Just a rant – What I Don’t Understand About (some) Moms who Write

Casual Business Woman Typing On Laptop Whilst In Bed

Bring on the sanctimommy gripes, the trolls, and the bullying. I just don’t care. This is my rant post today. As a mother who blogs… I dislike the momblogger moniker. Why momblogger? Why not just blogger? Anyway, I digress… I am really sick of what I have observed as some common content issues in the writing of some moms who type for webzines.

My dense but interesting (to me, anyway) academic reading has given way to reading blog posts on motherhood and parenting these days. I enjoy reading other bloggers’ narratives of their lives with children. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I get misty-eyed, and at other times I either nod my head quietly as I read, in agreement, or utter a silent thank you to the Universe that it wasn’t me or my kids in whatever situation the blogger described. No matter what my reaction is, I appreciate others’ points of views and honestly embrace the live and let live philosophy. Always have.

For those who know where to look, there exist phenomenal writers who write about motherhood and parenting in a way that absolutely touches your heart. These writers write with conviction and give a voice to the many who may not be able to express themselves as artfully or candidly. There are writers – mothers – who write about incidents from which they learned something about themselves or their kids, who share honest this-happened-to-me or my kids kinds of stories, who take us on personal journeys of motherhood to which most of us can relate or even if we can’t, at least sympathize with, merely based on the power and quality of their content and writing.

Then there are writers – also mothers – who find humor in the daily struggles of motherhood, who creatively convert tears and tantrums into laugh-out-loud scenes that seem to emerge straight out of sitcoms. This kind of writing requires a certain knack and some women have finessed into this genre of writing with ease and perfection.

My rule # 1 as a mother is to not judge other mothers or fathers. No. Matter. What (except in one case – more on that later). Lately, however, it seems that no matter how much I try, I cannot shake off some feelings of hmm…not sure what to call it – disgust, anger, annoyance, irritation… at the ways in which some mothers choose to write their stories. This is where the third kind of writers – also moms, comes in.

These are people who write for online parenting magazines or meta-blogs that privilege sardonic voices. These are posts full of expletives and caustic comebacks to those who dare comment about the use of language in the posts. It is almost as if they cannot sell a post on the merits of its content alone. Almost as if, generously spreading the F-word throughout the essay somehow makes you sound smarter, cleverer, or better than other mothers.

Admittedly, these women also express the sentiments of many, many other women in similar stilettoes and often write with just as much conviction, good grammar and vocabulary but it is the way they choose to “embellish” their content, is what bothers me. I believe that these writers write to incite, to get more eyeballs on their pages, more shares, comments, and dislikes if that were a thing. They write to deliberately create controversy or maybe that is just their style. Either way, I am not impressed. Maybe the problem is me and that I just don’t understand why the same point the writers are trying to make couldn’t have been made in other ways.

While there is a place for that in the blogosphere – because it is the Internet and starting a blog is free and pretty much everyone who can type can also blog and because websites that thrive on that kind of tone attract those kinds of writers too, I am just sick of that stuff. Just because you have a voice and you choose to exercise the will of that voice, as should be your choice, does not mean I have to listen to it or read it. With my sensibilities in tact, perhaps even bordering on prudishness, I respectfully take my readership and followership elsewhere. That is why, the more I get turned off by such articles/posts, the more I have started to unsubscribe from following these writers, unfollow them on Twitter, and unlike their Facebook pages if I even liked them in the first place.

All of the above brings me to the infamous “sanctimommy” term – something I had never heard of until recently.

The Wikipedia definition of a sanctimommy is:

Sanctimommy is a portmanteau of two words, sanctimonious and mommy. The word is a colloquialism used to refer to a person, usually a female, who has very opinionated views on child rearing and presents them upfront without any sense of humility.

I am not a sanctimommy going by the definition above but when you start to de-layer the term more, I may have some characteristics in common with those of a bona-fide sanctimommy. In other words, if being one means trying to feed my kids healthy foods, limiting screen time, keeping them clean and clothed, and most importantly, caring, then sign me up. I’ll take on a leadership role too in that sanctimomious group.

There are too many people who don’t care about their kids, who are irresponsible parents, who probably shouldn’t have had kids in the first place, and while there are names society has for them too, why should I be embarrassed of being potentially called a version of a sanctimommy when I am trying really, really hard to do right by my child. Not that I have been called one by anybody, not yet and not to my face anyway, but when I read forum discussions where some women almost seem like they are competing for who gets called the worst mother in the group, I can’t help but do a virtual roll of the eyes.

