The ubiquitous “Mommy Blog”

I have joined the ranks of the thousands of other moms out there who have started a blog.  I read somewhere that 1 in 3 blogs are written by moms.  Whoa.  How did blogging become so popular among moms?  My husband says it’s because moms have the time to blog.  I responded (somewhat bitterly) that although moms may have the time, we don’t have much of the opportunity, especially new moms with young kids.   I can barely sit down at the computer before my 3-year old comes in demanding to watch YouTube videos of the Fresh Beat Band and my 18-month old pulls on my pant leg.

The thing is that a lot of moms, especially stay-at-home moms (and dads, for that matter), often feel bored and isolated.  As a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), you crave that outside contact and adult conversation that doesn’t involve the potty, dinosaurs, and various threats.  Aside from playdates with other moms (which sometimes gets difficult with children’s varying schedules, the effort of taking the kids out, etc.), the easiest and most convenient way for that connection is the internet.  That’s why the worst Facebook offenders (the ones who update their statuses and comment on yours several times a day) tend to be SAHMs.   They crave that social interaction, an outlet/voice, and something meaningful to do.  Not that it’s not meaningful to take care of kids all day.  Naturally I think it’s the most important job in the world, but at the end of the day, after all the kids have been fed and bathed and put to bed, the laundry washed and folded, the dishes put in the dishwasher, and the house picked up, SAHMs still feel like they haven’t done anything.  We are way more likely to feel exhausted than accomplished (not to mention appreciated).  SAHMs need something else.  The blog is an easy way for us to channel the little energy we have left over to have a bit of “me time,” as well as share a little of our experiences in child-rearing (perhaps vent a little?), and hopefully find others who can sympathize.

As for me, this is not my first blog.  I had a blog in 2007-2008 while living and working in South Sudan (which I’ve since taken down due to an overzealous country director.  Long story).   Even though my actual job required a lot of writing (and not the fun kind, either – reports, grants proposals, e-mails, etc.), I still managed to write a blog in my limited free time (first on MS Word running on my computer’s battery while the generator/internet was out and later posted online).  Though I had regular readers in my friends, family, and international public health classmates/colleagues, the blog was mainly to record my experiences and thoughts during my time in South Sudan.  The other thing is that I need to write.  Even before blogs were around, I’d kept a journal for years, ever since I received two Hello Kitty diaries at my 8th birthday party.   If I step away from it too long, it nags at me and urges me to get something down on paper (or screen).

Now that I don’t keep a journal, this blog is a way for me to write down the thoughts in my head – whether it’s a phase my kids are going through, a news story I heard or read, or something that triggers a memory of my time abroad.  Plus, writing a blog gives me something else to do and think about aside from my kids.  For the past three or so years, I have been consumed by my kids’ lives.  Except for an occasional entry (that I never got to post), I have been knee-deep in cloth diapers, pureed organic baby food, grocery lists and receipts, and memberships to the Children’s Museum and zoo.  Now that my kids are 1 and 3 and a bit more independent, I have a little more time to focus on something I want to do for myself (gasp!).  So although writing a blog is more for myself than anything, I’d also love the chance to connect with others and share experiences and viewpoints.  Even though we may do things differently, there is something grand that we share: the responsibility of raising children.  After all, it takes a village.