Unsugar Coated Motherhood

On NOT Striving to be Perfect

I’ve been reading lots about Brit Mums and everyone’s experiences of it last weekend. While it certainly sounded like an awesome and inspiring event, I’m also happy to have given it a miss this year. Apart from the fact that it would have revealed my identity (which I’m just not ready for yet) and not having any childcare, there was my diet to consider. Half the fun is in the cake and vino right?

But there’s also another slightly more serious reason – I cannot allow myself to get caught up in the blogging hype. The quote above sums it up for me, it’s only after seeing the riches that you start lusting after them.

I love blogging, I really do. It’s something that is all mine, and I like to think I’ve become quite good at it. But here’s the thing: I don’t do things to blog about them, I blog about the things I do. There’s a massive difference, trust me. I don’t have the time to be on Twitter 24/7, or work tirelessly to get my Tots100 ranking up from last month. I wish I could take stunning photos, but my kids and hubby get grumpy when their food is going stone cold because I’m messing around with the camera. I seem to constantly lose the battle against the lighting in my kitchen anyway.

I only get about two hours per day in which to write, and a lot of that is going on my book at the moment. The odd snippets here and there while I’m feeding the baby and the girls don’t need me are usually spent reading other people’s blogs, commenting and replying to my own comments. I honestly don’t know how other people do it. If you happen to be a top blogger and are reading this HOW DO YOU DO IT?

So here’s my confession. I’m perfectly happy with not being perfect, but I don’t know if I’d have felt the same after spending the weekend with some of the best.

Maybe next year! Does anyone else feel like this, or is it just me? I’d love to hear your views…

 

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46 Comments

  1. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have
    found something which helped me. Thank you!

  2. Good post. I am dealing with some of these issues as well..

  3. Le Coin de Mel says:

    Decisions, decisions…

  4. Thanks so much for your lovely, thoughtful comment. If I am completely honest, I’d really like to take blogging to the next level but I just can’t see a way to do this in addition to everything else I need to fit into my day. It’s ironic because if I could invest the effort now and managed to forge a career out of it I wouldn’t need to go back to my office job after mat leave (which I’m not feeling very enthusiastic about right now).

    I’m hoping that I’ll have a bit of extra time on my hands once my book is finished. Or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking!

    I’m definitely coming to Brit Mums next year 🙂

  5. Really interesting honest post, I love blogging and feel proud that the last 2 1/2 years has meant it’s become a full time job for me, something I never thought or intended to happen when I started… but I’m grateful because I am so passionate about my blogs and it works so well around my family.

    I understand not everyone wants to make their blog their job though. It feels natural to me via my work as a screenwriter and director but anyone can blog.

    I loved BritMums, I surrounded myself with the people I love (as in life) and met some incredible women and made new friends too. I always think as long as you have great energy around you, you are strong.

    You write beautifully and I adore your blog, never ever feel less than anyone else EVER or let fear stop you from attending events (all very normal, I was nervous the night before too)- we all have our own voices, strengths and value and that’s what’s so beautiful about blogging, it’s democratic, we are our own editors and are in control. Thanks so much for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  6. Sounds like you had a lovely time. Good plan too 🙂

  7. I hope you enjoy your slightly more mellow summer Suzanne. I think a fair few bloggers are taking a bit of a break while the kids are off school. I’m sure your Tots score won’t plummet xx

  8. I’m totally with you on this, would also love to forge a career but just can’t see that happening because I can’t invest the time on it right now. My kids are very young and needy though so maybe in a few years time…

    I didn’t realise Izzie was a pseudonym. I love your blog and it’s honesty. Glad you haven’t become fixated on stats hon

  9. Thanks Jenny! Your blog is beautiful and you should be very proud of it hon 🙂

  10. Ooooh that would be fab wouldn’t it! Send them my way after you’ve finished with them please…

  11. Such a healthy attitude towards it Louisa. To be honest I don’t think it’s entirely necessary to have to fit in anywhere. The best thing about blogging and Twitter, etc, is you don’t have to be permanently plugged in to benefit…

  12. Glad you’re feeling better about things now 🙂

  13. Thanks so much! There’s a lot to be said for staying true to your values in blog land. I don’t think it’s too difficult to end up saying yes to one too many review, and before you know it your blog has been taken over. How are you feeling now you’ve taken a step back?

