Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mommy blogging Part 2: Audience

How is it, exactly, that mommy-blogs make mothers feel that they matter more? How do they give the SAHM validation?

Some say that it's all in the metrics, but if the answer lies solely in the measurable number of comments or hits per page, I argue that the number of mommy-blogs wouldn't double every 200 days (Lopez). There is something bigger that drives the need to record our stories from the trenches of everyday mothering.

One possible explanation of the mommy-blogger explosion is the audience (or perceived audience) that blogging provides.

Blogging becomes more than just an online journal or means of archiving photos and experiences because you hit "Publish" after each entry. The fact that someone could stumble across a published post makes blogging a public means of expression. It gives blogging an audience.

And audiences make anyone feel important.

You don't have to be a performer to have an audience. Leaders are scrutinized, co-workers often evaluate others' performances, students have peers, teachers have students . . . most roles in society have audiences. But motherhood's only audience is often only her kids (and let's be serious, how often did I applaud my mother's heroism in the kitchen, flexibility of mind and emotion, poise amidst chaos, and unmatched work ethic? Probably not once until I was expecting my own child).

In her article, Lopez wrote:
If the internet provides a forum for both the broadcasting of women’s voices and the community to support that voice, then we should be paying much more attention to the work that is happening on these websites.
Amen. Mommy-blogs are records of the important stuff of life. They chronicle the day-to-day mundanity (and occasional triumphs and breakthroughs) that ultimately shape other people. It's a record of creating societies and culture.

I liked the perspective of this woman's post who was in the throes of motherhood in the early 1970s. She wrote in 1973:
Where are all the fans?! Why couldn't someone be there to applaud, or at least nod in admiration...as I deftly, maternally fit a diaper? Or why not a chorus of ooh's and ah's as I place the pot of Spring Garden on the table, with murmured comments around about my ability to balance budget, nutrition and time in one clever meal? I would be modest....[in the face of praise]. An audience is all I require for the maintenance of....patience, wisdom and creativity. In a musical voice I can say to the child bouncing off the couch, "Furniture is not for jumping." The child is bored? "Why, here, Sweetheart. Mother has made this cardboard box into a robot." Exclamations of awe and surprise from the fans. But [the Mom, staying at home in] obscurity has no fans.... If the clean clothes are mounded high on the folding table and the floor goes a few weeks unscrubbed, who will know? If my voice demands harshly, "Get this robe picked up!" no one can condemn.
 Enter: the weblog. And here we are today, cheering on each other's triumphs and wiping away the cyber tears when they show.

Read Part 1 HERE

1 comment:

Elle Keeps Moving said...

i'm crazy about this post (and part one). like kind of obsessed. super well-written (what you wrote - i couldn't open the article) and concise. there's a LOT to think about with this.

that's just one more reason we should get together really soon. why don't we meet up somewhere and eat dinner or something? any time next week that would work for you? and, yes, i do think it is beyond hilarious and ridiculous that the most inefficient means of communicating in this day in age is still our number one.

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