Has Blogging Transformed Motherhood?

Do what you love what you do poster ConiLab

Do what you love what you do poster ConiLabposter here

My mom writes a sometimes-blog and I especially loved her latest post. It’s about how blogging has changed motherhood for her daughters. In her post, she references a journal entry she wrote in 1973 (the year before I was born) when she had 4 young children at home.

I hope you’ll read it and tell me what you think. I’d love to know if you feel the same way about blogging.

P.S. — I love that I get to blog for a living. Even better, I love that I get to blog about my experiences as a mother for a living. I would say I definitely do what I love and love what I do.

103 thoughts on “Has Blogging Transformed Motherhood?”

  1. Wow, I love your Mom! So wise (not to mention an excellent writer). I often think about, and feel tremendous gratitude for, what being a mother in the internet age means. I get to work from home and be with my little boy as much as possible. We’re far away from family, but they’re a part of our son’s life via blogging, Facebook, Skype and Flickr (and of course old-fashioned phone calls). And, as your Mom so eloquently points out, I rarely feel isolated or lonely. In fact, I think I felt more isolated when I worked for a large corporation right out of college. As I said, I’m very grateful–thanks for reminding me!

  2. Your mother is so eloquent! (That must be where you get it!) And she pretty much hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t agree more about the whole blogging/motherhood thing. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What an awesome post! Honestly, the positive feedback I get from blogging has filled a void in my life. Maybe I’m just built to put myself out there, but I think I’ve always thrived on praise. Why would it be any different when it comes to motherhood? Blogging has changed me and my world for the better, for sure!

  4. Gabrielle, your mom is absolutely right, blogs have become a great scape not just for who writes if not also for those who read them … I like to think that thanks to them we make a great community of mothers who share and listen to our experiences.

  5. Wonderful post, and I absolutely agree. Blogs provide a fun creative outlet, and it’s also so nice to know that so many others out there have the same struggles and joys. It’s a wonderful community. My own little blog with only a handful of readers still manages to provide this to me, and I’m grateful I discovered blogging.

  6. My sister and I have talked of this many times. We both live in rather small towns so the internet reminds us that we’re actually a part of this world. It’s so amazing to be able to connect with people across the country whereas, before the internet, that would have been very difficult to do!

  7. I love that you blog too! Even though my kids are mostly grown, my youngest is 15, I still enjoy reading your blog and my oldest is expecting her first, and I’ve learned a lot for her from your blog. So Thank you! Plus, I love reading and looking at your pictures of France. PS your family photos were beautiful.

  8. what a sweet and charming post. and, as much as i love blogs and all the amazing benefits they offer, i love even more that she pointed out “the Eternal Fans watched from beyond the Veil.” thanks for sharing! (oh, and i love that she kept a journal. my mom passed away just after my second baby and her journals are such an essential insight into her feelings as a mother.)

  9. Your mom is a great writer! Easy to see where you and your talented siblings get it from!

    Your mom’s header “Mom in Mendon” was fun to see … is that Cache Valley’s Mendon? I also live there!

  10. I loved your mom’s words. It made me smile to think of a crowd of people cheering and applauding all of the incredible things women do on a daily basis. Mothers sure do impressive things everyday without any recognition. I never really thought about how nice it is to have the online community, I truly think it has changed motherhood for the positive! I loved the insight from a mother of a different era.

  11. What lovely, brilliant post!! This idea of how blogging fulfills a creative need/void regardless of the size of your readership reminds me of when I saw Bradley Cooper on the “Actor’s Studio” a few weeks back — he said that for him, acting fills a need in him and that he would gain the benefits from it whether he was acting in front of two people in a barn for no money or in front of millions ….. Parenting is wonderful but also HARD and blogging allows us to be connected with each other and gain support — I’ve read that some people feel that the internet keeps people away from each other, but in my experience, it definitely brings us closer together!!

  12. I can’t get over how much you look like your mom. That pictures looks like you washing the dishes in a 70’s house.
    I do like having a blog, but my blog isn’t famous or much more than a journal. I like that my friends can see and respond often positively to what I write. I think that if I took it farther- if I were you or Jordan or Liz then I would be unable to do all of the “mom stuff” that I’m “supposed” to do. I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing. And I’m happy that you can find joy in what you’re doing. Goodness knows that I benefit from your blog and your efforts!

  13. I love it! It’s so refreshing to connect with people who are in your same stage of life, who really get what you do and believe. Thank goodness for the internet and creative women who want to share! Thank goodness for my own little private blog that almost no one reads.

  14. Ah – your mother writes beautifully! And I think that she nailed it. I’m thankful that I’ve got the blogosphere during my time as a mom to young children. I can’t imagine life without it!

  15. Such wisdom. I’ve thought about how beneficial it would have been to have had an online community of support when my oldest was born (rather than beginning when my third was just a baby). We crave that praise and applause, even support for those who aren’t close (geographically, or otherwise) with their own family members. I do admit, though, to also cringing at the potential onslaught — so many opinions, so many articles and sites…it could easily confound a new mom who, in looking for solutions to her new role, looks frantically elsewhere for answers rather than paying attention to her own instincts.

