My Google Reader page tracks nearly 100 blog to which I subscribe.  Some are news or tech blogs.  A few show funny captioned pictures of cute animals.  One delivers videos of what it promises: “Cute Things Falling Asleep.”  But far and away the highest number of blogs on my subscription list are personal blogs.

Of those many dozen personal blogs, I can think of only two that are run by men.  The great majority, by elimination, are therefore run by women.  And a great majority of those are run by what the blogosphere has termed “Mommy Bloggers.”  The term came about, as one could imagine, as a large contingent of stay-at-home moms turned to the internet to share their stories and show off pictures of their adorable children.

In my tracking of the mommy blog phenomenon, I have noticed a few similarities between the blogs.  In fact, these similarities are so steady that I follow several blogs of people who aren’t mothers, but whose blogs still fit within the mommy blog philosophy.  (Before I continue, I would like to point out that I’m not going to be criticizing, but I still read dozens of these blogs every day.  I’m just making observations.) 

A few common traits:

  1. They are usually hosted at blogger.com
  2. They have very feminine templates, usually consisting of flowers, lace, pink, and other super-frilly, girly stuff.
  3. It seems as most of them are written by Mormon women, and contain all of the cultural references thereto.
  4. despite the fact that the writers are usually quite educated the blogs are replete will spelling errors completely lack capitalization and use extremely emphatic punctuation! (if they use any at all, lol)
  5. They are written in a very colloquial speech type pattern, or, even worse, use textspeak as a real language.
  6. They often use HUGE capitalized letters at the beginning of their paragraphs, change the colors of their text, and otherwise use unusual typesetting tricks.
  7. Often-times, they are center aligned
  8. They gush about husbands, boyfriends, lack of boyfriends, their best friends at school, etc.  There’s a lot of love in these blogs.
  9. They are usually filled with supportive comments from other mommy bloggers.  These comments often echo the exact same traits listed above.
  10. They are all relentlessly, unrealistically, sickeningly positive.

You can see a good example of a parody of the Mommy Blogger phenomenon at Seriously So Blessed.  This website is hilarious if you’ve never been.

All in all, I find the mommy blogger thing to be relatively innocuous and somewhat endearing.  It is especially nice to follow the progress of my family and few friends I care about.  However, there is something about a trend in mommy blogging that drives me ape @#$%.  It is the #10 item on my list. 

With a very few exceptions, nobody ever posts anything that is negative.  It’s as if many of these mommy bloggers are trying to project their desperate attempts to appear perfect in the real world to cyber space.  Nothing is ever wrong, they’re so blessed to have such a wonderful husband, such wonderful kids, such a wonderful mother and father and in laws.  But that’s it.  It’s so unrealistic.  I don’t doubt that many of these people are truly happy people, and that they feel extremely blessed.  But there has to be more to their lives than that.  I hate that these women feel that they have to present a face of utter perfection about their lives–either in real life or on the internet.  It’s okay to have a bad day.  It’s okay to be frustrated at your kids, angry at your husband, to just feel trapped by your life.  It’s OKAY.  It doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it make others thing poorly about you.  It just means you’re human. 

Take my sister.  She’s a partial mommy blogger.  She does several of the things listed above…including that big capital letter thing which just bugs me.  :)  She is blessed.  She’s got a great husband, a beautiful daughter, a nice home, and great parents and in-laws.  And she states those things often.  But, she also has struggles.  Her daughter has physical disabilities which have hindered her development.  She feels exhausted and at the end of her rope occasionally, and she talks about it.  It’s what makes her blog so real, and so compelling.  It’s honest. It’s a portrait of a whole person.  I’ve learned a great deal from the way she interacts with her challenges, and on more than one occasion, it has reminded me that I don’t have it as bad as I think I do sometimes.  And someday down the line, her children will be able to look back on her blog and really get to know their mom.  Not all the personal details of her live, but who she was as a person.

We live in a culture (Mormons Especially) where it’s seen as a bad thing to ever seem less than perfect.  We plaster on smiles and tell people that we’re wonderful.  And sometimes, we are.  Sometimes, though, life sucks.  We feel like we can’t keep going.  We want to cry, or scream, or rage against the machine.  We wish we had made decisions different.  We feel guilty for things we’ve done.  It is these things that make us human.  The problem with trying to hide all these things is that we become less human by doing so.  We limit our ability to express our joy, because we don’t know how to express our sorrow.

