We’ve all read them. The Mom Blogs. The blogs that chronicle daily parenting adventures and pepper the Internet with opinions on everything from breastfeeding to homeschooling. This trend exploded severalyears ago as stay-at-home-moms understandably wanted a mental outlet. As these moms grew successful, many were even able to earn an income from their blog. That’s a powerful feeling for someone who often feels small, insignificant, and stuck at home. What I find interesting, however, is that so many of these blogs revolve around the very subject for which blogging was supposed to provide an outlet: motherhood. Now, this is by no means a rant against Mommy Bloggers; there is certainly a place for the Mom Blog. They can be helpful. My concern is that the Internet is being overrun by Mom Blogs and thus, all the opinions that go with them. I know They always advise to “write what you know,” but I know we know more than the world that is mommyhood. This post is meant to be an encouragement to moms who want to blog but want to avoid echoing every other Mom Blog out there, so let me share ten themes that I would love to see moms pursue (in no particular order
1. Personal Time
I’d love to read a blog that regularly details how moms choose to spend their personal time. When do you find personal time? What are you reading? Where do you go? How do you remind yourself that you have a brain? Maybe you have an art studio out back; maybe you sneak away to tend your roses or orchids during nap time. Write about it over the course of weeks and seasons.
Finding an exercise routine after mommyhood and even during pregnancy is a challenge, especially for someone who likes to exercise socially, and not just at home in front of a DVD. A weekly blog about exercise from the perspective of a non-Beachbody mom would be both entertaining and invaluable. Where do you exercise? How often? How specifically does the exercise benefit your parenting and yourself as an individual? Who helps out with the kids or do you bring them along? Include pictures of the successes and the epic fails. Laughter is said to be a good ab-workout.
3. The Journey of the Home Business: Highs and Lows
Work-from-home opportunities, mostly though Multi-Level-Marketing businesses, have skyrocketed in the last year. You know your Facebook has been bombarded with party invitations. But what about the journey to get there? Many moms jump into these businesses on a whim because they have the potential to add serious income, but how do moms actually make that happen? What do you tell naysayers who claim it’s just a Pyramid Scheme? If you are a mom pursuing one of these opportunities, and you want to keep a blog, chronicle your journey from initial investment to regular income. Post pictures of your workspace and products. You’ll feel like you’re contributing to the wider world and other work-from-home-moms can benefit.
4. Life Before Kids
Motherhood certainly brings about new elements of identity, and sometimes motherhood feels like our only identity. But you and I both know that we must have had some identity before children. Maybe you were a night owl who took long walks after dark. Maybe you were a PhD student. Maybe you mastered Russian and traveled throughout Eastern Europe. Who were you? What were you like? What were your passions? What did you bring with you into motherhood? What did you leave behind? Post before and after pictures with humorous captions to show the comparison. Share with your readers, but mostly, remind yourself. It could be entertaining and cathartic.
5. The Outdoors
On the surface, this blog topic may seem to be relevant only to those of us who live in places with access to beautiful countryside, coastline, and mountains. Indeed, these do provide excellent fodder for a travel-blog. You could visit and write about varied vistas in all the seasons or take your reader to all the quiet places you find to recharge outside. However, I would argue that even those of you living in urban centers could curry a wide audience because your outdoor forays require some extra creativity. Design walking tours of your neighborhood or business district that work different parts of the body. Post a map or graphic to go along with it. Describe the architecture or types of people in different areas of your city. Visit and describe a different park each week in the summer and then describe them again in the winter. You could even take your reader on tours of fabulous gardens within walking distance of your house (I know my neighbors would be good candidates!). Show us how The Outdoors means more than the obvious.
6. Sex: Creative Ways You Make it Happen
Now that you have one child or more, you’ve likely had to learn the art of Sex-on-the-Fly. You might find it complicated or invigorating. You might have had to adjust your expectations of when, where, and how often. What are the challenges and humorous situations you’ve battled on the quest for intimacy in this new stage of life? Perhaps you ought to forego the pictures on this one, though…
Tell me about your closet. Describe your favorite fancy dress and your dream pair of shoes. What is your ideal wardrobe? Maybe you’re into Steve Maddens and the little black dress, or maybe you’re into Chacos and Patagonia skirts. What fashion magazines do you secretly covet in the grocery store line? Write yourself and your readers out of your yoga pants and hoodie and into the company of celebrities or hipsters or CEOs.
8. Professional Sports
I know many of you have a hidden (or not so) passion for professional or college-level sports. Several of you probably even participate in fantasy football or baseball or golf. Is fantasy golf a thing? Educate your readers while indulging in a favorite hobby. If you keep a blog about it, you’ll have an excuse when your husband asks why you always need him to hang with the kids on Monday nights.
9. Memory Lane
If you’re the sentimental type, give your readers a weekly trip down memory lane. Describe your elementary school recesses. Retell the stories your grandparents used to share with you at every holiday gathering. Write down the things your kids do that remind you of your childhood, good and bad. Consider this a memoir-in-a-blog. Looking back can be healthy and cathartic for all of us and your kids might appreciate it later. Set the stage and help us take tours of our own Memory Lanes.
I’m not especially artistic in the traditional sense. I can take a mean photograph on occasion or write a decent poem, but Art is not my usual go-to writing topic. However, I’m not suggesting this topic to me, but to the multitude of you women out there who have a passion for beauty. Whatever your artistic leanings, either show yours off or keep a blog that reviews the art of others: new books, recently released music and movies, gallery openings. Maybe you love make-up and the face is your canvas. Maybe you’re an actor or director; a theater mom-blog could be refreshingly original and hilarious. Maybe you just love to tour visual art galleries along the coast. Bring that local talent to life for the Internet masses.
Notice that most of these are unrelated to parenting specifically. That was intentional. As a mom, it’s important for me to remember that I am an individual; as much as I love being a mom, there is more to me than just that. The debate continues to rage about whether or not moms can do it all–raise kids, make a good home, and climb the corporate ladder. For me, part of “doing it all” means writing about and remembering the things I am and love besides my kids and home, without sacrificing my SAHM status.
As I have recently embarked upon this journey of motherhood, I quit my full-time teaching job to focus on caring for my daughter. I was a middle and high school teacher, so while relating to kids comes easily, relating to newborn babies is a whole new world that needs my undivided attention. But I do miss my brain. And I do need an outlet. I get it; blogging is a great way to have an outlet, use the brain, and not have to leave my baby. Thus, these blog topics may acknowledge our mommyhood but without letting mommyhood define us entirely.