The Revenge of the “Mommy” Bloggers

Mom bloggersBy Estelle Sobel Erasmus

Here is a bedtime story to tell your little daughters…tell them…every night if you are able, because it is they who will change the world… they will have to. But you can give them a head start.

Once upon a time there was a woman. She studied hard, probably got into college; then began working in a profession, whether social work, publishing, television, communications, retail, education or another field. She liked what she did and was good at it. But then she got married (or didn’t) and had a baby, or two, or more. And what had worked before, no longer worked because the policies of corporate America give lip service to, but don’t really support the combination of working and being a mother… So the woman who was now also a mommy had to figure out how to make the best of her skills, and lucky for her a new industry had just been born… blogging. She knew very little about how to get started. However, she found lots of resources online that reviewed web hosting providers like A2 Hosting.

The mommy started blogging; telling her story, and slowly but surely she found a lot of other mommies who did the same thing. These mommies formed a community of smart, savvy women, and eventually, the brands and sponsors came calling. The mommies figured out that they could meet more of each other at conferences and form even greater communities and learn even more. When they went to these conferences, many of them, especially the grand lady of conferences, BlogHer made it simple for the mommies to get babysitting help. Other times, these mommies had help from the daddies. They missed their children when they went away, and sure, they had fun, but more importantly, they solidified their personal and professional contacts, which ultimately allowed them to grow their businesses, which is the reason they went to the conferences in the first place.

It’s important for you to know that because your mommies are much, much more than just mothers. They are women. And deserve the same child-free time that daddies seem to get as their right, to recharge their batteries. But, mommies are recharging for a different reason as well, and have a different battle to fight.

Women and mothers need to change the world. Women and mothers need to change the subconscious ways that people think in our society. Why? You ask.

Because, as your mommy’s idol Gloria Steinem has always said, there are people in a patriarchal society that want to keep women and mothers down, want to minimize their impact even if they are smart and successful. Especially if they are smart and successful. These people use tools like newspapers and magazines and television, and female reporters driven by a lust for fame, and try to turn women against each other; all because they are threatened. They even use the term “mommy bloggers” to describe us. But when used that way the term is distasteful to most of us because it doesn’t credit us with the fact that we are more than mothers; more than mommies, even though we love being your mommy.

It is even used to discredit mothers who have created a movement to help other mothers. How awful is that?

So it’s up to us to put a stop to it. How can the mommies do that, you may ask. By using the power of our more than 50% of the population. Even if we’re treated as if we’re second class citizens. It’s all about control. So we take back that control. We bond together, and together we have maximum impact through using our buying power. And we will use the hashtag that Miss Representation has set up and help them to bring the app to market that says #Notbuyingit.

So the magazines and newspapers that disparage us? We will refuse to buy them. We will cancel our subscriptions. We will cut and paste every story of every issue and send it out to the other women and mothers we know so that nobody needs to ever buy another magazine or newspaper. And we will tirelessly tell brands and sponsors that we do not wish to be called mommy bloggers.

And we will wait. Maybe not patiently, but we will wait. Until you our darling daughters are in a position to change the world. Because we are trying, but we KNOW you can do it. And we are going to work very hard (as hard as we work at blogging) to give you the tools to make that happen.

That is our revenge.

How do you feel about the constant misrepresentation by the media of mom bloggers and mothers in general? What can we do to stop it?


50 thoughts on “The Revenge of the “Mommy” Bloggers”

  1. Locally people don’t get the whole blogger thing, but when someone does and snickers or makes a comment I just ignore., I’m happy that is all that matters.

  2. And plenty of men will be by your side. And, hopefully, my son will be by your daughter’s as they work hand-in-hand to keep changing the world for the better.

    1. I love that sentiment. Yes, even better if they can work hand-in-hand to change the world!!

  3. great article and wonderful writing by the way. when I am asked what I do, I say I have blog, usually get some interesting responses to that.

    1. Maria,
      Thanks for commenting. What kind of responses do you get when you say you have a blog. Just curious?

  4. My husband who was raised by a single mother came to me with a very ready understanding of women. I think perhaps the old adage that “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” proves true repeatedly. Teach our boys and girls that they are special and throw in a healthy dose of respect for the rest of humanity and I think the discussion of the glass ceiling changes significantly within a generation. Never underestimate what the power of love and a quiet guiding hand can do to move mountains and change perceptions.

    1. Thanks so much Jen. I love that piece of advice from your husband. I applaud all that you say in your comment, and I totally believe it.