I will never be a mommy blogger, either in matriarchal responsibilities or in spirit.  In fact, I often take it too far to the other wise of the coin.  In one of the mommy blogs I read, the writer weekly posts her list of “Sunday Sunshine,” a list of things for which she is seriously so blessed.  I will probably never do that–and certainly, not a weekly basis.  So, in an effort to help balance the blogosphere, I will now present 10 things that really tick me off.

  1. I hate how commercials are so much louder than television programs
  2. I hate how our new president is completely incapable of answering a direct question with a direct answer, jabbering around the actual question without ever actually answering it.  (P.S., I voted for him, so I have the right to complain.)
  3. I hate how men seem to have a really hard time peeing into urinals without spraying all over the floor.  It’s not that hard guys.  If you’ve got a prostate issue, stand closer.  They give us urinals for this very reason.
  4. I hate office politics and in-fighting.
  5. I hate that I rarely feel as though my prayers are answered.
  6. I hate being alone. 
  7. I hate that I have to spend all day at work, then I come home and have to clean, do homework, walk the dog twice, go to bed, and do it all over again the next day.  I hate that I have to spend my weekends cleaning and shopping and not getting time to relax to recuperate from work.
  8. I hate the fact that I have to move to a one bedroom apartment just to pay my bills, that I can’t buy a house because I don’t have any money, I can’t save any money, and houses are so expensive.  I hate that I’m 30 year old and I’m still paying rent.  I hate moving, period.
  9. I hate that nothing I used to do in my life to bring me joy (e.g., theatre, music, etc.) brings my joy anymore.  I haven’t found a good replacement yet.
  10. I HATE winter.

I would like to extend the invitation to any of my blog readers to post at least 10 things that tick them off or that they hate.  And make them personal/honest.  If you honestly can’t think of 10 things you hate, then I envy you.  And now, I Love You all.  Even you mommy bloggers.  :)

  • Hey! I’ve been working on a blog on this very subject, albeit with a different slant.

    I’ll get to posting my top 10 hates, ASAP! :)

  • Hey! I’ve been working on a blog on this very subject, albeit with a different slant.

    I’ll get to posting my top 10 hates, ASAP! :)

  • As a Mommy blogger, I must say that I am meticulous about my spelling, grammar and punctuation… and I do rant from time to time on my blog. Oh and I NEVER (hee hee) use obnoxious multicolored lettering or caps. I admit that I have a sickening template, but at least I bettered myself by becoming proficient in Photoshop so that I could make my own.

    I am going to take you up on the 10 things I hate challenge, though because I love that idea, and had actually been considering doing something like that already. And let me just say, Matt- I love your blog! It gives me a very welcome dose of curmudgeon-ess and reality amid the sickening perfection of the other blogs that I read. Hopefully my blog occasionally portrays the reality of stay-at-home motherhood, and I will make a conscious effort to complain a little more!

  • As a Mommy blogger, I must say that I am meticulous about my spelling, grammar and punctuation… and I do rant from time to time on my blog. Oh and I NEVER (hee hee) use obnoxious multicolored lettering or caps. I admit that I have a sickening template, but at least I bettered myself by becoming proficient in Photoshop so that I could make my own.

    I am going to take you up on the 10 things I hate challenge, though because I love that idea, and had actually been considering doing something like that already. And let me just say, Matt- I love your blog! It gives me a very welcome dose of curmudgeon-ess and reality amid the sickening perfection of the other blogs that I read. Hopefully my blog occasionally portrays the reality of stay-at-home motherhood, and I will make a conscious effort to complain a little more!

  • @April

    You actually win the award for the most feminine template I’ve ever seen…ever. :)

    But, despite that, I wouldn’t consider your blog the typical mommy blog site. :)

  • @April

    You actually win the award for the most feminine template I’ve ever seen…ever. :)

    But, despite that, I wouldn’t consider your blog the typical mommy blog site. :)

  • Ok, Matt- I dished on Mommyhood in all its glory on my blog. Enjoy!

  • Ok, Matt- I dished on Mommyhood in all its glory on my blog. Enjoy!

  • Hi. I’s me. YOU’RE TOTALLY AWESOME SISTER!!!

    First things first. I see where you’re coming from. There are actually very few blogs that I enjoy to read for this very reason. And 98% of the blogs I read fall into this category. Sometimes I just get so sick and tired of hearing how wonderful and perfect peoples lives are, because even though logically I know it isn’t that way in reality, I still start wondering why everyone else has it so easy and perfect all the time. And that bugs. It can be really hard to stay grounded out there in Mommy-Blogger land.

