Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mormon Mommy Blogs

Last week a friend sent me the link to an article on Salon about Mormon "mommy blogs."

It's an interesting article. Salon was the first online-only magazine, started back in 1995. It addresses politics and modern life, and the articles often tend toward edgy and sophisticated (at least to me...but you have to keep in mind that I am neither edgy nor sophisticated), so it's a surprising venue for the article.

The article was written by a feminist who is fascinated by blogs written by young Mormon mothers. The author, Emily Matchar, questions her own interest in the blogs, saying, " use a word that makes me cringe, these blogs are weirdly "uplifting." To read Mormon lifestyle blogs is to peer into a strange and fascinating world where the most fraught issues of modern living -- marriage and child rearing -- appear completely unproblematic. This seems practically subversive to someone like me, weaned on an endless media parade of fretful stories about "work-life balance" and soaring divorce rates and the perils of marrying too young/too old/too whatever."

Reading her article, I felt like I was reading by looking in the mirror. Not that I consider myself a member of the club she's writing about; I guess I'm a Mormon "grandma blogger," a generation removed from all the fun she follows. 

But still, some of my very favorite people are Mormon mommy bloggers--although I didn't know the term until I read it in Salon. These blogs aren't as "hip" as the ones linked from the Salon article, but I love reading them, and not only because I love the writers. The blogs are real and uplifting, and they open windows to interesting people who share their lives online.

Katie writes Notes from a Very Red Kitchen, with updates, craft projects, and thoughts about life from her university-student-housing apartment. She is honest and funny and takes excellent photos.

Polly writes Helping Little Hands from her rural home. She started sharing fabulous crafting/recycling ideas on her blog, and while those original and creative ideas are still the heart of her blog, she also shares insights from the ups and downs of family life.

Angela, with 2 children with celiac disease, writes a blog aimed at helping others cope with the challenges of gluten-free living in the Bay Area on Gluten-Free Teacups

Holly has been updating Meaningful Mothering regularly, but she's on a short hiatus while she and hubby and their two children move almost 2000 miles to a new home. I hope she'll be back on line soon!

Julia's Musings doesn't fit the "Mormon mommy" mold. Her children are older, and she freely admits that her craft projects don't reach star quality, but she writes thoughtful insights about navigating daily challenges.

Ok, ok, so I'm biased. Full disclosure requires that I 'fess up--these talented bloggers are all my daughters, step-daughter, or daughter-in-law. Lucky me!

Here are a few more of my favorite Mormon mommy blogs. Not related to these people, but I love checking in with their lives.

Bridget of Arabia fascinates me because she is raising her two young children in the Middle East, where her husband has a teaching position. Her posts are always interesting, and they're usually funny, on top of that.

Mrs. Maughan is kind of a shirt-tail relative, but I always enjoy her blog--fresh and honest and funny.

And finally--last but not least--I have to give a quick shout-out for The Skinny. Authors are Katie (Notes from a Very Red Kitchen) and yours truly--a mother-daughter team working on weight loss and healthier living. Katie and I update our progress every week, and other blog authors chime in from time to time with healthy encouragement to the rest of us.

If you're interested, there's an article in Deseret News about the Salon article.


Katie Lewis said...


I was a little struck when I read this. Mostly because I just read that article on Salon a couple of days ago. A friend showed it to me and I was left wishing that I had never read it. Since it starts out so funny and interested it shocked me into offense when the author took a turn for the worse there toward the end. I was left feeling defensive about my life, my faith, and my blog. So I think it was good to have someone else's recap on the whole thing. And I'm glad to hear that you weren't as offended as I was. And thanks for all the nice things you said about my blog. That article has bothered me since I finished reading it a couple days ago and I think reading this now was somewhat healing for me.

Dorothy said...

I enjoyed the article, Kathy. Yes, you are I are still "Mormon MOMMY Bloggers", it's just that we are writing about the second generation now. I was not offended at all... in fact, I found it amusing. If my lifestyle is a dream world, then I'm happy to be living the dream. :) I'd much rather be focusing on things that are uplifting. It helps keep the challenges in perspective!

Polly @ Pieces by Polly said...

Thanks for the link, Mom. :) When I read the article in Salon a couple days ago, my reaction was similar to Dorothy's. I was fascinated that people could see our lives as so dreamy...and I am absolutely happy to be living the dream. Of course no one's life is quite as dreamy as it may seem on our blogs, but that's not because of any kind of dishonesty or trying skew things...just because we try to focus on the more uplifting aspects of our lives. I found it especially fascinating that people would find our lifestyle so idealic and attractive...but then not want to incorporate more of it into their own lives.

Bridget said...

You have some wonderful kids. :)

I read this article and I thought it was interesting. Now I don't know if I can be called a mommy blogger because I never post craft projects...