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Mommy Competition or More Bullshit that I’m sick of

by Deborah Cruz

This post is for my fellow Mommy bloggers. I know some of you don’t like to be pigeonholed by the term. I, myself, am pretty proud of it. I have only been writing this blog for about 2 years, but in that time I have surrounded myself with a wonderful community or women and men; mostly parents and bloggers.  I have met amazing women all over the globe. My friend and advice pool has increased exponentially. I have also learned that there is a definite pecking order in the community, as there is in any social circle. People with seniority are obviously going to know more about the field and have more experience and insight. This is nothing new. This is the way of the world.

Last night, I was checking my Twitter stream and I saw a confusing tweet about Top Tier (more seasoned) Mommy Bloggers and it linked to a post. I won’t link that post because I don’t like to give traffic to what I think is a malicious rant. I wasn’t sure if the tweet was in agreement of the post or against it. So, my interest was piqued and I had to read it for myself.The jist was that it was a complaint rant ( a whine, if you will) about how Top Tier Mommy bloggers are aloof and “take” all the opportunities and that the only reason they have the opportunities that they have is because they were here first.She went on to insinuate that the entire “community” that they inundate themselves with is nothing more than a handful of other Top Tier Mommy bloggers. The entire post felt to me like a platform to attack. Of course, it is her blog and she is entitled to say whatever she wants about whatever she wants.It’s her opinion but it really felt like sour grapes to me.

I am NOT a big name blogger, by any means. I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of Mommy bloggers.But I can say this with complete authority, these women are where they are because they are talented writers, they work hard to network, they put themselves out there with their writing and most have been working hard at this for years.YEARS!The writer of the post says that the Top Tier Mommy bloggers “worm” their way into every single internet uproar referencing the Today Moms and Babble.com. These bloggers are the authority because they’ve been doing it the longest and gotten exposure for being pioneers in the field. The Today Show and Babble go to them first because the Top Tier Mommy bloggers are the ones who have been here for the longest. FYI, I know several “new” bloggers (especially int he NYC area) who have several media opportunities. So, it’s not just about being in that elite group. You have to be available and engage in social media. You can’t sit on a Mommy blogger throne and just think you are so special that the world must come to you. We are all moms. We grow babies and share our experience, have opinions..the end. Most are not independently wealthy, they are paid in prestige. They are paid in mattresses, trips and cameras.They write because they love to write. They write to maintain their sanity.They write because they have something to say. They keep writing because we are reading. I admire them for their fortitude and ambition.It’s hard to keep working so diligently on a goal that is almost impossible to reach.Mommy blogging is about as hard as actual Mommying, with much less rewards.

I wonder if the blogger who wrote the post has even ever tried to reach out to these so called Top Tier bloggers? I have. I have networked and chit chatted with just about every single one of them via Twitter, FB, our blogs, email and various other blogging platforms. You know what? The ones I’ve interacted with are very friendly, willing to guide/mentor a new blogger, gracious and smart. They don’t shut new bloggers out. But, as a new blogger, you have to be willing to engage, introduce yourself. They don’t know you. How could they? You’ve never met. It’s common sense, just like in your real life relationships.You have to make an effort. You can’t sit on your ass and expect Mohammad to come to the mountain. Most of us are not that fucking special.In fact, no one is that fucking special. Life is about relationships. You get out what you put in.

It’s ridiculous that I have to defend these ladies for doing nothing wrong. This post I read talks about community and the TOP TIER bloggers keeping it very elite and cliquey when she herself is the one who is attacking; shutting them out. They are not writing about keeping people out. She is. I think this is more a case of sour grapes than anything else. This is where the dysfunction comes from in this community.Not from Top Tier Mommy bloggers shutting people out but from whiny bloggers giving up and looking for someone else to blame for their own shortcomings. Work hard, persist and persevere or give up and shut up. Either way, stop complaining.

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MommyMatter 2011/04/19 - 11:33 am

WOO! Glad someone is willing to put these types of bloggers in their place. I’ve always said, instead of knocking down the elite, follow them. I’ve been in the blogging industry for over 4 years, and barely anyone knows me, but have been featured in newspapers for what I do.

These are the kind of people I always want to smack! Always upset because the elite are getting all the media attention, guess what ladies, they were once new as well. Stop complaining, if it bothers you so much that they are getting the attention do something about it and get yourself out there!

I am a proud Mommy Blogger, and love being in the Mommy Blogger community. My whole family is amazed by it and that I have turned a simple idea into a money maker. I support my own family off of my website and the knowledge I’ve gained over the years working online. The elite are my idols and love that even after all these years they are still doing it!

