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.

102 thoughts on “Has Blogging Transformed Motherhood?”

  1. Oh your mom is so brilliant!!! I wish my mom had had a blog… I would so love to know what she was thinking… I think I would go bananas with out a blog to rock ideas around and have a couple of great friends stop by and say wonderful… Really blogging opened the world for me and gave me so much mothering confidence… no more sitting in isolation at home wondering if you are doing the right thing, because there is always someone saying – great idea!!!

  2. Wow. That is a fantastic observation. I’ve thought several times about giving up my blog because of the time it takes–nothing like yours of course, but then I don’t get paid for it–but as I discuss it with my sister we’ve both said how hard it would be to give up. It’s hard to give up “the fans”. It’s hard to lose the affirmation, even on days when I post about the bad things. There is always someone there to cheer me on, to lift me up, to tell me I’m doing a good job. I just moved to a tiny town in NM and have no friends, and I swear, my life has been saved by blogging. Your mom is right. It’s transformed motherhood, and I think definitely for the better.

  3. Hi, I’m younger than your Mother but older than many of the young mothers whose blogs I read. My children of which there are four were born in the mid late eighties and one in 94. I have been a single mother longer than I was married. Mothering is a hard, lonely and yet rewarding job. It can also break y1our heart at times. I enjoyed reading your Mom’s words and I heard the echos of my own as well. I too can see how transformative the blogging world can be and how different it is for young mothers. However, I do believe there is a downside. Sometimes I pick up on this whine and complain and I find it bothers me. I want to say put on your big girl pants and deal. I hope that doesn’t sound insensitive but I do believe blogging can create a MeMeMe mind set that can be unattractive.
    Enjoy your adventures!

  4. Love that! I have to say I am pretty lucky to have a small fan club of family and friends including my kiddos who always know just when I need encouragement the most.

  5. I feel incredibly blessed to have my community of online mom friends, especially since I am the first of my “real life” friends to have children, and will probably be alone in this phase for a good 5-10 years. Its so interesting to see that your mom had a desire for such a community when she had young children, as I often wonder about how different it is being a mother in the age of the internet.

  6. Your mom is right on target. I know, with great certainty that I would not be the same mother I am today without my blog. It is a beautiful thing to marry my home life, my work, my hobbies, and my thoughts in one space. The importance does not lie in the number of readers I have, but rather the fact that I carve time out of my day, when all is quiet in the house and write. Thank you so very much for sharing this. Many hugs to your daughter in her recovery as well…

  7. Wow. I got chills when I read her 1973 journal entry–it’s almost as if she could see into the future because she described all the things that blogging fulfills in my life.

    I have memories of watching my mother spend hours and hours painting these crazy clothes pin wreaths (when I was a child) and I always wondered why she felt the need to do that until I became a mother–you just need a creative outlet–something apart from motherhood–like your mother explained.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us. I really enjoyed reading it.

  8. Fantastic and true, my mom has expressed similar sentiments to me and how she wished the internet had been around when she was in the midst of full time mothering. The blog world and internet in general have made my life as a stay at home mom so very nice. I’m far away from family and love the easy connection to them and endless friends.

  9. Your mother is such a wise, wise woman with such a beautiful written voice. It would be lovely to have her guest post on Design Mom from time to time.

  10. Sandra Gonzales

    You know that you and your mother cock your heads to the side in the exact same way? I love the miracle of genetics.

  11. Yeah, I do agree–though I had never put that into words. It’s the beauty of like-minded people having a conversation, and leaving feeling lifted by others’ praise, more secure in their roles (mundane ones, even), and connected to other mothers who feel the same ways.

    I think this is why our mothers/grandmothers/great-grandmothers belonged to bridge, reading, knitting, and other clubs. It wasn’t so much about the specific skill (though that’s a nice draw), but it was about the relationships and affirmation that, to repeat a phrase, we’re all doing okay.

  12. Loved your mom’s post. It reminded me of the story of a woman visiting the U.S. from a village that didn’t have any kind of plumbing. In her home, women spent a lot of time collecting water from the village well for their families. So she was shocked to find that the town she was visiting had no well. “But how do you know what’s happening in each other’s lives?” she asked. We don’t have wells to gather around anymore, but maybe we’re creating our own “wells” with our blogs.

  13. blogging definitely has been therapeutic for me. i wish i could make money doing it, but am not sure that i’m creative enough or witty enough to do so. i do love reading your blog, and now enjoy your mother’s blog. she is adorable.

