In my post about blog envy, I mentioned the fact that there seem to be many flourishing Catholic mommy blogs out there, but there doesn’t seem to be room for Catholic single ladies to write blogs. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that the majority of Catholic blogs written by women are written by married women with children. These women are largely stay-at-home moms who homeschool. That’s an admirable life choice, and I respect them for that.
But it’s also a world into which I don’t fit. I read the posts that they write, and I feel disconnected. These are what I call “mommy blogs.” They tend to focus on the issues specifically related to marriage and family life and less so on the issues that face all Catholic women regardless of marital status. They’re not blogs for all Catholic women, and that is entirely fine-unless they bill themselves as blogs for all Catholic women. I recognize that these women need a community of support and encouragement. It is good that they have one another. I think it’s awesome that the internet enables them to interact with and support one another regardless of geography. I wouldn’t expect them to try to reach out to single women specifically; that wouldn’t make sense given the nature of their blogs. I don’t expect them to want to connect with me via their blogs. I’m not their intended audience.
However, at times, certain topics on their blogs serve as a reminder to me that in many places within the Church, single women are still treated like second-class adults or less than full-fledged adults. It can make me feel like the issues that I face are less important than the issues that they face and therefore I am less valuable to them and to the Church. I don’t think that it’s something that married women do intentionally. I don’t think that they sit around at playgroups or on the nights-out together that I hope they have and plot to look down on single women. But there are many times when I feel left out or looked down upon. Their blog posts, even those that aren’t explicitly about motherhood, oftentimes aren’t geared toward my current place in life. And at times the way that they write or the topics about which they write can make me feel as though a life such as mine (single, working, grad student) is not as important for the Kingdom of God as their lives are.
I am well aware that my life is in a different place than theirs. I’m not married nor do I have children. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever get married. Right now, I’m choosing to focus on my professional and academic worlds. In September, I’m going to start 15-16 months of working full-time and going to school full-time. It’s going to kick my butt, and I’m going to have to make sacrifices in some areas of my life for the benefit of other areas. My career needs to be my priority right now. Marriage and whatnot can come later. (There is an exception to this, and I’ll explain it at another point.) I believe that God has called me to this particular career, and I need to spend this season of my life focusing on that area.
And as odd as that might sound, I think that’s what I have to offer the mommy bloggers. I offer a different perspective on life. I believe in the same things that they do, but I work in the secular world. I daily meet people who don’t operate from my worldview, and I work with and alongside them. I don’t have the privilege of being surrounded in my professional life by Christians who love and support me, who agree with my goals and plans.
The mommy bloggers can talk about serving God in the context of their families, and I can talk about serving God in the context of my job. We all have the same goal-to build the Kingdom of God; we’re just going about it in different ways. My way isn’t less important than theirs, and theirs isn’t less important than mine. While the mommy bloggers can talk about building the Kingdom of God in their family lives, I can talk about building the Kingdom by working outside the home and engaging primarily with non-Christians.
And this brings me to my dream and the title of my post. I want a place at the table of female Catholic bloggers. I want to write and exist in a blogosphere where Catholic women both married and unmarried, those who work at home and those who work outside the home can sit down together and discuss our common ground. I think that we have much to offer one another. I think that I can learn from these women, and I’d like to hope that they could learn from me. I’d like to ask them questions about being married, and I don’t know what they could ask me. They could ask me about knitting or tea or books. They could ask me about grad school. They could ask me what it’s like to work with kiddos from all over the world. (By the way, it’s super awesome.) The point is this: I’d like to see a place at the table of female Catholic bloggers for single women.
I don’t want the mommy bloggers to change the topic or tone of their blogs; I believe that there is real value to their writing. But I want to create a conversation between their blogs and blogs like mine. I want to have the opportunity to talk with them about the different ways of Kingdom-building. I would really love it if every now and then those mommy bloggers who really do want to write for all Catholic women tried to find out how to best relate to their single readers. (Hint: Writing a post about what kind of man I should marry doesn’t help me. A post about seeking the Lord in all circumstances would however be awesome.) I want to see a community created and friendships built. I want to be treated as an equal, as a friend, and as a sister.