to blog or not

Is this an existential crisis?

I’ve never really understood what that meant before but I think my blog might be experiencing it – it certainly doesn’t know who it is anymore and is asking the ‘big’ questions. Why am I here? Am I happy? Why do they call small bars of chocolate “fun size” when there’s nothing fun about it.

You know, all the usual stuff.

It feels like it’s been a long time since I wrote an actual blog post – and maybe that’s part of the problem; I’m out of the habit.

But it’s only part of it.

I’ve been busy with other things, such as editing and then (still) re-editing my book, some freelance work, going to the gym more regularly as well as all the house/life stuff.

Even then, there’s something else.

Obviously, I used to write a lot about Freya and motherhood (“life with my sunshine”). As she is now at school for most of the day, my parenting is limited to evenings and weekends but also, she’s growing up.

Writing about her as a baby seemed ok because it was more my story than hers, she was just doing what most babies do. I know she’s just doing what most children do but, somehow, it feels like it’s more her story than mine now.

I’ve talked to Freya about it. She kind of understands blogging, how could she not when I’ve been doing this her whole life? She even pretends to have her own blog and has nominated me official photographer. “This would be a good photo for my blog,” she says, pointing at a pile of toys.  I wasn’t really sure how to feel about that at first.

She wants me to keep blogging about her but the conversation went something like:

“What if I’m writing about a time when I think you’re being a bit of a tinker? I’m not sure you’d like that, would you? For everyone to read about it.”

“No, but you just have to write about how good I am.”

That made me chuckle. I could of course write about how good she is, how funny, clever, creative and kind. How she still manages to shock us by some of the things she comes out with or does.

I fear that might get a bit dull after a while.

Plus, it’s only one side of the story. The truth is, I still find this motherhood thing hard work (when will I ever not?). I thought the baby years were difficult but I’m finding five – and especially the attitude that comes with it – equally tough. Maybe it’s because we had such a rough start (with the reflux and intolerances) but I struggle with her screaming and shouting at me. Now it’s temper, rather than pain (although I guess it’s still pain in a way) but it takes me back to the days where I didn’t know how to make it better for her. I still feel like I can’t make it better for her – especially when she’s happy one second and then in a rage fest the next.

I know from speaking to other parents that it’s something they all seem to go through in different degrees. And maybe, because I get to speak to others about it – unlike the baby years when it’s almost taboo to talk about the bad bits – I don’t feel the need to write about it anymore.

As I suggested though, it’s also about her privacy. It doesn’t feel right to write about her.

So where does that leave this blog? That’s what I have been pondering.

I know many parenting bloggers have this exact conversation with themselves. I still want to write it but I’m not sure anyone will want to read it if it’s just book reviews, some travel bits with pretty pictures of butterflies thrown in? Although does that matter? It’s never really been about the numbers for me. It’s lovely when people read and comment but I’m just as happy with one as I am 30. In fact I get a bit worried when more people read it, which I know is silly.

Have you had this issue? I’d love to hear what you decided and why? Am I being daft? As an aside, Mark thinks it’s fine to write about her, he doesn’t have a problem with it.

I guess I just need some help navigating where to go with this. Any advice?

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16 thoughts on “To Blog Or Not To Blog?

  1. This is something I really struggled with a while back. I totally understand what you mean about the baby years as our stories, but as our children get older the same things become their stories.
    I have decided to narrow the focus of my blog and focus on books, but I just can’t bring myself to delete the older, none book related content.

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  2. This is the big dilemma. I love reading about parenting life, especially when it is far from perfect. There is such solidarity and support to be found. And yet, it is so personal. Whatever you decide, you must keep your blog going – I love the books, Norfolk stuff and you could still do things like craft/reviews/days out with Freya and write about it, maybe without showing her face?? That’s not personal or something she would regret being ‘out there’….Let us know what you decide x

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    1. Thank you, Kate! I was just thinking about you the other day. Must email you soon for a catch up. I’ve definitely been trying not to show her face as much on the blog already and not writing about her directly seems like the next step. You’re right though, there are ways around it. Hopefully that’s my way forward. Thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated.

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  3. Hello! This is a tricky one. My gut feeling is that you are right and Freya’s story is becoming her own as she steps into the world. You write beautifully and I’m sure that people would want to read a mix that was more day’s out, travel and books focused than craft and parenting. I will continue to read and hope you continue to write,

    PS Not sure the parenting thing gets any easier, just different!

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    1. Thank you for your support. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and just not writing which doesn’t seem like the best idea. Hopefully I can carry on with less focus on her. Hope things are going well in the run up to the exams.

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  4. I love reading your blog, especially as it’s a mix of different things. I keep looking back over my old blog and like reading back over the old stuff but I haven’t any ideas of what to write about any more. I agree with Kate’s comments above. I like the craft type things you make with Freya as I don’t have a single craft cell to my name so I like to see other people’s creativity. You could write in more general terms about parenting challenges rather than specifically about Freya, I don’t know like homework – do they get too much at an early age or general behaviour of children as you’re out and about? That kind of thing maybe?

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    1. Thank you for the comment and your helpful suggestions. I think that might be a way forward. They do have homework, although it’s more fun stuff like work sheets (and it’s not every day at our school).

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  5. Hi Tara, I can so relate to your post albeit in a slightly different way. This past couple of months I’ve taken a huge step back from blogging, at first it was down to wanting to spend time doing other things and then through frustration at my laptop screen playing up. Last week I bit the bullet and bought an older model refurbished iMac and whilst setting it up as I wanted I couldn’t get into my blog dashboard and panicked, it was then I realised that I would feel lost without my blog. It’s been such a big part of my life for so long.. Like you, I feel like I’ve lost direction, my life has changed a lot since I started, but one of the joys of blogging is it’s not going anywhere and we can change paths… It’s the wrong time of year for me as the summer season is starting, but my plan is to get back into the habit of writing posts again (that’s the biggest hurdle, I think) and to publish one post a week.

    I can recommend stepping back for a while to see how you feel. Even pretend to yourself that you are finished with your blog and see how you feel (it’s something I do when I can’t make a decision about something). If, in time, you feel you no longer want to blog then you know that’s what’s in your heart. If like myself, you realise you don’t really want to stop blogging, then you just have to find a way of blogging that suits you now.

    I wish you all the best finding where your heart lies.

    xx

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. I’m glad to hear you’re going to continue blogging. I really want to blog, it’s just finding the write subject now I feel like Freya’s story is more hers than mine. Hopefully I can find a way forward, although, like you, we have the summer hols coming up so it will have to take a backseat then anyway.

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  6. Hi Tara, I think many of us go through a period where our blog feels a bit stale, even if we don’t have the same issue as you. Can you keep blogging in more general parenting terms without it getting too personal? I decided to finish up with MMP and just as I did, kind of fell into another blog challenge with a blogger from Finland. Can you join forces with another blogger to do fortnightly stories? You shouldn’t stop. You are an entertaining writer.

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