For the newbie blogger, just starting out and full of enthusiasm, there are a staggering number of “How-To” articles and posts available to read. I, like so many others, did just that. I Googled, I read, took notes, and voraciously consumed tips on best practice for blogging – especially a parenting blog. And I’m glad that I did, I learned loads and put it to work:
Make a schedule and stick to it *Tick*.
Use original, striking images *Tick*.
Promote through social media *Tick*.
Engage with other bloggers *Tick*.
Write great copy *Um, well, I try!*
And yet, not even a year in, I find myself pretty short on enthusiasm for this parenting blog lark. Not that I’ve nothing to say, and having guest-posted around and gotten decent feedback, it’s not a crisis of confidence either. I have posts written but for various reasons haven’t published yet. Upon the realisation that the aforementioned schedule had gone out the window, instead of just firing up some half-baked post I decided to examine why that had come about. The reasons I can see follow:
It’s a parenting blog, and while the blog part of that is important, it’s not my job. Parenting, on the other hand, is my main job right now! So despite the best advice in the world about schedules and regular posting, if I don’t get time to write some trite little rant about PlayDoh, it’s not the end of the world. If however, I should neglect my daddy duties in the interests of shouting into the void on my parenting blog… Well that, that is much more like Armageddon to me. If ever the day came where my Instagram distracted me from being the best dad I can to my girl, I would consider myself a failure at doing the thing I love the most.
So schedule be damned, if I get the time – great. If not – so what? The world will spin on without my meme being published, the literary canon will not suffer.
OTHER PARENTING BLOGS
Now I don’t want to upset anyone, or come off as resentful, but other blogs sometimes baffle me. I’ve been lucky to be welcomed into a network of fine writers and great parents. I’ve whored out my ramblings to them and they’ve been helpful and more than accommodating – I am truly grateful. But sometimes a parenting blog that I follow will blast out such a number of tweets, replies, comments, and Insta pictures, in one day that I can’t help but wonder: “Who’s watching the kids while you do this?”
Far be it from me to judge anyone else’s parenting, I mess up more often than I like to admit. But there are some accounts that are populated by so many selfies of the parent, so many to-camera monologues that I’m sick of seeing their darn faces! Isn’t this parenting blog supposed to be about the kids? Or is it all about you?
My worry is that my own might become a similar vanity project, I cringe at the thought.
THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY
Like I say, there are some awesome folk out there. Yet the thought occurred to me one day, and I could not shake it: “Who actually reads a parenting blog? Is it just parenting bloggers?” The wife assures me that she read lots of them while pregnant, and there’s plenty good advice to be had. But out of my modest visitor numbers and engagement stats I had to question whether a chunk of that might be just other bloggers being polite or curious. If so, what’s the point of all this?
Call me cynical, but the round-robin of kudos amongst bloggers seems a bit fake to me. I see people calling each other ‘Brilliant’ or ‘Hilarious’ when the former’s grasp of grammar is tenuous, and the latter just stole a meme that’s being doing the rounds for weeks! I know that the support network of fellow bloggers is an invaluable asset to us all, I’ve just not got the time for stroking egos. In my former life as a newspaper editor, the idea of sparing someone’s feelings when they filed shite copy was abandoned early on. Can everyone really think that everyone else is awesome?
So while I’m ever grateful for kind and encouraging words, it’s hard not to have them ring hollow sometimes.. Ungrateful, huh?
BUT STILL, ON WE GO
Yes, I’m aware of the irony of a self-reflexive parenting blog post about blogs. Just needed to vent – that’s one of the many purposes of these yokes, no? Normal service (if you can call it such) will resume presently. Thanks for reading.
So true and so funny! #GlobalBlogging
When every you get ‘blocked’ or bored or whatever word you want to use, write a post for you. One that you’re interested in or an idea that you want to explore. That’s where the enjoyment lies….I find, anyway. #GlobalBlogging
That’s good advice, Lydia. I will. Thanks for reading.
This is a fascinating viewpoint, blogging has to secondary to being a dad that’s for sure, but also blogging has to fun like anything in life we do if you don’t enjoy you won’t do it.
Nowadays blogging is still loads of fun for me, but it has also become a source of income which was never my intention when i started but I’m not knocking it.
I have always wondered if I’m honest who reads my ramblings but I guess I will never know.
Good luck if you continue your blog I have always enjoyed your posts.
Thanks, Nige. Appreciate the sage advice, especially from a seasoned DadBlog pro like yourself! 😉
Almost a year in I have moments like this too. Being a parent always has to come first, for now I write early in the morning before anyone else is up, or after they go to bed. If my youngest is happily playing be herself I may get a bit of blog work done but always stop when she needs me. I’m hoping to turn it into a job so that when she starts school I can work from home and not have to worry about after school clubs and finding cover for school holidays etc as I want to be able to spend that time with them so that’s my motivation to keep going.
Thanks for reading, Alana. It’s good to know I’m not the only one with this dilemma – if only I didn’t need to sleep, I could get LOADS done!! 😉
As a parent of kids who are now adults. I congratulate you on getting your priorities right, spend time with them. It is the most important point of being a parent the second point I would make is be a parent first, not a friend. Friendship follow s when they get older and appreciate why you wouldn’t buy them six huskies!
The first six months my blog ran my world. Like I probably should have sought help for my blogging addiction. Good news! I have fought my way back to the world of human interaction and found balance.
Thanks for linking up to #globalblogging