As a woman who happens to be a mother and also a blogger, I rarely refer to myself as a mom blogger and suggest if you want to stay on my good side you never refer to me as a Mom blogger either. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against so called mom bloggers, there are some good ones out there. Back in late 2004 when I found myself pregnant right before my son’s 13th birthday, it was sites like mothering, and many of the mom blogs that helped refreshed my memory on what pregnancy and babyhood would be like. Since when you find yourself pregnant when your only other child is entering his teen years, the reality is you need to relearn all that baby stuff over and boy did I have a lot to learn!
Pregnancy and motherhood was pretty simple back when I did it the first time in 1991-92, thankfully I did not have the internet telling what to do or not to do. All I had were a few books and second hand stories from other women who had survived the process. That said, knowledge is key and in 2004-05 it was the internet along with a persistent midwife that made me give breastfeeding a shot. As I have shared on this blog before, with my eldest there was no discussion of how he would be fed, he got Enfamil and survived but by 2004 I knew I had to make a decision. In the end I went from being a reluctant breast feeder to nursing my daughter three and a half years! Considering that as a whole Black women have lower rates than other races when it comes to breastfeeding I admit I take pride in that decision. I still smile when my now 6 year old looks back fondly on how wonderfully sweet my bickie milk was but at the same time am very firm when she asks is there anymore left. Sorry love, that train left the station.
While I won’t ever call myself a lactivist or any other type of activist on parenting issues instead saving my activism for the economic ignorance and disparities that exist in this country it does not mean I don’t get pissed off when it comes to certain issues. I must admit that the state of online parenting advice and so called mommy blogs disappoints me greatly. Now that the monetization of parenthood has started it seems that gone is the great advice of only a few short years ago. Instead we share our stories in hopes of earning the most page views since high page views and many followers on places like Twitter and Facebook often mean cold hard cash, which of course means we go for controversy. I realized that today as I ran across this piece on my twitter feed.
Sites like Babble seem designed to create controversy and are only one reason that I feel maybe it is time for mommy blogs to die. I know some of my readers will read this and seethe and that’s okay. But it seems almost irresponsible to promote ass-backwards views under the guise of sharing which is what that piece does, I am also tired of reading pieces written by women in most instances who have been parenting a hot minute trying to suggest they are authorities on parenting. Look, I have a kid in college and I will be the first to tell you I know jack shit, my six year old made sure of that. I am not saying you must have fully grown kids in order to try to give parenting advice but someone sharing their “should” on an issue when they really are not fully versed in a topic makes no sense. If you have been parenting a grand total of less than 5 years are you really an expert? Hell, you don’t even know yet if the choices you made while your snowflake was a baby really are going to have an impact on the kid, let the kid grow up before you start telling us how we should parent!
In the Babble piece we have the writer suggesting it’s easy to throw a towel over the kid so no one sees a boob while nursing…oh Mama! Wait until you hit that 12-13 month stage where they just pop off and want to show your boob to the world. Believe me, my daughter went through a phase where I knew if she needed to eat outside discretion was not going to happen. So that meant there were times my breasts were on display and ya know what? So what? Breasts are to feed babies and if anyone has an issue that’s their issue, not mine. I have an issue with an organization that markets itself as a place for a new generation playing into these same tired shaming thoughts when it comes to nursing. I just do.
So in the future I will make sure the next time a Babble link comes across my path to avoid it which is a shame since there are a couple of bloggers I enjoy that do write for them but as a whole, sorry Babble you are not a new generation of parents. Just more of the same old shit dressed up.