FOF friend Ellen and I were chatting about the eating regimen her 30-something daughter is following as she prepares to become pregnant. No raw fish, no coffee, no cheese and endless other no-nos. Another friend tells me about her 3-year-old grandson’s inability to sleep through the night because “my daughter-in-law ran to him whenever he made a peep and wanted to stay up.” And when it comes to sustenance, the fixation on breastfeeding today makes the La Leche League look like playschool.
Motherhood has become a phenomenon: Phenomenon as in spectacle, not phenomenon as in miracle. When we grew up in the 50 and 60s, our mothers did what Dr. Spock told them and many of us followed suit. I think I read his book 278 times when Colby joined us on the planet.
Our daughters don’t need anyone’s advice. They’ve figured everything out on their own and they’re spreading the word to one another on their mommy blogs. Take a minute to read some of these things. One mother competes with the next to show her fans that she does motherhood best. Mommy blogger Anne lets three-month old Johnny pee on street corners, rather than wear diapers. “It’s more liberating,” she says. MB Sophia takes 18-month old Lilly into bed with her and her husband every night. “Comforting,” Sophia notes. MB Maddie involves toddler Edie in crafts projects that would turn Martha Stewart green with envy.
But wait, there’s more. A group of MBs are turning their children into star attractions. One painstakingly documents her young son’s experience having both his feet amputated from a rare disease. She shows photos of him looking frail and sad, so sad. Maybe it’s therapeutic for mama to give a blow-by-blow accounting of her travails, but why must she “parade” her son before an audience?
When we became teenagers, we hated it when our mothers showed outsiders photos of our nude baby bottoms. What is this little boy going to think when he sees countless photos of his bandaged legs, minus his feet? Aren’t photos of our children supposed to evoke happy memories?
When this boy becomes a teenager, then a young man and an adult, does he need to be physically reminded of the pain and anguish he suffered?
Another MB tells us about her seven-year-old son, “a hilarious entertainer with Sensory Processing Disorder, Movement Disorder, 12 food allergies and sever environmental allergies.” Isn’t this a bit too much information?
MBs don’t reserve their dribble to their kids’ unfortunate circumstances. They’ve become public relations agents for their Johnny’s every move, from crawling to comedic behavior, social graces with relatives to getting along well with peers.
Do the fans of these bloggers get inspiration or comfort that their own kids are “normally healthy,” “intellectually advanced” and “properly challenged?” Are they entertained or educated? Do they live vicariously through the Mommy Blogger who “supposedly” has it all and pity the one who has heartache?
My about-to-be-32-year-old daughter doesn’t have a Facebook profile and she wouldn’t know a Mommy Blogger if she fell over her at the park. She seems to be rearing her 6.5-month-old-son using her own common sense and, when necessary, the advice of experts.
If she started a blog talking endlessly about her mommy hood, I’d have to check if she really is my daughter, or if babies were mixed up in the hospital nursery.
What do YOU think of the new generation of mommy bloggers?