Mummy blogs and representations of motherhood: “Bad mummies” and their readers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Digital technologies have opened up new environments in which the experiences of motherhood and mothering are narrated and negotiated. Studies of “mummy blogs” have explored the ways in which blogs, as social media networks, can provide solace, support, and social capital for mothers. However, research has not addressed how mothers, as readers of blogs, use the mamasphere as a cultural site through which the identities and role of motherhood, and the mother–child relationship, are socially and digitally (re)constructed. This article focuses on confessional blogging of the “bad” or “slummy” mummy: blogs that share stories of boredom, frustration, and maternal deficiency while relishing the subversive status of the “bad” mummy. Drawing on understandings of social media as a space of social surveillance and networked publics, the article argues that in framing narratives of motherhood in terms of parental failure and a desperation for gin, “bad mummy” blogs collapse social contexts in important and interesting ways. Using an example of a conflict between two mummy bloggers, the article will reflect on the ways in which the digital terrain of motherhood can both liberate and constrain: a space for mothers to express and share frustrations and seek solidarity, a space of public condemnation and judgment, and a space that poses ethical issues in the digital curation of family life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Media and Society
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2017

Keywords

  • mummy blogs
  • digital representations
  • social surveillance

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