Jane Bitch 2011/04/19 - 11:38 am

No matter where you go in life there will always be those who want something for nothing. They assume that it’s their right to be the center of attention and pout and throw temper tantrums to become the center of attention. None of them have figured out that those who actually are the center of attention are because people gravitate naturally towards their charisma and charm.

Last time I checked there is NOTHING charming about two year old temper tantrums from adults.

Fadra 2011/04/19 - 11:48 am

Now I understand your tweet. This is definitely a mixed bag and something I plan to write about. Sometimes I feel like mommy blogging is a bit like a subset of the celebrity world.

There’s the A-list, B-list, C-list, D-list, strugglers, waiters, wanna-bes. Some get invited to Hollywood premieres. Some are merely soap operas actors. You get where I’m going, right?

I had an interesting chat lately with a “top tier” blogger. She talked to be about what blogging was like when it first started. And I got it. I got how these women were connected to one another. They followed each other and visited each other and became true friends by sharing each other’s lives before most of us knew what the blogosphere was.

Blogging is work. And if people work hard, good for them. And if some of them are simply lucky along the way, good for them. Live and let live. Focus your energy on what YOU are doing and don’t worry about the others. If anything, I’m like you. I find people that I think are doing it right and I learn from them! And likewise, I do my best to help others.

You’ll get no complaints from me out of this post.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/19 - 12:00 pm

This one may get me not liked but the newest post is what I am referring to.I agree, I to have known these ladies through various avenues and conversations and its not them trying to shut us out. In fact, the ones that Ive had the pleasure of knowing have been nothing but encouraging and helpful to me. You are a great blogger. We share our theory on the community. You are doing things to positively affect the community and that will be rewarded. Just watch and see. You rock! Hard work, authenticity, positivity and perseverance and having something to say . This is whats important. The complaining, that is smallness.

C Lo 2011/04/19 - 12:24 pm

With all due respect….

You don’t have to defend them. They have legions of blind followers who will eat up whatever they put out and find no fault in them. One person speaking negatively about them won’t amount to much of anything. You don’t HAVE to defend them at all.

I’ve been doing this for 10+years. I remember what it was like “back in the day” when we were just in it for friends and connections. I remember when it was just us nerdy folks and THOSE GIRLS made fun of us for nerding out like the boys. And then they realized “Hey this is a valid platform for socializing” and everyone jumped on it.

Blogging in 2011 has turned into glorified high school, and that’s all. Those women ARE NOT especially great writers or people. The newbies have nothing new to add that hasn’t been said seven million times before on a Geocities webpage. Blogging is now about “How can I make money off my peers”. It’s much less about connections than it was when it first started. And if I’m being honest, I question how good a mom one can be when they spend that man hours sitting in front of a computer.

Saying “oh, sour grapes!” is akin to what the bullies said to us nerdy girls in grade school “You’re just jealous you don’t have five ESPRIT bags like me!”

It’s not sour grapes……..it’s a perfectly valid observation.

I get it……..if you’re popular or if you’ve managed to wrangle your way into the circle of popular girls, that feels good! It’s a fun place to be, I’m sure! I certainly don’t begrudge anyone their popularity, but lets not make it something it’s not. It’s a popularity contest and it’s a lot like high school………the upper class white girl with the most money to throw around wins.

I really really don’t mean this as a flame towards you. It’s not. There are two sides and it’s all just opinion, but that means its all valid in an objective sense.

I have no respect for those “top tier” bloggers, so I just chose to ignore them. 17 years into my internetting life and I am still making great friends and learning stuff so I’m happy. The internet and the whole blogging thing is working for *me* for what I want out of it. And if their life is working for them, more power to em.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/19 - 12:56 pm

First, thank you for sharing your viewpoint.
I am only speaking on my own behalf. I would never consider myself a blind follower. Maybe I felt a little protective because I actually “know” these ladies through social media. I’m sure if they were just names to me, the rant would not have been so annoying to me.
I’ve only been blogging for 2 years. I started because I wanted to write.That was my goal. To write. Then I built a community and met some awesome ladies. Big bloggers, little bloggers and everything in between. I love all the people in this community. I want nothing more than a sisterhood through the blogosphere. I hate that some people make it a competition. It’s not.Can’t we all just have a voice?

I wasn’t there from the beginning like you and many of the other bloggers. I am not saying all people who don’t like top tier( by the way Top Tier not my words the writer of the article) bloggers have sour grapes. But this particular blogger seemed to be just complaining. But ,as I said, its her blog and she can have her opinion…as I have mine.
I wouldn’t say I’ve wrangled my way into the circle of popular girls, I am just friendly to everyone and I try to know people on the basis of who they are..not what they are or what they have or don’t have.

