A blogging blip

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?

Blogging, Blogger, Computer, Mac, Blog, A blogging blip

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!

Author: Sarah Mummy

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34 Comments

  1. When N refused to be on the blog in photos i thought I’d have to go more lifestyle but its not really me either. I have brought in a bit more about what I’m doing although i can still write about parenting things (there’s just less to write about). I think bring in mote general things and ask the kids what they think other parents should know about teens and write it from there. It could be opinion pieces or tips, it could be personal stories. I presume your kids give permission or not at their age anyway.

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    • That’s what I need to do, it will just require a bit of a rethink! I’m afraid I’m a very bad mum and I don’t ask their permission. I just use my own judgement, but now I’m starting to question my judgement.

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  2. I had the same thing – the kids got older and I started to feel less able to write about them, but that wobble coincided with me going back to work, being out of the house 40 hours a week and running out of time to blog anyway! I had shifted more over to food and lifestyle towards the end, but wasn’t completely happy with that either. Every year I renew my url and hosting just in case I get time to start again….maybe one day! And I always read your book posts and have often gone on to read the book if you have enjoyed it – we have similar tastes so I know if you rate it I will enjoy too x

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    • It’s great that you still have your URL. Your blog was always one of my favourites! I can totally understand you taking an extended break though.
      It’s good to know that you enjoy my book posts. I think they do have a (very) small, but dedicated audience who like my recommendations. Recommending books to people makes me happy! x

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  3. No advice just feeling the same. Haven’t really found my voice much in the past couple of years. I need to rethink my goals … running and books sound good though. Maybe I’ll do food and … um??

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    • It sounds like a lot of people are feeling the same! My blog has gradually developed and changed over time as my life has changed, but it’s hard to come up with a bigger, more fundamental change.

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  4. I have some of the same issues as my kids are teenagers. I’ve switched to Instagram to post micro blogs about family every now and again. It’s more transient, somehow. However I’m now on a much bigger blogging pause due to my D17’s ill health so I’m not quite sure what I’ll do when I restart. Us parents of teens need some kind of anonymous group blog IMO.

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    • I think you’re right about the anonymous blog and that’s something I’ve been giving some thought to. I can totally understand why you would take a break with your daughter’s ill health. I use Instagram, but it doesn’t have much to do with my blog!

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  5. Just do yo’ thang Sarah. If you reduce the number of family posts or you go off and do more running posts and its what you want to do, just do it. A blog will only work it the author is authentic. You aren’t chasing fame or fortune which is actually quite liberating in many respects. I’ll still visit your blog whatever you do!

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    • Thanks very much, I really appreciate that! And it is nice to have the freedom to do what I want to do and not be worrying about someone paying me or not paying me because of it.

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  6. I can relate to this so much. I barely blogged last year, and haven’t written anything yet this year, for much the same reasons. I’m still trying to work out what direction to take, but John is right, whatever direction we end up going in, the key thing is for it to be authentic and something we want to write about. Since I went back to work my blog is back to be very much a hobby and I do think that is liberating. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks, it’s YOUR space. Good luck finding your way, and hopefully I can find mine too!

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    • Thanks very much! There will probably be more running on the blog, because that is one thing I want to write about! I hope you can find your direction soon. It would be lovely to see you blogging again.

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  7. So much harder as they get older. Recently, I’ve been lumping the children more together and not talking specifically about one of them as much. More from the angle of being a parent of teens rather than being about them. Although occasionally, they do tell me to include something. I’ve had my blog nine years now, and you are right, that there are less bloggers writing about their day now and more generic advice blog posts. I liked the former. More inspirational and genuine. From the heart.

    I hope you find your way forward. I’ve always liked that your blog feels real. Also I like your guinea pigs!

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    • Thanks very much, that’s a lovely thing to hear! I’ve been thinking it’s about time I wrote about the guinea pigs again. I think I need to make that subtle switch to writing about being a parent rather than specifically writing about the kids. I think I get it right some of the time, but definitely not all of the time!

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  8. It is so hard when our children are older and we write less about them. We have to respect their wishes and privacy. I am writing less about my teen but I think that’s just because she’s spending all of her time revising or playing on the x-box. lol
    Don’t let one nasty comment shake your confidence though. I hope you find a way of blogging which works for you x

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    • Thanks very much! It is definitely harder as they get older. The comment really shocked me at first, but I’m getting over it now. I just need to think a bit more carefully about what I’m doing, but I’m sure I will find a way. x

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  9. I had my blip a few years back when the older two stopped coming round to stay and play. Then they opted a few years back not to be on here as such due to it being a small village, and their tales of woe are not mine to tell, if their mum wanted the whole village to know Fifi had done this or Bob had done that then it was up to her to tell everyone not me. I think once they get to the stage of being embarrassed by their antics then it is not my story to tell.
    They both do things that makes me very proud and Fifi certainly does stuff that makes me and her parents despair but that is a teenager for you. I ask permission before taking and including photos of them.
    I have adapted mine as at the beginning is was Bob’s allergies and the food we fed him that interested my readers, they stayed overnight and we use to go and do things but not anymore.
    Mine now covers the odd recipe, my 365, my #walk1000miles and my crafting, more about me than them, but still remains true to its title.
    I am sure you will find an avenue that suits your changing family. I love to read about her panto and her dancing and such like

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    • Thanks very much! It’s good to hear that you’ve managed to adapt your blog as time has gone on. As I’ve never included recognisable photos of my kids, I think it has made it easier for me to be open about them as there is less risk of people from school stumbling on the blog and knowing it’s about them. I think my daughter would love it if I could fill the blog with panto and dancing!

