Thursday, March 31, 2011
Mormon Mommy Blogs: Hip, Candid and Addictive?
Can you really get hooked on shiny, happy commentaries on Mormon motherhood and domestic bliss? Well, urban online mag Salon certainly thought so when it published Why I Can't Stop Reading Mormon Motherhood Blogs by Emily Matchar, a "young, feminist atheist" early this year.
As Matchar puts it, the appeal seems to go beyond the expected niche for these blogs.
"They're members of a large, close-knit network of Mormon lifestyle bloggers -- young stay-at-home-moms who blog about home and hearth, Latter-day Saint-style. From Rockstar Diaries (Naomi) to Underaged and Engaged (Stacie) to Nie Nie Dialogues (Stephanie) to Say Yes to Hoboken (Liz), Mormon lifestyle bloggers occupy their very own corner of the blogosphere.
"Their lives are nothing like mine -- I'm your standard-issue late-20-something childless over-educated atheist feminist -- yet I'm completely obsessed with their blogs. On an average day, I'll skim through a half-dozen Mormon blogs, looking at Polaroids of dogs in raincoats or kids in bow ties, reading gratitude lists, admiring sewing projects."
The creators of these blogs are Instagram-hip chroniclers of puking babies, doting husbands, harried shopping trips, forays into vintage fashions, and weekend DIY projects gone awry. But despite being a running log of domestic vicissitudes, these blogs are contemporary cool and some, like Nat the Fat Rat, are pretty darn candid.
And as one of Matchar's 464 commentors writes, "you are attracted to the positivity."
That positivity shines through even in the face of tremendous adversity, as in the case of Stephanie Nielson (below), who experienced a near-fatal plane crash and lived to blog about it and the struggles she faces raising her kids in the aftermath of severe burns. "I am Stephanie Nielson," she says. "And I am not my body."
Some may be uncomfortable with faith-based references mingling so casually in these posts. But as a blogger and a Mormon myself, I know that blogging is all about growth and personal development - and these women are writing what they know and blogging who they are.
It's been said that audience is essential for a blogger's growth. In that respect these women owe their audiences. And it's nice to know that their readers, even those that don't share their faith, are finding value in their work.