  16. I just commented on your mother’s blog. As everyone has said above, she is an excellent writer!!! I’ve kept a journal all my life, but have never written anything as beautiful and creative as her 1973 journal entry. I think your mother and I are close to the same age and I am thrilled that my daughters live in the generation of blogging. I know it’s enriched their lives. I love that they have the blogging connection, Facebook, e-mails, and twitter. It’s all good. It’s a good thing (as Martha would say.)

  17. Well, of course, I’m not surprised to find your mother full of wisdom and completely on point. I love reading, meeting and getting to know all the wonderful women out there and see all the ways in which we family.

    Hats off to your mom for her obvious expertise in raising right.

    best – d.
    post script: girls rule! :)

  18. Oh, I loved your mom’s post! I couldn’t agree more. And I am also so thankful that I love what I do, too. I did have to take some deep breaths today when others speak of digital sabbaticals and that- for me- would be like saying I’m just not going to work for a month and that’s just not wise. This is a pretty awesome gig.


  19. I so agree! Not to mention the benefits of reading blogs! Reading blogs allows me to hear different perspectives and ideas but it’s so much more than that…. I think of you all as a my chorus . My favorites all seem to be written by Mormon women. Maybe I’ll have to start a Jewish Mama blog trend so we can trade tips on packing kosher/dairy lunches to preschool, making Passover sedar kid friendly, etc…

  20. Absolutely! Even with other stay-at-home moms to hang out with or mommy groups to join, blogs have allowed me to easily find like-minded women (moms or not). I think it would have taken sooo much longer to find a group of people with the same interests as me if I had to try and meet them in person. Like your mom said, it’s nice to have an audience, even if it’s just someone who appreciates that you managed to track down that elusive stain remover that will remove breastmilk spit-up after it’s dried.

  21. Interesting, Yes, Motherhood much like teaching in some ways, is not full of praise but the benefits are so huge that i am speechless just thinking about it! Am sure your Mum is so happy that you are all so happy, that is what we want for our children, always, to be happy and healthy ( So glad to hear Mimi is on the mend;). You know I have considered blogging but i have to ask, are there too many bloggers out there now? I am way past my time to join the blogging world? I too search for something more, and to date it has been my own PD, but with countless degrees now I was thinking about blogging. Thoughts on this?
    I love people, travel, learning, there is so much to do!
    What shall I do?

    1. Tiffany Hoehne

      I feel the same way! I like blogging, but at the same time I have to wonder–is it just white noise? I am a smart, creative person, but does the world need one more blogger? I keep trying to figure out if what I have to offer is needed, or if I should find a different outlet for my talents. (Blogging is just so easy compared to a lot of things….)

  22. This rings so true! Thank you for sharing this and many other pieces of wisdom. Your mom is right. I have a blog, not many readers, but it doesn’t matter, the creative outlet is what matters to me most. A big thank you goes out to all the moms out there! The hardest job you could ever love!

  23. What a beautiful post! Having a blog of my own has connected me — and introduced me — to so many wonderful women, most of whom I would have never known. Thanks for sharing. It’s an inspiration.

  24. I loved this post, truly. It’s so nice to know that another mom understands! She understands that it is boring to change diapers, and clean the kitchen table for the 100th time that day, but as moms we do it anyway. Excellent post, I wrote a response on my blog if you are interested.


  25. 1. I wrote something along the same lines last year. How my blog is my connection and the internet is a lifeline in motherhood. It’s absolutely amazing what it is in my life; a touchstone to who I am at the core.

    2. I just realized I live in the same valley as your mom and now I want to invite her to lunch!

  26. I think that even for those of us who don’t blog ourselves, the blogosphere has allowed meaningful connections to be made between mothers everywhere. When the baby is wired at 3:00 a.m., I can take comfort in reading another mom’s account of the same experience. Or I can commiserate about the rollercoaster of parenting a “tween.” Or I can live vicariously through someone who is living my dream of picking up and moving the clan to Europe . . . Thanks, Gabrielle! (There is something of your mother’s voice in your own writing, and I hope you take that as a compliment!)

  27. Your mom sounds like so much fun. Which of the girls is you in the picture? Or are those the 4 siblings before you?

    Like someone said on here, blogging is also about connecting. Yes, I love the bits about promoting small businesses and great ideas, but the virtual connections you make with bloggers you regularly follow is a different thing. Like how I’ve seen June and Toby grow through you and Joanna. Like how I sometimes feel like I’m sitting in Deb’s NYC kitchen. Like how the first thing I look for in your family pictures is Oscar’s cheeky grin (and hope my next will be a cute boy JUST like him… lol).

    Today where everyone works longer hours and sees little of their “real” friends, I think the blogosphere fills a great void.