  5. I am a blogger, mother, wife, and so many other things. I have often considered going to a blogging conference and after reading the article in the WSJ I was pissed. The entire tone was condescending and patronizing.

    Thank you for this post. We must, as women and leaders, stand together and work towards making the future less hypocritical. Thank you. I look forward to following your blog.

    1. Momma O,
      Thanks so much for your support! Yes, the tone of the article was completely rude and unacceptable, and we must absolutely stand together and find ways to maximize our impact.

  6. I agree with most of what you have written but I believe the issue is bigger than just “mommy blogger” titles. Daddy bloggers, SAHDs etc all receive worse than women do in the online belittling, yet you exclude them? sexist views work two ways. Doesn’t mean I don’t agree with your points I feel though that your points should be based on equality and respect for ALL bloggers and Stay at homers not just those with a uterus.

    1. Jen,
      I’m directly responding to a specific article, one of several that have recently attacked “mommy” bloggers. Dads or SAHDs were not mentioned in this article. Of course there should be respect and equality for all bloggers, but the reporter in this case kept them out of the equation.

  7. I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t really take offense to the term “mommy bloggers.” While I take offense to the pejorative way it is being used, I prefer to redefine it and make it my own–if someone wants to use that term to define me, then I’m just going to have to own it and show him or her how insanely powerful an educated and passionate ‘mommy’ can be. I found a whole new level of strength as a parent, and though I did my formal education before I had children, I’m way stronger since.

    1. Hi Jessica,
      It’s not really the term it’s the way it is being used (with an eye roll by the reporter for emphasis, before mentioning an um, business trip). I believe that if we are stronger together, rather than individually by using our collective buying power we can make an impact. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Love. Love. Love this. You are my new hero.
    It’s hard to be a working mom. I’m 34 and having my 2nd (my first is 7 yrs-old). I’ve spent the last several years climbing the corporate ladder. But now I’m at a place that isn’t friendly or conducive to being a new mom and an executive. Being 5 months pregnant, traveling for work, maintaining a relationship with my husband, and being a mother to my son and 2 stepchildren is a challenge, to say the least.
    Thanks for verbalizing what so many moms feel. XOXO
    Power in numbers 🙂

    1. Miranda,
      Absolutely it is difficult to be a mom and an executive, mainly because of some of the archaic policies of most (not all) but most of Corporate America. Thank you so much for your comment and I wish you well with the challenges of maintaining an executive position while being pregnant and mothering a 7 year-old.

  9. I’ve never managed to get my act together enough to become a blogger, mommy or otherwise, but I have a lot of respect for the HUGE amount of effort that goes into these small businesses.

    On a related note: does anyone else think “mommy blogger” sounds a lot like “Lady Doctor”? How about calling these women “Editorial Entrepreneurs”?

    1. Hi Michele,
      I love the term “Editorial Entrepreneurs” very savvy. “Mommy” bloggers is used with disdain and somehow made for mom bloggers to seem less-than, which is my huge issue with the pejorative term. Thank you for your vote of support for mom bloggers and what they do.

  10. Well done! We gals do need to figure out a way to stand firm in our choices and make those choices more carefully, especially when it comes to using our collective buying power and influence. Love this post.

    1. Hi Nikki,
      Thank you. Can you imagine what us moms can do when we band together. Let’s start with our buying power…and go from there.

    1. Hi,
      Yes, you are absolutely right! Boys need to learn the very same lessons about women that the girls are learning.

  11. AWESOME! Love this post. It is so hard to be a full time mom, employee and wife, and you’re right. The system is set up for us to fail. It’s not right.

    1. Stephanie,
      Thanks for your comment and support. We need to change the equation, and use our combined power and influence to make it happen.

  12. Wonderful post. I don’t really identify with mommy blogger. I prefer to see myself as a woman who has children and also blogs. Pretty much the same as when I worked in business. I wasn’t a mommy business person. I was a business person. Hopefully that’s something our children won’t have to worry about.

    1. Hi Ellen,
      Yes, we are business people and we also have children. I wish the media would make that distinction.

    1. Thanks Joanne. It is sad that some of the reporters we’ve seen covering stories lately, like this one in the WSJ and the recent the piece in NY Mag on Kelly Makino, appear to be going for the fame at the expense of journalistic integrity.

  13. I am not a blogger but I agree completely you. Also, I think it goes further. There is a stigma attached to being a mommy who starts a business of any kind. Either we are more focused on our business than our children or we have a ‘cute little business’ to keep us busy and make us feel like we contribute. No one would ever say that about a dad who started his own business. He would be an entrepreneur. We need to stand together and let the world know that we can be great moms and entrepreneurs!


