Monday, 27 June 2011

Cybermummy: still a mummy nonetheless

Obviously you'll have read all about it in the Independent by now. Cybermummy is the new black.

The comments section makes interesting reading. Including one that says, by way of criticism: "Their activities seem to have little to do with motherhood, and yet still they feel it necessary to use 'mummy'."

To me that's not criticism. Just because I am a female parent - therefore mummy - doesn't mean I stop doing, and writing about, things that have little to do with motherhood.

Cybermummy did provide a few views about motherhood that gave me pause for thought. 

Sarah Brown, wife of former PM Gordon, talked about her work with the White Ribbon Alliance for Save Motherhood. She said: "When you save a mother, you save a community."

Then I met a blogger over coffee and buns. She told me she had wanted to be a mother but dreaded how it would make her feel. She believed mothers just disappear in society. They have no fun, nothing intelligent to say and are subsumed. She confessed that blogging brought her closer to mums she felt akin to "the others I meet at nursery, I just don't have anything to say to".

Then Dr Ellie Lee, an academic from the University of Kent who studies parenting culture among other things talked about "the rise of intensive parenting". She said - although I will verify this, and quite probably write about it, later - that more and more time is spent "parenting" these days, and theories and schools of thought jostle for space, time and money. How we "parent" (when did that become a verb) is a cultural choice. I wonder if we could choose to stop parenting at all and just love our kids.

Moving on and needing some Kleenex. Sian To, Rosie Scribble and Liz Scarff from Save the Children. Talked affectingly about their trips to developing countries Cameroon and Bangladesh to visit mothers and families there. Again and again they said: "These women were mums just like us."



  1. I've just read the article you speak of and was gobsmacked at some of the arrogant and ignorant, not to mention rude, comments posted. Leave mummy bloggers alone, for goodness sake. When will people realise that we are individuals and all entitled to do whatever hobby we choose. If we like to have coffee and a chat over a chat forum then who is anyone to criticise that.

    I'm starting to feel quite relieved that I didn't go as I've been reading tweets and blogs which have been particularly negative towards it. Of course, I've read great ones too, but it hasn't helped my confidence much!!!

    CJ xx

  2. 'CyberMummy is the new black'

    I LOVE it! my fave quote from ALL of the posts I've read.
    Thank you. x

  3. I think that sort of tosh should be a Feminist Friday post. For goodness sake, my OH works away 4 days a week, is he not a Daddy during that part of the week? Would he have nothing to say of any relevance at all on parenting? When my daughter is tucked up in bed, am I supposed to sit over her watching her and never take time to do anything I enjoy doing?

    Grrr. Eejits.

  4. CJ, I think someone just trying to stir up some aggro, probably best ignored. Re. Cybermummy, bloggers by their nature don't fit into neatly defined categories (beyond being parents) so it's going to be hard to build a conference to suit everyone. There was lots to learn and some very lovely people to meet.

    Sian, thanks.

    Jo, it's definately time to get mummies out of the ghetto.

  5. Hi, interesting read. I sometimes think that being a mother does not get the respect it deserves. And some people just love criticising mothers or parents generally. It feels to me sometimes that as parents we are blamed for lots of social ills. I think its time to raise the profile of parents and I think blogging is a great opportunity to define that role ourselves, without others telling us what we should be. Deb

  6. Deb, What irks me is how there is an assumption that once you become a parent you stop being good for anything much else.

  7. what a great post. I agree that Sian et al's session was amazing. I'm off to read the comments on the independent article now...

  8. Ghostwritermummy, thanks. What did you make of the Indy responses?


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