  14. Your mom’s post hit home with me today. I work full time in a traditional office setting and barely find time to do laundry let alone blog. I was feeling envious today of work-from-home/stay-at-home moms who get to spend leisurely summer days with their kids. This was a good reminder that the life of every mom is filled with challenges and trade-offs – muddling through seems to be a universal experience. Thanks for the reminder that I’m one of the lucky ones.

  15. I think it has changed the expectations of motherhood, and it’s a double edged sword. While yes, it is a way to find a cheering section and reach out to others, it can also feel as much of an obligation as doing the dishes or folding the laundry. I have have spent entire nap times tweaking photos, working on a logo, deciding how I want to “brand” myself because a lot of the time it feels like if you are a SAHM, doing the housework, the finances, the childcare and maintaining a some kind of romantic and social life isn’t enough. You also now need a clever blog or an Etsy shop or a witty Twitter feed. I miss working, and I like having a place to journal my crafting, but I hate that I feel pressure to find a way to make my online presence anything bigger than it currently is.

  16. Just like any plant – we need care and nurturing to not just fulfill the measure of our creation – but to magnify it. Blogging has helped me be more. I hope that by being more for my girls – they become much, much more than I am.

  17. Jennifer Price

    I’m the mom of two grown daughters and I have a grandson. I’m new to the whole blogging world. I found your blog Gabrielle while planning a 30th wedding anniversary trip to Europe. I was a stay-at-home mom, who worked as a freelance radio journalist when I felt like it. There is no doubt that blogging has givin mothers an outlet for creativity and support, but I can’t help but feel there is also something lacking. There is no replacement for the human touch, eye contact or the spoken word. The beauty of mother to mother sharing, this was so enriching to me. I found it through a mothering support group worldwide. The encouragement and “praise” as well as the friendships have stayed with me for a lifetime! No computer could ever replace that.

  18. I love your moms post! I love even more that she wrote it down back then & kept it. These days blogging has made journaling so much easier for those of us who hate to hand write & for those of us who can’t even read our own handwriting…. I’ve made private blogs for each of my kids that I like to write about their going ons & I like to write my own thoughts about my life at those moments that I think they might appreciate reading in the future. Reading your moms post makes me happy I’ve started them.

    I’m rambling… anyhow your mom seems super rad & your grandma was so great to make sure your mom knew she could be more than “Mommy” we all need creative outlets in our lives!

  19. Thank you for sharing your mother with us. I was moved by her posting and am certainly now her fan, and followed her blog (and yours). I too am a blogger, new to the forum but there is nothing I am more passionate about or enjoy more than I do writing it. I too hope to make a living at it and wonder how you accomplished that. I hope it isnt too forward of me to ask for advice. Thank you so much. Jammy

  20. Thank you for sharing this! Your Mom has so beautifully articulated why blogs have such meaning for motherhood and mothers. I’m on the other side of the globe but I’m touched, inspired and supported by your words/experiences every day, I value that so much and it makes all the difference!

  21. I found you on Twitter today – what an awesome post your mother wrote. I commented there for her too. Loneliness is exactly why I started blogging a year ago – friendships are why I keep doing it. I look forward to getting to know you better through your words and inspiration.

  22. Amen to your mother. Thank heaven for the internet. And yet sometimes I’m still wishing I had something… It’s funny i think blogs and facebook really are for one thing: Validation. And if that’s it, it’s enough, right?

  23. This was an amazing post. Like mother like daughter or is it the other way around? Yes, I do think that blogging has altered motherhood in a positive inspiring way. No longer do we feel disconnected and removed from the world. We are now actors in the stage and motherhood has amplified this because we now have a new experience and perspective compared to other women. It’s a good thing, this blogging thing. And about your mom, wow is she eloquent or what? Love her writing and and admire her desire and drive to still be relevant and fresh in this new world of blogging moms. Awesome, awesome post!

  24. She is such a wonderful writer and she is so right! My kids are 10 & 13 and I envy the new moms these days. There are so many wonderful blogs and opportunities to blog and connect. What a gift as they start their mothering journey! I have met so many creative friends in recent years through blogging and Twitter. I had been so lonely for artist friends for so long! Now I have them in spades.

  25. I love that you blog for a living! I get so many great ideas! Your Mom is a great writer! I had to laugh out loud at her last sentence. My boys have robes and they always leave them on the floor or couch. It drives me quite batty!!

  26. I’m sure your mom is proud of you as a ‘blogger’. You are such an inspiration. You inspired me to write. Blogging for me does fill that void. It’s an expression, an outlet so I can reach out to mainly my family in the Philippines and also hoping that one day my daughter gets to read my posts and get to know me outside motherhood.

