mommybloggers. If we have to label our blogs (and we sort of do, so that we can find a community of people who will want to read them), I think it’s primarily based on the thing we write about most often, and how we self-identify. I guess that I self-identify as an academic blogger. I *could* be a mommyblogger, or I *could* be a New York City blogger, but mostly I write about academia. I’d be really surprised if people consider me something other than an academic blogger (even though after Yo was born, I basically didn’t write a single academically-oriented post for about a year).

    I think labeling and creating a community is mostly about the other people you link to and whose blogs you comment on. If one wants to be a mommyblogger, you have to get in with all of those bloggers who write primarily about parenting and their kids. If you want to be a personal finance blogger, same thing, except people who focus on personal finance. There are the occasional blogs that fit into multiple circles (like you guys, maybe), but I wouldn’t even really consider mommyblogging among your primary areas (though I don’t know where you read/comment w.r.t. parenting blogs.)

  5. Cloud Says:

    I won’t rehash the things I said over at FeMOMhist’s place, but I’ll add: I think that the reason the term “mommy” bothers me in some contexts is because it is used with the intent to belittle me. So, as you say, I have no problem with the other folks at day care calling me “Pumpkin’s mommy” because yes, that is what I am. And they aren’t sneering when they say it. But I do have a problem with people (usually aggressively child-free types) calling me a mommy when they are using that term to limit what they see me as and at the same time somehow infantilize both me and the work of motherhood. Yes, I am a mother. But I’m a lot of other things, too. And being a mother is a lot more than those sorts of people allow.

    I have no idea how to categorize my blog. I’ve noticed that I get the most traffic when I write about working motherhood and related topics, so I’m guessing that the majority of my readers see me as a “working mom blog”. But I like writing about travel, the cute things my kids say and do , and random books I liked, too, so I’ll keep writing about them, even though I can kind of see people rolling their eyes and clicking away to a different blog in their reader. Its a good thing I don’t actually care about the amount of traffic I get!

  6. hush Says:

    I agree with @feMOMhist’s stance in her original post about disliking the term “mommy blog.” It’s right up there with the term “chick lit” for me as dismissive of women writers. “Where are the ‘daddy blogs’?” indeed.

    I’ve also heard the term “mommy” bandied about in online discussions, usually in arguments about whether or how many children a women ought to have, and I’ve seen it used in a disrespectful manner in those fora. The only people who should be calling me “mommy” are my own kids, and actually even then they call me “mama.”

  7. Jacq Says:

    I don’t agree that if MvD, RB40 or TSD were written by women that they would be called mommy blogs. I think of mommy blogs as ones where they write primarily about their own children – things they do and say without a greater context (work, money, homeschooling…). Those guys write primarily about finance and if their kids are mentioned it’s within the context of personal finance. But I don’t read any of these MB’s, so I don’t know if that stereotype is true.
    I’ve run across some daddy blogs – for example, Alex at
    http://www.perfectingparenthood.com/
    I wouldn’t have ever read any of these kinds of things anyway, even when my kids were little. I stuck to very few books (eg. Penelope Leach or 1-2-3 Magic) and my gut instincts on how to raise my kids. Or if I was looking for advice on something, I’d do a targeted search for that particular problem. I wouldn’t read a book about someone’s journey through parenting their kids (even if it was written by someone I knew IRL), so why read a blog like that?
    I also think I was traumatized by this woman I worked with years ago who talked incessantly about her kid. (I didn’t have any at the time). It made me conscious that people probably don’t want to hear about your wonderful children all the time.

  8. Debbie M Says:

    I think of blogs that mostly talk about raising children and family issues as mommy blogs, and I’m pretty sure I would feel the same way if they were written by men.

    I’ll admit that “mommy blog” is a pejorative term for me partly because I don’t think it’s very appropriate to refer to yourself as a “mommy” to other adults. “Mom blog” would be much easier to swallow. Another problem is I really don’t like most of those blogs. Some of them are dumb–I can be dumb by myself and don’t need any help. Some are emotional and/or judgmental–again, I can do that myself but much prefer a more rational, or at least humorous approach.

    My blog is an obscurity blog. I think I have six regular readers, five of whom are not close friends or relatives (though I do know them better now than I did before–and I like them, so yea!). I don’t talk about my kids at all, but that’s probably only because I don’t have any. I do have a few entries where I largely talk about my niece and how cute she is and blah blah blah, though now that she lives a couple thousand miles away, it doesn’t happen so much. Lately my blog is a personal finance blog because I am desperately trying to figure out a way to quit but still hang on to lifestyle to which I have become accustomed. I enjoy living indoors, eating every day, and even going places that I’m too wimpy to bicycle to. That all adds up! But mostly I try to write about interesting things I notice or learn. So I’d call it a “personal blog.”

  9. First gen american Says:

    I am in line with jacq’s comments. Mommy blogs mainly talk about their kids and the content revolves around parenting. I hardly ever talk about my kids for the sake of their own privacy which mommy blogs tend to do the opposite…pictures everywhere and knowing each kids personality, etc.

    I read a lot of blogs by women who are moms but I wouldn’t call them mommy blogs. Personally I would not like my site characterized that way. Perhaps it’s because most of the ones I read are working moms. Not sure, but for me mommy blog is synonymous with stay at home mom (and often one who home schools and loves Jesus). I used to read and enjoy those types of blogs but too many were judgemental towards other forms of parenting so I have stopped reading them completely.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m not the only working mom with a secret vice for cheerful homeschooling religious mom with a huge passel of kids blogs. Ah, what might (never) have been…

      • becca Says:

        I’d think of it as a secret virtue. We should read blogs of people whom we would Never Want to BE. Otherwise… well, boring would be the main problem. Echo-chambers have their limits.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        They seem so happy. I don’t think I’d want to read a blog of a miserable (religious homeschooling passel of kids etc.) SAHM. I’d be all, You don’t have to live this way!

  10. Revanche Says:

    Hum. I don’t know that I am ok with the term unless I like the blogger I’m reading who happens to embrace the term. And I’ve seen dad/daddy bloggers. (It turns out I actually know one of the more popular ones IRL via PiC! WEIRD.) Same feeling about the men. Capricious? Yes. I think I’m just not going to judge for other people if they want to use it; I just don’t want that label.

    Confession: For the longest time, I only knew Retire by 40 via Twitter so … I never knew he was a he. Oops. Sorry! :D

    Also: I started out as a PF blog and have always self-identified as one but who knows why I haven’t been tossed out of the community yet. Ponder on that every so often but don’t ever get far enough to bother to reclassify. I still blog to talk about money at the end of the day.

  11. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I hate that term! My kids are the only ones I feel comfortable calling me Mommy. I don’t even like “Eldest’s Mommy” but thankfully I don’t get that much. “Eldest’s Mom” yes and that’s fine. Mommy is baby-talk and I think that’s what it implies of the writing. Bad term. I try not to differentiate much except for the case of Single Moms. And even then, I try and stress that the blog is simply written BY single moms and may or may not be about being a single mom.

    I like the obscurity blog comment earlier.

    I don’t know what I am either. I’m an all-over-the-place blogger. Being a mom is obviously a part of my life but I swear that’s not all there is to it or even most of what there is to it.

    At least, I don’t think so…


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