    On the other hand, I know that we all blog for different reasons. And we’re all different people. I for instance, am a pretty open person. I blog for many reasons. To share pictures and stories with distant friends and family, to journal, to keep family history, and mainly as a form of therapy (so much cheaper then the real thing!). But there are a lot of people out there who really aren’t into sharing the good and bad. And they really do feel “seriously so blessed”. And that is their choice…because it is their blog. I think people love blogging so much because it can really be whatever they want it to be. And if they want to make their blog a place that helps them remember all of the great things in their life, or if they want to make themselves feel better by presenting the best face to their readers…then more power to them, I say!

    My blog is mine. I like to change my template frequently to seasonal frilly stuff. It makes me happy. I like caps. I like tags. I try my best to spell and punctuate correctly, but I know I still mess up. But I guess that’s just one more thing that makes me me:)

    My challenge to you, dear brother: A list of ten things that make you feel seriously so blessed!

    (longest comment ever)

  • Hi. I’s me. YOU’RE TOTALLY AWESOME SISTER!!!

    First things first. I see where you’re coming from. There are actually very few blogs that I enjoy to read for this very reason. And 98% of the blogs I read fall into this category. Sometimes I just get so sick and tired of hearing how wonderful and perfect peoples lives are, because even though logically I know it isn’t that way in reality, I still start wondering why everyone else has it so easy and perfect all the time. And that bugs. It can be really hard to stay grounded out there in Mommy-Blogger land.

    On the other hand, I know that we all blog for different reasons. And we’re all different people. I for instance, am a pretty open person. I blog for many reasons. To share pictures and stories with distant friends and family, to journal, to keep family history, and mainly as a form of therapy (so much cheaper then the real thing!). But there are a lot of people out there who really aren’t into sharing the good and bad. And they really do feel “seriously so blessed”. And that is their choice…because it is their blog. I think people love blogging so much because it can really be whatever they want it to be. And if they want to make their blog a place that helps them remember all of the great things in their life, or if they want to make themselves feel better by presenting the best face to their readers…then more power to them, I say!

    My blog is mine. I like to change my template frequently to seasonal frilly stuff. It makes me happy. I like caps. I like tags. I try my best to spell and punctuate correctly, but I know I still mess up. But I guess that’s just one more thing that makes me me:)

    My challenge to you, dear brother: A list of ten things that make you feel seriously so blessed!

    (longest comment ever)

  • Hi, I found you through a photog friend’s blog.
    I laughed so hard when I read this post…
    I like your 10 hates thing. I don’t have problem coming up 20!
    I don’t write much on my blog, because:
    English is my 2nd language.
    I have a boring life.
    I am a photographer so I just post pictures.
    Gloria

  • Hi, I found you through a photog friend’s blog.
    I laughed so hard when I read this post…
    I like your 10 hates thing. I don’t have problem coming up 20!
    I don’t write much on my blog, because:
    English is my 2nd language.
    I have a boring life.
    I am a photographer so I just post pictures.
    Gloria

  • Ten things that I hate:
    1. When people use “good” instead of “well”. “Well” is an adverb, and should be used when describing verbs. See, that’s not too complicated.
    2. I hate when slow people drive in the left lane. (If someone is passing you on the right, you are going too slow, move over.)
    3. I hate reality tv. And I hate that my wife watches it. And I hate that I like it.
    4. I hate having to work so hard just to get by.
    5. I hate political correctness and love it when people are honest and transparent. (Does that not count because I said something I like?)
    6. I am sad that we will probably not have any great leaders in politics because there is too much compromise and trying to please everyone—especially the masses.
    7. I am really bothered by irresponsible people and try not to associate/rely on them. This also goes into my dislike for people who are late. It is complete disrespect for other people’s time, when you make someone sit there with nothing to do because you can’t be on time. Traffic sucks for everyone!
    8. I get annoyed by people who think two different view points should not be discussed because it is argumentative and contentious. NO. It’s an opportunity to learn, progress, and grow. So pull your head out of the sand.
    9. I hate that I have spent so much time trying to get good at wakeboarding and playing racquetball, and I am not better than I am. It does help that few people are into these sports, so it’s easy to impress people with “my skills” even though I should be twice as good.
    10. I don’t like to hear people who complain and criticize, unless they are funny about it, otherwise, I don’t want to hear it.
    11. I am really irritated with a few friends from long ago who have not got on facebook yet. Where the hell are you and how are you?

