The title is a sentence I have recently heard. Apparently the outside world doesn’t have the most favourable view of us bloggers – as a whole. The follow-up was something about ‘whoring out their children’, and although I view it as including children in the content you write, and in your work generally, I don’t think I had really looked at it from an outsider perspective.
Do we post pictures of our kids with review items, at events, on our blogs, wearing new threads? Yes, actually we do – are we paid very often to do that? Yep. Is it the same as whoring them out? I think that is where it all gets muddy.
There are extremes to both sides of this coin. There are the bloggers who, very successfully, don’t share a single snap of their children’s faces, then there are others who share every breathing moment of their children with some ad hashtags. In both senses they are doing the same thing, but you might be quicker to not judge the one with no faces even though they are both getting paid. There are, middle of the roaders like me, I share photos, I share posts while some are just candid day-to-day boring life shots, some are paid-up.
But is the truth that all of these examples we are using our children as a commodity? Without them, who would play with the walk-on lion? Who would attend to try the kids menu? Without out us getting paid to show them off, how on earth would advertisers (relatively cheaply) get parents to recommend to other parents some great new toy?
We (as parenting bloggers) are walking, talking, photo taking advertisers – only we come in under the budget that might be spent putting on yet another toy advert AND we talk directly to parents just like us.
More than that, one day we might post about this brilliant new toy from Mattel and the next from Fisher Price – because the truth of it is, when we choose to use our blogs to make an income very rarely will there be brand loyalty. Brand loyalty doesn’t always pay the bills, but putting little Betty in a new romper from Brand X for £100 one week, and then Brand Y the following week for another £150 – will.
Perhaps we are a little bit fickle, but isn’t everyone?
But back to the title, (parenting) bloggers are the shit stains of society. We aren’t, we are just parents who have found a way to make our lives work for us, to stay at home a bit longer, in my opinion to work WITH our children, my girls love getting involved with what I do and I am very open with them, I suspect like most bloggers are. I don’t feel like we are the bottom of the barrel, often we share experiences and pieces of writing that are designed to reach out in a way that my parents, and those before didn’t have. Staying home means that we can be there in so many ways for our kids, we work pretty hard to keep everything running, we pick up skills like Photoshop, Lightroom, Social Media, Editing, Negotiation, Accounting, Networking, basic HTML coding and so much more AND doing everything a stay at home parent usually does from school runs to mopping up sick at 3am.
Does all that sometimes come with the trappings of selling your soul for £15 when you’re short on cash?