  14. It’s all a question of time! Often I just can’t fit everything I want to do into a day, because there is simply too much that needs to be done…

  15. And just being you is a wonderful thing 🙂 glad you took some positives away xx

  16. As long as it’s fun and you’re enjoying it, I can’t see it’s a bad thing. Sounds like it’s been good for your family 🙂 yay to lottery wins, best of luck!!

  17. I’m the same, but have to say I’m rather envious of those who’ve managed to forge a career out of blogging. I’d love to not have to go back to work after mat leave. I just can’t invest the time that takes right now. Maybe I’ll have a change of heart in a few months time?

  18. You’re allowed a wee victory dance every now and then lovely, #24 is amazing! Glad you enjoyed BM’s – there’s definitely two camps here 🙂 sounds like stats take the fun out of blogging, so booooo to them xx

  19. Sounds like you had a brill time lovely, and have a good healthy attitude towards it all. There’s a lot to be said for totally immersing yourself into something like BM’s – which basically means getting trollied, chucking the diet out the window and properly enjoying a weekend sans kiddos 🙂 xxx

  20. I feel the same about writing and my fitness, sometimes it’s hard to fit everything into a day. I have no idea how I’ll also manage to work two days after mat leave, guess I’ll find a way. Us mums always do 🙂

  21. I’m glad you had a good time at BM. Sounds like a sensible plan hon. I signed up to Google Analytics but made the decision five minutes later that I wasn’t going to look at it and genuinely haven’t. From what I hear stats take all the fun out of blogging…

  22. Great post. I’ve found slightly more inner peace accepting that I can never achieve perfection in any of my aims or attempts in life, (not easy for a perfectionist!) and accepted that being pretty good is just that. Pretty Good 🙂 I’m 100% with you, which is why I don’t really “do” PR unless it’s something that really appeals. And like you too I would get caught up in all the type I suspect if I went to BM or similar. #BrilliantBlogPosts

  23. franglaisemummy says:

    It’s so easy to get down, to see that everyone else is doing well. I came away from Britmums Live with some great memories, but also having made the decision to be more honest on my blog and to ignore my stats.
    #BrilliantBlogPosts

  24. suzanne3childrenandit says:

    Yes I can definitely relate to this. As you creep up that Tots chart and find yourself in the finals for blogging awards, it’s so easy to begin doing stuff just so that you can blog about it. Ridiculous! I have actually given myself a talking to on returning from Britmums Live. I will never, ever spend all my waking hours blogging, I just don’t have time and my real life must always come first. For that reason I will be stepping back a bit during the summer holidays and just blogging as and when I feel like it. Yes my Tots score will probably plummet but in the grand scheme of life, does that really matter? NO! Good on you x

  25. I have always blogged because I’ve had something to say and felt that writing is a great platform to share whatever’s on my mind. Like you, I’m also anonymous (Izzie is a pseudonym) and when I started the blog, both daughters insisted that their identities remained private. There are also no pictures of either of them on my blog.
    I write only because I love to do so and although I would love to make a career out of blogging and writing, I am never going to become fixated on stats.

  26. I am the worse at striving to do everything, for everyone and myself and be great and successful at it all. it’s so hard to stop and look at the bigger picture and what really is important. For me I am trying to make my blog my job as well as a space for me to share my family adventures so they can read it when they are older. So it’s very hard not to feel not good enough or popular enough on the blogosphere. I am just a newbie and it’s hard to not wonder how long it will take me to get there. I hate it about me but trying to work on it. Love this post. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  27. Such a fab way to be! I am new blogger, I only wanted to write things that people read…but now I am getting into it more….the IT knowledge you need, and hours and hours to keep up with all the goings on! Phew! It is a bit addictive though, to be honest. I wish I had ‘people’ to do all my social media for me!!!!!!! 🙂

  28. I am quite new to blogging and trying not to get caught up with stats and posting for the sake of it. It is hard trying to find a balance but I am getting there. I only post if I have something to share and am not interested in advertising or pr opportunities.I’m not really sure where I fit in within the blogging world but that’s ok. I want my blog to remain as my space for me and my family, anything extra is a bonus. #sharewithme

