Blogging is the new worldwide pastime it seems. Who knew that so many had so much to say? The ‘Mommy Blog’ is clearly one of the most popular genres of blogging. According to recent statistics there are 3.9 million women with children who write blogs in the United States today*. Add to that number the creative and chatty moms in other parts of the world and it is a staggering picture of women connecting.
Some may say that the high proliferation of mommy blogs is all about competition and simply a place to brag on one’s own offspring. I know that is true in many instances, but I believe it is much more than that. It is about connection. No matter how many books an expectant mom reads or how many articles she scans online about what to expect when she brings that baby home, there will be questions. Big questions and small questions become so intermingled that the tiniest doubt can multiply in size and overwhelm a new mother. She needs an answer and she needs it now!
Her online connections will give her exactly that. All the contemporary mom has to do is type her question into a search site or her circle of blog friends and within minutes a selection of answers, advice and encouragement will appear on her computer screen!
I am so happy for all of the mommy bloggers. Really I am! But I am also very jealous. The wonderful phenomenon of online connection came along too late for me. I am an empty nester now and the idea of chatting with a stranger across the country or across the world was simply unheard of and would have caused grave concern!
When I wondered if it was normal for my newborn’s umbilical cord to look so nasty, my only place to go was my mom. I loved my mother and she was a great source of help and information as I prepared to be a first time mommy, but not everyone is that fortunate and there were moments when the last thing I wanted was to ask her a question.
The midnight hours that found me sitting in the living room with a baby in my arms were hours of questions and wonderings about what was normal and to be expected and what was cause for concern. Do I call the doctor because the poop is a weird color? Should I wake my neighbor who has four kids to show her the colorful poop? Maybe it’s no big deal. But what if it is?
In the generations before me, many families experienced life alongside their parents and in-laws. It was traditional to have your parents live with you and your new family, or the new bride moved in with her husband’s family. In this atmosphere a new mother had some experienced hands and advice always nearby, weather she liked it or not! I would never choose to go back to that lifestyle and my generation was one of the first to begin moving longer distances from the in-laws. But this change also left us without hands-on support and encouragement.
Today the young new moms have all the advice they need and more, at their fingertips. I say that I am jealous, but actually I am also finding great benefit to staying connected online, even in this season of my life. The mommy bloggers may be bragging about their amazing and remarkable babies, but I am having a great time boasting and comparing notes about the wonders of the empty nest!
* “3.9 million women with children write blogs in the US.” Information from Wendy Piersall: Mom Blog Stats
Read more from Susie Klein over on her blog, Recovering Church Lady