Why I’m OK with being ‘just a mummy blogger’

Why I’m OK with being ‘just a mummy blogger’

A few months ago I was a guest at blogging event in London. It was attended by a vast array of bloggers – beauty, fashion, travel, lifestyle and, of course, parenting bloggers. At one point there was a rather heated discussion in which the phrase ‘just a mummy blogger’ was used. It irritated me and made me feel deeply uncomfortable. I’d go as far as saying that I felt animosity towards mummy bloggers (and parent bloggers in general). Are we lower down in the blogging food chain? Apparently so. Perhaps because not all of us take it so seriously? Perhaps because some of us do it as a hobby? I’m not sure why there’s such hostility but I don’t think it’s right.

Lately I seem to spend a whole lot of time feeling like I’m not enough. ‘In real life’ I feel awkward and embarrassed when people ask me what I do. Because, you know, I’m just a mum. And now, it would seem I’m also ‘just a mummy blogger’. Ever since that day I’ve completely lost my blogging mojo. I question everything I write because it all seems so inconsequential. What’s the point? I’m just another one of those mummy bloggers.

To be honest, I’ve probably said it myself a few times, when asked what type of blog I write. (Not that it would take a genius to work it out.) “Oh you know, I’m just a mummy blogger”. And that’s because I don’t fit into any of those other categories. And I probably never will.

Let me completely straight with you, Dear Reader. I wake up and dress myself in jeans and t-shirt (probably the same jeans and t-shirt I wore yesterday), I scrunch my hair into a bun and that’s me sorted for the day. This has nothing to do with being a mum and not having time to make myself ‘look presentable’ but because this is the way I have always dressed. That is what makes me feel comfortable. I’m low maintenance. But let’s face it, I’ll never make for a fashion blogger. And I’m certainly OK with that.

I rarely wear make up and have very little interest in anything beauty related. So, I’ll never be a beauty blogger. Well, that’s OK.

My passport is God knows where, gathering dust. I sure as hell won’t be ‘travel blogging’ any time soon. That’s fine, too.

And then there’s ‘lifestyle blogging’. This is the area I supposedly have to ‘move into’ if I want to be ‘successful’ blogger. What determines a ‘successful blogger’ anyway? Money? Stats?

The thing is, I am completely and utterly aware of the fact that I do not have a desirable lifestyle. Nor will I go to great lengths to create the illusion that I have one.

I am plain and I am ordinary.

That’s not to say I don’t have a happy and fulfilling life, of course. But I’m like any other stay-at-home-mum in any other house, on any other street, in any other part of the country.

I write about the plain and the ordinary. I write about being plain and ordinary.

I don’t want people to lust after some made up ‘lifestyle’ I’m selling. I want people to nod along as they read my writing, to recognise themselves in my words and to feel like they can relate to the things I’m going through. That, to me, makes me a ‘successful blogger’ in my own right.

Listen, I love that there are so many varieties of blogs out there. Some people are so good at what they do – they’re beautiful, inspiring and live utterly wonderful lives (or so they will lead you to believe). The internet is a big place and there’s room for us all.

But should I be ashamed because my blog mostly serves as digital scrapbook of my daughter’s life?

I don’t think so.

Should I feel embarrassed because I talk about the ups and downs of motherhood instead of, say, beauty products?

I don’t think so.

Do I not deserve to feel proud of my space on the internet because it’s not all white walls and geometric interiors?

I don’t think so.

I am just a mummy blogger. And I’m OK with that.

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Mami 2 Five

Stream of consciousness….

Stream of consciousness….

Some days I feel like my mind works overtime, the voice in my head yammers on all day long about anything and everything. I often find that writing down these thoughts and feelings help me to process them, rather than let them run round and round in my head, like a broken record. So that’s exactly what this post is, a stream of consciousness, that will mean very little to anyone else, but something tells me that I’ll feel better for writing it all down.

Jasmine’s napping upstairs and I stand outside in the garden, the sun warms my skin, I’m feeling a little lost….

Heidi is with me, she’s dragging a toy around the garden. She dumps the manky, old ball on a rope at my feet and I bend over to pick it up and then throw it for her. She whizzes to the other side of the garden and snatches it from the air. She then runs around in circles, tail tucked between legs, ball and rope hanging from her mouth. She looks so happy. I think for a minute about how uncomplicated happiness is for a dog.

All I can hear in the garden is the gentle hum of the main road, it’s like white noise and I barely notice it half the time. I can never decide if I enjoy this peace and quiet whilst Jasmine naps or not. Part of me likes the silence, a little bit of time to catch my breath before she wakes up for ‘Round 2’ but the other part of me feels like the silence is a reminder of just how lonely and isolated I am on a day to day basis.

I can’t stop thinking about my family. I get annoyed with myself for thinking about them because I know they don’t think about me. I constantly go from a ‘ah, who needs them’ attitude to ‘I really wish they were a part of my life’. I hate turning green with envy every time somebody mentions how wonderful their parents are, how they dote on their grandchild, how they are always there for them. I want that. I want Jasmine to have that. And we can’t have it because we cannot control other people. We can’t make them care about us. We can’t make them want to be part of our lives. Ah, who needs them.

