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The curious case of the mamma blogger.

April 24, 2015

I’ve got nothing against mums writing blogs not least because well hellooooooo,  I’m a mum and guess what?  This is a blog!  But something crazy is happening out there on the big world wide interweb and its stretching into magazine land, the goggle box (TV) and probably on the radio too I guess.  Did I miss my turn in the super mum Tardis Was I at the back of the queue when magic powers were being handed out?  Or maybe I shouldn’t have opted for that knock-me-out epidural as clearly mums these days know everything! It must be magic.

Now I don’t want to knock mummies, I have a mum and she is also full of good advice (and some not so good too. I never did work out why she’d tell us to ‘hold onto our knickers’ every time she got behind the driving seat of our family car) but I am pretty sure that even in these technimalogical times that mums are just normal women who happen to also be parents.

I’m talking about the rise of the mummy blog who not only tells you how to fold your sheets, cook lovely jam and reverse park into the school yard without knocking out a kindy kid, they also know chemistry, physics and medicine, law and goodness knows what else.  Whatever your problem, whatever you need THEY CAN MAKE IT, fix it and solve it.

I don’t really understand what has happened in the world to make us place almost complete trust into a human that is unknown to us personally, calls themselves ‘mum’ and talks with authority about everything.  Maybe we are sucked in to their good looks and youthful charms, I haven’t seen them all but those I have seen do look lovely (The Beauty Bias. It’s real).  Maybe we just want to believe what they are saying, maybe we are just following the trend or maybe we haven’t even thought it through.

Well all I can say is this,  I have been a mum for 14 years next week and I know next to nothing about how that works except that it helps to find time to sit down and listen and cuddle up.

See, look how awesome a mum I am! When my kids were little I let them drink wine and wear make-up and tiaras and high heels and everything.  Trust me, I'm a mum.

See, look how awesome a mum I am! When my kids were little I let them drink wine and wear make-up and tiaras and high heels and everything. Trust me, I’m a mum.

I have no exciting recipes to share although somehow my family manage to avoid starvation.

Can’t really profess to being able to cure sickness unless a hot cup of tea and a cozy day in do the trick.

And am really pushing my luck when it comes to the parking without killing anyone thing.

But what I do know about is chemistry, cosmetic chemistry that is.  But just because I’m a chemist doesn’t mean I’d be able to make cancer curing drugs or create a bubble gum that changes flavour as you chew it.  Cosmetic chemistry is my thang. Just that.

Remember the good old days when people had jobs that were passed down the family line?  The days when it wasn’t weird to have the same job all of your life? To really master your craft?  To know each material you worked with intimately?  To appreciate each step and to grow your own style?  Remember that?

Well THAT’s what I’m aiming for.

I think it’s great that mum blogs are a thing and a popular thing to boot but I do get concerned when I see them encouraging people to make their own sunscreen and to cure their own skin conditions with one or another home-made potion.  The reason for my concern is that I struggle with these things and know how dangerous (as in WORSE THAN USING NO PRODUCT AT ALL) it can be when these products go wrong.  None of these mummy bloggers will really know what they are talking about and just how many of these home-product-makers will run PET (preservative efficacy tests), stability, SPF tests or toxicology reviews?  How many of them know where to look to find out how much of each essential oil is enough, which ones are phototoxic and how to stop them oxidising and becoming irritating?

You know how we love artisan stuff these days?  How it’s really trendy to go to a cafe and buy coffee roasted from single origin beans?  To buy a table that’s been hand crafted?  Well I would like to see that replicated in the blogging world too.

In that world people like me will talk about cosmetic chemistry

and mamma bloggers will talk about their experiences of parenthood and about how they did their research on sunscreens by actually ASKING someone who is qualified in that area.

and the world will be a better and safer and happier place.

And I won’t have to get mad

or tell you how to cook a roast.

Thank goodness for that!

Amanda x

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