The ins and outs of mom blogging
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It’s a staggering stat: Recent counts estimate that there are nearly 4 million mommy blogs floating around in cyberspace. Four million moms who feel the need — for personal or professional reasons — to document their family lives in a format that goes beyond the glimpses offered by the myriad social media channels available.
To understand why they devote time and energy to their blogs, several of the two dozen area mom bloggers who contribute to MetroKids’ MomSpeak blog told us why they blog and what they get out of the practice.
“Journal their journey”
“I started blogging three years ago when my toddler asked me to draw a ‘helicopter-caterpillar’; I happily obliged, ” says Marion Kase, a Berks County, PA mom of two, who named her blog after this requested “genetic engineering marvel, um, crude stick figure, I was amazed by his outlook on life and tried to hold that thought for a few extra minutes. Fleeting moments like these eventually fade, despite my best efforts to preserve the kids’ phrases and expressions. Writing down happenstance conversations or excursions was my attempt to slow the inevitable forward momentum, like writing about the gap between my son’s dangling feet from the chair and the kitchen floor — a gap that has long since closed and no longer presents a visual opportunity to marvel at his sweet smallness — or capturing my daughter’s suggestion that the local power plant is really a cloud factory, which has since been replaced by hard scientific facts in middle school.
“My blog is an attempt to journal their journey.”
South Jersey mom Lisa Weinstein also began blogging three years ago, though she claims to have written her first “blog” three decades ago, at 13 — “If you can call a short story scribbled into a spiral notebook a blog. I called my short spiral notebook story 'The Mixed Up Brains of Missy Anderson.' When I decided to write my ‘grown-up’ blog, I paid tribute to the story written so long ago by calling my new venture ‘The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein.’
“Like my original short story, a teen named Melissa gives me most of my fodder, although this time instead of a fictional character modeled after me, she is my real life daughter. Thanks to Melissa, my husband Bob, my step-daughter Jessica, extended family and friends, I have created an online outlet to share my life with others. And each time the statistics indicates that someone, somewhere, has viewed the stories of my life, I am greeted with a sense of satisfaction and pride that no other aspect of my world can deliver.
“I don’t blog for money or fame. I blog because I love to write, and my computer allows me to reach a world beyond that spiral notebook. And as long as people continue to read my stories, I’ll continue to write them.”
“I blog because I am a ‘sharer’ — I have an intense urge to share all the great stuff I know with as many people as possible, and blogging made that a reality,” says Hillary Chybinski, a Philly-burbs mom of two. “Blogging brings a fulfillment to my life — when I hit ‘publish’ on a post, I feel as if I have made the world a slightly better place. If I can help one woman restyle a shirt she’s had in her closet for five years, one mom make a new craft with her child, then I’ve accomplished my mission.”
Chybinski began My Scraps as an extension of her scrapbooking hobby. “All the cool scrapbookers were starting blogs; I was tech-savvy, so I did, too. Dear Lord, if you read those early posts. . . . When I got laid off from my last auditing job four years ago, I discovered that people were making money through blogging, that it was a ‘job’ of sorts or could be a stepping stone to something else.”
Next page: The business side of mommy blogs