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Culture Shock

I’m a mom, and I blog, but I wouldn’t call myself a “mom blogger”.


About three years ago, a friend of mine shared a little secret with me.  Her secret?  She had started a blog.  (I vaguely remembered another friend, several years prior to that, telling me the same thing, although I believe she had referred to hers as a website.)  In any case, I did an internal roll of the eyes and tuned her out.  I tried to put on my best listening face, but I’m sure the fuzzy glazed look in my eyes was all too obvious, because my dear friend never brought up her blog again.  Who knew that a few years later I would start my own (maybe my blog should be named “Humbling…me” rather than “Simplifying…me”)? 


In any case, one statement that stuck with me from our brief “blogging” conversation was that through her blog she had discovered an entirely new culture of people out there in the web-o-sphere.  Blogging was more than just writing and pasting pictures on a website, but was an actual way of life for multitudes of people – specifically, moms.


After doing this blogging thing for almost a year, I’m beginning to see what my friend was talking about: the culture of the mom blogger.  I’ll be very frank here: as much as I enjoy writing and pouring out from both deep and shallow ends of this brain pool, I don’t see myself as a blogger, and I often feel that I am experiencing a type of culture shock. 


Growing up in Kenya, I was an American living in Africa.  With as much exposure I had to the culture of that country, I was never a Kenyan.  When we returned to the States, my homeland, I could relate to a small degree with peers my age, but felt like a duck out of water 90% of the time. 


When I moved to France, I really wanted to immerse myself in the culture.  I wanted to become as French as I possibly could without becoming weird.  I did well my first six months, diligently working on language skills and French etiquette.  Then, one day I woke up, looked in the mirror at my American frame, tired eyes and greasy hair (I had been asked to refrain from showering every day as it was seen as a waste of water…not kidding here!), and realized I was French-fried.  I’d had it.  I was done with stinky armpits and unmanageable hair.  I was sick and tired of sitting down to dinner at eight or nine o’clock at night, only to spend the following thirty minutes talking about the food rather than eating the food (can we dig in already…I’m starving!).  As much as I wanted to be European chic, it just wasn’t in me.  I came to grips with my American/African/wanna-be-European-ness and decided to be myself: wearing GAP, shaving my legs, and washing my hair every day. 


Yet, here I am again, feeling like a duck out of water.  In my pursuit of chasing the blog dream, I have been confronted with the realization that – unlike a large percentage of mom bloggers – I don’t home school; I don’t have 10+ kids (that might be a slight exaggeration, but not too far from the truth); I don’t have a home business; I’m not frugal (although I’m growing in that area); and my internet proficiency goes as far as “cut, paste, e-mail and send”.  I blog to write.  That’s it. 


I see the importance of networking, but I find myself unable to relate to all these mom bloggers out there.  (Twitter is going to be my undoing for certain!)  There are groups and lingo, hashtags and conferences and multiple posts uploaded all day long, and I don’t have the time to read, comment, follow, carpool, manage children, cook dinner, do ministry prep, keep a house clean and a hubby contented all at the same time.  I wonder…are these women wearing their computers in a baby sling so that they can tweet every other minute while searching for “hot deals” and recipes online, blog about their lives, while changing diapers, teaching arithmetic and producing Martha Stuart-like snacks to their wee-ones? 


Before I burn any bridges and hurt feelings, let me stop right here.  It may seem that these women and I share little to no common ground.  I have three kids, and I feel like I’m managing Noah’s ark.  My children go to school outside the home.  My husband is a pastor, and I feel immensely blessed to partner with him in this calling.  My cooking skills leave much to be desired, but as my hubby puts it, “Hey, I’m not complaining because I didn’t have to make it.  It’s food.  That’s all that counts.”  (Thumbs up to the best and skinniest man in the whole world!)  I abhor doing crafts (too messy for me), and I’m not all that thrifty.  Still, I do believe I share something special with all of the supermom-bloggers out there.  We are kindred in our desire to raise responsible children, to love and support our husbands, pursue our passions, steward our money wisely, and reach out to other moms all over the country/world.  Can we relate 100% with each other?  No.  But in matters of the heart and values that truly count- yes, we can. 


This culture shock and my own insecurity might always be there, but at least I can appreciate the beauty around me, just as I learned to do with my life in France.  I lived in France, but I wouldn’t call myself “French”.  I’m a mom, and I blog, but I wouldn’t call myself a “mom blogger”.  However, I am open and willing to learn, grow, and make some new friends in this vast, sub-culture world of the blogging mom.


