So why, exactly, are these blogs so fascinating to women like us -- secular, childless women who may have never so much as baked a cupcake, let alone reupholstered our own ottomans with thrifted fabric and vintage grosgrain ribbon? It's not as though we're sniffing around the dark side of the faith, à la "Big Love." And it's not about religion. As someone married to a former Saint (my husband left the church as a teenager), I certainly have no illusions about what life as a Mormon would be like, and I'm sure it's not for me, which makes my obsession with these blogs all the more startling.
Well, to use a word that makes me cringe, these blogs are weirdly "uplifting." To read Mormon lifestyle blogs is to peer into a strange and fascinating world where the most fraught issues of modern living -- marriage and child rearing -- appear completely unproblematic.Matchar asks, "Of course, the larger question is, are these women's lives really as sweet and simple as they appear?" Yes in many ways. No in other ways. Though not a mother myself, I've been in plenty of homes that are exactly what these bloggers represent. Taking care of children is a full-time job fraught with all sorts of peril, but each day brings something sweet and joyful. It must be this the women blog about. As a stepmother I often wish I had some of these experiences to get me over the rough times. I have little emotional resiliency to sustain me if the kiddies are, in my humble opinion, misbehaving. . .
In the 2000s, church elders began officially promoting new media technologies like blogs as a way of spreading the gospel, and the Mormon blogging community soon became so large it earned itself a punny nickname: the Bloggernacle.Matchar is correct and this is the major reason I, and others, blog. Although I largely fit Matchar's demographics I do share a great deal with these Mormon mommy bloggers.
I enjoy homemaking and I take it seriously. Not only do I make cupcakes, I cook and bake extensively from scratch. Grinding whole wheat and making 100 percent whole wheat homemade bread is so natural I consider it somewhat passé. I even enjoy decorating cakes. See my creation below. I made it for an evening we had a lady over to watch March of the Penguins. I couldn't force myself to cut into the cake though. My husband spared me this agony.
These homemaking tasks are enjoyable and bring me a great deal of satisfaction.
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."Thanks, Emily. I say, "Right on" too.