Having disappeared down a rabbit warren of negativity amidst the whole ‘Instamum’ Mumsnet debate last week, I’m feeling the need to defend not just my own personal choice, but the choice of many other women (and men, for the record) carving a flexible career out of blogging.
- We are ‘Mummy Bloggers’. Okay, this one may be a personal bugbear, but only two people call me Mummy, and they’re my two young daughters. For the record, I consider myself a parenting and lifestyle blogger, and would never refer to my job as ‘Mummy blogger’ which I find in all honesty, a little bit patronising. Mum blogger, not so bad. Is that just me? I mean, Dad bloggers don’t tend to be called Daddy bloggers? Why did we need the extra ‘my’ on our label? Grrr.
- We all want to be famous. I can’t speak for everyone here, but I’m pretty sure that a LOT of bloggers don’t want to be famous. I certainly, categorically cannot think of anything worse. Whilst the big guns seem to be hobnobbing about hotels and glam events, for the most part A LOT of us are too busy doing dull shiz like the school run / after school swimming lessons in suburbia, and in PJ’s by 8pm. Awkward when the neighbours call round to get a form signed. To be honest, most of us just like the feeling of solidarity that comes through finding a shared community of other hopeless parents.
- We are all outrageously extrovert. To be fair, there is no doubt that I am an extrovert, and always have been, way before I was a blogger…HOWEVER I have come across many other bloggers in my experience over the last few years who absolutely are not – and it doesn’t make them any more relevant or hard hitting as a reporter from the front line of parenting.
- We are freeloaders. It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again…the review of a relevant product, taking time and energy to review, photograph, edit, write, publish and promote is far from free. Time is money people…ain’t nothing a freebie in the blogging world.
- We are untrustworthy. Did we #ad as we should have? Did we disclose in the right place? Did we really squeal in delight over that new and delicious toddler snack? Don’t you know ‘all opinions are our own’? I speak from experience that if a product is total rubbish, it’s not being promoted on my site…and I know MOST other bloggers pride themselves on the same principles. We are all learning all the time and trying to keep up with best practice, it’s important to us to trade ethically.
- We are all rich. Ha ha, if only.
- We don’t care about our children’s privacy. Of course we do – even the ones who share, share, share. We are parents with our kids best interests at heart and as such will have considered and justified this set up a thousand times over. We all have or boundaries and as parents, we have made a decision that’s best for our family based on what we are comfortable with. For some that’s no names, some no faces, some no limits at all.
- We are sell outs. Anyone who questions a person’s decision to monetise their blog is probably in a whole other place than the person who has chosen to accept financial reward for possibly years of hard graft. Blogging and sponsorship arrangements are essentially authentic marketing platforms – just like the ads on your TV and in your magazine. Most bloggers have standards and where they choose to set them is their decision – no likey? No lighty… move on and hope for a post you like tomorrow. If you can forgive David Beckham for parading in a pair of designer boxers, then please forgive us for parading in the #gift perfect school run coat.
- We live perfect lives. Clearly not a reference to my blog (?!) however of course we all love to share the beautiful moments…the ones we managed to capture amidst the spilt milk and toddler tantrums. Whether we keep it real with some truths in our microblog style captions, or whether we are just feeling the love…noone’s life is perfect, we are just sharing a little pretty part of it, or a little gritty part of it – however the mood may take us.
- We are all style icons standing in front of graffiti walls. Some have this thing locked down, but many, oh so many are muddling through in a faded unironed primark breton with a spag bol splatter stain on that we couldn’t get out.
- We ooze confidence. I don’t think there is a single blogger I know who hasn’t experienced doubts on hitting publish, and whether the whole things is just too weird. But ultimately, we all love what we do, enough to keep us hitting publish and to feel the love in connecting with all the good eggs out there.
- We are arseholes. There seem to be many people out there willing to spit a little hate into this already at times, rocky old world. In my experience, ‘Instamums’ are not those folk. Supportive, inspiring, funny, zany, uplifting, fierce are just some of the words I’d use to describe the lovely folk in my feed…the ‘Mummy Bloggers’ (argh) and their lesser known ‘Instadads ‘ too, that I follow and the life coaches in Mum-clothing that I aspire to on a daily basis.