Friday, February 8, 2013

Lost voices of the mom-blogosphere

Whenever I feel sheepish about this mom blog, or that it's too narcissistic or self-important or somehow just frivolous, I think about what another mom blogger (this one unapologetic and proud) once said.

She wrote a piece celebrating our collective voices.  That through blogging, the lonely struggles and secret triumphs of motherhood, long hidden from public view, finally have a spotlight.  There's a certain power in that.

And then she said this:  I wonder what our mothers would have written if they had the opportunity to share their experiences with the world. What would they have blogged about?

This idea, that were we not to blog, there would be something lost - to history, to the public conversation, to societal knowledge - hit home.

I still don't think this particular mom blog is earth-shatteringly (or even glass-shatteringly) important.  But collective we are.  There's a record and broader conversation now, of thoughts and ideas impressions, that might once have been relegated to the kitchen.

Still, as a window to motherhood, we are incomplete.  In as much as momblogs in some way define the conversation about motherhood, we are still missing a lot of moms.  Moms who are computer illiterate, who are simply illiterate, whose poverty keeps them from accessing the Internet, whose life situation keeps them from thinking they have something valuable to say.  We are missing our grandmother's voices.  And I can imagine how much richer our conversation would be if we were able to include those voices.

It's for this reason that I wanted to start an initiative at the World Moms Blog*, called "Casting a Wider Net," that would profile these missing voices.  I wrote the first piece about a remarkable women I stayed with during a recent village stay.  The other talented contributors will, over time, profile other women from their communities.

It's not going to entirely change the conservation,  but at least we'll do a bit include some lost perspectives from the current discussion.  Maybe we'll even be able to find some answers to what our own mothers might have blogged about.  

* The World Moms Blog is a blog of mothers around the world sharing their stories. It's already going a long way to expand the conversation around motherhood, with terrific writers from many corners of the earth. You should check it out!

8 comments:

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    1. Thanks! I can't wait to hear what other mom's uncover in their neck of the woods...

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  2. I would love to read a blog written by my grandmother! Historical records were traditionally men's words. I've never thought about mom blogging as being a form of herstory, but it's so obvious now that you've pointed it out. Thanks for making me think!

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    1. I know! It makes me want to interview my grandmother. But I wonder what she would have said in her day. What were her biggest gripes, struggles, triumphs? Did they look anything like my own?

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  3. Your writing is never, ever narcissistic. You share insights, you share ideas, you share what it feels like to live your life, but always with your heart and mind open to the perspective of others.

    Your initiative sounds great, but I'm really captivated by the question of what our mothers might have written about. My mother never spoke of what troubled her. She never shared with her women friends what she was going through, although she was always there to help them out. Her upbringing and cultural background simply didn't allow her to show any cracks in the perfect facade she tried to exhibit. She smiled staunchly through all sorts of troubles that eventually whittled away at her health. I think a blog or any sort of online community where she could have kept her identity masked might have saved her.

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    1. That is such an interesting point. It is therapeutic to blog and be part of a blogging community. And maybe this is the kind of therapy that would have benefited that generation especially, for whom complaining or openly suffering was looked upon as weak.

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  4. Great idea, Kim; I'm looking forward to reading all that emerges as a result of this initiative. More voices mean more awareness, more awareness may (sometimes) translate to more compassion...and more compassion ain't never a bad thing.

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    1. I love that flow of logic! More compassion is NEVER a bad thing!!

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