What’s in a Word? You May Not Call Me Mommy Blogger
I apologize in advance for this small rant of mine. It is a little thing. An issue that is just nagging at the back of my brain like a itch begging for a scratch and so I clearly have to scratch it today, right now. This itch is a bit about me, but more so about business and professionalism and the spaces in which we use words to define us and label us. See right now, this itchy thing is threatening to become a full blown rash and I swear I know full well that is TMI and way more than you needed to know dear reader, but I can’t. I cannot. I really can’t ignore a moment longer. The itch started when I saw the word Mommy Bloggers this week written on a brand campaign many have seen by now and it’s distracting me from my job today.
What’s in a phrase? Or a word? Or a term? Well, a lot actually. Words can build us up or tear us down. There are many words I cringe at and will not use. There are some I reframe and use as little springboards to launch into a learning moment. The R word contains some history and cruelty and I reject it. It demeans people with disabilities and differences. I wish that word had never existed. My kids know my feelings on the R word and they have a unique insight into why I don’t use that word here. In this safe space, everyone has abilities and differences and nobody should be put down or made to feel less than someone else. Together, when we hear someone use the R word as slang and we are out in public, we sometimes rephrase – “do you mean to say X?” Or we remind each other afterwards why we don’t use that word. It is mean and hurtful. There are other racially charged words we each know never to use in this house.
What does any of that have to do with Mommy Bloggers as a term? Well, I think we can all agree words have meaning. They are our basic units of communication. They are also how I build stories and make a living. Words are how we tell someone No or Stop. Words can be weapons. They can be powerful or weak, meaningful, or insignificant, small bridges between other words. They are hopeful balloons in our chest radiating feelings. Alternatively sometimes words are our anchors. They are beautiful and sad, heavy and light. They are flowery sometimes when we are painting a romance and tender, we hope, when we recognize love. They are abusive too often, misused at times and even clumsy. Words are hopeful, helpful, wise and unwise. They convey accents, sometimes ancestry and sometimes social status and education.
I am not judging anyone who doesn’t care about labels or words. I do. I care a lot about words. I have deep respect for bloggers. I am a blogger. But when I hear the term Mommy Blogger lately I get irritated and itchy. I tried it on a few times today and wondered why it bothers me so suddenly. I never used to really pay attention to it or care. And yet today I find myself holding the term up and turning it over in my hand like a book. If you as a blogger identify yourself as that and own the label as something you are comfortable with that is your business. But this is my take: To me, the term Mommy Bloggers is patronizing. It is used by a public relations professional or a marketing person or business person to keep women bloggers in a tidy little box. It is cutesy, a bit overly familiar and unprofessional in tone. Mommy is what I am to my kids and I fought hard to become that and they can call me Mom, Mommy, Mama, or Momma. It is their word and in their context I become that word. Mommy belongs to them. But in the context of what is a professional relationship as a writer, a marketing consultant, an editor, photographer, reviewer, influencer, chef, stylist, publisher and business person, I am not a Mommy anything. And in fact today this is my litmus test of whether this is an okay term: when was the last time you heard someone refer to Daddy bloggers? It’s Dad bloggers, or bloggers when men are concerned.
I bring to writing and all things job related my experience as a Mom, but I am a writer, a marketer, a consultant, editor. You can call me Paula, you can call me journalist, writer, blogger, business person or perhaps even friend. You may address me by name. YOU may not call me mommy blogger.
What are your thoughts? Is this just semantics or does the phrase mommy bloggers matter?
Randa @ TBK
I just have to say, the “R word” hurts my heart every time I hear it. I lost my first son to Down Syndrome and it never hit me until then just how hurtful a word can be.
As for the “mommy blogger”, I agree it doesn’t sound professional. It doesn’t bother me a whole lot if people call me it, but I prefer the term “Digital Influencer” or “Influencer”. I don’t consider myself a writer, as I’m not formal – I speak to my readers like I’m chatting with a friend. I do feel that I am a creator of some sort though.
OH RANDA!!! Heart breaking in two to hear that. I didn’t know you lost your first son to Down syndrome. So sorry. It hurts my heart to hear that mean word every time too.
Robin (Masshole Mommy)
I don’t consider myself to be a mommy blogger despite the fact that “Mommy” is in the title of my blog. I think anyone that reads my blog knows that there is more to me than being a mom. Not that there is anything wrong with being a mommy blogger, I just don’t think I fit into that category.
I’m sorry that it bugs you so much!! As for me, it doesn’t bug me at all.
I don’t mind. I use it as a hash tag sometimes. LOL I bet there are things that bug the crap out of me that don’t bug you at all. It’s just our human nature to like and dislike things for our own reasons – it’s also our right!
