From the outside, mummy blogging looks glamorous, simple and stress-free. Pen something honest, upload it to your blog and watch the readers swoop in, right?
However, when one mother’s unwitting post on ‘mum guilt’ went unexpectedly viral, she wasn’t prepared for the vitriol and backlash she would face online.
Here, Chrisi Reardon, 28, from Melbourne, speaks to FEMAIL about the darker side of mummy blogging, and why – despite her experiences – she has just re-established her blog, Mumma Do Good.
Chrisi Reardon, 28, from Melbourne (pictured), spoke to FEMAIL about the darker side of mummy blogging, which she experienced after starting up her own blog
The 28-year-old (pictured) wrote a viral post on ‘mum guilt’ which was swiftly read five million times and saw her at the centre of online vitriol and backlash
For Ms Reardon, her foray into blogging came about because she was struggling with post-natal depression and anxiety:
‘I initially started the blog to help a friend with terminal cancer fundraise but I quickly realised I really enjoyed writing and just kept going, ‘Ms Reardon told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I had around 75 followers but I received so much love and support, it quickly brought me back to life and it made me feel less isolated and alone,’ she continued.
It wasn’t until the mother-of-one wrote a post on ‘mum guilt straight into her phone while she was sitting on the couch in my pyjamas’ that it got picked up and swiftly read thousands of times:
‘I was having a bout of the mum guilts because I’d had a rough day and so my son was watching cartoons, eating dinner from a pouch – all the things you’re told are “bad” as a parent.
‘I wrote the post as a pep talk to myself really, to say that not every day will be your best day and that’s okay.’
I wrote the post as a pep talk to myself really, to say that not every day will be your best day and that’s okay,’ she said (pictured with her son, Oscar)
At first, Ms Reardon (pictured) received a flood of messages from bloggers who wanted to know the secret to going viral; she also had family and friends nearly telling her to replicate the post
But before she knew it, the 28-year-old witnessed a flood of messages.
‘At first, I had numerous bloggers (big and small) who wanted to “connect”,’ she remembered.
‘They wanted to know the “secret” to going viral, what the tricks were, did I pay to promote posts and how I went from 75 followers to 6,000 so quickly.’
While this was all well and good, Ms Reardon added that her family and friends soon got in on the act – praising her for her post and telling her how successful she was going to be:
‘I found myself getting really anxious about replicating that success. Instead of writing because I loved it, I was stressing out about how many likes or shares a post may get and, egged on by one blogger in particular, I would obsess over stats and follower counts.
‘I was quickly becoming a very different person to the one who started writing for her 75 followers of friends and family,’ she said.
‘She sent lengthy text messages to my phone after I blocked her on Facebook and called me on private numbers when I’d blocked hers,’ Ms Reardon said of another blogger
This pressure was just the beginning for Ms Reardon, however.
She also had one blogger ‘copy and paste my viral post to pass off as their own work’.
‘They also used a picture of my son to accompany it, which was quite shocking,’ Ms Reardon told FEMAIL.
‘Another blogger posted rants about how I’d had the police sent to her home (we’d never met!) and somehow amassed a mob to go after her with death threats, she sent lengthy text messages to my phone after I blocked her on Facebook and called me on private numbers when I’d blocked hers.’
‘She also sent messages to friends of mine who’d commented on her writing before and kept publishing and deleting cryptic posts to her followers,’ she said
All of this prompted a shocked Ms Reardon to take a ‘hiatus’ from blogging.
‘I never intended to return,’ she said.
However, the Melbourne-based mother said she couldn’t resist the lure of writing, and so has recently re-set up her blog, Mumma Do Good, and is tentatively getting back into writing.
Ms Reardon said that while the world of blogging is great, it can be ‘nuts’. She also warned about the power bloggers have without even realising it:
‘Sitting on my couch, I as able to reach over five million people with a single post. That’s brilliant, but also terrible. The ability we have to reach people is immense, but that ability comes with responsibility.
‘Unlike journalists, bloggers have no real checks or balances. It can be genuinely frightening with someone who has an audience of thousands (or tens of thousands!) uses that power to intimidate or bully.’
According to Ms Reardon, while people might say: ‘Oh, it’s just the Internet’, that doesn’t always matter:
‘In a world that is increasingly connected, its becoming harder and harder to switch off and walk away,’ she cautioned.
To read more from Ms Reardon, you can visit her blog on Facebook – Mumma Do Good – here.