I’ve written a few blogs now about being a mum. The funny things my kids do, the things my body did when pregnant and after, the mind, the positives and negatives. Maybe 10 blogs in total. And you know what the most exciting thing is? I’m probably an expert now in motherhood!
Yep. It’s that easy.
I know you’ve all seen those motherhood blogs out there – the ones where people are making amazing amounts of money based on their motherhood advice. People are hanging on their every word. One day, probably not so long ago, these “experts” were where I’m at right now. They had a few blogs because they just wanted to write down their thoughts… those thoughts turned into a regular thing; and before they knew it – people were listening. They were hanging on every word. Because, after all, if it’s on the internet, it must be the right advice … right?
Wrong. It’s a blog. It’s written by someone who felt like they should share their experiences with motherhood. They might have been sitting around one day at home, feeling miserable (or happy) and decided to put their feelings into writing. They could have been laughing with a friend who suggested they start a blog. Or they might have been hired to write.
You might even be surprised to know that many bloggers who write about motherhood – are not even mums themselves. I know, shock horror. It’s like blogging about breeding cows when you haven’t been near a cow in years (yes, I’ve written about cows).
Being a mum doesn’t make you an expert
Personally, I don’t claim to be an expert in motherhood (or cows). Heck, I don’t even claim to be an expert when it comes to my own kids. In fact, I spend half my day wondering what on earth they are talking about; why they are doing the things they do; and Googling what could be wrong with them every time they get a sniffle… But I can write fun or informative blogs for you to read, based on my own personal experiences – and there’s a chance you might resonate with some of the things I’m saying. Or you might just laugh at my misfortunes.
What you really need to remember is that blogs about motherhood aren’t the bible. Although some writers get the Goddess status, and have a million followers – it doesn’t make them an expert. Even if the person writing them is highly experienced in a particular field (they might be a nutritionist blogging about how you should feed your child; they could be an allergy specialist blogging about the allergies your baby probably has; and so on) – it doesn’t make them an expert on YOUR child.
Even “experts” get it wrong
Recently, there was an interesting article printed in the media in Australia. Mia Freedman, has based a career around her blog site MamaMia (and other journalistic talents), which is all about being a woman – and includes a major section on parenting, with all the “right advice”, tips and news for mums. And she has written a new book. And in that book she got her son to write a chapter about her role as a mum. Luca, who is now 19, went all out with his words – and what he said shocked not only Mia herself, but also everyone who follows her.
According to Luca, his mum was so busy focusing on her career that he had to ask his friend’s mums to take him to birthday parties because if he relied on his own mum, he’d never get there. He said there were many forgotten pick-ups from school, hungry lunches where she failed to provide him his food, and so on. I guess what really came the biggest surprise to everyone is that this woman, who many say is an expert on mothering – somewhat failed as a mother herself when her child was young. On the plus side, it opened her eyes to what had happened and she admitted in a number of interviews that she felt devastated by what she’d read. And it opened up many other mother’s eyes to their own workload and the importance of also taking care of their children, even if work is super important to them as well.
I guess the most important thing, it goes to show that even the “experts” can get it wrong. Which is more proof that you should take motherhood blogs like a grain of salt… In other words, don’t take it seriously.
The one thing I have learned from having two children is that every child is completely different. My son and daughter could be from completely different planets – from the moment they were born. Different temperaments, different sleep patterns, different attitudes – and so on. No two children are exactly the same (and if they are, it’s possible they are extraordinary twins that need to go on reality TV shows…). So the advice you read from experts on those blogs – might be right for THEIR child, or it could be right for SOME children – but it might not be right for yours.
Motherhood blogs are great. They’re sometimes funny, they are informative and they teach you about things you don’t dare to ask your friends or family. But that’s all they are. Don’t take them too seriously; and remember – if you really want to know something about your child, listen to them. Talk to them. Spend time with them. Get to know THEM, rather than generalising them along with millions of other kids in the world.
You just have to take it as it comes, get some ideas or tips from bloggers, and have a laugh. And remember, no one is an “expert” when it comes to your child – not even you.