    Thank you!!!

  27. I want to echo what so many other people have said here – your mother is truly a talented writer!

    However, I feel somewhat uncomfortable with the assertion that blogging somehow fills a spiritual void for mothers, particularly in the case of Design Mom. As you said in your post, you blog ‘for a living’ – there are businesses and services endorsed, and an emphasis placed on THINGS. Things are beautiful, things can enhance our lives, things bring convenience and joy…but things are material. Blogging is business.

    Hopefully that doesn’t sound too negative – I really enjoy your blog! – but it’s always something at the back of my mind when I read blogs that employ affiliate marketing and third party sponsorship.

  28. Thank you for sharing the link – your mum’s insight into this part of motherhood has certainly struck a chord with me today, and is very comforting. Especially the part about the folded washing. ;)

    It’s quite easy to see why her family are so beautiful and talented. What a wonderful lady.

  29. Oh my gosh, yes! Your mom’s post is spot on. I always say that the blogging movement is kind of like “revenge of the moms.” Right? It gives voice to things that were previously considered unimportant, or unworthy of discussion. Hurray to any and all moms who blog, and kudos to those who successfully make a business of it. Good for you!

  30. Such positive comments! You might guess my reaction: “Oh! Oh, HERE’S the applause. After 35-40 years.” : )

    I want to respond to/dialogue with every single one of you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

    Love, Donna Stanley McEvoy

  31. A great post by your mom! I definitely l feel that blogging has transformed motherhood for me. I attended a fireside by Claudia Bushman once where she talked about the importance of journal keeping, and she said that when people keep journals they tend to look for ways to improve their lives and find interesting things to do because they want something good to write about, and so the mere act of being a journal keeper ends up transforming lives. I was a bad journal keeper until I started a private blog for my family and friends far away to see what we were up to. Now I am an avid blogger aka journal keeper and I am constantly looking for ways to bring more fun, excitement and joy to my family’s lives because I know they will be looking at the blog books later in life and I want them to have good things to read about! I also find that blogging makes me look on the bright side of life more than ever because, really, who wants to read a depressing blog? I’m honest about the hard things, but I find the hard things to not be so taxing when you are looking on the bright side and when you know that you will have family and friends supporting you from afar. It’s nice to know that my journals will not only connect generations after me, but they connect me with friends and family on a daily basis now. I love blogging.

  32. The poster reminds me of an embroidered saying my mom has had in her house for as long as I can remember: “Choose Your Love
    Love Your Choice”

  33. Wow; your mom is a wonderful writer! Such great insight…I think that social support and the ability to honestly express what you are going through is so important for mental well-being. Getting positive feedback in return makes our efforts so much more worth it! I don’t have z blog (yet), but even reading others’ thoughts and experiences helps validate my own with the knowledge that I’m not alone! Blogs are great, especially in a day when we are likely to be moving a lot and separated from family and long-term friends!

  34. jamie @ egg2cake

    Like mother, like daughter!

    Simply put, blogging = creativity, voice and community! The ability to share inspiration, insights, humor and information is unprecedented…

  35. Lovely post. I cried when I read the bio under her blog title: ” . . . whose children are grown and live far from me.”

  36. Thanks so much for sharing Gabrielle! She put words into what most of us feel as blogger, that need to share with others is so great plis at the same time being creative and living what we do is great!

  37. I don’t remember if I’ve told you this before, but this is exactly what I wrote my master’s thesis about! (It’s available in PDF form at my blog if you’re interested in reading it.) I argued that the feminine mystique problem Betty Friedan wrote about was solved by mommy blogs by giving them the outlet they needed. I’ll just have to write some more on the subject after having this excellent source of yours and your mother’s.

  38. I loved your mom’s post! I have a mostly ignored blog, which I attempted to resurrect about a month ago, but haven’t posted to again since. This might be the impetus to make me do so again, though. For me, blogging gave me the courage to dream about finishing my English degree, which was put on hold to raise a family. I am currently pursuing that dream!

    I am a relatively new reader, by the way. I saw the HGTV episode of your family’s house hunt in France and had to find out more about your experience because I happen to be slightly (!) fascinated with France and all things French. Probably more than slightly. I have loved reading your blog!

  39. Your mom nailed it. I resonate so much with what she wrote. She put into words what I could never pinpoint about the importance (I feel) of my insignificant little blog about my life and my kids, and why I love reading and following most of the blogs that I do. Thank you for this!

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