Did you know, there are a handful of bloggers that earn a healthy living from all this bullshit? Shouting words and pouring images into the ether can reap massive rewards. Those who do well end up with sponsorship deals, book deals, and essentially every brand clamouring to work with you. Bloggers are a great way of getting a brand or message out to thousands, even millions, for a fraction of the cost of advertising through ‘traditional routes’.
It feels like those at the ‘top’ fall into two categories –
Stepford Wives Bloggers
Those in the echelons of the Middle and Upper Classes (or aspiring to be) who will only cook with organic ingredients, dress their children in matching ethically sourced cotton clothes. With houses and kitchens like showhomes and every image of them (and their children) is photoshopped to perfection. They take soft focus days out to educational places, no tantrums are had, it’s like the Von Trapp Blogging Family (with fewer Nazis).
Slummy Mummy Bloggers
These people are at the other end of the scale, not socially or economically mind you – just pretending to be. Their kids are demons, who have ruined their lives (and vaginas). They don’t play nicely, they spoil every day out (usually to a soft play). Every shit in the bathtub is blogged about, every negative aspect of their children acted out in cartoon form, or with toys, for that ‘funny’ Facebook meme. Then at the end of the day, Mummy and Daddy get drunk to forget about their evil sexcrement.
Bottom line is – neither of these groups show parenting for what it is. One is trying too hard to be like the pages from a glossy mag – the other is trying to be ‘just like you’ – with annoying children who don’t do as they are told.
Neither is a fair and accurate representation of parenting – it’s just – in the middle. We all have moments when our kids have made us well up with pride, and others where they’ve made us scream in frustration. It’s not always either of those things, not by a long shot – kids are kids – a mixed bag of everything trying to fathom out the world.
People see success, money, book deals, sponsorship etc, and want to emulate it – so you get copycat blogs. Again at either extremes of the scale, selling the perfect family life, or the worst parts of it. However, to look even better (or worse), the scenes are more idyllic, or the children more demonic (and therefore the parents gin/wine habit greater). I’m not sure how this ends, perhaps a blog with the title ‘My children are cunts – I wish I’d have swallowed’ or ‘Family Organica – You’ll never be as good as us’.
In my opinion, the people who should be reaping reward are those who are bang in the middle. Happy to show the reality of life – good and bad. Not exaggerated for comedy, or photoshopped for perfection, just life plodding on, as it does. Children will always be marvellous one day, annoying as fuck the next – everyone knows this. You’re not fooling anyone pretending otherwise, or being ‘hilarious’ pointing it out.
Real life isn’t all vaseline smeared around the edges (steady!!) and joyful perfection, and it’s not a torrent of abuse and disrespect from your kids. It’s just a collection of stuff you have to do to get through each day.
We’re in a crowded arena, blogging is competitive – you can’t stand out by trying to be a carbon copy of someone before you. Make your space its own, write about life and how it plays out – just remember – children should not be idolised OR demonised in the pursuit of blogging.
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