With a background in magazine journalism, I’ve always loved writing, but for the most part, my words have always been for work. I started this blog in 2016 because I had a baby and it was (and still is) hard and everything was different and huge, and I realised I had loads of things to talk about. It grew from conversations with my new NCT and mummy group friends about how we’re all going through similar things and we have similar worries and concerns, particularly measuring ourselves against other people and thinking we aren’t good enough parents or aren’t doing it ‘right’. I wanted to share some of my feelings about becoming a mum and I also wanted to make other people feel better by knowing that they’re not going through these things alone – many of us feel like this and we certainly aren’t all perfect parents.
So, on maternity leave and aching to get back to a bit of normality, I started my blog and wrote my little heart out for a good six months. My friends and family said they enjoyed my blog posts and then a few people I didn’t know started reading my blog. At this point, I had decided to go freelance rather than go back to my old job on an interiors magazine and I was in a mild panic about getting gainful employment, so I started thinking that I should try to make money out of my blog. But the more research I did and FB groups I joined about mummy blogging, the more insecure I got. Why wasn’t my blog as successful as other people’s blogs? There are hundreds and hundreds of parenting blogs out there and everyone seems to have endless hours to promote their blog on social media and write regular blog posts (and parent/work, too. Maybe they can afford a nanny?). I don’t have time for that shite! If I’ve got a spare five minutes then I will be Insta stalking or looking at pics of Tom Hardy (preferably semi-naked, cuddling a cute dog).
I was losing confidence in my blog and I started to write less and less, and feel less inspired. Being a parent, working part-time and just life, in general, made me feel overwhelmed. I had taken on too much freelance work and was working most evening and some weekends, as well as day-time shifts and looking after a full-on toddler. I only wrote a post every couple of months and then I just stopped. I have not written a blog post for probably nearly a year and the longer I left it, the longer I thought I couldn’t go back to it.
Then something happened the other night that changed my mind. My friend asked me: “Why don’t you write your blog anymore? I used to really enjoy it.” And I thought, why don’t I write my blog anymore? Do I not have anything to talk about? Well, it turns out, I’ve still got plenty of things to talk about as a ‘not-so-new’ mum. I may not be breastfeeding or weaning, the J mostly sleeps through the night now and we’ve almost mastered potty training, so many of the ‘big hurdles’ are finished, but there are loads more things to come.
Life is so overwhelming with a toddler, I constantly feel like I’m losing at something, be it work, juggling childcare, preschool or motherhood. So I’m going to start writing again. I’m not going to promise it’ll be every week, I’m not going to promise to be every month, but I’m going to start somewhere and that’s with this post.
I didn’t even write this blog initially. I dictated it onto the notes in my iPhone, because I didn’t have time to sit and write out a first draft. Inspiration struck when I was tidying up the kitchen and getting ready to take the J to pre-school. So my plan is to just see where it goes and fit it in when I’m feeling creative. It is not about making money or getting likes. It is just about me enjoying writing again and hopefully saying something that is vaguely helpful to other parents who are ‘muddling through’. Thanks to Steph for inspiring me and getting me out of my writing funk.