I have had a bit of a break from blogging recently and it has really made me think a lot about why I blog, what I want to get out of it and what I want going forward. I have rechecked all of my priorities and decided to make a bit of a change from here on in and focus on myself and what is right for me and as a result I will be scaling right back.
I love writing and I love creating a record for the kids when they grow up and I don’t want that to stop but I can’t let my blog take over my life the way that it has. I can’t keep getting stressed out because I haven’t managed to post in time for a linky. I can’t be glued to phone to ensure I comment on the requisite number of posts that each linky needs me to comment on. I just can’t keep up with it all. So I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself to do so.
I will still be here and I will still be writing what I want to write. I will also still be reading lots of lovely blogs and commenting when I want to comment – but not for the sake of it or because I feel I have to.
I will be stopping my MaternityMondays linky. I have really enjoyed it but I am finding it too much work at the moment. I will still be joining in with lovely linkies, but not on the scale that I was. When I have a post suitable for a certain linky I will join in but I am afraid I won’t be a regular with many linkies from now on.
I will hopefully have time to reply to comments on my blog again, I am not making any promises, but I would love to actually respond to people who take the time to comment on my blog. This has completely fallen by the wayside over recent months and I hate that I haven’t replied to people… but I just havent been able to keep up.
I’m not worrying about my stats at all anymore. If people read it then they do, if they don’t they don’t and I need to not care about that. I am also not going to work as much with PRs anymore. I have a couple of things in the pipeline and there may well be some tempting opportunities so never say never but there definitely won’t be as much. I just can’t be bothered. I don’t want to be a professional blogger, this is a hobby not a job for me. I don’t want to write anything because someone else wants me to and I don’t want anyone else having any say about what the content is of my blog. It is my blog and it is for me (and anyone else who wishes to read it).
I won’t be worrying about what people think when they read my posts. I won’t be writing things for the sake of it or in the hope that it will get people to like me.
For me that has been a big downside of blogging. I don’t have a whole lot of self-worth if I’m honest, this isn’t a pity party and I don’t generally talk about it on here because I haven’t the time or energy to rehash it all but there are some things that have happened in my life that have not given me a whole lot of self-worth. After telling me most of life that he had nothing worth living for my Dad eventually lived up to his word and committed suicide. I know it wasn’t about me but when your own father doesn’t even think you are worth being alive for it doesn’t give you the best opinion of yourself growing up.
Then years later my group of best friends, who I thought really knew me and got me, proved that they didn’t. They believed me to be capable of doing, saying and thinking things that I would never have done, said or thought. Some of us got through it but most of those friendships ended. I am in a much better place now than I was then and I do have wonderful friends now who do really know me. But that experience left behind some nasty scars. I am very guarded and always worry that what I do or say will be misinterpreted. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I am as awful as they thought and it will happen again?
I was sent a meme recently with a question that asked what I thought people liked most about me. This is what sparked a lot of my thinking of late because I really realised that I have no idea why people like me. I wouldn’t even like to hazard a guess and I realised at this just how badly my self-worth has been damaged. I’m not writing this for sympathy. I am writing this as I realised that actually much of the community side of blogging isn’t helping me. It appeals to my needy attention seeking side, wanting people to like me, to get me. And I don’t think it is that healthy.
I have a husband who adores me and children who love me as much as I love them. My family is amazing and supportive and lovely. My mum and step dad are wonderful as are my in-laws. I have amazing friends who do know me and do like me/love me. I don’t need the whole world or the whole blogging community to like me. I don’t need new best friends.
I’m not knocking the blogging community here… on the whole it has been very good for me. I have received so much support with my PND and difficult times and there are so so many wonderful bloggy ladies out there. The problem lies with me and I need to take control and work on myself. I need to stop competing or feeling I have to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ so to speak.
I don’t want to stop blogging entirely as blogging inspires me to be a better parent. I have found so many wonderful ideas for playing with the kids, for cooking, for parenting, for everything. It makes me think and question myself and find ways to improve myself. I also love so many wonderful blogs that I still want to know what you are all up to, how you are getting on and support you in the way that you have supported me. I just need to get off the merry-go-round of constantly blogging and linking up and give myself a break.
Sending big hugs! It sounds like you are doing what is right for you and your family and that is the right thing x
Thanks Kim xx
I think I came to this conclusion some time back – I used to have a post going out practically every day of the week and most if not all of them posted to linkies then – well you know my story. Believe me you are amongst a handful of about five or six bloggers who I think of as being part of my blogging “tribe” for want of a better word. I have no idea if any of you feel the same way about me – or if I’m just another regular reader and commentator. That’s a bit of a weird one actually. Anyway just to let you know I think you are doing the right thing – keep journaling it all – it is an amazing resource for your kids to look back on one day hon. Xx
Totally echoing what Sam said hon. I think the merry go round of daily blogging and never ending linkies gets the better of most bloggers eventually.
