Today we launch a new feature, What’s Burning Wednesdays aka the WBW, where we get the BabeBQ ready and throw on some flaming commentary, sizzling gossip and cultural hot potatoes.
The WBW is not just for Babes but for anybody who cares to sound off in the comments or even with a guest blog (Tuesday night deadline). Whatever lights your fire, this is an open forum to rant or rave about it.
In this week’s WBW, we have a David and Goliath-style slinging match between the New York Times and the mummy blogosphere.
We took a break from scanning for dog shit on the pavements to glare across the pond at the shit-storm brewing over the NYT’s weekend Style piece about Bloggy Boot Camp, a conference for women.
It’s run by SITS, a sisterhood of bloggers that Babes about Town is proud to be a part of.
The article Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand, didn’t win its author many fans amongst its core demographic (ironically, she admits halfway through that she’s a mum who blogs herself!).
Aside from the mocking title and slant of the piece – along with its even more provocative cartoon – I think what wounded most is the idea that we are somehow depriving our kids by pursuing this crazy, blogging thing.
It suggests that if you don’t spend every waking minute hooked up to the kiddies (now where did I put that umbilical cord?) then you are NOT MOTHERING RIGHT. And heaven forbid you should use blogging as a sideline to earn a little extra for you and your family.
This article generated a lot of heat and some excellent responses, my favourite by Mom 101.
I did leave a comment on the NY Times blog. But with our own UK conference Cybermummy coming up in July, it made me reflect on what kind of criticism the UK press will dish out and whether I should already start preparing my defence.
Here are a few things the NYT does not tell you:
1. Mommy bloggers is a catchy but limiting term. I prefer ‘parents who blog’, incorporating the diversity of bloggers ranging from dads to divorcees to dog-shit activists (ah, the shameless self-promos!).
2. Blogging for some is just a hobby, for most it’s a way to connect, for many it’s an avenue to showcase multiple talents (writing, editing, designing, marketing, crafting, photography, cooking, campaigning and more) outside parenting and to prove there’s more to us than just wiping noses and bums.
3. Blogging can open up new doors not just for parents but for our families through the meaningful connections we form and the platforms we create.
4. Blogging gives us a powerful, collective voice as mothers but it also allows for individuality, offering an alternative to the singular vision of mainstream parenting magazines.
5. Blogging parents are on the rise and we aren’t going anywhere. New York Times? We love you. But mama said knock you out!