I agree, the community aspect of blogging is amazing. But I started blogging so that I could write. Not so I could earn cash and prizes or status:)LOL

I hope you keep blogging and continue to grow your community. I respect you for your honesty.Thanks for stopping by:)

Perfecting Parenthood 2011/04/19 - 12:28 pm

It’s not just mommy-blogger world, that’s how the whole world works. You can’t just expect to be successful because you’re good … there is work in the background, luck, and usually some talent. Just showing up is simply not enough. Also, these A-List bloggers run fairly big businesses, so they’re actually not going to talk with everyone. If they have 10,000 or 100,000 followers, they can’t answer questions — it’s physically impossible to do that. Now, if they were interested in doing that, I’m sure they could sell a course or some mentorship consulting.

Most mommy-bloggers don’t even do it for the opportunities, I find. They just want a place to speak and be read. If they accidentally have something interesting to say then they kind of stumble into a business. After you get a bit of traction then of course they get the media after that. Do you think the media is going to dig up a no-name or go with a popular blogger?

I didn’t read the rant you speak of, but you are totally right. Slow growth, network, and being positive is the way to do it. Nice work!

Stephanie 2011/04/19 - 12:34 pm

That was a great post. I stumbled upon your blog through Fadra’s tweet! I will in the next month or so become a new blogger, and I admire and all the women and mommy’s that have done so well with their blogs. If my blog becomes half or even a quarter of what theirs has become I will be happy. There are always going toe hater and complainers out there…I truly believe they are jealous! I don’t doubt that all the top mommy bloggers have worked their butts off to get where they are today and deserve all the attention! Sop Truth Mommy, I will continue to read your blog, follow you on twitter, like your FB page and hopefully learn from you on how to be noticed….that just how I roll. Best of luck….:)

Stephanie 2011/04/19 - 12:37 pm

*Sorry for the spelling errors, my sausage fingers are too big for my iPad keyboard…Grrrrr, but I meant Truthful Mommy in my post!!!

Perfecting Parenthood 2011/04/19 - 12:37 pm

Oh, while I’m here. I got 41 visitors yesterday! First time I broke four-oh. I should be getting calls from Oprah pretty soon. In the spirit of cooperation, I would be very grateful to anyone who wants to tell me what I’m doing right or wrong. Maybe I’m too cool for the room sometimes, I would love to know as I am totally new to the parenting blog world. And while you’re there, let me know and I’ll follow your blog too, we can grow each other! Thanks!

Mommy Boots 2011/04/19 - 1:17 pm

I read the post that you’re talking about, and I agree with her for the most part.. But I also agree with you on certain parts. There are certainly “big” bloggers out there who deserve the praise and popularity that they have. They write relevant and interesting content, their writing is actually good, and they are damn good at what they do.

And then there are bloggers who, no matter how hard I try, I cannot figure out why they are so popular. Their content is boring and unoriginal, their writing is high school at best, and they don’t even bother to use spell or grammar check. And yet? They get scores and scores of comments from their followers and it drives me nuts. Is it jealousy on my part? Of course it is. There’s nothing so frustrating as putting effort into a post, feeling really great about it and then getting little to no response while someone else writes about something completely inane and irrelevant and gets 45+ comments. It’s very discouraging.

I definitely think that a lot of “top tier” bloggers deserve what they’ve gotten. The praise, the recognition, the following.. But not all of them. For some of them, it is purely a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Whoa. Sorry for the epic comment. I just realized how long it was.

Chrissy 2011/04/19 - 4:05 pm

You crack me up. Great post.

It’s funny. There are days I feel somewhat frustrated…but I don’t think I would be all “they get all the best stuff…wah wah wah”. If anything – i’m just frustrated with myself for not making my blog what I’d like it to be just yet.

But that’s on me. Not other bloggers.

And it’s not about the advertisements, free stuff, etc. It’s just about making my blog read the way I want it to, look the way I want it to, etc (occupational hazard – I was a designer before I was a stay at home).

I’ve heard a lot of bloggers (of all size followings) rant about other bloggers. Aren’t we suppose to be a community?

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/19 - 6:41 pm

I thought we were supposed to be a community/ That is my favorite aspect of blogging.Relationships, online or in real life, take work and can’t be one sided. But that’s no reason to go on a tirade. We make of our blogs what we want out of them.It is up to all of us. W can’t blame others for our failures simply because they have succeeded.It’s crazy.

Anne 2011/04/19 - 4:21 pm

I am a relatively new ‘serious’ blogger… not really looking to make money… just an avenue to stay sane… I, of course, have an opinion on this general topic.

…and I find it so odd that other bloggers are cut throat and really hate when others succeed or merely try to succeed through exposure (through say ‘votes’).