What about you?  Do you blog?  Are you a blogging mom?  Are you fully immersed in the blogging culture?  Or are you like me…standing with one foot in and one foot out?  Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the matter.  We may actually have something in common!

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10 Responses to “Culture Shock”

  1. Roberta says:

    Good thoughts. I can’t relate to being a “mom blogger,” but I can relate to the fact of feeling on the outside of this blogging sub-culture. I actually don’t blog at all. I used to do it in college, and I tried to restart mine several months ago & failed miserably. :) I don’t blog because I don’t feel like I have anything important to say, & the things I am learning are lessons I need to keep to myself for the time being. I love to read other peoples blogs, but I’m not going to start one anytime soon. I think the bottom line to what you said is to be true to yourself, & I’m trying to remember that in this culture where we are compeiting with each other. Keep up the good thoughts ;)

  2. Amy says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Roberta! It really is all about finding my place in the blogging world. And may I add that I truly believe you would have a great deal to offer and say if you had a blog too! :)

  3. Patti says:

    I would consider myself a mom blogger. :) I love the social network that blogging creates, plus, it is a great way to document my family’s adventures and let my out of town friends and family feel like they are apart of our lives.
    I too don’t neccesarily feel like I have a blogging niche though. I don’t have a large family (nor aspire to have one), am not overly crafty or frugal, etc. I do know that I have grown tremendously as a person since I started blogging though, kind of a journal for me. I took part in a blog challenge in November to blog every single day for a month and while it was daunting to think about, I found myself doing things that I might not have done if I hadn’t a reason to do it. Like I tried a lot of new recipes, took pictures of my daughter, went on adventures, etc. I thought that was kind of fun! It is exciting to try new things and be able to share it with *friends*. People come up to me at church and say that they saw Emersyn’s pictures on my blog and I had no idea they even knew I had one. Must be the miracle of Facebook, ha! :)
    I want to challenge myself to blog more CONTENT though, not JUST pictures of Emersyn. In times of struggle, I have written some great posts about faith and I want to keep writing those kinds of posts, minus the struggles! :)
    Those are my thoughts! :)

  4. Debi says:

    I’m for sure not a mom blogger as I’m not even a mom but am probably what you would call a book blogger, as I mostly blog about the books I’m reading. In that sense, I don’t really feel that I fit into the book blogging world either as I don’t write smashing, long, exciting reviews or blog every day. I think for me blogging is an outlet, like you said – to be able to write, a place to put thoughts. If I don’t feel like it, then I don’t. I don’t have the energy to keep up with all the other book blogs out there or try to build up my readership. It’s not worth it to me. So I blog for myself.

  5. Jonette says:

    I am not a blogger. I can probably count on my hands how many blogs I have actually read. I just wanted to check yours out and support you. You are the women! Keep running after all God has for you. Who knows what He has in store. Way to be faithful!

  6. Amy says:

    Thanks for checking my blog out, Jonette! You are always such an encourager! :)

  7. Amy says:

    Debi, I think the culture shock I have felt is due, mostly in part, to the “building of readership” that you referenced. It overwhelms me. I can’t be on Twitter all day long, and I can’t read and comment on every blog out there. Like you, I figure I’ll do what I can, and learn to be content with the pace in which I move. By the way, any good book suggestions???

  8. Amy says:

    Patti, I love your blog, and let me tell you why: You remind me of how precious being a mom is. Your documentation of every little event and milestone in Emersyn’s life is such a sweet thing to me, and it compels me to be more aware of how my children are growing and changing. I don’t want to miss out on anything in their lives, and you are a great example of living in each moment. What a treasure that is!

  9. Tahnya says:

    Hey Amy,
    I enjoyed your piece on blogging and culture shock. I have thought about starting a blog, but haven’t. Plus, there are so many out there too read nowadays. I pop in and out of yours and several others from time to time. For me to read one, it has to really hit me at the right time, and be relevant to my life. So far, I would say I relate to pretty much everything you said.
    Having kids has reduced me to choosing what are my priorities, and what can I do today with out going nuts, and driving my hubbie nuts too:) I continue to struggle through this, and the past few months have been some of the hardest I have ever gone through. In case you don’t know, we just found out Josh has Muscular Dystrophy(Duchennes Disease). This has turned our world upside-down. So, all that to say, I am on the internet alot more these days, looking for encouragement, stories, etc…
    Thanks for your heart, and love you.

  10. Amy says:

    Tahnya, I know about Joshua, and I’m praying for all of you. I can’t even begin relate to what you are facing/feeling as you walk this path. I can, and will, pray.

    Thanks for your encouragement! It’s a good thing God makes our little ones so cute…wouldn’t you agree??? :)

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