The invite read: “You must be able to tolerate discussions on poop, breasts and other unmentionables that mommies talk about. And it would be nice if you told us that our kids are super-smart and that we look sexy.”
The event was a Sunday afternoon get-together. The venue: a hip Bangalore café. Though none of the invitees had ever met before, they were no strangers — for they were all mothers with a passion for blogging. After months of exchanging notes on potty training and teething woes online, some of the Bangalore moms decided to meet each other. Plans are now afoot for similar meetings in other cities.
Step into the world of mommy blogs where the Internet-savvy Indian mum is bonding with other mothers. The moms may be a bit cagey about revealing their full identities but are eager to bombard the world with every little detail about their little ones’ lives.
Clearly, the Internet has turned into a networking and creative forum. Bangalore-based software engineer Sangeeta admits that she started blogging on babiesanon.wordpress.com with the intention of meeting like-minded moms. For Shobana, a stay-at-home-mother based in the US, blogging is a way to unwind. “When I write and read posts, it is like I am at a café with my girlfriends and I am discussing their children with a mug of coffee in my hands.”
Most mommies who blog like to catch up with one another to get suggestions on parenting. So when Sangeeta was in a dilemma about whether to cut her two-year-old daughter Poppin’s little ponytail, she asked for ideas on her blog. And when DDmom’s elder daughter was to start school she urged experienced mothers to come up with lunch box suggestions on her blog (http://penningmythoughts.com/ddmomsweblog/category/day-care/).
“Mommy blogs are catching on because the Internet is a close part of our lives today,” explains Samir Parikh, consultant psychiatrist, Max Healthcare, Delhi. “Moreover, with the changing social milieu and with the emergence of a nuclear family system, mothers have little time to communicate with other mums. Blogging helps them to express their thoughts and connect with like-minded people,” he says.
Blogging moms are also taking over a role once played by their mothers and grandmothers. They turn to each other for advice on parenting, and, unlike many of the older female family members, they understand the pressures and problems of the present generation. “Earlier, if your grandmother asked you to do something, you followed the practice without questioning. But today moms want convenient and less time-consuming answers,” says Riti, a Chennai-based marketing executive. “State a problem on your blog and you will be bombarded with experiences. Pick and choose your solution,” says Riti, who has been sharing her experiences about raising her one-year-old twins on itchingtowriteblogs.blogspot.com.
Besides bonding with one another, the mums find blogging a great way to record the milestones in their child’s life — from the first haircut to a trip to the playschool. On moppettales. blogspot.com, Nikita, a young mom, writes about the daily adventures of her 18-month-old daughter, Moppet.
Though most mommy bloggers want to remain anonymous, they have no qualms about revealing their kid’s identity. Almost all blogs are peppered with cute pictures of their cherubs. Subha, a Switzerland-based mom who writes boosbabytalk.blogspot.com, was pleasantly surprised when on a visit to Chennai a young mother with two children in tow asked her, “Aren’t you Boo from Boosbabytalk'” Says Subha, “I was completely taken aback. Apparently, she recognised my daughter who was with me from the photos I post on my blog.”
The enormity of the mommy blog world urged Subha to start a separate blog called indianmommies. blogspot.com to document all mommy blogs. Besides Subha’s blog directory, there is also desimomzclub. blogspot.com and www. saffrontree.org, an online kiddie book club that brings Indian moms together online.
Though no precise estimates about the number of Indian mommy blogs exist, Amit Aggarwal of labnol. blogspot.com, which has an online directory of the best Indian blogs in different categories, maintains that there are easily a few hundred such blogspots.
That’s not surprising, for mommy blogs are being read for sheer entertainment value by people other than moms as well. Neha, a Singapore-based researcher, is not a mom, but loves reading winkiesways. blogspot.com for its style of writing and karmickids. blogspot.com for the humorous posts. For most mothers, the blogs are a creative outlet. Since quite a few stay at home, and many have left their jobs to bring up their children, the blogs are an enjoyable way to stay occupied. Take Moppet’s mom Nikita. An MBA, Nikita used to work at a multinational company in India. She is currently a full-time mom and blogs on an average for an hour every day. “I’m not working at the moment, so I really do have plenty of time. Also, I enjoy writing,” she says.
For many of them the blog is an easy way to share their babies’ growing up days with close family and friends who might be living far away. Many moms also secretly cherish the desire that their children will grow up and read their blogs one day.
With little children around and several daily chores to finish, the moms have to take out time to blog when their children are either napping or are at playschool. The mothers don’t mind, and some point out that blogging is also addictive. And, after all, they are storing memories.