  29. Yes, there’s something in what you write that chimes with me too. I blog because I enjoy it. I do take up the offers that suit me because I want to. I rather like being able to pick and choose. Since letting go of a lot of blogging and work related angst I’m feeling much more relaxed and funnily enough seem to have more energy for things. I also still find time to write, but it’s because I want to and it feels right. I have a feeling I might feel the same about Britmums if I’m honest too 🙂

  30. Jess @ Catch A Single Thought says:

    I think this is what makes the blogging world so fantastic; that there is such a versatility in the way people blog and that makes it okay to do things your own way. I swing between wanting to be ‘up there’ with the biggest and best and deciding that I don’t care. Recently I clicked onto my blog and was horrified at how commercial it had become so I’ve really taken a step back and gone back towards the type of posts I used to write, about us as a family and who we are and what we do. As you so neatly put it, ‘blog about things you do not do things so you can blog about them.’ I love this! #sharewithme

  31. As a ‘not top’ blogger I also question the time, perhaps it’s that I’m not organising my time correctly…..!? I am ok with not being perfect too!! Love the statement that you blog about things you do you don’t do things so you can blog about them!!!!

  32. I know exactly what you mean. Though actually going to britmums has encouraged to pull back a bit. I need more quality time in my life and I don’t like viewing the world through bloggers eyes all the time. Sometimes I just want to be me! Xxx

  33. I do sometimes forget why I am doing this blog – for me and friends first and foremost and secondly to create memories of the activities we do together as a family. I am very much guilty of doing activities so I can blog about them – not all the time, but sometimes. However in my defence it is so that we do do activities together as sometimes it is all too easy to just stick the tv on and tell the kids to go and play – so it helps me to make sure that when we are all together we are doing something fun and not just muddling along.
    I barely get 2 hours a day to concentrate on blogging as I work part-time at the mo and full-time come September so I fit it in around life. grabbing little opportunities when I can, so I doubt i will ever be investing the kind of time the most successful bloggers do to make their blogs what they are. Maybe one day though – if I win the lottery or someone starts paying me to write 🙂
    Great post! #sharewithme

  34. Le Coin de Mel says:

    I can really relate to what you wrote. In a way, I am glad I wasn’t at Britmums. It would have meant taking my blog too seriously. I love blogging, taking pretty pictures and going on my own blog when I need one of the recipes I don’t know by heart, but that is pretty much it for me: a hobby, chatting to lovely people and trying to improve my photography. As for the successful bloggers, most of them are investing a lot if time in their blogs. It is their line of work, how they make a living. Hats of to them!

  35. Have to say I loved BritMums, but put me in a room full of people and I’m in my element, so I had a great time 🙂 As for stats, well… I try not to look at them, but having discovered myself at #24 in Foodies today I have to admit I emailed them as I can’t believe that’s right – probably the first person ever to email Tots to get them to check your scores because you don’t believe it’s possible to be that high, but as I’m still banging my head off the Top500 in Tots, there’s definitely something wrong somewhere 🙂 I haven’t really blogged much over the last couple of weeks (other than stuff I had scheduled) and it’s been nice to take a bit of a break. I love my blog, and I love the community, but checking stats takes all the fun out of it for me at the moment – although, obviously I am always happy to see mine go up and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about them – it’s not why I started blogging xx

  36. Well you know my thoughts on all this jazz! BritMums was great though. You should come even if it’s just to meet other people. I also LOVED the speakers and wept quite a bit. Blogging is a bit of a game I think and if you play the game right you can be super successful. That’s not taking anything away from those top bloggers. Some are AMAZING. I just am a bit crap at the game. I must admit though BritMums didn’t make me feel sad or in competition I really loved it, but some people didn’t I don’t think. I’m a bit of a gobby cow so give me free food and booze and I’m anyones! Come to blogfest. That’s a bit more blog focussed I think? xxx

  37. I have so much to do at the moment that my fiction writing has been completely pushed to one side. I can’t get out of bed early on a morning like you though, I’m too tired! On top of work there is so much going on at school, I am back and forth like a yoyo.