That’s true. I find it patronizing. It doesn’t mean everyone does.
As a blogger and Social Media Consultant – I look at how you’re promoting what you use. So, a lot more and different type of thinking goes into for me – I did find your points soooo interesting 🙂 Great work
Those are great points. I think it depends on who uses the term. Some people are patronizing and some just use it because others used it.
Maureen @ A Debt Free Stress Free Life
Too many labels. Why we can’t just people who like to write about stuff.
Maureen: Well that works too. Writers, bloggers, people who write about stuff.
I don’t have a problem with the term. Weirdly, I did when I first started blogging. I didn’t want to be “lumped” in with bored housewives who blogged to rant because of their rich people problems. Then, I became one. I then realized that some of these Mommy Bloggers are awesome women who are just like me, some are smarter, wiser, funnier and more creative too! I am honored to be amongst these women because no matter what I’m called, I know my worth. I don’t care if you call me a Mommy Blogger if you’re willing to pay me a professionals wage. So far, I’ve been able to achieve this. For me, I look at actions more than words. In this case, the actions have sided on my favor.
I have never thought bloggers were bored housewives.
I am not a fan of being called a mommy blogger either and I am not sure why.
Well to each his own. I don’t think the term is used to be unprofessional or patronizing. It is just a way of identifying a group of bloggers whose main role is that of a mom, who blogs about their life as a mother and business person. I try not to see controversy in everything out there and choose battles that are worth of my time and effort. With that said, I respect that you are offended by the term and you have to be true to you. I don’t think the term is going to go away anytime soon….so you may need some itch cream for that one 🙂
Yes! This exactly.
It doesn’t bother me but I do not promote myself as such either. I focus on Travel & Lifestyle but I do have children. They are not the focus of my blog so I would not consider myself as such,
I’m a Mommy and a blogger. I don’t mind if anyone calls me a Mommy blogger, I let my posts speak for themselves and people can judge how they wish. I was a blogger long before being a Mommy (my first was when I was 11) so I’ve been around on and off long enough to know what I’m doing and not really mind labels as long as I can do what u love, I don’t really sweet it!
Mama to 5 BLessings
I have been blogging since 2008. The term Mommy Blogger does’t bother me. I am a mom and I am a blogger. My content is parenting so for me it fits and I am OK with it.
Heather D. (@GirlGoneMom)
That phrase has been around for so many years now. I guess I am used to it, because it doesn’t really bother me that much. But I see your point – it is very sexist. They don’t call guys daddy ceos.
Sorry it bugs you so much! I don’t much mind about the semantics about it .
Life As A Convert
I don’t like the term Mommy blogger either. I would much prefer just a simple “Blogger”. Being a mom doesn’t define me as a blogger. It may some, and that is ok, but it isn’t my blog.
I totally agree with you about that word. Just like it frustates me that people assume we get things for free because we blog for it. We work for these opportunities.
Kristen from the road to domestication
Mommy terms in general are pretty hard for me right now, so I’m with you 100%!
Some words bother me. That one is not one of them, but I do like how you backed your opinion up with good reasons why you feel the way you do.
I’m not a mother, but I doubt I’d like to be called a mommy blogger when that time comes. I am just a lifestyle blogger & being a mom is a part of that eventually…
Chrystal @ nevermore Lane
I’ve been blogging a long time. Many moons ago mommy bloggers were stay at home moms who were bored. As the years went by and their kids grew, PR firms started to use them to fill their marketing slots. Then, those same bloggers starting to talk about how their simple blog was making the money. Then every mom in the world wanted to start a blog to make money too. These days “mommy blogger” is more of a demographic. They are an “audience” that companies and businesses are looking for to promote their goods.
Personally I think the term Mommy Blogger is just as ignorant as Mommy Porn which came after the whole 50 Shades of Grey explosion.
Labels make me feel like we are all back in high school.
I’ve been writing my whole life and blogging the last half of it. I was doing all of these before kiddo and her dad came into my life.
I think outside the box and dont categorize myself.
The quicker we start breaking down doors and walls the quicker these labels can be ripped off.
Chrystal: I think you hit the nail on the head. Labels make us feel like we are back in high school. It’s been a long time since I was in high school. That’s for sure.
I am not a fan of the term mommy blogger. Many female bloggers are labeled as mommy bloggers and yet they blog about so many other important topics as well.
I agree Ann! PS your recent trip to Florida looked great!
The term mommy blogger doesn’t bother me much, but then again I’m not a Mom. I imagine it would be frustrating to be stuck inside a terminology like that. I’ve never heard anyone refer to a Daddy blogger though. Why can’t we just use the word blogger?
I am all for that Mary!