Daily Mail: You’ve Got It Wrong (Again)

This morning I had a browse of the Daily Mail – I know, I know, I shouldn’t have and to be fair I have curbed my habit of perusing the sidebar of shame quite a lot these days! But there was one article about mummy bloggers such as Hurrah for Gin and The Unmumsy Mum that really got to me. Slummy Mummies, the author calls them who have created a trend of who is the most awful mother in their blogs that now have book deals.

Let’s set a few things straight.

Reading this sensationalist article, which read like it was written only to cause the provocation that would ensue – I was transported back to the 1950’s. A woman’s place is in the house right? Raising babies, cooking the dinner, cleaning up afterwards. That’s what we’re best at (*note the sarcasm*). Except that’s utter nonsense to me. How dare we have ambitions and ovaries? Is it really that hard to imagine that most of us Mums had lives, careers and other interests before we had children? These mummy bloggers she mentions are people I have looked up to; women who have created empires for themselves and their families because it is so hard to forge a career with the flexibility needed to make your family life work. The narrow minded author implies that these bloggers are putting their children second, but in fact it is the very opposite.

To me, parenting blogs are simple – a little light relief that you’re not alone. Parenting can be isolating and daunting and personally one of the best things I did was start writing my blog, for the sheer support I have received since. The fact that there are so many of us should be a clear indication that other mums want to read the reality – they want to read something they relate to. One of my most loved posts was about leaving my job because I had changed as a person since having Emma, NOT because they didn’t offer me flexibility. That was my truth, but what I discovered was it was other people’s too.

Reading a blog is a support network – it’s okay to feel a little disgusted at a particularly foul nappy, or want to scream into a pillow when your child runs into the corner in a tantrum when you’re trying to get out the door. This is real, raw, unscripted life and how refreshing that it’s told as it is without a perfect picture of a tidy, white living room and a toddler playing quietly in the corner.

As I was reading the post, horrified from start to finish – I thought to myself “well, at least she didn’t spout some rubbish about cherishing every single moment”…oh but then she did. I know a child is a gift – of course they are. I refuse to cherish every moment as it is simply not possible. It’s like asking someone to be happy all day everyday, and never feel anything different. If you don’t accept that some days are awful, then how can you appreciate when you’ve had an amazing day and everything went a little more according to plan than usual. The phrase puts pressure on all parents that you should be parenting a certain way. The fact is there is no right way. I have always thought that the rise of blogging over the past decade can only be a good thing to let other mums know that you don’t have to be a Mary Poppins figure with all your shizz figured out.

Daily Mail and Anna May Mangan, I just want to tell you that you’ve got it so wrong. These blogs are about solidarity, women supporting women, creating a support network where some new mums might not have one. They’re about every single mum knowing that it’s okay to have a terrible day, it’s okay to find it monotonous, it’s okay to say that you need help sometimes. Let’s unite, not divide, surely we’ve come further than that by now.

BritMums

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12 Comments

  1. May 16, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    I 100% agree with you, I do think us mummy bloggers are misunderstood by mainstream media/tabloids, I won’t be reading the actual article because I refuse to give the daily fail a single click! But the fact that mummy bloggers books regularly top the best seller charts speak volumes, mummies relate to other mummies! And tbh my mum kept a diary for the first year of my life – and it wasn’t unlike the blogs of these so called scummy mummies! I found it a relief that although my mum loves me very much it wasn’t all white picket fences and roses round the door. I will have to see if I can dig it out!

  2. May 16, 2017 / 2:27 pm

    Bridget, this is the first time I’ve heard of “slummy mummies” – love that expression! I’m a very positive person and I like to read positive things, but I’m also about “real” and, as you said, you can’t be loving it every minute! All the perfect homes, wardrobes, etc, can all get to be a bit much as well.

  3. May 17, 2017 / 10:09 am

    Great post, I totally agree. We should support one another in the highs and the lows and not just pretend that everything is always wonderful. I find it hard to believe that someone writing to ‘cherish every moment’ actually has kids.

  4. May 17, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    Well done for saying this in a more calm way than I would have! I purposely didn’t write about it apart from on my FB page as I knew I’d just let rip with anger. Absolutely spot on: nobody is happy all day every day! I’ve long hated the Daily Fail anyway; deliberate provocation. I’m sure it’s done wonders for their circulation but probably not as much as it’s done for the bloggers mentioned!! x

  5. May 18, 2017 / 11:29 am

    Can’t believe we are still talking about this is such a gendered way – why does the Daily Fail continue to bring women down?! Thanks for bringing them to task – please please avoid reading the original post on their site, we don’t want to boost their ad revenue!! #stayclassymama

    • May 18, 2017 / 11:47 am

      Hi Celine, many thanks for your comment. I haven’t linked to their site and I’m entitled to write my thoughts on it. I think we should leave it there on this issue. Thanks, Bridget

  6. May 18, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    I haven’t read the article and I’m not going to. Guess she got the response she wanted though as there is uproar! Saddens me that the solidarity of women hasn’t been recognised but has been criticised. #CoolMumClub

  7. May 18, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    The Fail just hates women! Anything that suggests we’re using our brains for something other than our designated function in life just seems to put them into a spin!! How dare these women be witty, funny and be making money from writing about their lives.

    I haven’t read the article – no clicks for them from me!

  8. May 18, 2017 / 9:47 pm

    United we stand! I have totally ditched the daily mail in the last year or so, having previously been fairly addicted. I guess these days I can be found browsing scummy Mummy sites instead! #solidaritea 😉
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

  9. May 19, 2017 / 12:28 am

    I was going to comment here a couple of days ago but I hadn’t read the Mail article yet. truth be told, I didn’t really want to but curiosity got the better of me. I just can’t believe what a vile and degrading article is. Well, I can believe it actually. I also can’t help but think that all this attention and uproar is exactly what they set out to achieve though… #stayclassymama

  10. Lucy At Home
    May 22, 2017 / 5:22 pm

    There is so much pressure on mums to be perfect and love every moment, but real life is not like. I have to admit that some mummy blogs do go a little too far in the other direction for my liking (calling their kids horrible names and sharing photos of them having meltdowns – these kids don’t have any way to defend themselves or veto what is broadcast to the world), but in general I think parenting blogs have it right – appreciating the amazing gift that children are, but also being honest about the frustrations and struggles that parents face. #blogcrush

  11. May 23, 2017 / 2:21 pm

    It sure is all a pile of rubbish and I totally agree with your opinion on parenting blogs and also that cherishing every moment with your little is nonsense and unreal and totally unachievable! Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

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