I’ve recently had a bit of a blogging wobble. Which is possibly silly as it’s not that long since I reviewed my blogging goals for the year and actually when I look at them, I’m not doing too badly. The thing with this latest blogging wobble is, I’m questioning my life choices. This isn’t just a “I’ll never get 10,000 Instagram followers!” wobble. (Let’s just be clear – I know I won’t because I’m just not on there enough, my pictures aren’t cute enough and I don’t use emojis every three words…)
No, this is serious. This is questioning whether I really want to “live my life online” and have blogging consume my life anymore. It could be the hormones playing some part. I’m starting to think what life will be like with a new baby come next January.
I know I’ll have less time to write, follow other bloggers, interact and engage, all of which is so important to blogging and growing an audience. I’ve been doing fewer linky’s recently because I know I can’t keep it up. Miss Belle only naps occasionally now, so my daily blogging time has gone from a glorious two-hours (when I’m at home and she’s not asleep in the car) to 0. And although it may be all very well and good to blog when the new baby naps, when Miss Belle doesn’t nap, I’ll have to play and look after her. At the moment the plan is for her to go to nursery two days a week. So I’ll have two days on my own with the baby. So that’s two days to blog when the baby naps then? Well, maybe. Maybe not.
Let me explain.
When I was off on maternity leave with Miss Belle, I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, we had it pretty good. It was (mostly) lots of NCT meet ups for coffee and cake, walks and picnics. As the kids got older, playing at people’s houses and soft play. When she was tiny I’d watch box sets and eat shortbread whilst I sat feeding her all day. I also could clean the house (something that appears to be dropping down my skill set at the moment), and make dinner. Generally I enjoyed playing the role of “Mummy and housewife”. I was lucky. Miss Belle was a happy content baby. She slept well. She fed well, after an initial hellish few weeks. Apart from the first few months where I felt incredibly anxious and would constantly check she was breathing when she was asleep, I didn’t suffer the baby blues. I didn’t struggle with loneliness like some people do. Or the crippling, yet surprisingly common, post natal depression. Yes when she reached around eight or nine months old I remember sometimes feeling bored if we were stuck at home all day. But we were generally so busy seeing friends that I never really felt isolated or cut off. On the whole, life was good. I absolutely loved being a new mum.
I was free to do as I pleased. Obviously in the beginning feeding in the night was tiring, so I went to bed early, or chilled on days which were a struggle. Whilst I think I only actually managed to “nap whilst the baby naps” twice, in the first few weeks, never in a spare moment did sit writing blog posts. I didn’t sit reading blog posts either. I didn’t do blog admin like update plugins and remove broken links. I didn’t even scroll through Instagram (I didn’t even HAVE Instagram!). I didn’t check through 30 Facebook notifications from blogger groups or join comment threads or Instagram instants. I didn’t email brands and SEO robots. I never had a never-ending blogger’s To Do list. Like right now, I have 140 red flagged emails in my inbox. 140 RED FLAGGED EMAILS! AND I DON’T WORK! They’re all blogging related. 100+ emails are sat there waiting to be read too. And God knows how many are blogging tips type posts that I’ve signed up to, thinking I’ll read them later when I have caught up. What was I thinking?!
I also didn’t go about every trip out thinking about camera angles or taking photos in a certain way. If I took a photo it was of my gorgeous baby which I shared with friends of family on WhatsApp or my private Facebook page. They weren’t shared with thousands of people I don’t know.
So, do you see where I’m going?
I just am not sure I want to be a blogger with a newborn baby.
I don’t want to spoil those newborn days. That’s not to criticise any bloggers out there who have babies and are blogging. A lot of them are doing it because a) they want to or it helps them overcome difficulties, b) they are incredibly talented and c) they are blogging to earn an income. I guess the thing is, I never started blogging to make an income. It was sort of always at the back of my mind that maybe one day (as in when Miss Belle is at school), I could, if I tried. But the more I blog the more I realise what a massive effort it is. Effort in terms of time, effort in terms of sheer bloody hard work, and effort in terms of sacrifices you make. You cannot switch off. Ever. And again this isn’t to criticise anyone who chooses to do it. But, I mean not spending time with your husband whilst you type away at a keyboard every night, or whacking on The Gruffalo because you really must email that person back today and your toddler will not just play by their bloody selves for 5 minutes! These are all sacrifices I have made in the past year, although much less recently. I guess I just don’t know if I want it anymore.
Maybe I just want to be a Mummy again.
And maybe that’s ok.
The thing is I know I’ll miss it. I know on the days the weather is terrible and I get those itchy bored feelings, I’ll think, if only I was blogging that’d keep my brain active. There are so many things I love about blogging. The writing, the chatting to other bloggers, the support and camaraderie. Even the bloody photo editing. And the challenge is definitely what I love the most.
But I also know I don’t want the next newborn days to be any less special because of my blog. If I want to sit there and feed all day and watch boxsets whilst Miss Belle is in nursery, like I did with her, then surely I should? I don’t want to be sat there trying to write a blog post with one hand into my iPhone whilst the baby naps and Desperate Housewives stays firmly on pause. (Yes I’m old school – I have ever series on DVD!) I don’t want blogging to consume my every thought and fill my camera roll with photos that are Instagram worthy but won’t make the baby photo album, because I can’t see my baby’s face.
Tell me, if you became a blogger after your first child and have had another baby, how did you cope blogging and enjoying those newborn days? Did you take a temporary step back for a while. My logical brain says that’s all I need to do. Just to relax, see how I feel, and feel my way through it all. Someone pointed out to me the other day that as much as blogging can be hard work, it’s also a wonderful way to record memories. And I look back at some of my early posts about how beautiful Miss Belle is and think, yep, I’m glad I wrote that. Even Matt has read the odd post and said “aww that was really nice”. So that’s something else to consider. Not writing about the highs and lows of our new baby might make having a second child seem less important, or less monumental. And it shouldn’t be.
Of course there’s a chance the next baby will be a complete devil child and I could turn slowly insane without my blog too.
But part of me wonders whether I should I pack it all in, altogether? Take the pressure off. Take the all-consuming blogging life completely away so I can just feel “normal” again. I could always start again in a few years time. I’ve already wondered if I was to blog again, would I be anonymous. Though how the heck do you share stuff on social media if you’re anonymous?!