During the school day there is very little “me” time. This is quite understandable since the school day really isn’t about “me.” Rather it is about how each student is accessing, processing, creating, and recreating information, skills, and social experiences. I merely get to be a facilitator, observer, and designer (and sometimes on special days a life coach, friend, therapist, sounding board, or personal excitement coach) of all of this. But, on the rare occasion when I do get a little more than a moment to breathe and run to the bathroom, I find myself obsessed with mommy blogs (most recently of the Mormon variety). It all started a few months earlier when my friend, Skye, introduced me to Soule Mama. Author Amanda Blake-Soule is a mother, DIY crafter, farmhouse operator, and overall enthusiast for “stuff” that is real and genuine. Her crafts, farm, and photos are captivating and I find myself envious of the simple (and yet not so simple at all) way of life she leads and orchestrates with her brood of five children and husband. One afternoon, while talking about my obsession with following this “perfect and wholesome” blog, another friend, Laura, mentioned excitedly that she too has become obsessed with the blogging depiction of the 50s housewife spun off as a hipster chic Mormon Mommy Blogger. I decided to dig a little deeper. Why are we secretly and fervently reading these mommy blogs? As the women’s studies teacher at school, I feel as though this new habit of mine is particularly disturbing. Weren’t we reading the Feminist Mystique in class and unearthing the “problem that has no name” or the “cult of domesticity?” And, now I am staring that “problem that has no name” right in the face and refreshing my browser each day hoping for new pictures, stories, and mommy updates! I feel incredibly torn. Luckily, I stubbled upon this article that gives me a little piece of mind. At least I know now that there are many of “me” out there: Why I Can’t Stop Reading Mormon Housewife Blogs. I was particularly receptive to this part of the article’s analysis of my latest obsessive behavior:
“There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about “the New Domesticity” — an increasing interest in old-fashioned, traditionally female tasks like sewing, crafts and jam making. Some pundits see this as a sign that young women yearn to return to some kind of 1950s Ozzie and Harriet existence, that feminism has “failed,” that women are realizing they can’t have it all, after all. That view is utterly nonsense, in my opinion, but I do think women of my generation are looking to the past in an effort to create fulfilling, happy domestic lives, since the modern world doesn’t offer much of a road map…..But the basic messages expressed in these blogs — family is wonderful, life is meant to be enjoyed, celebrate the small things — are still lovely. And if they help women like me envision a life in which marriage and motherhood could potentially be something other than a miserable, soul-destroying trap, I say, “Right on.” I won’t be inviting the missionaries inside for hot cocoa now or ever, but I don’t plan on stopping my blog habit any time soon.” –Emily Matchar
This escapist part of my day into the world of Mormon Mommy Blogging has coincidentally encouraged me to continue working on my blog. To think about the message I am making and to possibly try to bring a little DIY into my own home, kitchen and life. There is nothing wrong with bringing inspiration into one’s life and in seeking to perfect that art of balancing work and life. Sometimes, it is important to take a minute longer on the “life” part from time to time and perhaps that is what I am gaining from these blogs.