Sorry to hear about your past troubles, and that it’s left such a dent in your self-worth. Really hoping you get back to happy soon. Sending hugs and smiles your way lovely xxx
Thanks so much lovely, I am ok generally and as ever writing it all down is so cathartic and i know things will continue getting better. I think you are right, it gets a bit much for a lot of us sometimes. xx
I do feel the same lovely and I love reading what you are up to! Thank you and it does feel the right thing to do, you just reached that conclusion a while before I did! xx
Seconding Sam too, I gave up on most linkies and stats when Little 3 was born, I now only blog once a week or so and that suits just fine, you need to do what is right for you. I love reading your blog and will continue to do so, will miss maternity mondays though!! x
Thanks lovely and I think you did the right thing, it just gets too much otherwise! MaternityMondays will still be running with Emma so do pop by and link up with her instead, I will be there from time to time too xx
I’m right there with you lovely!
I don’t join in any linkys any more… if I have a week off work I night so #SundayStars or #TwinklyTuesdays , because I like them! Not because I feel I have to for the readership.
I was stressing after my numbers halved when I went self hosted (tricksy little blogger) but it turns out that the majority of my readers aren’t bloggers! They’re real people and they really don;t care who I link up with.
I think this will be a positive change for you – don’t forget to find time to relax! xxxx
Well that’s lovely and proves that it just isn’t necessary to link up all of the time like I have been doing! And that’s what i want to do with linkys, join n for the fun not out of feeling like I have to! Thanks for the comment I am glad to hear I am not alone in feeling like this xx
Ahh bless you Caroline, I know we feel a bit similar about things, the few days that I stepped back did me good and I am definitely trying not to put myself under pressure as much. Good for you and if it feels right then do it. I shall miss linking up to maternity mondays very much!!! Keep smiling hun. 🙂
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Sounds like you are making a very sensible choice Caroline – it is so easy to get caught up in the merry-go-round of blogging and to get bogged down in linkies and stats and feel like you are trying to keep up with the Joneses. Sometimes you need to take that step back and focus on what is really important to you. Blog because you want to do it, because you enjoy it and not because you feel like you “should”. Sorry to hear about all the things that have damaged your self-worth, you always come across as a very lovely person from your blog posts although you are right in that you don’t need validation from the blogging community – you have a husband and two gorgeous children who both love you and that is what really matters. Enjoying having more time with them and loving blogging for the sake of blogging xx
I think most of us can relate to this! Blogging is fun, an outlet for creative writing, a great record of our journey and a superb way to connect with others. But when deadlines and keeping up stats take over it becomes too stressful. Good decision x
You absolutely have to do what is right for you and your family. I know I only have 9 months experience of being a mum, but, that is the job that takes priority over everything job and non-job related. Just do what makes you and your family happy and I’ll definitely be looking out for your posts as they are fab x
Good for you. I took a break over the summer and it helped me in a lot of ways. I always tell myself that if it’s not fun anymore then it’s time to reevaluate. With so much that’s happened in your life it’s important to focus on what makes you happy x
I can completely understand this. I’m experimenting at the moment with a few new linkies, and then I’m going to decide which ones are actually worth it…! The ones with a community are great, others, not so much and it’s been interesting making a concerted effort to assess that 😉 Over the next month or so I plan on changing quite a few things, so we’ll see. I won’t stop linkies completely as there are several I enjoy, but there are quite a few that I will be giving up on! I enjoy reading your posts, and certainly won’t stop just because you’re not linking to things xx
Well done to you. This is such an honest and open post and I think it is great that you are setting your priorities and admitting that blogging isn’t the be all and end all. I am a new blogger and much of what I write about is not so much family but my relationship with myself, and like you I can see that blogging feeds the needy side of my personality, so I am reluctant to allow it too much into my life but I do enjoy the writing and I can see how easy it would be to get carried away. I hope that you find a good balance. xxx
I think you are absolutely doing the right thing. My eldest has just started school so I have actually found myself a bit more time to dedicate to the blog but I certainly am not pressuring myself anymore to post every day – if I have a relevant post I do but I only create content when I want to.
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I’ve been nodding so much whilst reading your post that my head hurts 🙂 I also had an epiphany a few months ago. I was spending way too much time following up on Linkies. It was probably about 80% of my blogging time. So instead of writing about stuff I really cared about, I was finding myself reading posts I would not necessarily have chosen to read in the first place, and so were the people who were writing ‘lovely post’ as a comment.