Who the hell cares… I mean, really? Some ‘popular’ or well known bloggers write really well… and others suck. Either way, they are likely popular because they have been around for a good amount of time, and they have done a fine job at getting exposure. I say, good for them!

Why does it need to be a ‘competition’? Jeez oh man. I don’t understand why we have to act like we are in junior high… even in the electronic social world.

Anne – the white words
the white words

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/19 - 4:47 pm

Amen! Why can’t we all just have our blogs and work hard to get out if it whatever it is that we want ? WHy it has to be a whole high school thing, I will never understand.You are right, there are some really great writers and there are some really crap ones.Im not hating anyone who’s been successful. I just want to write.Of course, we’d all love to be patted on the back for a post well written or for what we have to say being important but bottom line is this, we should write for an audience of 1…ourselves. Make ourselves happy and not worry about what everyone else is doing. Why hate on people who are successful. If we’re jealous we should try and learn the secrets to their success not form the “we hate so-and-so Mommy blogger” club. right?

P.S. Good luck with your blogging endeavor. There really is a great community of women out there to connect with.

Alexandra 2011/04/19 - 4:29 pm

It’s true.

WIthout talent, or interest. who would return?

I follow a lot of big bloggers, because they hold my interest.

They have what I want to read.

I return wihtout a nod or a second of their time returned to me, I don’t care.

I love what they post.

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/19 - 6:35 pm

Amen! Like I said, bad case of sour grapes! The original post seemed like a childs tantrum whining. Poor me!WHy not me! Nobody loves me! Everybody hates me! Those girls suck! IT was all very childish and it annoyed me.
They have talent, they’ve put in the hard work and the time, can’t we just be happy for them?

Boobies 2011/04/19 - 5:41 pm

I was JUST talking to someone the other day about ‘celebrity status’ mommy bloggers.

Echoing all of the great comments above!

Teresa 2011/04/20 - 7:58 pm

You’re both right, and you’re both wrong. The problem is here that we are talking about more drama.

I’m a food blogger. We get a different kind of rap. People hate us because they think we’re looking down on boxed mac and cheese (which totally has its place sometimes) but there is much less drama in the food blogging world.

I love reading mommy blogs though. I think its something about finding people who go through similar things (and survive, or don’t) so we feel less alone and also for finding the courage to laugh at things that deserve it, as well as helping us to see the good when we miss it sometimes. But one of my favorite things is seeing people who are so different from me! Mormons, organized folks, stay-at-home moms, people who are good in social situations, interior designers, artists, etc. And still love their kids. Just like me.

So though it isn’t really a point, I just want to say this: who the heck are these top tier mommy bloggers! I want to read their blogs! Because I like reading blogs. Isn’t that what its all about?

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/21 - 8:26 am

I read all sorts of blogs and I think we all have a purpose. We all write for different reasons and we all want to go different places with our blogs. Some of us write because we love to write. Some of us write because we want to chronicle this time in our lives. Some of us write because its a way to build a brand. Some of us write to build a community. Some of us write about food. Some about babies. Some about fashion. Some are political. Some are religious. But int he Mommy blogger community there is a common thread that ties us. We all have given birth. I think in any circle we should live and let live. Why do we need to bash others to make ourselves feel better? We don’t. I understand feeling envious or jealous but that’s life. If I want my blog to be of a higher caliber, then I need to make it so.It;s not somebody elses fault if my blog is not where I want it to be.Where there is a will, there is always a way. It all depends on what we are willing to put into it. How hard are we willing to work.
As for the top tier bloggers, there are many. There are also a lot of great bloggers across the spectrum. I have a great list in my blogroll if you are interested. I also do a Fabulous 5 Friday in which I introduce my readers to 5 bloggers of consequence each week. Thanks for sharing your view.

susan 2011/04/21 - 3:26 am

mommy bloggers? well who knew! i thought this was just another bit of hollywood makebelieve (Uma Thurman et al)…
So I guess I’m in a bigger club than i thought…although there aren’t many of us in my part of the world.
I love reading the opinions of all of these women that I come across…some seem just like me – others, I wonder if we are the same species!
I’m the single mum/ WAHM/frustrated author section…wonder what tier that really is:)?

Truthful Mommy 2011/04/21 - 8:17 am

LOL! I think you are on the exhausted tier along with me:) Don’t worry, we are in good company.

Carri 2011/04/21 - 9:22 pm

I can’t figure out why some bloggers want to hate. Who are these “top tier” bloggers, anyway? This is how I look at it: Life is what you make it. If you want to be negative and put down other people, well… I guess the sponsors you want so badly aren’t going to come.
It just pisses me off when people say that blogging is like high school. High school was an awful experience for a lot of people. If blogging is like high school, if it’s so awful, WHY ARE YOU STILL DOING IT?
Great post, lady.

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