  • Ten things that I hate:
    1. When people use “good” instead of “well”. “Well” is an adverb, and should be used when describing verbs. See, that’s not too complicated.
    2. I hate when slow people drive in the left lane. (If someone is passing you on the right, you are going too slow, move over.)
    3. I hate reality tv. And I hate that my wife watches it. And I hate that I like it.
    4. I hate having to work so hard just to get by.
    5. I hate political correctness and love it when people are honest and transparent. (Does that not count because I said something I like?)
    6. I am sad that we will probably not have any great leaders in politics because there is too much compromise and trying to please everyone—especially the masses.
    7. I am really bothered by irresponsible people and try not to associate/rely on them. This also goes into my dislike for people who are late. It is complete disrespect for other people’s time, when you make someone sit there with nothing to do because you can’t be on time. Traffic sucks for everyone!
    8. I get annoyed by people who think two different view points should not be discussed because it is argumentative and contentious. NO. It’s an opportunity to learn, progress, and grow. So pull your head out of the sand.
    9. I hate that I have spent so much time trying to get good at wakeboarding and playing racquetball, and I am not better than I am. It does help that few people are into these sports, so it’s easy to impress people with “my skills” even though I should be twice as good.
    10. I don’t like to hear people who complain and criticize, unless they are funny about it, otherwise, I don’t want to hear it.
    11. I am really irritated with a few friends from long ago who have not got on facebook yet. Where the hell are you and how are you?

  • Loved this post.
    I am not a mommy but I do blog and read other blogs. You are so right with the state of the blogs out there being too sugarcoated.

  • Loved this post.
    I am not a mommy but I do blog and read other blogs. You are so right with the state of the blogs out there being too sugarcoated.

  • Well, believe it or not, I have been dying to find other blogs to read besides mommy blogs. I have enough I am already subscribed to and I often wonder why.
    I have a “family” blog where I do all the cute bullshit for everyone around the country to see and stay in touch with. Then I like to talk shit on my own. But there are times when you realize what your audience really doesn’t want to here. That’s usually when I preface it by telling them they don’t have to read any further.
    You are right on just about all of those. Except, I’m not Mormon. And I’m so far from perfect, happy or stress-free!!! (Those extra !!! were just for you!)
    Liked your article.

  • Well, believe it or not, I have been dying to find other blogs to read besides mommy blogs. I have enough I am already subscribed to and I often wonder why.
    I have a “family” blog where I do all the cute bullshit for everyone around the country to see and stay in touch with. Then I like to talk shit on my own. But there are times when you realize what your audience really doesn’t want to here. That’s usually when I preface it by telling them they don’t have to read any further.
    You are right on just about all of those. Except, I’m not Mormon. And I’m so far from perfect, happy or stress-free!!! (Those extra !!! were just for you!)
    Liked your article.

  • What a great post! Finally, somebody who shares my sentiment on this issue! Bravo!

  • What a great post! Finally, somebody who shares my sentiment on this issue! Bravo!

  • I just tried to leave a comment, but something got really messed up, I guess. It was kind of freaky, actually, because when I hit the "back" button (ahh, i love firefox), there was a weird avatar in this comment box – instead of the awesome list of the top 10 things that pissed me off today.
    *sighs* All that typing and introspection for nothing. :-(

  • I just tried to leave a comment, but something got really messed up, I guess. It was kind of freaky, actually, because when I hit the "back" button (ahh, i love firefox), there was a weird avatar in this comment box – instead of the awesome list of the top 10 things that pissed me off today.
    *sighs* All that typing and introspection for nothing. :-(

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  • I found your blog when I was searching for “anti-Mommy blog communities.” I suppose I fall into the category of “mommy blogger” because I am a mom and I do blog. And yes, I talk about my son incessantly. But hey, my kid is cool. No, seriously, he’s awesome. He idolizes villains, can kick my butt at video games and provides me with loads of insight into the emerging male mind. But that’s as far as I go with the mommy blogging. I mostly rant about issues such as Fair Use, censorship, the weather in the Poconos, and pretentious “best books of…” lists. No text speak (I cringe at the thought) either. Although, I do use a pretty pink theme, but it’s kind of an inside joke, since I’m far from being girly-girl. Anyway, thanks for the entertainment! I bookmarked you for further reading.