I started blogging seven and a half years ago and, in that time, I’ve never questioned myself. Never wondered if I was doing the right thing. Never felt I needed to change to ‘fit in’. Never sold myself out for views or money. I’ve just been me.
My blog hasn’t provided me with fame and fortune, but that was never the intention. It has always been an enjoyable hobby, somewhere that I can just let my own thoughts out and record things I want to remember in the future. If anyone wanted to read about my thoughts and memories, that was just an added bonus.
In recent years, my blog has fallen into something of a pattern. I do three ‘family’ posts a week. Those are my favourite posts and also my most well-read (still peanuts compared to many bloggers though). On Friday I do a book review. Those are my least well-read, but I write them because I love reading and talking about books. I’m aware that they do have a hardcore of readers who often follow my recommendations, so that’s all good. On Saturday I take part in Project 365 with a group of other bloggers – sharing a photo and a few words from every day. And on Sunday I just post a single photo and no words. The photo is either of the most noteworthy thing that happened that week, or just a nice photo.
When I started blogging, there were a fraction of the blogs there are now. Parent blogs were all about babies and toddlers. They wrote stories of their lives, not endless tips and staged photos. They were ‘mummy bloggers’, not ‘family lifestyle bloggers’. I wanted to share my experiences and stories as a mum of older children. My ‘older children’ were 10, 7 and 5.
But the other day, I had a blip.
It’s probably no coincidence that my blip came the day before my daughter’s 13th birthday. Because now my ‘older children’ really are older children – they’re 17, 15 and 13. One of them will be an adult very soon. Are their stories really mine to tell any more?
The other reason for my blip was a nasty comment on my blog. It was anonymous, of course. I should have ignored it, but it struck a chord. It told me I shouldn’t have been sharing the information I was sharing. As it happened, I had questioned myself about whether this was something I should share before I posted it.
I am always honest on my blog. Everything I talk about is real. If I don’t want to share something and don’t think it is right for the kids or me, I don’t share it. There are many things over the years I’ve chosen not to blog about, but many more I have chosen to blog about. The way I decide is, ‘Would I tell my friends in the office about this?’. I haven’t been in the office for over five years, but that’s still my way of making a decision.
Suddenly, I wasn’t sure if I should blog any more. If my kids’ stories aren’t mine to tell, what can I talk about? I have a post drafted about my eldest which I don’t have permission to share at the moment. It may never actually see the light of day.
I can do the book reviews and the photo posts, but those are not really what my blog is about. It’s always been about the parenting stories.
Lately, an average of one ‘family’ post a week has become a running post, so I’m already posting a little bit more about myself and a bit less about the kids. Should I just become a running blog?
I know some people enjoy reading about my running and some even find it inspirational, but for the majority of my readers, that’s not really what they’re interested in. And I’m not an experienced enough runner to just write a running blog. Yes, I’ve been running for my entire adult life and I can talk a lot about parkruns and half marathons, but there’s a lot of aspects of running I have no experience of.
I know my friend Suzanne from Inside, Outside and Beyond went through this a few years ago. She decided to more or less drop the family stuff and write a blog about her own interests – and Inside, Outside and Beyond was born. She loves fashion and interiors, so she gets a lot of inspiration from that.
I just love running, reading and blogging. I couldn’t care less about fashion and interiors. I don’t have enough of a life outside of the kids to sustain a blog.
So here I am at a bit of a crossroads. I want to keep blogging and I really hope that I still can. I just need to find a way. I may have to sadly reduce the number of family posts I write, but I don’t want my blog to turn into something nobody wants to read because it just consists of a book review and a weekly round-up of photos every week.
If anyone has any good ideas, I would be very happy to hear them. Thank you!