Partial to a parenting post? I know I am! I like the ones with swear words and gin in, best - but that's because I am a massive mum-blogging bore. There are legions of us now. We have evolved from quintessential mummies narrating the journeys of our cute kids, into 'frank', 'honest', 'normal' mums, a bit liberal with the eff word. We propelled ourselves onto the internet claiming to be the 'antitheses' and 'antidotes' to the likes of BabyCentre and Mother & Baby, whose depictions of motherhood rarely include a booze-loving mum hiding in the loo, supressing a scream. In fact, there are so many of us now, detonating mum-truth bombs all over the internet, that, dare I say, it's clear there is a small formula emerging.
So, if you fancy becoming a mummy-blogging bore, I can walk you through the process? In just seven easy steps, you too can be a self-appointed mum guru banging on about how candid you are...
Step 1. Give birth, wonder if you might actually die from exhaustion and then decide to blog about it
Once the dust has (vaguely) settled on the nerve-shattering newborn phase, most mums look up from their copies of What to Expect and feel a bit cheated. Largely because the chapter on the shitstorm is very notably absent. It's at this point you'll probably think: "Yeah, I'm definitely going to debunk these myths about motherhood and tell it like it is in a blog" - before discovering the ten billion, gazillion blogs out there all pretty much delivering the same myth-busting message. Plough on anyway. Yours will be different because you've got that really funny idea for a post about how to survive playgroups, that will definitely break the internet...
Step 2. Choose a quirky, but borderline angry blog name
Before the birth of the gin-drinking, demystifying online mum generation, blog names were pretty twee and largely focused on the kids, not the mother. It was stuff like: "Tabitha's Mummy", "Adventures with Harry", "Sticky Ickle Fingers" - blah, blah, bleurgh. These days though, newer blog names are often mum-based, and the testier in nature, the better. Some suggestions for you: "Up Yours Motherhood!", "Pass the Gin, Please", "I'm SO not a Mumsy Mum, it's Unreal". (Quick top tip: never EVER refer to yourself as a 'yummy mummy', unless you want the whole internet world to hate you).
Step 3. Bang on about being dead honest
'Warts and all', "brutally honest", "no holds barred" - these are good phrases to bandy around as a means to drive home the point that you're a bit plain-speaking about this parenting lark. Do make sure your honesty is a bit hammy though. It needs to be packaged in feel-good, life-hacky vernacular that tells your followers, you are more philosophical than Confucius, the Dalai Lama, and Oprah Winfrey, all rolled into one.
Step 4. Get to grips with a 'listicle'
If you are unfamiliar, a 'listicle' is a short post in numbered or bulleted form - um, a bit like this one. As a mum blogger, it's preferable your listicles (not testicles - OK, settle down now mummy bloggers), say something a bit profound about parenting if it's the elusive viral you're after. Some mum bloggers find it helpful to imagine themselves in very sophisticated conversation about motherhood with Caitlin Moran or Jenni Murray, sitting by an Agar in a lovely industrial-styled kitchen, sipping pinot noir and swapping very clever and hilarious mum stories. Before you know it, you'll be bashing out viral posts by the hour: 10 Reasons Why Cloth Nappies make you a Better Mum, 8 Ways to Breastfeed Like a Militant, 7 Easy Steps to Becoming a Mummy-Blogging Bore... Oh, hang on.
Step 5. Pen a nauseating open letter
Open letters are big business in the mum-blogging world. Women are taking to the internet to write uninvited counsel to pregnant celebrities, the mum round the corner who doesn't smile much, their children, themselves, Jamie Oliver for saying stuff about breastfeeding - anyone, really. And if it's announced that Kate Middleton is pregnant with a third, FOR GOD'S SAKE KNOCK OUT A LETTER TO HER PRONTO! She'll be drowning in a sea of online voices soon, and you don't want her to miss out on your potentially life-changing genius that none of her vast support network will have to offer.
Step 6. Swear self-consciously
No mum blog these days is complete without a bit of effing and jeffing. It's a very handy means of negating a lot of characteristic motherhood mawkishness. Allow me to illustrate this with the example below...
Typical mum-blogging sentiment WITHOUT swearing:
"It's not easy is it? Hang in there. You're doing a great job."
Typical mum-blogging sentiment WITH swearing:
"It's not fucking easy is it? Hang the fuck in there. You're doing a fucking great job."
Do you see how instantly, your predictable platitudes become a bit edgy? It is also an excellent idea to describe your blog as 'a bit sweary' or 'partial to profanity', or something equally contrived, somewhere on the homepage to draw in the cursey crowds.
Step 7. Talk a lot about 'wine o'clock'
Many references to 'wine o'clock' - the moment where it is deemed an acceptable hour to partake in your favourite tipple - is an absolute must for a mummy blog. As leader to your followers, it is your responsibility to keep the dream alive - remind them of the Holy Grail, post the excruciating witching hour and bath and bed, where an alcoholic beverage awaits. The more sophisticated mum blogger might frown on this sort of caper ("I mean, where's the intelligence in it? It undermines us all..." she muses to Caitlin), but frankly, it is your mummy-blogging duty. We don't have the pub any more. But we have our wine racks. And we have each other.
Is it wine o'clock yet?
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