“Scary Mommy” Blog Challenges Judgmental Parenting Culture

13 months.

Today my wife read a very intriguing article to me, graced from the pages of the December 2011 issue of Redbook magazine. It was written by mom blogger, Jill Smokler, who cleverly crafted a virtual confessional for parents where passing judgment is not allowed.

Her blog is called Scary Mommy. In fact, in it, Smokler has incorporated “Like,” “OMG! Me too!” and “Hug” buttons for contributors to compliment each other.

What do I think of it? I love it.

It is no secret that in the culture of mommy and daddy blogging, crucifying a blogger or commenter for being a “bad parent” is the norm. In fact, the witch hunt to “out” a bad parent has become a sort of unofficial game to many.

In Smokler’s article in Redbook, she confronts the heckling habits of many parents commonly found in the parenting blogosphere:

“So why the condemnation? Why does identifying someone as a poor mother make us feel better about ourselves? There is no trophy for best parenting, and nothing to be gained from pitting ourselves against one another.”

I’m with you, Jill Smokler.

But I have a confession to make, as a daddy blogger. Just look on the right hand side of the screen where it says “Most Popular Posts.” Two of the five spots there are probably occupied with The Half Abortion: Only Keeping One Twin and How Not to Be “That Mom” or “That Dad.”

These two articles of mine continue to engage new readers each day to The Dadabase. Yet the titles of them alone contain a subconscious message: Read this to learn how wrong or at least how out-of-touch with reality these other parents are.

If I simply wrote cute stories about my son, The Dadabase would not be a growing blog. So I try to keep the “cute stories” portion down to only about a quarter of my material; making the majority of my posts about external parenting issues, only seasoned with my paternal viewpoint.

In other words, “cute stories” alone don’t sell- they’re just the icing on the cake. As a daddy blogger, I have to continue to be engaging, and I have quickly learned that any post I write that invites a reader to share their input beyond, “Oh yeah, I could see that,” or “I totally agree,” but instead sparks them to make a moral judgment, if only in their mind, is more likely to become a hit.

So am I adding to the noise or playing a different tune? That’s for you to decide.

Image: Loser via Shutterstock.

Fun Bonus!

Interestingly, right as I was putting the finishing touches on this post, I received the exact type of snarking comment I am referring to when I use the phrase “judgmental parenting culture.” Take a look at 7 Reasons a Vacation with a Baby is No Vacation to see what I mean. Unlike most stone throwers, though, she actually left her full name.

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