For someone who didn’t really consume the genre– and certainly never aspired to be part of it– I think about mommy bloggers a lot.
There was the episode of my podcast with OG mommy blogger Rebecca Woolf where she argued that Pinterest killed the mommy blogger. There is the stifling perfection of the Instagram mom. There are the things I love about mommy blogging’s roots: That it was a reaction against the mainstream depiction of moms. The honesty. The relatability. The heart strings. That amazing universality of the struggles of motherhood, as unique as each mother and child are. The desire to feel like you aren’t the only one going through it. A lot of that is why we started Chairman Mom too.
And then there’s a lot of what came next, which I was reminded about reading this. The backlash. The hatred. The judgement. The mommy wars. The sense that there was a perfect “way” to be a mom. (You know how I feel about that whole perfect thing…)
I have suffered plenty of similar abuse just being a woman covering the tech industry. I can’t imagine bringing my children into that battlefield. In the early days of Chairman Mom, we had a question about whether your kids should be part of your professional brand … it’s a difficult one for me. I think your kids seeing you do what you do better than anyone else is incredibly powerful. Likewise, I think it’s powerful for working women to role model that motherhood isn’t some career death sentence.
It strikes me– and it is backed up in this study– that a lot of the bad of mommy blogging and influencing goes right back to what makes social media so toxic to begin with: Monetization via ads. I think there’s a better way to have the good without the bad. I’m wondering lately if a pure-subscription-based service like Chairman Mom could be part of the solution.
I’d love to hear any thoughts from mommy bloggers in our audience, or those who consumed the medium, on the good and the bad of it and what could make it less toxic.
– Sarah Lacy