Given my live and let live, non-judgemental philosophy, I do have to admit that I respect people’s choices in how they raise their kids and completely agree that just because you feed your kid McDonald’s everyday or give the child unlimited screen time does not at all mean that you are a bad mother or parent. But the same space in which you claim to be a sanctimommy’s worst nightmare, I crave a home to say that I shouldn’t be judged for doing what I believe is right, either.

I am not going to accost you in a parking lot to tell you how to manage your kids in a grocery store. I am not going to tell you breast is best. Heck, no! I am not going to tell you to feed your kids organic foods. I am not going to extol the virtues of Ferber or Sears or any other CIO/non-CIO/co-sleeping method. I am not going to preach you about baby wearing or attachment parenting or helicopter parenting or free range parenting OR even the authoritarian, authoritative, laissez-faire styles of parenting. I am not going to condemn or support putting your child on a leash at a supermarket, at a park, at a zoo, at a theme park or at home. I am not going to tell you not to give your child formula or that starting whole milk at 11 months instead of at 13 makes you a bad mother. I am not. Just not.

Point is, I have my opinions and I may or may not do any or all of the above but I will not tell you what you should or shouldn’t do unless (a) you ask my opinion, and/or (b) you are a close friend/family member whom I think may value my opinion. Even then, what you choose to do with it, is up to you. The only place where I have the absolute and strongest opinion on is vaccinations and yes, that is one place where I do allow myself to be judgmental. After all that we now know about the benefits of vaccinations, how can you not vaccinate your child? I just don’t get it. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

I get that in trying hard to not be judgmental and in simply trying to express how I feel, I am being somewhat judgmental, definitely ironic, and well…even a little sanctimonious. Oh well…this is my blog and this is my space. That’s that. End of rant.

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24 thoughts on “Just a rant – What I Don’t Understand About (some) Moms who Write

  1. Sanctimommy – Interesting term; I’d not heard of it until now.
    If I’m honest, I think the rant was necessary. Yes, a large part of the Mothers who blog have their unique voices and you can relate to their victories as well as their trials – because you’ve been there. Even as a dad, I can relate to some of them.
    However, a lot of these magazines and sites have given birth to a new breed of parenting bloggers – who rarely practice what they preach and are so opinionated that you can’t get in a word edgewise.

  2. I think that it has almost become a trend for some bloggers to see how many expletives they can fit into a post. Not my cuppa tea so I don’t read them unless I’m stuck with the linky rule of commenting on the post in front. I must admit that I have left a short, perfunctory comment and ran without properly reading when it’ a blogger I’m not keen on. #FamilyFun

  3. I agree, I don’t see why people need to use expletives in posts. I think I might have used a mild one once, because in real life I had used it as an expression of distress and I was replaying a story. Otherwise I don’t see the value.

    I also agree that it’s each to their own. Parents can do what they think is right. I would only judge someone if they are hurting their child (which is just wrong and the police / social services should intervene then hopefully!) or for vaccinations – like you I don’t understand why you wouldn’t!

    Hope the rant helped!

    #FamilyFun

    1. Indeed..if it is the normal course of replaying (or reliving, I guess) the experience on paper, then it is justified. Otherwise, you are merely using it as a crutch because you suck at content creation. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

  4. I hate the term sanctimommy. I think it’s a way of silencing mums. It seems we can’t be passionate about parenting and express our views without being patronised. And these angry sweary bloggers sound odd! I haven’t come across one yet but will be keeping watch! Thanks for a thought provoking post 🙂 #familyfun

    1. I agree. Sanctimommy or not, everybody should have a voice except of course if you ARE a sanctimommy, you might believe some voices are better heard than others. Haha. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  5. I don’t like expletives just for the sake of it either, and I don’t use them myself, but I’m not out and out against them. I think it depends on how they’re used and the nature of the post. For example, if the writing is good and expletives are added to emphasise frustration, I don’t mind. But I agree, there has to be more to it than just a stream of bad language. #familyfun

    1. I am okay with use of expletives when used for emphasis or just to express a specific emotion just right. Even with strong content, sometimes the use of the right expletive may make the communicated sentiment that much more effective and relatable. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  6. I salute you, this is a brilliant post. I was reading this and nodding and feeling passion to your words. This is something I’ve noticed amongst my ‘short’ time as someone who now blogs. Yes I am a Mum and my subject is of that but it’s way more than that to me, even now.
    This is a big virtual world we write in and fortunately it is big enough for all of us to exist and the brilliant thing is we don’t have to actually read the stuff that is filled with swears and click bait.
    Thanks for linking up to #familyfun I have really enjoyed this. Off to share with some people who will feel the same way!

