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Not a Mommy (Blogger That Is)

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I’m not a mommy (blogger that is ’cause I do actually have kids).

Guest Blogger: Amy Phillips

I have accepted that labels are unavoidable. I accept that they are a part of life, that they are how people file you in their head. Some of the labels that are stuck to me include: Mom, daughter, sister, divorcee, geek, nerd, Ruler of All, and badass. Ok, the last two are wishful thinking, but you get the idea. But there is one label that vehemently, absolutely, reject: MommyBlogger.

Now, don’t worry. This isn’t an article to bash MommyBloggers, there are sites out there totally devoted to doing that and I think that’s just plain mean and uncalled for. No, this about women getting a pat on the head and stuck in a category that (for some) can feel like their contributions are cheapened. When I started my blog a couple of months ago, I was struck by how supportive and awesome other online (women) bloggers were. The other men bloggers out there could learn a lesson from this. But I started getting the feeling that it was assumed that because I was a mother and blogger- I was instantly a MommyBlogger. I disavowed everyone of that notion through a couple of controversial posts, posts that probably cost me quite a few followers, but I stand by every word.

Why does this label bother me?


One, I have very little in common with MommyBloggers. They tend to be white, conservative, upper-to-middle class, stay-at-home moms. Their children are their whole identity. That’s not who I am, how I live my life, or my philosophy to being a mother, so reading that their precious one year old is walking is not something I am interested in reading.

Two, MommyBloggers are all about the giveaways. Targeting MommyBloggers for promotions, giveaways, and advertising is BIG business. In my opinion, this takes away your credibility as blogger. I’m not saying that I won’t do giveaways or run contests, but I try to make sure that they are for the benefit of my readers only. What does that mean? That means that I pay for all items that are given away. I owe it to my readers not to post about a company. My writing is not for sale on my blog. Period.

Third, they crowd out the other bloggers voices. When was the last time you saw a blogger panel, and out of the 10 spots, 9 were men, and then there was the token women- and invariable they are MommyBlogger? Where are the humor bloggers? The techie bloggers? It’s degrading and infuriating. Last, I know that everyone has a unique writing voice, but just because you gave birth to the most beautiful progeny ever, doesn’t mean you’re a good blogger. It’s a hard truth, but one that must be said.

Even the best known female blogger, Heather Armstrong, is now in the MommyBlogger camp. Here’s the thing, Heather has been blogging for over 12 years, but has only been a mother for a little five, but, now she is invited to every MommyBlogger conference around. If I was Heather, I would be livid. She has written two bestselling books, is a talented web designer and blogger extraordinaire- but now has a label that makes her work’s success seem as if having kids is the reason she can write.

I don’t think I am asking much. All I ask, is that you recognize that there are lots of kinds of bloggers out there. And many women AREN’T MommyBlogger’s, and don’t want to be in that category. Make a place for them.

It is with great pleasure and respect that I know some great MommyBloggers. They are truly great writers, and are a pleasure to be read, and, again, are really nice women. And, yes, I may talk about kids in my blog, but that’s not the sum of who I am, and it shouldn’t be the sum of my blogging.

About Amy D P Phillips:
I call myself the Queen Of Inappropriate, Princess of Randomness, and the Duchess of the Non-Sequitur. And I am all that and more, baby! I can say the most inappropriate things and the most inopportune times, and have an opinion about everything. Then one day I realized that all this awesomeness needed to be shared, to be given to world, to give back to those who drive me NUTS. EVERY. DAMN. DAY. Do you not FEEL the love?
Contact me: Email | Website | Twitter

We're always looking for guest bloggers to write for the BlogWorld Blog! Please contact us if you have a topic you'd like to cover.


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  • Nikki

    Amy, I definitely agree with you. When people (who know me socially as a mom – at school, playgroups, whatever) ask what I do, and I tell them I’m a blogger – the immediately think I’m a Mommy Blogger. In actuality, I’ve blogged about my family/kids maybe 10 times in the six years I’ve been a blogger! I’ve blogged about parenting and parenting issues – but very rarely my life as a mom and what my kids did this weekend. I tried it a couple times, and it just wasn’t for me.

  • Bumby Scott

    Amy, It’s always a treat to read your thoughts … Keep it up .

    Always Bumby

  • Gianpaolo Baglione

    It’s horribly unfair. There’s also no real corresponding “Daddy Blogger” label- Dad Gone Mad is my favorite, but even then I think it’s somehow different. Regardless, you’re awesomely deranged, keep it up 🙂

  • hadji williams

    Great stuff Amy!

