Um yikes. Seems a little harsh right?
Except that as I read through the article I couldn’t help realize how much truth there was.
Here’s the thing. I love “mom blogs.” I have for a long time, way before I was a mom myself (weird I know). The first one I really got into was Dooce (Heather Armstrong is quoted a lot in the Post article). It was revelatory reading her blog back in the day, because she was so honest and raw. She was and is really, really funny. But she also talked about postpartum depression and the dark moments of parenting and pregnancy. Nothing was sugar coated. You felt like you were talking to a friend.
I still read a lot of mom blogs, and I love them all, but there aren’t many out there like Dooce right now. So many of the big ones show these gorgeous, beautiful families who seem to live these stunning lives. The photos are always perfectly lit. Everyone’s hair is smooth and shiny, somehow even the kids! (which have you seen my daughter’s hair?). They’re always in exotic destinations or taking part in photo ready activities. And when they do talk about harder things, there’s still a very noticeable wall up. These blogs aren’t really about honesty. They’re about showcasing a curated version of parenting and family, one that is very attractive to sponsors.
Again, I love these blogs. They’re escapism. They’re aspirational. And they have a role, when you’re losing your mind with your toddler and the baby is screaming and it’s only 9am and you just need to see photos of someone’s beautiful make believe life.
And until I read that article, I kind of wanted to be one of those blogs. I wanted Blue Apron to send me free boxes. I wanted brands to reach out for partnerships. I want to go on trips for free. I wanted to make some cash from this thing. Who doesn’t? It’s probably no surprise that I’ve been trying to grow my readership here. I’ve been really looking into the “business” side of blogging, ads and sponsors and all that jazz. I thought maybe that path was for me. And time and again, as I looked into how to make money from a blog, I came running into the same issue.
Being a successful blogger now apparently has nothing at all do with your writing or story or honesty. Instead it seems to come down to how many Instagram and Facebook followers you have, how many people like your Tweets. The Post article talks a lot about this, how now it’s about being a “social media influencer”, and the blog is secondary to your social media presence. When I’ve looked into getting some sponsorships, the bare MINIMUM requirement is 10,000 Instagram followers. TEN THOUSAND.
And that’s to earn a couple hundred bucks like shilling yogurt.
I have a whopping 247 followers on Instagram. And I’m pretty sure half of those follow me accidentally because my profile has the word coffee in it. I will NEVER have 10,000 followers. I know that deep in my soul. Because I’m not cool. I’m just not. I see those cool Insta accounts, with the beautiful outfits of the day and the gorgeous photos of avocado toast. And that’s just not me.
My feed will always be filled with pictures of my daughter doing things like slathering herself in Vaseline or tackling the dog.
And my blog will never have perfectly lit images of an idyllic life with my two kids. Because my life is not idyllic. No life is idyllic that contains this much of two other humans’ poop.
I love my life. But it’s freaking hard. And messy. And sometimes I think my toddler is actively trying to ruin my happiness because she does shit like this.
And now I love to write about parenting and what to do when your baby won’t sleep and the slow, creeping insanity that comes for a parent in winter. Because I want to remember these moments when I’m senile. And because I hope that other people out there can connect with this messy, real version of life, the tantrums and the breakdowns, the diaper blow outs and the sleep regressions, all of the stuff that sucks and all of the stuff that’s wonderful. I want other moms to read this blog and not feel so alone. Because being a mom, for all of the amazing things about it, is also really, really lonely sometimes. And I know I rely on the vast interweb sometimes just to hear some other mom’s story and not feel as alone.
So all of this is a really long winded way of saying that I hope this little blog still has a place is the “spotless void” of today’s mom blogging world. I hope that I always remember why I started this, why I write, and that is has absolutely NOTHING to do with Instagram followers or sponsored posts or whatever else it means to be a blogger in 2018.
I promise to always try to be honest and authentic and real here, to tell the truth, to be myself. And I hope that’s enough 🙂