This is my view as I blog.
It’s school holidays so my eldest two are home, and they, along with Bailey, as happily playing on the floor, cause that is what I have asked them to do. Ava is asleep for her morning nap. I have done two loads of washing, made the bed and scrubbed the bathroom. Yes there is more to do, but that will still be there later.
Right now I am blogging.
Does that make me a bad mother?
According to my eight year old it does. According to her, my blogging makes her so sad. She blogged about it.
When I gave Taylah the opportunity to express her thoughts on blogging, I was a little upset. I felt guilty, and like maybe I wasn’t a very good mother.
But the more I reflect on her post, the more I realise that I have no need to feel guilty.
I have done nothing wrong.
When I began blogging, it was just a way to release my creative side. I started off doing it once a fortnight, and then once a week. Over time the frequency grew, at about the same time as my readership. Not only did I now receive the joy of the writing process, but also the joy of having others read it, and respond. A whole new world opened up to me, and for the first time in eight years, I began to feel like something more than just a mum.
That world comes with different rules though. I joined Facebook, which I hated, and then, to my absolute amazement at myself, created a Faceboook page for my blog. I thought I had had a brilliant idea, until I realised everyone else had done it too!
There were other bloggers in this world. Other posts to read, facebook pages to like, and soon twitter followed. More people were met, more friendships formed, and my numbers went up. More time was needed to engage. Blog links were joined, which requires reciprocal reading and commenting. Status updates need to be current and happening, and always directing people back to the blog. Twitter needs to be maintained; Instagram photos need liking; Klout needs to be given; blog comments need to be read and replied to.
It becomes one thing after another, and soon, what starts as a small hobby, becomes a time consuming force, threatening every other part of your life.
I haven’t done the whole thing well. When I first joined Facebook, I spent too much time on there. When I joined (and finally worked out) Twitter, Ditto. I became obsessed with trying to improve my Klout score (which is ridiculous, cause really what does Klout prove anyway?) and I joined every blog hop to get this little girl out there.
My kids suffered.
My husband suffered.
My faith suffered.
So I’ve stepped back. I keep blogging to a minimum, I schedule posts, and work out what days I will blog on, that are best for my family, and not my stats.
I don’t spend all day on social media. I miss a lot of the twitter convo’s, and I don’t jump every time my phone does that bing bong sound to tell me someone has commented on my FB status.
I don’t check my blog stats every five minutes, wondering if someone new has read my post.
I’m growing, evolving, changing, and trying to be better. I’m setting boundaries and guidelines, and I am doing my best to stick to them.
I blog in the mornings. I set myself about 30-40minutes while Ava is napping, and Bailey is having mat time.
Then I check things after lunch, again during nap time. I read other posts, respond to comments, and briefly check FB or twitter.
Then I stay off till after dinner. Once the dishes are done, and the kids are having their quality dad time. I’m in the process of changing this. I’m going to wait till they are in bed, and then allow myself half an hour, to unwind, then turn it off. This way my kids, and my husband see me.
Boatman is happy for this to happen. He understands I enjoy it, and I need that time to chill out.
There are other moments in the day, spare minutes where I send out a random tweet, or reply to an email. Two minutes here or there, while giving bottles, or making dinner. Time that doesn’t hurt anyone.
There has been improvement. I do not believe I am characterised by excess any more. So Taylah’s words came us a surprise.
I almost didn’t publish them. I didn’t like how it made me look. I didn’t agree, and I didn’t want others thinking this about me, and then not coming back to see my reply.
But I had promised her space, so I honoured that. And I think it was worthwhile, to make us all think; to step back and evaluate.
But it bothered me. Not that she thought I was a bad mum, but because it made me think that maybe I am. And not because I blog too much. But because I have created an environment where it is not ok for me to be me.
To be continued…..
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