    1. Oh thank you so much for saying that and for sharing my thoughts. You’re absolutely right. That is the beauty of blogging. The good and bad too – that we can all peacefully coexist and that you get to write your piece and make your choices as far as reading or not, the content that bothers you. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  7. Hmmmmm interesting post. I am with you I have s very live and let live policy when it comes to parenting. What is right for another isn’t nevessarily for another so who am I to judge! I hear what you saying about those particular type of blogs and I think the beauty of blogging is, as you say we simply don’t have to read them (unless linky rules takeover). What i don’t think is acceptable is when there is a judgment or Micky taking undertone to posts that like you say, appear to criticise those who are just doing their best. I think that’s what all of us are doing, working hard and doing are very best by our kids. Thank tou for sharing st #familyfun xx

    1. Absolutely right. The majority of us are just trying to do better by our children every single day and frankly, who the heck has any time for judging others. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  8. I tend to use expletives in my writing, purely because rightly or wrongly; that’s how I speak. However, I also dislike mothers/ parents “pitting” against each other or steering other mums towards what THEY feel is the right way as I firmly believe that you do what you feel is best and that is YOUR business….
    I use bad language to emphasise my ‘own’ feelings and to add humour although I think if it’s used in an angry context or towards someone else it’s a bit dodgy so I guess, it depends on the form and style of the piece?
    Good article x

    1. Oh I am not against their use in one’s personal blog if that’s the writer’s style. By choosing to read, I am perhaps even unconsciously supporting it’s use and who does not appreciate an expletive here and there when rightly and effectively used? My gripe is against “articles” that are written for mass consumption on meta-blogs (websites that post parenting/mothering articles) or web magazines. I guess I am just not a fan of their tone.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  9. Interesting read. I can definitely feel your passion in this area. Agree with the fact that one can write without using too many expletives. #familyfun

  10. Here, here. I look at my blog as an extension of me and I wouldn’t go around swearing and shouting at people in public. When you read some of the blogs that you mentioned it sometimes feels like I’ve been accosted in the street! I totally get that people can have tough days and they may be wearing under their breath or in their heads, but quite frankly it’s better off left in there. You’ve made a brilliant point, in a very polite way. Well said!

  11. Well written – love learning new things everyday.
    Had no idea that Sanctimommy was a term. Keep up the great writing, couldn’t agree with you more. I have been touched by many parenting blogs over the years. It’s amazing how in tune you can feel with another parents writing.

  12. I love this! Very well said, to each their own. This post rings true to me in so many ways. I rarely write things about my kids, but when I do it’s small things that reflect day to day realities of parenting, and I make sure to express the importance of love and healthy parenting practices, usually in a round about way if nothing else as not to detour from the story line.

    Anyhow, although I AM a ‘sweary’ human being, and am completely comfortable dropping the F-bomb regularly, I don’t think its right to push foulness when it comes to drawing attention in the name of your children. They’re innocent blessings and deserve to be treated as such.

    The main reason for my comment though, is actually to say THANK YOU for voicing a quick opinion at the end of this post about vaccinations. Of course Vaccines are scary, but we owe it to our kids to give them that protection in life!! It’s rare to see someone stand up and voice an opinion on this matter for anything other than “ANTI-VACCINE” pushes… Which is irritating (to me)

    Both of my children were Preemie babies (I had an incompetent Cervix, and having my kids was a real struggle, I lost several) So you can imagine my fear in Vaccines given all the Buzz.. So, what did I do? WAIT… I waited… I let their little bodies grow and develop a few months longer than the typical Vaccine ages, and then I marched them right on in, and got them protected!

    So thank you for this post, in more ways than one!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and for expressing your thoughts on the matter of vaccines as well. I am so glad you made this decision to wait with your kids. I do dread every time a little baby has to get subjected to 2 or sometimes 3 shots within seconds and in the same appointment but I see the larger picture and the advantages not only to our own babies but to the babies and other kids with whom they will interact. Not getting vaccines is simply socially irresponsible and selfish behavior, in my opinion.

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