When #SolidariTEA was kicking off last year, I must have been the only “mummy blogger” on the block who didn’t post a photo on social media of kids eating fish fingers with a glass of wine or G&T in the background. I didn’t feel it was morally right to do so, just because everyone else was. Instead I wrote this piece here. The way I saw it, and still do, is a group of highly successful bloggers/authors/merch makers were slated in the Daily Fail (nothing new), and accused of being bad parents for feeding their children still-frozen food whilst swigging neat gin from sippy cups.
Seriously who does that? No-one, and anybody who actually took the article seriously needs their head read. I always suspected the main outcome would be driving blog hits/book and merch sales of said bloggers through the roof. I’ll leave you to ponder that for a second.
Many bloggers now boast about their six figure incomes, which basically means there are people at the top getting paid a shit tonne of money while the rest of us are left to scratch around for the scraps. Ooooooh, sound familiar? Every week, it seems, bloggers are releasing how to books, and e-courses about blogging. Apparently anyone can do it, and with the right attitude, work ethic and GRIT an uber lucrative new career is at all our fingertips. By grit they mean playing the social media game.
My three kids are my main priority and I don’t have the time to be permanently attached to social media engaging with my audience. Nor do I have the money to pay a VA to do it for me.
This week I have seen the very worst side of blogging and social media. I have seen a wonderful woman get torn down in the most vicious of ways. Her character has been decimated, and her abilities as a parent have been questioned. There have been accusations thrown around saying her daughter would be better off going up for adoption. Apparently she is an unfit mother because she’s going through a very hard time financially, and sometimes has visit food banks. Trust me, I have know many unfit mothers in my time, and this lady ain’t one of them.
She is constantly trying to be a better person, and in turn a better mama. She doesn’t hide behind a cloak of G&T when life gets tough, she goes to AA meetings. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, that’s something to aspire to. What on earth is our world coming to, when one side of the fence are allowed to use their channels for keeping it real, they’re allowed to have fun, yet the other side are vilified for the same things? The double standards in the so-called sisterhood astound me for all the wrong reasons.
I know all about the trouble with keeping it real online
With my properly raw posts I quite literally bleed all over the screen. I’ve been told by some readers that they wince as they’re taking in what I’ve written. I have questioned myself over and again, wondering if it’s absolutely necessary. Doesn’t all this emotion just leave us vulnerable? Well in a way yes it does, and of course I can only speak for myself here, but I would never change the way I write. I don’t make much money – a few grand a year, which keeps me ticking over (and by a few, I mean less than three last year). We get some nice meals and lovely days out for the kids, in exchange for my words. But I am rarely paid in cold hard moolah. This illusion that we’re all earning six figures has to be shattered!
The reason I’m still blogging, even though I have gone through many cycles of wanting to stop over the years, is because my readers regularly get in touch and tell me my blogs are their therapy. That I make them feel less alone. Trust me, no matter how understanding friends and family are, no-one truly gets how utterly all consuming it is to raise kids on the spectrum, unless they’re also doing it.
More than anything though, I’d like to be remembered as someone who isn’t afraid to talk about the things most people shy away from. I will never stop standing up for injustice when I see it, online or IRL. We are living through a seriously sad and polarised era, where Donald Trump is the most powerful man in the world, and the Tories have been voted in THREE TIMES since 2010. Largely I think due to non-voters and those completely unaffected and apathetic towards the devastating austerity cuts.
Which is why I point blank refuse to be silenced through the fear of people rolling their eyes at me. I will never stop keeping it real, and talking about things that are truly important. After all, isn’t that what blogging is supposed to be about?