  28. wow….i do think your mom is so right. i love getting a comment on my blog. unfortunately, i only have 8 followers, so there are days that i still feel a little “un praised.” however, i haven’t posted in a while, so….but then again, i don’t have the money to do a new project every day like some bloggers do.

  29. Yes! This is so well put. These beautiful, stylish, interesting, unique online communities have become so important in my daily life. I would love to be able to blog for a living, I just don’t know that it is in the stars for me but I get so much energy and inspiration from reading many other people’s ideas and shows of talent and passion in a positive and uplifting and supportive online community of women & mothers!

  30. Can I agree and disagree?

    I think that it is true that blogs are good outlets and we all stalk each other and love to get comments but at the same time, I find that people who know others in real life and read their blogs they are quick to criticize. If that makes sense.

    For instance. Blogging for me is for my family all over the country. I have no family near me and I blog for my family to see what me and the children are up to. I don’t blog everyday about how my kids were unruly at Target or how I left the dishes in the sink because – it doesn’t matter.

    But, because I only blog the good stuff or all of the places we went to people who know me or know of others in their circles become critical and “jealous.” Like me or the person they are critical of think or try to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfect.

    I find that no matter what you think about me or the person’s blog you are reading – it is your perspective and how you read it that is the problem.

    You can’t tell me that you didn’t get negative comments about you deciding to uproot your family to France for a year – just for the experience. Someone out there had something mean to say – had an opinion formed out of their perspective or their jealousy.

    I love to blog. I love to print it out at the end of the year and keep it with the other yearly adventures. I have just learned to gain a thick skin in what people think or comment about because sometimes people have no filter, and don’t really care what they say.

    whew. that novel is over. I promise.

    1. You are so right!!!

      I fell into that trap myself….a cousin (whom I loved dearly) blogged about her PERFECT life and annoyed me so much! Then I had the chance to visit her one summer. I saw her tiny apartment with it’s sparse furnishings. She fed us a delicious, but humble, meal. We talked for several hours. And I left with the realization: Her life is not perfect. She and her husband are poor college students. The crafts she posts on her blog are the only adornment of their tiny home. They are always going on outings so that they don’t get cabin fever. She is an incredibly adventurous and optimistic person. She isn’t being fake on her blog; she is focusing on her blessings.

      Ever since our visit, I can appreciate that in bloggers that I know. Because you’re right, it doesn’t bug me with bloggers I don’t know.

      Which brings me to my question–should I worry about alienating my friends and relations on my blog? Sometimes I want my blog to be more than letters to home, but I’m worried that people will think I’m trying to be a “real” blog. Get me? I know I shouldn’t live my life for others, but at the same time I love these people and want them to feel comfortable in my online space.

  31. one more thing. I think it has changed motherhood because sometimes it makes us feel insecure about our abilities because what we see in others lives – is easy to compare and feel inadequate even if that wasn’t intended.

    okay for real now. I am done.

  32. I appreciate what Val said above. I think blogging or following a blog can be a very positive experience but that people need to use caution as they would in any other friendship or group experience.

  33. As a 61 year old mother of 5 (and grandmother to 11), I especially loved your mother’s comments. I am sure I could find some journal entries of my own that are the same–just a little lonely longing for empathy and/or praise. I love reading my daughters’ blogs, and am grateful that they have friends who cheer them on and who truly understand their situations. I am grateful for the quick connection for me to their thoughts, for updated photos of my grandchildren (some of whom live far away), and for the community of sharing ideas on many things. I like the new friends I have made through the internet, young and old, and find that the community of women, mothers, adventurers, designers, etc. enriches my life. Thanks, Gabrielle!
    And yes, regarding the post on your children emailing themselves, I have printed out my own blog at Blurb.com for the last 5 years. They are tidy, professional-looking, and long-lasting journals/scrapbooks. Making the children’s letters to themselves into books when you return to the U.S. will cement these experiences into life-long memories. That is a great idea.

  34. your mom is right on! motherhood is a lonely place sometimes, for sure, although no one likes to say that! i love that she was given the advice to have a hobby or an extra something going on- just for her. the same still holds true today, you get caught up the the daily grind and there is no time to appreciate what you have done – if it was creating, learning, growing…it might get missed. i often am amazed at the self satisfaction that comes with spray painting a piece of furniture or potting a plant. HA!! i am not alone. and im not crazy. xo

  35. I blogged this type of thing very recently but your mum put it SOO MUCH BETTER! We just want some praise over how hard it all is.

    whenever people ask me why I blog I say to them that it is a FREE creative outlet. I no longer spend lots of money on hobbies. And I get a few comments from friends here and there. I love it.

  36. I agree with your mom – and even with my blog I still feel like that. I don’t want to be famous – just a little attention every now and then.

  37. I love that your mother’s mother “gave us permission to have an outlet.”
    Wisdom’s in your family blood.

    Before I clicked over to Design Mom today, I was just thinking about how you ‘do it all.’ I’ve been stuggling lately with my different ‘rolls’ I’m supposed to fill & how to fill them well.

    Your (and your mother’s) posts touched my heart.
    Thank you both for them!

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