Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mommy Blogger

This is a long one, so bear with me if you will. If not, I'll put up some more pics of AJ soon!

So I think I've mentioned this before, but there's this whole "mommy blogging" community out there. Officially, as AJ's mom who also blogs, I'm a part of it. I participate in some of the 'carnivals' (like Works-for-me Wednesday), I've got links to other "mommy blogger's" blogs, I read several other blogs written by "mommy bloggers," occasionally I'll comment on other "mommy blogger's" blogs...basically, I ought to have the bumper sticker and t-shirt (and laminated membership card)...but I don't, and I haven't really figured out why yet.

Partly, I'm reticent I think because I started out as just a blogger - long before I met VNB, and even longer before I became a mommy. So changing my mindset from being a 'blogger' to a 'mommy blogger' has been difficult.

But I think more than that, the 'mommy bloggers,' while wonderful, wise, witty, and fun ladies...well, I just don't think they'd be the kind of people that I'd hang out with were we all in high school. From my point of view, they mostly fall into two categories: conservative Christian stay-at-home moms (SAHMs), or ultra liberal SAHMs. There are a large percentage who are work-at-home moms (WAHMs) like myself, and a smaller number who work outside the home. Ironically, a large majority of both sides homeschool and are somewhat "crunchy" in terms of earth-friendliness.

I think I shy away from the Christian side of the fence because, in my high school, EVERYONE was a Christian. The question wasn't "_Do_ you go to church," it was "_Where_ do you go to church." And 9 times out of 10 it was a Baptist church (I went to hs in Nashville - "the buckle of the Bible belt"). And the kid who was a known pot-head and trouble maker wore his Christian t-shirts with pride and I'm sure was a pillar of his youth group. So I stopped wearing Christian t-shirts since I didn't want to be associated with his kind of Christianity. And the "Christian" crowd...I dunno how to describe it...even then that seemed like too sheltered a way to live. I just had _friends._ It didn't matter in the making of them what religious background they had. Sure I wanted them all to know what I know, but that wasn't the basis of our friendship.

These Christian mommy bloggers seem somewhat similar to me. They're insulated from the real world and "real" people. Not that they aren't wholly sincere...they're just...this tight-knit little community that rarely seems to do much more than pray for each other and link to each others' blogs (not that those things are wrong). I mean, they share wisdom and creative solutions on any number of useful topics (a popular one that I've been trying to learn from is "Home Economics" - not sewing and cooking like we learned in middle school, but actually how to run a home economically) and are wonderfully supportive in times of emotional need...many have at least one sidebar link to things like the Scripture of the day, which shows up on a pretty background. Often their entire post will just be a Psalm of praise and a picture of their (perfectly landscaped) backyard.

The thing is, I bet if I met them in person, they wouldn't talk like that. They wouldn't see a beautiful scene, gasp, pause, and in a reverent tone quote entire Scripture passages from memory. And I know that people (including myself) have different written voices than we do in person...but I just doesn't always seem genuine to me. It seems like they're all trying to live up to the word "Christian" in their little sidebar summary description.

I appreciate that these women are all diligently trying to be better Christian wives and mothers, I really do. And I enjoy learning from what they share with the world. But I just don't consider myself "part" of "them."

And yet I'm (obviously) not part of the ultra liberal crowd either. But misanthropes...they're just more fun to me! The cynical, the sarcastic, the biting...their writing has _FLAVOR_, if you know what I mean...and yet I'm reticent to link to their sites for fear of what you'll think of me. I mean, is one of the absolutely funniest sites on the planet. But it's about _yoga_. And she _curses_! But it's about doing yoga with action figures! And it's HI-LARIOUS! (but she _curses_!) And not all of them are misanthropic or cynical...but their writing still has a 'tang' to it that the "Christian mommy bloggers" just don't always have (and I'm not saying that the liberal crowd aren't Christians...they just don't advertise themselves as such on their blogs).

Does that mean that I love the world too much? Am I so enticed by the things of importance to this world that the more reverent "Christian" community doesn't appeal to me? (And I'm not saying that the "Christian" community isn't irreverent either...they just all have on what I call "church face"). Or have the "Christian" mommy bloggers so sequestered themselves that they are of no impact on the world?

I of the blogs that I read is actually written by a single girl. While she grew up in a church-going family, she does not emblazon herself with the label "Christian" (she blogs about tv and baseball and movies and advice - and did I mention that she curses?), and she and her readership just since the first of October have raised over $50k for "Donors Choose" a website where teachers ask for money for projects for their schools and you pick which ones you want to donate to. Apparently Donors Choose is running a month-long contest among bloggers to see which blog can raise the most money for these teachers. Political blogs are doing it. Technical blogs are doing it...but I haven't heard a peep from the "Christian" community about it.

Just about every "Christian mommy blogger" has a link on their side bar to pray for this family or that little one who has such and such grave illness...and it's not wrong to do that...but why aren't we impacting our world more? And how do we go about it?

There's definitely a dichotomy of readership too, I think. The Christians use their churchy words and talk about submitting to their husbands (and potty training and child-rearing and home ec and dozens of other topics) and the liberals talk about all the same things, minus the churchy words and teachings and with a dash of cursing and salt. And to some extent, never the twain should meet.

Except that _we're_ called to be the "salt" of the world. Why are we so boring?

No answers here, folks....discuss amongst yourselves.

(But how is it that doesn't have "blogger" in their spell-check dictionary?)


Anonymous said...

Hey, speaking of mommy blogs that have "flavor" .. do you read She's hilarious! I can't relate to most of what she writes about, but she cracks me up and I'm addicted.

- V's bud

twinmommy said...

Here's one to check out... She's Christian, she's liberal, and she curses. She's also one of my best friends and truly a salt of the earth type person. Witty, politically active and she writes like she talks. You might find somewhat of a kindred spirit.

Ewokgirl said...


Okay, technically, I'm not a mommy blogger, as I'm not a mom. But I do read a lot of them because there don't seem to be too many other SAHWs out there in the bloggy world. I do enjoy reading some of those blogs; I've learned a lot about economy and such. But you're right; it's all too perfect to seem real. I'm not into a Christianity that shuts itself off from the lost world around us. They claim that their kids can't be around regular kids because they're not strong enough in their faith yet, but if their faith is never tested, they really can't grow much. They'll have a lot of bible knowledge, but they won't know how to share it with anyone who isn't just like them.

I have a message board I spend time on. The women there are pretty wild, but they've become true friends over the years, and I just love them! They're not Christians, and that's okay with me. They know what I believe, and I hope I am a positive representation of Christianity, but I don't act pious and whatnot. I'm just me. I'm a normal girl who happens to love Jesus. My sentences aren't peppered with "praise the Lord" or "God willing" or whatever else pious types frequently like to throw into their speech.

My unsaved friends would never visit those perfect little "happy homemaker" sites. But they will visit the sites of Christians who act real. (Not to say that the others aren't real, but they're hardly the types to be of any impact on a lost and hardened world.)

It's just nice to read that someone else has felt the same way!