Question: "Are you a parent blogger?"
Answer: "Well erm, I am a parent and I blog so yes....sort of....maybe."
Today I was asked this question and it caught me off guard due to a sleepy foggy brain. What an insipid reply I gave! This reply needed more passion and clarity, so I made a cup of tea and put my pensive hat on.
I have strong views on many parenting blogs, I guess that is just me being and opinionated older wiser mother. Yet I do follow many amazing parenting blogs to such an extent I would feel I knew the family as best friends if I met them in real life. I see more of them than family!
My blog is listed on two parent blogging platforms so reality is I am a parent blogger but am I?
I do not have a little toddler that loves posing for the camera. I do not own an expensive camera and I don't share much of my boys as that is their request. I also blog about things outside of my ordinary family life. I am also part of the chronic illness blogging community and a member of Chronic Blogs.
For me being a mummy blogger is very much like sharing your family within facebook but the posts are longer and there is no control over the audience. This is the part that scares me.
Some blogs get the balance of real life and what they show in a blog just right, I applaud these bloggers. Some however over share and at some stage in that child's life they will cringe and detest their life laid bare for all to read. Having older children now gives me that wisdom.
My sons are mixed ages from twenty-one to nine so as the mum I respect their privacy and don't feel logging every aspect of life is healthy beyond the nappy years. The younger two like being in my blog, the older ones allow a family photo now and then, anything more would be me taking advantage of their wishes to gain readers.
The older ones do so many funny things that it would make comedy awards but they are their moments, not mine to share.
The youngest little man would bare his soul for my blog, but his soul is too innocent, precious, unique and wonderful.
My children have given me such a rich education in life and although I know this would benefit other parents in the same dilemmas, the over share would not benefit my sons.
I can share my mind as a woman, as a mother, as a person with chronic illness yet I do not own the mind of my sons. Their moments with me are magical and I feel honoured to be their mother every day.
Don't get me wrong I follow many families on facebook, Instagram, blogging etc. I love the little whimsical life they project but some are sprinkled with twee, glitter and bullshit.
I pity new mums who must follow these pages and expect parenting to be a bed of roses when really it is the hardest, tiring thing you will ever do.
I love real images of children with dirty faces, messy baby grows covered in buttered toast crumbs, children having tantrums, some parenting blogs never show real life.
I love the mums who tell fibs about the time and put their children to bed an hour early as it has been a long day. I was bound by the CBeebies bedtime song with my older three. I had a video of the song taped, bed time song an hour earlier kept me happy!
This is real life.
There is one page in particular on Instagram (no I will not name it), it is a beautiful page but I often want to scream at the mother of this little girl that lives her life looking like a french vintage catalogue child, "let her be a child! She is not a mannequin to gain likes. Give her a bucket of mud and some lego bricks."
Then I think for all I know this little lady looking pristine could end her day with snot on her cheek, beans in her hair and soil in her nails, her Mum just opts to show the perfect side prior to this.
I remember a few months into blogging we had a family caravan holiday. It was so lovely being together on the British seaside coast together. Everywhere was filled with rich colours and I bubbled with glee at the photos I could get for my blog. This is one of the images.
Thankfully I came to my senses and realised life with children is so precious and I did not want to have staged photos as memories. I wanted all images of what they are really like, this is what matters. The moments together that are true to them.
I never posted any images of that wonderful caravan holiday on my blog instead I printed all 120 photos out and have them in an album in the living room on the bookshelf. My boys often sit and look through them, laughing at the various funny times.
We are now counting down the weeks to our return to the coast in the caravan.
These are photos I love, this is my boys in their natural form. The lighting not perfect, the colour of clothing does not pop against the background but who cares?
My life with my sons is about being present, witnessing the smiles, the laughter, the banter, the sunlight rather than thinking every moment is an opportunity to gain likes and readers.
If you are a parenting blog please:
- Stop making childhood so perfect, show us the mucky knees and snot. The Primark trackies and scuffed shoes.
- Respect children's privacy to grow.
- Always remember not every reader has a beautiful soul, some are damaged and ugly in their thoughts.
- Don't over share your family moments even if you are a family blog.
- Live in the present, view real life in all it's beautiful glory, children grow so fast.
- I too wish we lived in a beautiful loving utopia but we don't and what you over share may cause your child to be bullied and ridiculed. When I find a way to eradicate bullies I will shout out but till then always be vigilant when sharing stories of school age children.
- Always ask your children for blogging consent. You are a parent to guide and nurture them, you do not own their soul.
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