Should You Try Mommy Blogging? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Photo: Håkan Dahlström/ Creative CommonsPeople ask me all the time about writing a blog about parenting. Do I enjoy it? Does it pay well? Do I worry about my family's privacy? Kids provide hilarious material on a daily basis, and writing about it feels like a natural extension of telling stories to friends or posting them on Facebook. I believe everyone can write, and most people reading parenting blogs are parents, so there you have it: all the necessary ingredients for a blog...except maybe free time.

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The key is figuring out what you want to get out of blogging. Then ask whether or not you'd like to contribute to existing parenting websites or start your own from scratch -- or both! Before taking the plunge, consider these pros and cons:

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The Benefits of Blogging

1. You are creating a record of moments in the life of your family. Believe it or not, blogging (sometimes) helps me savor family life. Just like I appreciate flipping through my high school journals, I'm sure my blog entries will entertain (at least myself) for years to come.

2. You are creating a web presence, which will lead to other opportunities. Yes, people will read what you write, and especially if you carve out a specific identity like working single dad or go-green stepmom, media outlets may contact you as a (probably unpaid) expert.

3. Blogging can make you a better parent. Contacting parenting experts and getting feedback from readers makes me more conscious about my own parenting.

4. Blogging is a great way to connect with other moms. What I love most about reading mommy blogs is the realization that I am not alone in what sometimes feel like bizarre emotions and experiences.

5. Write your way into a career twist. Yes, I used to write more about other things. Then my life became consumed by sippy cups and playdates. But if you like to write about your experiences, surely you'll want to try parenting journalism during this relatively short but intense time in your life.

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The Dark Side of Your Mom Blog

1. It doesn't pay much. Whether you write for a well-known website, or you manage to get enough hits on your personal blog to earn some advertising dollars, the vast majority of bloggers would make more money working as baristas.

2. Just like surfing the web and texting, it takes time away from your kids. My daughter sighs and rolls her eyes when I am sitting at my computer, writing about her, but not paying attention to her immediate needs.

3. Once you put it out there on the internet, you lose control. You will write something that people will misunderstand and then forward and re-post, causing you to pull out your hair.

4. Your kids will grow up. Remember that having young kids is a phase of your life. Be prepared to move on and write about parenting teens and then empty nesting. You'll also have to deal with your teen's increasing demands for privacy.

5. Private is now public. Friends of friends and complete strangers will feel comfortable commenting publicly about anything you write about, for me including my split with my ex-husband and my daughter's pooping habits.

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