Yother, Christina Cioci
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Women’s leisure has typically been examined in terms of their family roles. An area of women’s leisure that has often been overlooked in the research is the development of community and voice, specifically the opportunities for this within the blogosphere. The purpose of this study investigates how mommy bloggers build community and explore notions of motherhood through writing and voice. This was a basic qualitative study. Data collection involved examining the blog archives of four top mom bloggers on the 2010 Babble Top Mom list. Research questions centered on motivation for blogging, how blogging creates or facilitates community for mothers, how blogging provides a conduit for voice, and how blogging reinforces or recreates traditional notions of motherhood. Motivating factors included having an outlet for expressing parenting experiences, a sense of vindication to those experiences, and appreciation for the community that formed. Women reported that their blogs became a space where they felt a sense of ownership. Three conclusions emerged from this study. The first conclusion was that the purpose of blogging is fluid and changing as the women grow and develop their voices. The second conclusion was that blogging provides a space to challenge the notions of motherhood through the embracing of authentic voice. The final conclusion was that community in this context is fostered from personal catharsis, ownership and voice, personal validation that builds relationships, and motivation that shapes the relationships formed.