Mommy Blog Craze

Posted by Ariella Miesner

Most of my mommy friends devour blogs on a daily basis. Instead of flipping through Parenting or Good Housekeeping, they click the links for The Pioneer Women, or Scary Mom. Even traditional media outlets, such as the N.Y. Times, has noticed these mommy blogs growing in popularity and has created their own.

N.Y. Times’ mommy blog, Motherlode, features men and women writers whose posts focus on family in relation to the news.

The magazine Parents houses over a dozen blogs within its website. Several Parents editors and staff run a few of the blogs, as well as authors, free-lance writers, critics, dietitians, professors, and stay-at-home parents.

On top of thrifty tips for home decor, cleaning supplies, child crafts, family meals, these mommy bloggers are doing something new and refreshing that the mommy magazines are not.

They are offering real voices that parents can relate to, and tell them it’s okay if their children eat mostly junk food in between servings of force-fed veggies. That it’s okay to feel like “a dirty Zombie” (no sleep, and no bathing… except for the occasional baby wipe bath) for weeks on end, because they too know what it’s like to have their children and homes rule their every waking hour.

The Un-Coordinated Mommy puts it so well in her post, “Do parenting books and Magazines Really help?” While also referring to blogs, this mom writes about dealing with her 4-year-old son’s tantrums, and how she seeks out advice to correct his behaviors.

“I am convinced that all of the parenting advice that I read in books magazines and blogs isn’t required for raising a “good” child.
But guess what?
I will not stop reading my books, blogs, magazines, and websites.
Because, if I had to sit idly by for three weeks and watch unwanted behavior A exhibited over and over I would bang my head against the wall. At least this way I feel useful… I can tell when I am starting to loose it during these tantrums that it’s time to go back to my parenting books, magazines, blogs or websites and fill up my tank of patience.”

These bloggers are fulfilling an important need for parents who are eager to find support through the ups and downs of parenting. Do you think that this support and unpolished truth makes these bloggers respectable journalists? Does it matter so long as readers’ needs are being met?

How can we hold these bloggers to the same journalistic standards that wehold others with their expanding readership? Should we hold them to the samestandard?

 

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5 responses to “Mommy Blog Craze

  1. I love mommy blogs. I am a mom and these are always so very relieving to read because it helps validate the ups and downs I encounter everyday with my son. Although I love them, I do not feel that I hold these women to the same standardizations as I do journalists. They are just taking advantage of the convenience of internet and making it a useful forum for ranting and sometimes helping other parents out.
    Sometimes it is annoying when there is poor spelling, grammar, and other editing mistakes, but then again, it is just a mommy blog. I see these as a trend right now and something that may trend for awhile because parenting is not going away. I do think that people should continue to read actual journalist-produced parenting articles and hold them to a higher standard. I will do so and I will also continue to read my favorite mommy blogs. 🙂
    Good topic.

    • ariellamiesner

      While writing this post I had the chance to read a lot of mommy blogs. Some of them were recommended to me by friends and the others were ones I stumbled upon through searching Google. I can now say I am a fan.
      These moms have so much wisdom and truth to share about being a parent, and frankly, I can use all the wisdom I can get. I also enjoy a good laugh.
      Before reading the good with the bad, I probably would have said the same as you, Heather, but those “bad” ones were reeeeally bad. While it’s my choice to read or not, I noticed these bloggers posting “bad” material had a lot of viewers and even subscribers. I just get nervous knowing that parents are eating up poorly written, and at times crazy, information.

  2. If a mommy blog is associated with a respected publication, such as Parents, it should definitely be held to a high standard. The blog is a part of the publication’s brand and should echo the publication’s voice. While blogging takes a much more casual approach to journalism than newspapers or magazines, proper grammar and good writing should be present.
    If it is just a free WordPress site, then I suppose those bloggers should not be held to a higher standard. They are on their own and the only people they hurt are themselves if they do not hold themselves to a high journalistic standard. They will just have to deal with reader backlash if they do not provide high-quality posts.

  3. kristenbramhall

    My older sister is beginning to find her way to blogs like these… and she’s OBSESSED with Pioneer Woman. It seems that the more traffic a blog is receiving, the higher standards it appears to maintain. Bloggers that find themselves in the limelight of the blogosphere seem to be able to hold themselves accountable, so they don’t lose their readership and their position as “experts” over their chosen niche. However, I don’t think that less “high-profile” bloggers should necessarily be held to the same standards as, say, the New York Times. Blogs are typically a place for informal writing, journaling, or like you were saying, tips and tricks to literally every skill imaginable. (I do mean literally.) Blogs are a place where sometimes grammar doesn’t have to be perfect. But if you want to get the traffic that some of the most well-read blogs have attained, your journalism skills should be significantly developed.

  4. Kristen really hit the nail on the head. The quality of a blog really seems to depend on how invested the blogger is. In order for a blog to gain massive recognition and traffic, it must be of higher quality, or no one would bother. I think it is unfair in a way to hold bloggers to a journalism standard since blogging is different than reporting, but personally, I am much more likely to trust and follow a blog that displays proper spelling, grammar, fact-verification and reporting.

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