    You’ve actually raised some issues that I’m trying to address working as a track coordinator with BlogWorld.

    Diveristy is a key issue in the blogging and social media space. And by “diversity” I don’t mean arbitrary quotas or political correctness; but rather simply being intelligent enough to acknowledge nuances and differences and move accordingly.

    As an African American, I have a lot of African American female bloggers in my circle, but they’re often overlooked not only by brands but frequently by other bloggers and conventions who don’t count them among “women bloggers” because they only view “women” as being white. Or in similar cases to what you’ve noted, many WOCB (Women of Color Bloggers) are only acknowledged if they’re moms bloggers and as nothing else. Consequently, all the other insights, experiences, value, connections and skill-sets they have to offer frequently go overlooked because of they don’t neatly fit into a little box.

    Because I’ve known these guys for a few years now, I feel comfortable saying that Rick and Dave (the CEOs/co-founders of BlogWorld) don’t want folks left out of BlogWorld or the blogging/social media community. They want women of all stripes and all walks because they know the value that everyone brings to the table. In fact, they want everyone involved that wants to be involved. This is a growing space and no one group or category of folks should be left out of pushed to the background.

    To do so just hurts us all because we’re missing out on what they have to offer.

    Unfortunately, not everyone shares this view. I’ve been to enough conferences, worked with enough clients and have enough online experience to know that there’s a lot of blindspots out here. I’m putting in my two cents to fix that, as are you.

    Keep fighting. It’ll pay off.

  • Tarable

    I once said something on my blog about not wanting to be categorized as a mommy blogger and I got some backlash about it. I’m totally with you on this post.

  • Gwynne Kostin

    Thanks Amy for the post–and to paraphrase Three 6 Mafia–it’s hard out here for a blogger who’s a chick.

    What? Did I give you loyal readers whiplash? Didn’t know I like hip hop? Expected me to write about my awesome children? Don’t think that I have anything to say about technology and strategy? Think that I have pink golf clubs? Ready to put me in a box?

    Yup, that’s how it is. And that’s why I appreciate folks trying to expand the limits. Pull out a chair for all flavors of bloggers, no matter gender or age or income or race. Snaps to you all!

  • Allison

    Amen. I posted on the same topic on the 21st.

    https://myopinionatedblog.wordpress.com/

    Not all of us want to post about our kids.

  • Amy Phillips

    @Nikki- Thanks! I know there are more of us out there, we need to band together and start a Not-a-Mommy-Blogger- Gang

    @bumby- and as always, you’re support ROCKS!

    @GP- takes one to know one 😛

    @Tarable- you’ve hit on the dark side of Mommy-blogging, they can be quite vicious- something I’ve learned the hard way. But, I stand by that most mommybloggers are awesome and are accepting if you don’t want to be known MommyBlogger.

  • Amy Phillips

    @hadji- you bring up an even bigger issue. It seems that blogging world as a whole is not incredibly diverse. Why is that? I don’t even think I can come close to providing an answer.

    I agree that spaces like BlogWorld are leading the way to make sure all voices are heard, but I challenge all bloggers on BlogWorld to include at least one link on your blogroll that promotes diversity- not just in color, but in subject matter, and gender as well.

    I also agree that companies target women (and overwhelmingly white) for giveaways, just seems- again, I have no answer. But I don’t think you are missing out on anything by not doing those giveaways 🙂

  • Condo Blues

    The thing I learned about about mommy bloggers is that there isn’t a “typical mommyblogger.” 🙂 I went to my first blog conference and met a lot of great bloggers who I didn’t read who happened to be women and more often than not had “mom” or “mommy” in their blog title. After every introduction almost every women said, “but I’m not a typical mommyblogger” which baffled me a little because I don’t really know what a typical mommyblogger is – and I’m OK with that.

  • Holly

    I agree with Condo Blues: there is no “typical mommy blogger.” I work full time, and yet I write a blog every day about the steps on my journey into motherhood. Documenting my child’s life, as well as my own growth as a mother, does not mean that my child is the sum of my identity.

  • Dave Taylor

    Um, okay. But what’s the thinking behind “The other men bloggers out there could learn a lesson from this.” Learn a lesson from what, being supportive? As an ostensible “daddy blogger” (among many other things), I feel like other dad bloggers are pretty darn supportive of me whether I’m writing about parenting (at http://www.APparenting.com), tweeting about a challenge I have as a single dad to three (as @DaveTaylor), or just venting about some chaotic element of my life somewhere or other.

