26 July 2010

Changing It Up

Lately I have been weeding out the reader and it seems that my interest have morphed a bit over time. As I looked at new blogs I am following, and blogs that sadly no longer need to be part of my daily reading list, it seems that I just plain over certain genres of blogs.

Leading this list is the dreaded parenting blog. Let me say that I love blogs written by parents. Reading the selected musing of other people who are in the child rearing phase of life is great. Many of the blogs I enjoy are written by parents and that fact seeps in to a lot of their post topics. The great thing with these blogs is that while they discuss all manner of great topics, the fact that we all share a trait makes the content appealing and relatable. Blog written by parents are great, blogs written about the art of parenting? Not so much. These is a not too fine line between being a parent who blogs and a blog written as a "how-to" guide. That is where we quickly move into sanctimonious BS territory.

Parenting blogs seem to spend way too much time enjoying the self-righteous fact that their life choices make them not only better parents, but better people too. There also seems to a bizarre martyr/super mom dichotomy I don't understand. A lot of time is spent making statements to the effect of: "My Choice" was the most challenging thing I ever did, please fall to my feet in worship of how much I sacrificed for my child, but of course "My Choice" is way easier than "Any Other Choice" which only terrible parents would do. Everyone makes sacrifices to have kids, and everyone makes choices that work best for their family. If you find that you get a thrill from having sacrificed so much more, worked so much harder and therefore become such a better parent/person for it, then you may need to reevaluate the kinds of rewards you are looking for in life. While no one enjoys the smug satisfaction of making a choice and having it work out well more than I, really, enough already.

Lastly, then I can move on to being hyper-critical of something else, it would appear that in order to run a parenting blog, you must be a die-hard groupie of a labeled methodology. Many who blog in this manner have come to see the light of a certain technique the same way, and with the same fervor, as finding religious harmony. Attachment parenting, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, elimination communicating, Dr. Sears-ing and being all natural/organic seem to be the current obsessions du jour. While all these things are great (I mean no ill intent to anyone who uses these methods, I am into all this stuff too to some level) it does make me wonder what ever happened to just plain old parenting. When I see people who label themselves with endless acronyms (AP, CD, BF, EM, CS…. Mommy to three) I, perhaps unfairly, wonder if they have ever really had an independent thought about the whole process. Logically I know these choices were made after copious research and I should be a little less judgmental, but my inner hag just wants to say "well thank goodness I don't need to join a fanboi style following to know I am doing okay as a mom." I know, I am an evil cow, but there you go.

There you have it, how-to guides for Mommyhood are off the roster.

I am also ditching blogs that offer only compensated reviews and subsidized give-aways. . I appreciate a helpful review of a product that the blogger genuinely finds to be useful and entering the occasional drawing for a cool product, but I don't want to spend my precious computer time doing nothing but following stuff on Facebook and re-tweeting messages so I can win a bar of soap or whatever. If you have a great product you like, bring it on. You want to do some give-aways to boost blog traffic? Go for it. However, blogs that are lacking in other content don't really hold my attention. The only blogs of this type that I still follow I do because they take a lot of the work out of looking for the deals on stuff I am normally looking for anyway. Thankfully they run in a great format so all I need do is scan the post-title and I can tell if I need to actually investigate.

It would appear that my misanthropy is doing a great job of screening my social media usage. Maybe there is an upside to my now almost uncontrollable anti-social tendencies. I am going to try and organize the blogroll/a new page for blog/site links to feature the stuff I like, and that I bet my readers might like, so if these unkind thoughts occasionally bubble through your head, check that out later this week for some places you might like to visit.


Ginger said...

Whew, I don't *think* I fall into any of those categories. I was nervous!

But I totally agree with you. I like parenting blogs that talk about parenting like it's a real thing, with ups and downs and challenges, not something that has ONE right answer. I don't parent that way, and I'm always a little suspicious of people who do.

Oh and don't get me started on the giveaway blogs. GAH!

Anonymous said...

I have two or three Christian parenting/motherhood/household tip blogs in my Reader, and when I'm in "that" kind of mood I browse through them. But most days they sit unread with 25-30 blog posts backing up.

I ignore the giveaway posts and click over when the blogger actually has something worthwhile to say. I'm coming to view giveaways and reviews as the annoying TV commercials of the blogosphere--necessary, irritating, but easily tuned out. I wish more bloggers would negotiate ad space and get their extra $50 that way instead of pissing off their readers.

Heidi Maxwell said...

I tend to read whatever pops up in my sidebar for most recent postings of blogs I follow. I TRY to keep the blogs I follow on each of my blogs pertinent to said blog. Bloggity Bloggity Blog Blog Blog. If you aren't in the top 10 when I log in, you aren't getting read (except Lexi, cause you are special and have your own special linkys which I always clicks on MWAH and big <3s forevah!)

When I'm in the mood or when I find ERGO baby or cloth diaper giveaways, I enter them - but usually just the main entry. For a while I entered a lot. And I won a ton of great stuff. But I'm tapped out right now.

And when I actually blog - I TRY TRY TRY to keep a good mix of giveaway and actual writing. And I on;y post about products that I genuinely like and want to let other people know about. So I hope I'm not a drag. I have a whole pile of them that I need to post and then I'm taking a break for a while unless something comes to me unbidden (which actually happens, believe it or not!)

I think my biggest waste of time, when it comes to reading on the interwebs, are the parenting forums - like Circle of Morons and BC. They are a time suck and are filled with, well, Morons and The Almighty Judgementals. Just not fun.

I may have to copywrite those two names in case I ever start a band.