I wish that Stephen was home because this weather is glorious. I feel selfish for enjoying it when I know he’s at work, feeling stressed. I wish we could enjoy this sunshine together. We met around this time of year, it was on sunny days like this one that we would walk for miles and miles, getting to know one another.  We’ve been together for almost 5 years, but I still feel like there’s lots of getting to know each other that’s still to be done. It’s so important that we make time for each other, it’s not so easy anymore but that shouldn’t be an excuse. I never want to take him for granted.

I think about going back to work. It’s not that I’m planning to, I don’t have to and I’m not sure if I want to. I’m not a career woman, I don’t miss work. I do miss adult company, though. The friends I’ve made on maternity leave have all gone back to work and now I rarely see any of them. I can’t help but think maybe I should go back to work too? I always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mum when I had children but I never realised how guilty I’d feel about it. I feel like it’s not enough. Whenever I go somewhere new, meet new people, I secretly pray they won’t ask me what I do. Because I’m not sure how to answer them without feeling embarrassed and ashamed. I care what they think and that annoys me. Ugh.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll never be able to earn a living from my blog. The type of blog posts I enjoy writing aren’t the type that make money. And even if they were, would I want to put a price on them? No, I’ll have to find another way. For now, I’m enjoying just doing what I do. I have got some genuinely lovely readers and that is payment enough.

I’m undecided about going dancing again tonight. I enjoyed it last week and I am proud of myself for giving it a go. But I don’t know if I’ve got it in me to do it all again tonight. To put on my brave face, to go and dance with strangers, to walk in that hall, bust some moves and pretend I don’t care that I’m alone. I’ll see how I feel later on…

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My Blog Post Highlights of 2014

My Blog Post Highlights of 2014

I started this little blog of mine back in May 2014, a month after Jasmine was born. It was something I was a little apprehensive about doing at first, as I feared it would make me feel insecure or that nobody would be interested in what I had to say. However, 7 months on and I’m really glad I went for it and decided to start Tinyfootsteps. But honestly? Blogging is more work than I ever anticipated it would be and I often ask myself why I do it.

I’ve sat down and re-read some of my old posts today and the answer as to why I do it, is clear. I’ve made connections to so many wonderful people – mums, dads and fellow bloggers. You have all been incredibly supportive to me. I also write here because it gets me through the tough days that motherhood brings with it. It’s also a space for me to keep memories of all the beautiful moments that life brings. The ordinary, wonderful moments that I’d hate to forget.

I thought I’d share with you some of my blog post highlights from this year – either because they have resonated with a lot of people or they were fun/cathartic for me to write.

Motherhood

I wrote this post when Jasmine was still only 8 weeks old. I shared my thoughts, experiences and things I’d learned in those first two months of being a mum.

Why I gave up going to baby groups and how I found other ways to make new friends.

How the dynamics of my friendships changed since having a baby.

How becoming a mum made become more attached to physical objects and why I find it so hard to part with them.

Have you ever felt like the world’s worst mum? This post is for you. (Spoiler Alert: You’re not!)

Pregnancy and Birth

Where it all began! Jasmine almost made her first appearance in the hospital car park! I also explain how Daisy Birthing techniques got me through an incredibly quick labour.

Having a miscarriage was one of the saddest times of my life. I reflect on that experience and focus on the silver linings – one of those, of course, being my beautiful rainbow baby.

Does exactly what it says on  the tin. Some of the comments on this post are hilarious.

The reasons why I had ‘bump envy’ before, during and after my pregnancy.

Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? I reflect on my experience of labour and birth and what I’d do differently if I could do it all again.

Baby

My thoughts and feelings about sharing our bed with Jasmine in the early days. It was the only way we’d get any bloody sleep!

An emotional post (still makes me cry to read it now) about my struggles with breastfeeding Jasmine and how it made me feel like a complete and utter failure.

Tips for thrifty parents who like to buy and sell preloved baby items.

After struggling to get to grips with traditional puree weaning we switched to BLW weaning despite initially dismissing it as a bit of a fad.

After switching to BLW we then discovered what we’d gotten ourselves in for… a whole lotta mess!

Thank you all so much for reading my blog!

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My 5 Blogfest regrets

My 5 Blogfest regrets

This weekend I traveled to the Big Smoke, London, to go to my first ever blogger event, Mumsnet’s Blogfest. Now I know for sure there will be a metric butt-load of ‘What I learned at blogfest’ posts filling your Bloglovin’ feeds over the next few days. Instead, I thought I’d write about my Blogfest regrets. Don’t get me wrong, I had the most amazing day. I feel inspired, motivated and so very happy to have met so many wonderful people (you know who you are). That said, I do have a few regrets…

When I first arrived at the venue I felt completely overwhelmed and was too busy taking in my surroundings to take advantage of the breakfast pastries. Big mistake. Having been up since 5am and not had a chance to have breakfast, I was already pretty hungry but towards the end of the first keynote session, Anita Anand and her fellow panelists were starting to look like croissants. A tasty breakfast mirage.

