Self-expression has never ever been so much fun. There are as many blogs as there are people and as many mommy blogs out there as there are browsing mothers. Mommy blogs have a lot in common - the trials and tribulations of parenting; the hectic mommy life intermingling with creative outbursts; pride in the first tooth, first step and first potty trained episode; fear that the world is not all that safe for their toddlers; and the yearning to express all and cure oneself of toddler travails.
"Blogging is therapeutic for me," says Indian blogger 'Mad Momma'. "Nine out of the ten times I vent, it becomes easier to deal with the offending person or issue." Bringing up children takes a lot out of mothers. In a busy world, many young mothers are working and raising babies at the same time - certainly a very trying time in their lives. Mommy bloggers scream out their frustrations through their blogs. "For me, blogging is like a warm blanket, like a friend who's always there to listen," says the 'Mommy off the record' blogger. Every mom needs that friend who will listen; especially now, when nuclear families mean that support structures are weaker.
'Mama says so', also an Indian blogger, says, "My blog initially started as a way for me to keep my family - which is dispersed all over the country and world - in touch with our lives and especially so that they could stay connected with how their grandson/nephew was growing up." Her blog has now blossomed into a link with moms and dads all around the world.
This need for people to reach out has led to the creation of many records of absolutely boring, routine happenings. Critics have voiced their disapproval over musings on poop and potties and even labeled such blogs as narcissistic and self-absorbed. Although it is true that mommy blogs paint glorious pictures of routine domestic travails, the voice of the blogger mom is unmistakable and unique. While reading these blogs, you begin to appreciate the smaller, sweeter things in life.
Reading blogs by mothers takes you into the world of moms and babes. It is a space filled with love and concern. Suddenly life is not just about you and your work. It is about the most precious thing in the world and anything that you may achieve in the material world does not match the joy that your children can give you.
If you are a parent, you will find all the worries and anxieties that you have had about your children outlined in these blogs. Some are filled with facts and photographs, while others are a mix of cynicism and humor. The focus of every mama blog is naturally the children and their milestones. Housework and domesticity, work and juggling two and even three lives, and cooking and family life are other inevitable mentions in these blogs Struggles that moms encounter in relationships with their spouses, in-laws and friends make interesting reading.
The mama blogger community is an interesting one. The 'Mommy off the record' blogger comments, "We laugh together at the funny things our kids say and do, we console each other when tragedies such as miscarriage occur, and we debate everything from parenting styles to the virtues of WalMart organics.' It is mom chit-chat in virtual space. The topics and concerns are all the same.
'Mad Momma' observes, "There is a defined Indian community and an American community, even among the parent blogging community. There are biggies and smallies much like page 3 personalities. But for me, its nice to chat with other mothers, share concerns and realise you're really not screwing up all that badly." Indians, Americans, Canadians and so many others have distinctive voices when it comes to ethos and bringing-up methods. But while reading mama blogs, the same patterns emerge: the baby's milestone snaps, the proud mother's musings and the busy mom who wants to prove a point or is perhaps surprised by her own threshold level.
Says 'Kerflop' blogger, Jessica: "I started blogging about the mundane tasks and difficult parenting obstacles to show them (readers) that I was just another person trying to find time to do luxurious things like trim a hang nail or take a shower."
While blogs may be one way for moms to earn a fast buck in the West, blogs in India have not yet made it to that revenue-yielding stage. 'Mama says so' comments, "I don't think blogging necessarily has to be about scale. As long as you have a few people whom you can connect with, it works. Scale is important when you want to convert the hits on your blog into advertising revenues. Otherwise, it really is about the pleasure of writing, connecting with people and reading enjoyable stuff that other people write."
Mommy blogs are more about the mother's need to let her hair down and be the ubermom - mothering her baby in cyber space as well. Most mommy bloggers are driven by their enthusiasm over their first child. Everything is new and every little move that your baby makes fills you with a sense of wonder and apprehension. That keeps the blogging on the roll.
"What keeps me going is that the blog and the people I have met through it have become an integral part of my life," says a mama blogger. The community makes sure that the blogging does not end, even when you are exhausted. The comments encourage bloggers to go ahead week after week.
Blogging is addictive and becomes something of a way of life. Many mama bloggers say they wanted to give it up but could not since they found that they were unconsciously formulating posts as they sat in airport lounges or while cooking. Carry on, mommy!