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  10. A great debate you have started Sarah. When I started a mere three years ago it was when my youngest was entering the teenage years so that was always the premise for my blog – to discuss parenting issues and share stories about the teen years whatever form that might take, but I decided to do it anonymously to respect their privacy, but still draw on my own experiences and theirs to inform my pieces and give it the personal touch At the same time I was approaching my fiftieth and that midlife element became the other focus – which was unfortunately quickly followed by a cancer element following my diagnosis last year. Basically I think as with life blogs can evolve and it is the person behind the blog that we all buy into and you have a very loyal following borne of a lot of hard work. Carry on doing what you do which is talk authentically about your passions whatever they may be and at whatever frequency.

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    • Thank you! It’s lovely to hear so many people encouraging me to keep on blogging authentically. It’s interesting to hear how your blog has developed over time. You’ve done well to stay anonymous! I say I blog semi-anonymously, because the kids are anonymous, but I’m not! I hope that you are getting back on track following your cancer diagnosis.

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  11. We understand and most of us have gone through the same process.

    When my first blog got to be too much like work, I was honest and wrote a post that told my readers that I will only be blogging for ME from now on. They didn’t mind and didn’t leave.

    Post what YOU want to post and we will still drop by to read it 🙂

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    • Thank you, that’s really good to hear and inspiring that you changed direction but your readers stuck with you. I’m still not sure people actually want to read about my running though!

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  12. You could be speaking my own words right now. I’ve recently stopped blogging about the teens unless I run it by them. They’re 18,17,16 their stories are not mine to tell. Similarly to you too I’ve had some negativity (when you write about domestic abuse and said abuser finds blog never going to end well. So blogging is free flowing right now but hopefully will be again cos I do really love it x

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    • That must be especially tough when your abuser finds the blog. I didn’t have anything anywhere near as bad as that, but it was just enough to get me thinking. I really hope you can get your blogging back on track too.

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  13. I’m sad that you got an anonymous comment criticising what you choose to share. I suspect it was related to the person you previously blocked for doing similar. I personally think you get the balance just right, that know you blog and if they wanted you to stop mentioning them, they’d say so. That said, I do get where you’re coming from in terms of knowing what to write about. I often wonder what I’ll do when the girls are too old for the sort of days out I cover. I think your blog will naturally change. Your current followers may not be in it for the book and running posts (although I love them), but new followers will find you if you go in that direction. You could also blog about blogging as it’s one of your interests, that works for some people. I hope you manage to find what works for you because I know you love blogging and I love reading it!
    Nat.x

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    • Thanks very much, that’s a lovely thing to hear! My kids do know I blog, but I sometimes think they forget about it, so it’s right that I take a step back and have a rethink about it. I’ve had some good suggestions from people on directions to take my blog, so there may be some subtle changes to come! x

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  14. As a mum of young children I would still love to hear about the next bit with teenagers and i hope you find a way to do it with their permission. It may also be a great challenge to start including the more ‘you’ aspects of your life slowly, like you mentioned running. Please don’t let one person’s comment ruin what you are doing!

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    • Thanks very much! I’m sure I will find a way. It is so important to be able to share this stuff in some way, as it helps other parents. No doubt there will be more running too!

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  15. I am a bit of the same, although I have A who is ok with it, my oldest rarely features on here these days. I always ask permission, but it’s hard. I wanted this to be their memories and it is, but when do you stop. I think I try to just bring in more stuff about me, if I don’t write as often then I don’t write. Here if you want to chat it through xx

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    • Thanks very much, I really appreciate that. I write for memories too – theirs and mine. But I will just have to be a bit more careful about what I write in future. It is a shame, but it’s to be expected as they grow up. x

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  16. Sarah,

    I very much agree with Jo’s comment: “Basically I think as with life blogs can evolve and it is the person behind the blog that we all buy into ”.
    Looking forward to more posts about the guinea pigs!

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    • Thanks very much! I’m definitely overdue a guinea pig post!

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  17. I can easily relate to what you’re saying, Sarah! I’m having blogging wobbles all the time, and keep asking myself if I should just throw a towel in and stop writing altogether. I don’t feel comfortable discussing my elder son’s life on the blog, and he hardly ever appears in photos online now.
    My younger one doesn’t mind to have his photos on the blog or Insta, but I always show him what I post, so he knows. I guess one day he’ll say No.
    If you feel like changing your blog to do more running stories, go for it.

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    • Thanks very much! It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who has wobbles. It is hard to know what to do as the kids get older. It’s lovely that your younger son is still happy to feature – I always love to see his photos!
      There may be more running posts to come…

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