  38. Glad you aren’t upset about not going to BM. I’ll be keen to hear what you make of BlogFest.

    I agree that as a parent blogger we already have a ready made niche. It’s such an over crowded arena though, and I wonder sometimes if it’s a good thing. Creating a band wagon would be lots more fun than jumping on one 🙂

  39. I had similar chats with my hubby two years ago as I’d sit and feed my now toddler while engrossed in my iPhone. Personally I think it’s important not to spend too much time in front of gadgets in front of the kids. Mine get so grumpy when they’re being ignored (and rightly so). It’s also not very inclusive.

    It can make it really difficult to find time to write though. I think it’s why I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn lately.

    As you said, it’s all about balance – achieving it is the challenge!

  40. I didn’t think I’d be alone in feeling this way, and I really appreciate your honesty here Maddy. I’m the same – would rather have loyal readers and be a loyal reader myself. That said I do sometimes just pick random blogs to read via linkies and occasionally it’ll lead me to a fab new blog.

    You’re so kind saying that about my blog *flattery will get you far 😉 Although I was recently told by a PR dept that they couldn’t consider me because my readership wasn’t big enough. Oh well, onwards & upwards!

    Now I need to get myself off to Camp NaNoWrMo. See you there lovely lady xxx

  41. maddy@writingbubble says:

    Oh you are SO far from alone in this! This post (and the comments) has really hit a nerve with me. I veer between feeling really happy with my blog for being writing focused (even though I do bring my kids in to it sometimes) and being sad it’s not more popular. But it’s when I compare myself to others that I feel sad so I can imagine brit mums live having that effect on me. From little snippets ive read I think a lot of people who went felt a bit like that too. You’re doing great as you are. I thought your blog was one of the highly successful ones!:and you are a great commenter and responder. I feel like you are a real person not just someone playing the popularity game. My aim is to be a genuine and loyal blogger ( I respond to comments and visit people’s blogs if they comment on mine) and I think I would lose that if I was hell bent on improving my stats. I dont think you should compare yourself negatively to ‘some of the best’ i think you are one! Maybe not the highest stats but that is not the most important thing in my book.Xxx

  42. And here I was thinking I was the only one who didn’t go. Until January this year I wrote my blog now and then and didn’t even have a twitter account. Now I do but like you it is hard to keep up and there is an intense amount of competition. Sometimes I think I preferred writing my blog when I was oblivious to all that. I have been asked by my family to stop going on my iPad so much. I am currently trying to find the balance between blogging, which I love and fitting in paid work and everything else. I would like to know how these people do it too!

  43. Hmm. BritMums has definitely left a few people feeling a bit inadequate I think – or certainly not good enough to compete at the highest level in blogging. I think that it doesn’t even matter that I didn’t go – because of everything I’ve read I already feel a bit similar. And also I guess Astrid is right I probably need to migrate my blog to self-hosted if I want to expand or change it in any significant way and I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet. I guess it is a good thing that we can just blog on for another year and maybe we’ll actually be ready for it then…

    On Astrid’s other point – I think the difference between being a mummy or daddy blogger and a child-free blogger is not so much that we dominate the blogosphere but that we fall into a ready-made niche which is easier to organise and form a community and set up bodies like Mumsnet and BritMums which then organise these conferences – it must feel isolating to be outside of that but I do read blogs written by people without children and I know people like Lisa from Lisa’s Life join in with some linkies and communities that are primarily written by and for mums and dads (but that’s OK – I think there should probably be more crossover…)

  44. I can understand how you’d feel like that, but I’ve come across quite a few blogs written by people that aren’t parents. There’s so much out there, but it can seem like the mummy and daddys are dominating cyber space.

    I think there’s such a danger in comparing ourselves to others. I try not to do it as much as I can but am only human and I think it might be impossible not to at something like Brit Mums…

  45. I can totally relate. I’m not a successful blogger and was content with that for years (I had another blog for several years). Now that I know some of the more successful bloggers, at least I read them, I’m not so happy. Indeed, it’s only when you’ve seen the rich that you start being jealous of them.

    Then there’s the issue that, as far as I know, WordPress.com users like you and me cannot do sponsored posts. It’s not that I want to, but I don’t know how you’d fit in with Britmums without participating in their opps.

    Besides, this is not an issue for you but 99% of the blogosphere is dominated bu Moms (see Britmums, etc.), and I’m childless. I feel that I’d never fit in with the blogosphere unless I got a child. This saddens me in a way, as I do have some drive to fit in.

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