    1. I love this sentiment Katie, it’s very powerful. We absolutely need to stand together and let the world know that we are nobody’s second-class citizens.

      1. Lemme tell ya, it would definitely help if non-blogging “mommies” would quit making fun of us, or take advantage of us or worse! My husband, now ex, was a total failure at a business I bought him. Scam artist….need I say more about that? Once I saw the internet, I knew there was money to be made and it wasn’t porn. We had radio stations out in the middle of nowhere, so he and I began something he saw as a way to be a hero, but we needed money, he wasn’t binging home a dime. I turned it into a good business, despite his constant sabotage. I was known as a “super mommy,” and this biz began when the kids were in school either part time and then fulltime. Other mommies thought nothing of scooting their pre-schoolers into my house, and calling up the stairs, “Hey, I’m running to the cities, be back in a few!” and leaving! Or women with zippo to do would walk in, and help themselves to whatevah was in the fridge and clomp upstairs to weep on my shoulder about their jackass hubs. Worse? The women who felt that NO decent woman should do what I was doing. They weren’t sure what it was, but I shouldn’t be doing it. NO one understood that “the nicest guy in the world” brought home zero dollars and we were about to lose everything if I didn’t get to work.

        I was the first woman to do what I did on the internet, in a male dominated industry, so it wasn’t surprising when men called, to be told, “I don’t want to speak to a secretary, I want the head broker.” I would just reply to them in e-mail under the hub’s name! The struggle became a lot less when he was asked to speak at conventions, and he chickened out at the last minute, literally, shoved me onstage & I spoke (of course I was ready with an hour talk about the state of the industry!)

        None of it was easy, but women who should have kinown better, either cut me to my face or behind my back. No, I do not believe “we are all sisters” but I do believe we need to remember that we all face similar discrimination due to our gender, and quit doing what men do to us, to each other.

        You don’t have to like me, Mildred, cuz I might not like you either, but I am not gonna try to hurt you cuz you think the guys do it, and you want to be “one of the guys.” You aren’t. If you can’t do what I do, then do what you CAN do, I’ll applaud you, really.

        We’ve come a long way, Baby, but we still have far to go, don’t let’s trip each other up before the race is over!

    1. Susan,
      Yes, I agree with you. Gloria Steinem started a movement, and we are letting patriarchal society have the last word. Well, no more. We have a voice and we’re going to use it.

  14. Yes! Yes! Yes! You hit it right on the head. We are stronger together. We cannot sit quietly (as if bloggers could) and allow the establishment to tell us where we fit and define our roles per the status quo. Excellent, excellent piece.

    1. Hi Adri,
      Thank you. Together we are so powerful; imagine if we all felt that power and used it? We could change the world; but our daughters? With our help, they definitely will.

  15. So well told. And hopefully this issue will have a “happily ever after” ending?
    But who knows? Everyone is always looking to blame everyone else. Mothering and the decisions we make are so individual to each and every one of us. People need to respect that.

    1. Hi Sheryl,
      Thank you. I think we collectively will have to work hard together for that happily ever after ending. But the nonsense from the media and the constant attacks? That we have the power to stop by using our buying power.

  16. Love how you aways use your voice to speak out.
    I struggle with being referred to as a mommy blogger just because of the stigma attached.
    This is the perfect way to begin changing that stigma

    1. Thanks Leighann. I don’t think I know any other way than to use my voice and my writing to effect change-or get people thinking about it, at any rate. Because we have to start doing something…to fight back.

    1. Thanks so much Jessica. This misrepresentation of some of the smartest women I know has to stop.

  17. There have been many blog posts addressing the WSJ mommy blogger conference article, but I think yours says it best. I don’t know how long it will take, but we have to keep on trying to have women’s work not be trivialized anymore. Even if its too late for us, it can be our legacy to the next generation of women.

    1. Thanks so much Jennifer. It makes me so angry; but we need to prepare the next generation to make the changes we want to see in government and corporate policies. I think we are all tired of not being allowed to shine our lights.

    2. It is NEVER too late for us. Don’t sell yourself short. You are defining and changing the course of your daughter’s life-and her daughter’s- right now. And I hope you have a crowd of smart women (mommy bloggers, perhaps) around you helping as you do it.

      1. Darla,
        I agree. And I wouldn’t want to do it without the army of smart women supporting each other, which I’m lucky to have (and count you among).

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