Aug 29, 2017

'The Mummy Bloggers' by Holly Wainwright. From the Perspective of a 'Mummy Blogger'.

Mummy bloggers.  It seems such a straight forward term.  To me, it describes bloggers who happen to be mums.  To others, it's a complex pair of words.  There are many who associate the phrase with women who use motherhood to influence, profit and self-promote.  Which then leads to the various sub categories of mummies who blog.  Those who 'keep it real', those who 'keep it polished', those who 'tell it like it is' and those who possibly try to do one or all of the above but also manage to stir high emotion among their readership.

Mummy bloggers have also crossed into the mainstream media from the blogosphere.  Thanks (some may suggest I use inverted commas around the thanks...) to Instagram, mummy bloggers are influencers and media identities.  A force to be reckoned with in this world of fast media and fake news.

Mummy bloggers also can't seem to help but stir an almost primal response in their followers and readers.  Whether it's because of what they consciously try to project or promote or whether it's a result of their words and pictures reacting with our own beliefs, ideals and experiences as women - it's almost impossible not to react not just to the posts but also to whom we assume the author is based on what they've chosen to present to us through their work.

All of which is a preamble to introduce the book I'm currently reading, 'The Mummy Bloggers' by first-time novelist, Holly Wainwright.  Wainwright is the entertainment editor for Mamamia which gives her a unique perspective on the rise of the mummy blogger and bloggers in general.
'The Mummy Bloggers' is a page turning chick lit kind of read centred on the lives of three mothers who blog.  I'm sure you've read the blogs of the kinds of women who've inspired the three central characters. Elle presents a highly curated take on motherhood.  She has a dream kitchen and everything about her looks just as perfect.  Abi is the non-conformist who celebrates all women as Queens.  Leisel is a working mum who blogs about the sometimes grim reality of being the breadwinning mother of three young children.  She works in the glamour industry of magazines which sees her work life contrast almost painfully with the time stretched tedium that greets her each day when she returns home to her stay at home dad husband and her brood of three little ones.  The women become finalists in a blogging award competition which paves the way for a plot of lies, deception and back stabbing.

I'm really enjoying 'The Mummy Bloggers' so far.  As a blog reader and casual follower of some pretty infamous mummy blogger confrontations, Wainwright's novel is both a topical and 'behind the scenes' examination of these dramas as well as how mummy blogs are run.  Because mummy blogging isn't just about taking photos, captioning them and writing.  They're big business headed by women who are using their blogs (and families) to go places.  Nothing is spontaneous, unintentional or thought about ten steps ahead in terms of clicks, affiliate links and potential sponsorship.

On a more personal level, reading 'The Mummy Bloggers' got me thinking about where I fit in on the mummy blogger continuum.  I'm one of those people who blogs but who also happens to be a mum.  I'm not aware that I push any particular parenting agenda beyond doing whatever works (a very loose term in itself) and mostly keeps the peace.

I write about what's been happening in my life.  Sometimes it lends itself to pretty pictures and sometimes it doesn't.

But it mostly does taste good despite appearances.

My life has its ups and downs.  It's been pretty, it's been ugly.  There's been travel and then there's been long periods of the same old same old.  Writing about it brings me joy and a sense of purpose.  I enjoy the creative process of putting my life into words and pictures.

The issues of influencing and manipulation of the truth are ones I've never really thought about as I've written and photographed.  This blog is primarily a creative outlet for me.  There are aspects of my life that I don't write about for reasons of privacy and out of respect for others in my life.  There are things that just don't translate into the kind of posts I tend to write.  So yes, my blog is a manipulation of the wider truth but hopefully what I do write about is not perceived as manipulation itself.

Are you a blogger yourself?  Do you follow blogging dramas?  Have you read 'The Mummy Bloggers'?


  1. I freaking love your book recs, SSG.
    I freaking love your blog.
    And I freaking love YOU. xx
    Stay grouse.

  2. I haven't read it but it sounds like an interesting read! :)

    I think I'm more in the category of 'mums who blog' than an outright mummy blogger, as I'm not really focusing on life with the boys as my main reason for blogging. I do share bits of motherhood but it's not everything and like you I do try keep some things private.

    Baby boy's health issues is a hard topic to share about without sharing too much of, as I got a lot of questions, especially after the hospital stay. I wanted to share what was going on (as blogging kept me sane in the hospital) but respect his privacy at the same time. It's a tricky balance to have and I think everyone who's a parent has that problem to figure out - mummy blogger or mums who blog!

  3. I am a blogger but not a mummy blogger... I tend to avoid labels because I don't think they're helpful - they tend to be more divisive than anything else.

    Some would say there is no truth, only subjective experiences of said truth based on our lives and experiences to date. That's a bit deep, so I'll just say that for me, I tell things as they are, but also edit out things that shouldn't go on the internet. I think that's only fair.


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