I know what you’re thinking – this blogging thing could really work for you. It could give you a voice, an identity, maybe even a career! You’ve dipped your toe in and found a warm community of fellow bloggers eager to share their money-making secrets and helpful parenting tips.
You’ve found a place to belong when, in the “real” world, you don’t.
I know this because that’s what I thought too.
Blogging is not the holy grail
But I’m afraid, lovely mummy-blogger-to-be, that I need to shatter your starry-eyed views. Blogging is not the holy grail it appears at first.
I once believed it to be the ultimate deal when it comes to flexible working – I could drop the kids off at school, bash out some emails and tweets, and then pick them up ready to crack on with the homework and bedtime routine. I would be around every weekend, and school holidays would be a doddle because I would be my own boss, able to take leave whenever I liked. I would have the best of both worlds – a stay-at-home mummy who was making money and forging a career for herself.
Alas, this is not how it has turned out.
Career-blogging is very time-consuming. There are appointments, deadlines, meetings and conferences. Yes you can be flexible about when you type your posts, but what about the Thursday evening theatre production you need to review? Or the blogging event being held on a Saturday? What about the PR person who wants to meet you in person when you’re supposed to be at parent-assembly?
Blogging, like every other career, comes with its hurdles.
The impact on family life
And even if you manage to keep your diary free for all the key childcare moments, being a parenting-blogger encroaches on your life. Oh mummy-blogger-to-be – you will never have a quiet family weekend again. Wherever you are, whatever your family is doing, you will be snapping away for Instagram.
As much as you try to “switch off” from work, you will inevitably pause the family expedition at least once to get an insta-worthy photo. You might even do a quick Facebook Live. The kids will eventually start to roll their eyes – they know the drill – they need to stand still and smile at the camera because mum is working again.
What’s more (and this is a hard reality to face), your kids will begin to wonder if you actually like being with them because you like being with them, or because it’s your job to play happy families…
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I am sorry for the tale of woe I have just bestowed on you. Let me assure you that there are many great things about blogging too.
There are the opportunities – we have visited theatres, been sent gifts, had all-expenses-paid days out, we’ve even had a one-to-one meeting with the big man himself (Santa!). These are things that we would never have done otherwise.
Then there’s the sense of pride that you will feel. These companies are searching you out. These readers are avidly reading your posts. As a mummy-blogger-to-be, I am sure you long for that validation and encouragement. Yup that feels good (although you’ll question yourself at least once a day, wondering if it’s all a fluke and everyone came to your blog by accident).
And the money is always a perk. It’s amazing to have a little extra income that is a direct result of your hard work and creativity.
I never want to seem ungrateful for all of this. This is what I have longed for and worked towards for all these months. The phrase, “when my blog takes off, I will…”, has been uttered more times than I care to remember! It is exciting and humbling for me that I am now in a position where I work regularly with brands.
Don’t be naïve, mummy-blogger-to-be
But I don’t want you to be taken in, Mummy-Blogger-To-Be. I want you to know that it’s not all free Christmas hampers and pyjama days. Being a mummy blogger is a career like any other – it takes time (LOTS of it), it takes commitment, it takes sacrifice.
It’s not a fast track to paid motherhood or an easy solution to childcare problems.
This side of blogging is not discussed very much – the posts focus on getting you to that golden moment where you can become a pro-blogger. I don’t want to put you off. I just want you to know the truth.
I want you to see that the further in you get, the harder it is to fit around family life. I want you to be prepared.
So my advice to you is this – follow your passion. If you love to write, if you love to take photos, if you love to create, blogging could be the perfect career for you. But just remember, it is a career and it is just as time-hungry as any other start-up business.
And remember, you can always step back a bit or keep it as a hobby if it’s getting a bit too much.
Thanks for reading,