    Btw, labels are just that, labels. It’s how you respond to them that determines if they have any power or not. My two cents.

  • Rick Calvert

    I was going to say something similar Dave. I started this whole thing with a political blog and I found political bloggers to be very supportive. Of course I have come across some jerks over the last several years but all in all, bloggers as a group are very supportive imo.

  • JenniferG

    Not that you don’t know this already, but you rock. You KNOW I am a fan, right? Thank you for the thought provoking post, as usual!

  • Nuttermother

    Mommy blogger isn’t a bad word, nor should it be pigeonholed. I think blogging has been around for so long now that you can’t clearly define what makes a mommy blogger anymore. I think once you start doing that, you may come to realize that you just might not be as well read in the “mommy blogging” world as first thought.

    Hey look! I’m just another mommyblogger with ‘mother’ in my title!

    I have kids, I blog. http://www.nuttermother.com

  • Amy Phillips

    @Dave and @Rick, but were other bloggers in other genres as supportive? That is my question. I think that MommyBloggers, as much as a bad rap they get sometimes, can be incredibly supportive of all blogging.

    @Dave- It isn’t how I react to labels, it’s how other people react. Here’s an example, if I’m with a friend of yours, how would I be treated differently if I was introduced as a friend as opposed to a girlfriend or sister. We want to believe that we are above labels, but I call ‘bull’ on that one.

    @condoblues and @holly I totally agree that there is no such thing as a typical ‘MommyBlogger’ but nonetheless you are STILL a mommyblogger, and I don’t want to be in the group at all. (Again, not an insult to you, that is just how I want to be known). and @holly while in real life the sum of your life is not parenthood, it can be (if you let it) be the sum of your writings. This can make it hard to branch out in the future. Just my two cents.

    @JenG- You always leave the most supportive, wonderful, compliments, and YOU KNOW the love goes both ways, right?

    Here is one last thought- Someone in my family is friends with a famous author (like they make movies from his books famous). Now this author is gay, but he keeps that quiet when doing tours or junkets. Why? Because his books would get stuck in the alternative life section. He wants to be known as a certain kind of author, not the other, so he has to reject one label for another. It’s not just small bloggers who face the label identity crisis.

    Even if we disagree, thank you to everyone who was a part of this discussion- I love debating anything, and getting different points of view helps me grow as a person and a writer.

    I will be at BlogHer in August and BlogWorld in Oct so look me up!

  • Amy Phillips

    @Allison- I forgot to sat thanks for link, I enjoyed reading your post.

  • Michele McGraw (ScrappinMichele)

    I also do not consider myself a mommy blogger even though I am a mom and I blog. However, with your post here you are doing exactly what you don’t want done to you. You are saying all mommy bloggers are a certain way. “Their children are their whole identity.” Why is it that just because a Mom writes about her children and is a mommy blogger that you are assuming that her whole identity is her children?

    What I would rather see is, forget whether someone is a mommy blogger or a daddy blogger or a techie, a foodie or whatever and let’s just be bloggers. Let’s read each other’s blogs and learn something about the person. Don’t assume they are a certain way because they’ve been labeled something.

    I personally could care less about the labels and the kind of bloggers anyone is. If I like the blog, I read it. If I don’t like it and I think they can’t write worth a darn, I don’t read it.

    And I guess what is wrong with having a mommy blogger’s opinion on a panel. If there are 9 men and 1 mommy blogger, it sounds to me like the men are taking up the space. For a long time, moms have always had a lot of power in what a family buys. This isn’t new. The marketing people have been marketing to moms for ages. It’s just that now they don’t have to do it with commercials and by taking out an ad in the Ladies Home Journal. Now they can talk directly to Moms.

  • Condo Blues

    No offense @Amy but you just made the mistake about me and my blog that you accuse others of doing. It’s true that I am a women who blogs. I blog about green living and saving money – two things that can appeal to moms and a lot of other people. I interact with many moms and nonmoms through blogs and social media. I don’t have kids – I think that’s a requirement for being a parent blogger 🙂

    To me, really, the term mommy blogger has evolved into nothing more than a keyword for people who seek out blogs written by women for women as their primary audience (although my blog audience is half men half women.)

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