I don’t really like that sort of celebrity culture that’s in blogging. I’m not one for stalking ‘bigger bloggers’ and yelling “OH MY GAWD, I LOOOVVEE YOUR BLOG!”. Because, let’s face it, whether you have 3000 followers or 3 followers, aren’t we all doing the same thing? However, there were a lot of bloggers there who I admire and whose blogs I’ve been reading for a long time. I wish I hadn’t talked myself out of going over and saying ‘hi’ to them.

I need to learn to take better notes. I was given so much useful information at Blogfest but looking back over my notes, you wouldn’t think it. From within my many pages of chicken scratch handwriting, I can just about make out words such as ‘Penis beaker’. Like I said, useful information. Just another reason you won’t be seeing a ‘Blogfest tips’ post from me.

I felt compelled to buy a pair of boots to go with my Blogfest outfit. But I bought cheap boots and didn’t ‘break them in’ at home. Nope, I’d not worn them since I tried them on in the shop. I thought it would be OK as there wouldn’t be a lot of walking involved. My poor little toes would beg to differ – they were red raw by the time I got home. Next time I’m wearing slippers.

There is a reason why I’ve used stock photos for this post. I didn’t take single photo at Blogfest. Not one. And I have the cheek to call myself ‘a blogger’?! To be honest, I just wanted to take everything in and not worry about pictures, tweeting or anything else for that matter. At the very least, I wish I had joined in with the #clearaplate campaign though.

As Beverely Knight (what ever happened to her?) once sang “Shoulda woulda coulda are the last words of a fool”. And yeah, I do have a few regrets from Blogfest but I definitely don’t regret going and I’m already looking forward to the next one!

Did you go to Blogfest? If so, is there anything you regret? 

More importantly, how many croissants did you scoff? 

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Blogs I Love #2

Blogs I Love #2

I can’t believe it was the beginning of June that I wrote my first ‘Blogs I Love’ post. If you missed it, head here to find out about some of my favourite blogs. Since I wrote that post I’ve found loads more fantastic blogs that I now read regularly. There’s just so many talented bloggers out there, I can’t keep up!

Here’s the next batch of blogs I’m loving…

Blog: What Katy Said

What’s it all about: Katy is mummy to two gorgeous girls – Little G and Baby L. Her posts are honest and heartfelt and Katy’s not afraid to tell it like it is. She’s one of those bloggers who I desperately wished lived just down the road from me. I feel like we’d get on so well and I can’t wait to meet her at BritMums Live next year.

If you only read one post you must read this one: Keeping up with the Joneses – Katy’s take on comparing her life to those who seemingly lead an ‘Instagram perfect’ life. It’s something I’ve been guilty of doing in the past so this post was a real wake-up call and will make me think twice in the future.

Blog: Mummy’s Blog

What’s it all about: ‘Mummy’ (she’s an anonymous blogger) writes about life as a first time mum to Baby Bear. I’ve been following this blog for a while now and I adore ‘mummy’s’ sense of humour – I often find myself laughing out loud whilst reading her posts or nodding my head in agreement. (On a side note, I LOVE that she posts pictures of cupcakes on her Instagram too!)

If you only read one post you must read this one: OK, going to cheat a little bit here and link you to two posts. 1) Interview with my husband on pregnancy and birth, and 2) Interview with my husband on being a new dad. These are two of my most favourite blog posts EVER. The questions are great and the responses are hilarious (and sweet).

Blog: Yummy Blogger

What’s it all about: Cardiff-based mum Heledd is a new mummy to her son Baby W and blogs all things pregnancy and parenting. As well as writing fab reviews, she also writes regular updates on being a mummy which I love reading. We also happen to share a penchant for all things giraffe print – kindred spirits!

If you only read one post you must read this one: 13 tips for mums-to-be – things I wish I’d be told. Seriously, every new mum-to-be needs to read this post – it’s so, so useful!

Blog: The Wilder Coast

What’s it all about: Melina is a writer, adventurer and owner of the world’s cutest Corgi ‘Hometeam’. I often find myself living vicariously though Melina whilst reading her blog posts. Her writing is beautiful and so are her pictures. She makes me want to spend my days climbing, kayaking and mountain biking (like I often did once upon a time). Her blog is truly, truly stunning. The long and short of it is, I have a total girl crush on Melina. There, I said it!

If you only read one post you must read this one: My big, white bed. A post where M compares herself to the ‘Big famous bloggers’.

Blog: Babylove Beckha

What’s it all about: Rebecca blogs about ‘being first time parents to an IVF miracle’. She also writes about beauty, fashion, home and food. I love reading updates on her beautiful baby girl, Arabella.

If you only read one post you must read this one: Moving and making new friends; my experiences & tips – this post has inspired me to make of more of an effort to meet new people.

So, there we have it!

I hope not to leave it too long before my next ‘Blogs I Love’ post. I already have a list of blogs I want to include!

Have you found any fab new blogs lately? If so, share the love and leave a link in the comments!

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