It wasn’t how I expected it to end. I never expected that the bubble would pop so suddenly. After the high of Friday night at Britmums, feeling inspired and encouraged, buzzing from an amazing night out with my online friends, I never thought that Saturday evening would see me wanting to pull the plug on it all.
The niggling question of “why am I blogging?” started during the session about our children’s digital footprint, and how the information shared about them online affects what content they might view in the future. However, it was the bloggers’ keynote that brought it into sharp focus. Two heart-breaking stories that made me suddenly realise what really mattered to me. What was I doing here? Why was I blogging? And more importantly why was I letting blogging take me away from my children so much?
The memory of a morning where I had switched on CBeebies and sat the children in front of the TV instead of taking them to the toddler signing class that they loved, just so I could catch up on the mountain of blogmin that was threatening to overwhelm me, filled my mind. All those times when I had paid more attention to the social media stream on my phone than on what my children were doing. Yes, blogging was encouraging me to do things with the children, go on more days out (although I suspected that sometimes they would have been just as happy, if not more so, enjoying time in the garden), and do more crafts, but it was also taking me away from them too. Instead of just enjoying the moment, I was constantly thinking about how I could blog about it.
I’d lost sight of me, about why I started writing, everything I loved about it. What had started as an outlet, a way of processing my thoughts about life as a heart mummy and capturing memories, had taken on a life on its own. It had moved in a direction I had never envisaged when I hit publish on that very first post. But at what cost? Caught up in stats, caught up in rankings, caught up in a desperate desire to improve, to grow, to learn more. The pressure I was putting on myself to be a better blogger was becoming overwhelming. What had once been my escape was starting to feel more like my prison. And I suddenly realised that I needed to let go.
I am tired of feeling like I’m constantly running just to stand still, tired of feeling like blogging is taking over my life and not making me any happier as a result. I’ve had enough of sitting on the sofa, grabbing moments on my laptop while the children play on the floor. I want to be there, be present, engage. To focus on what my children want. Just being there with them.
I don’t want to be the best blogger I can be, I want to be the best mummy I can be. I want to enjoy a day out with my children without feeling the need to write a post about it. To sit and do crafts without picking up a camera every two minutes. I want to get back to why I wanted to write in the first place, to the person I was when I started my blog. Not feeling like I need to try and improve all the time. I don’t want to look back and wish I’d enjoyed the moment more and spent more time on my children and less on my blog.
And so, I am taking a step back. I have various posts scheduled over the next few weeks that I will post as planned. I will probably still join in with linkies here and there and I will still run my own. But I’m going to stop putting myself under pressure to blog each day. I’m going to stop trying to increase my page views and followers. Instead I’m going to write about what I want to write, and enjoy blogging for the sake of blogging. I’m going to step away from the laptop and put down the phone. I’m going to start putting my family life first, where it should have always been.
To all those lovely bloggers at Britmums that I met – thank you. I so enjoyed meeting you, and I feel like I’ve made some friendships through my blogging life. I will still be following some of your blogs and reading your posts. Maybe I will be back at Britmums to say hello again next year. But I think I will go with more of a desire to be inspired by others’ stories rather than just wanting to learn more about SEO and social media.
I knew I’d come away from Britmums feeling inspired. I just never thought it would inspire me to step away from the blog.