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Sunday, June 3, 2007

I read, therefore I am...who, exactly? A "mom-blogger" or not?

I'm a relatively new resident of the "blogosphere," both as a participant (as you can tell from the archives) and as a reader/follower. I follow blogs on various topics - productivity and self/life improvement, career and work life, pop culture, news, and quite a few I have tagged as "just for fun." My interest in women's issues, lately centered on things related to the topic of "balance" - the whole "mommy wars" thing, "opting out," and all those related work/family buzzwords - has introduced me to some of the (of the many, many) "mom bloggers" out there, and makes me wonder whether I might be one - or not.

Since I started this whole thing as a means of keeping a record of the books I read, I would have considered myself a "book blogger," if I put myself into any niche at all. And if there is a "typical" mom blogger, there are a few reasons why it wouldn't be me:
  • I never was a stay-at-home Mom, except for brief periods between jobs coinciding with relocations, and never really wanted to be one either (at least not for any significant length of time). My consciousness was shaped not necessarily by the "having it all" ethos, but more the idea that my education and career training were an investment in my future that needed to be used. Also - true confession - I really never felt like I had the temperament to be child-focused 24/7. At first I was a college student whose own parents assisted with childcare when my (first) husband and I had classes or work, and then I was a professional slowly working my way up, living in a dual-income family - the other income came from academia, hence a need for two - with no extended family nearby, dealing with childcare, career, and domestic balance before people were talking about them much, and at an age when many of my peers had barely started families of their own.
  • I don't have very young children, and these days I'd consider my "active, hands-on parenting" to be on a part-time basis. My son went away to college after his father and I divorced, I moved across the country in the opposite direction, and my boy's just getting started on his own post-college life. My stepchildren (girl and boy) will be entering eighth and second grade next year, respectively, and they're with their father and me two nights a week and alternate weekends, plus periodic extended vacations. My peers these days tend to have children closer to the ages of my stepkids, and often younger.
  • I'm a few years on the opposite side of 40 - although not as far past it as you'd think, considering I have a 22-year-old (!) - which puts me on the upper end of the blogger age range, especially for the moms, as far as I can tell.
The thing is, I am a mom. I've been one for more than half my life, it's the most important job I've ever had, and it's full-time in my heart and mind regardless of how much "hands-on" time it takes up. The concerns of parents, particularly mothers, are mine. Because my own path has involved pursuing work outside the home in tandem with family life, I tend to identify most with mothers who are dealing with the challenges related to that. But I'm also interested in the experiences of mothers who are making different choices and how that's working for them.

I've read a few interesting things lately from the perspective that part of the "mommy wars" is a Baby Boomer/Gen X clash of values. Age-wise, I'm on the cusp of these two groups, and since the Boomers came before me, my consciousness and life path thus far were probably shaped more by those values. But at the same time, I identify with and share the concerns of Gen X'ers enough that I feel uncomfortable being lumped in with the "boomers."

Is being a mom who blogs enough to make one a "mom blogger?"

1 comment:

  1. I think the answer is no. Yes, we are moms, but wht should that aspect of our lives define who we are as writers? So many of us are much more. And just because we do write about our family lives sometimes, shouldn't automatically switch us into certain categories.

    Do we really need them?

    ReplyDelete

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