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You may not like or understand parent bloggers – but there’s a lot more to us than nappies and snot

ChallengeI was doing some research last night and quite by chance I stumbled upon the campaign ‘STFU parents’, which apparently has been gaining momentum in the US for quite a while now and was sparked by a blog run by a childless woman who objects to parents oversharing on social media – posting pictures and talking about their offspring’s every achievement ad infinitum.

Now, to a certain extent, I agree that posts and photos about the contents of nappies or runny noses have limited appeal. But of course the newish adage You Don’t Have To Read Everything On The Internet holds incredibly true here. Click away, click away, click away.

This week I also had a little ‘discussion’ with someone – a mother – who was making sweeping statements about parent blogs which were based on Liz Jones-style generalisation and had no basis in fact. (And yesterday morning I had yet another wasted trip to the post office because someone had sent me baby products without bothering to read my blog.)

The thing is, there are over 4000 parent bloggers in the UK right now, and I would say that the vast majority are writing about all sorts of things. Being a parent informs and perhaps colours our view of the world but as I blogged previously, it’s NOT the only thing any of us write about.

Right now, for example, there are three parent bloggers in Ghana for Comic Relief (look out for the hashtag #goodwork on twitter), there are bloggers campaigning for things they believe in, there are bloggers writing about politics and entertainment and travel and food and all kinds of things, just like other bloggers. The variety and diversity is one of the things I love most about the parent blogosphere.

And yes, sometimes we do want to share our children’s achievements. That’s not oversharing. That’s being a proud parent, which is I’m afraid something that the Childless by Choice perhaps don’t – or can’t – understand.

So, I think I’ll say STFU anti-parent bloggers. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

 

13 Comments

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  1. sarahhillwheeler February 5, 2013

    I love the post and agree with MummyKindness. I don’t think it’s a case of being pointlessly bitter, Potty Mummy, although it may be (it’s sort of a diluted thinking person’s trolling). I rather suspect, like HerMelness Speaks, that there’s a hidden agenda there. I almost hope there is. When you think about it, being just anti-anything is a bit sad….shows you lack a positive agenda, and to be anti-parent blogger, well, it’s a bit like saying you don’t like yellow cars. Don’t buy one, or don’t click. In a nutshell, get a life.

  2. HerMelness Speaks February 4, 2013

    And the reverse also holds true. Men and women who blog, say, ‘domestically’ shouldn’t be made to feel less than. To go and find some greater calling other than blogging about their life or children.

    The curious thing, though, when I feel someone has perhaps over shared, I don’t then go and re-share the material or start a blog dedicated to re-sharing the over sharing I’m damning!

    I see some woman, once anonymous, has come out from behind her STFU blog. (Massive coincidence she also has a book coming out about the subject. Massive.)

    It is so easy, isn’t it, to trawl through and aggregate someone else’s content, but much harder to take one’s own thoughts and put that down in such a way other people want to read it.

    The old adage hold true. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, well, don’t.

  3. Crystal Jigsaw February 3, 2013

    We all have important issues in our lives. We all blog for our own reasons. We are all entitled to blog how the bloody hell we like. Anti-parent blogging police bollocks are the types of blogs I skip past; they interest me about as much as my posts about Amy interest them. But there are two things you and I will always have over these self-righteous idiots; the freedom to blog what we like without feeling the need to judge others, and the most enlightening, interesting and precious topic of conversation – our kids. Yes, they should STFU.

    CJ x

  4. Ruth February 3, 2013

    Great post. I called my blog it’s name (mixed bag of all sorts) precisely because I wanted to write about various things, some of which are obviously about parenting whilst others are not. And I don’t see why people who have a problem with parent bloggers read their posts anyway.

  5. Cescabakes February 3, 2013

    Here here! If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. Personally i don’t know where people get the energy for negativity (maybe no kids!) They do them, we’ll do us…there’s room for all of us on the big old interweb.

  6. Potty Mummy February 3, 2013

    Sometimes I wonder if people who start these campaigns are looking for ways to self-publicise – and easy targets to use to do it – rather than actually having particularly strong feelings about the subject. I mean, no-one could be *that* pointlessly bitter, surely? (Don’t answer that)

  7. Alison, Not Another Mummy Blog February 3, 2013

    Spot on. I was asked by a US firm what my blog is about this week. I found myself a bit stumped for an answer before saying “Well it’s about anything a mum would be interested in… fashion, beauty, travel, celebrities and yes parenting issues too”
    But even if my blog was just about my child, that would be no bad thing. Kids rock.

  8. Mummy Kindness February 3, 2013

    I sometimes think that if these people did have children, they wouldn’t have time to write such bitter nonsense. They would probably choose something that is very important to them to share… like anecdotes on their children, for example! I think these people need a few little reminders. Such as where the remote control/mouse is so that they can quickly navigate away from images and shows that cause them such offense. Bloggers (and everyone else) are entitled to write about whatever they like in the same way that these daft folk are entitled to read something else!! Whether mum bloggers only write about their kids is a really good point, but a stronger one is why these muppets read our posts if they find us so distasteful!! Rant over!!

  9. Michelle G February 3, 2013

    Agreed. I’m a mum of four, and even though I don’t think of myself as a parent or ‘mummy’ blogger – I follow several who are. Maybe if my children were younger (they range from nearly 7 to nearly 18) my content would be geared more towards their milestones and issues raised by parenting toddlers etc. I expect the reason many parents do this is so that they have a lovely record to look back on in years to come. They do it for them not for anyone else. It’s why I write mine anyway.
    I’m not a lover of gardening, so it’s like me saying ‘I have no interest in gardening, I don’t want to see pictures of your parsnips, I don’t care how to grow roses, stop posting’. Who exactly is making these people read things if they don’t want to? I know I read and follow the things that interest me. Most odd. And agree with ‘Being Mummy’ above, we too had it on Facebook – when the children went back to school and parents, many of whom were celebrating their child’s first day at school were slated for posting pictures. There is a virtual list now, and a lot of people are waiting to pounce on these people when they have kids and do the same :-)

  10. Being Mummy February 3, 2013

    This is too true. Even on my personal facebook page I see so many childless people moan about people posting photos and statuses about their kids. I always think to myself “just wait til you have one and they become the centre of you’re universe and you want to share the pride the pride they bring you.”

  11. Kelly February 3, 2013

    Thank you for this! I’ve been blogging for a couple of months and every now and then stumble across someone having a go at parent blogs (or just parents). I have to stop and think ‘nobody forced you to click the blog link’ (although they are entitled to their opinion too).

  12. Emma February 3, 2013

    There’s nothing worse than someone who slags something off just for the sake of it, they come across as bitter and incredibly jealous! Anyway, like you say, if they don’t like what we have to say, then don’t blinking well read it! :D

  13. Amen to this. I’m a mother of four, a stepmother of two, and I’m a parent who blogs. I write about everything from gardening to cupcakes to feminism. Today I’m writing about roller derby, and how I hope that taking up this sport will show my kids that strength and power come in all shapes and sizes. That’s a positive message they’ll take forward into adulthood, as is the message that mummy writes a blog which is read all over the world. Long live the parent bloggers, in all our different guises.

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