I’ve had this post saved in “draft” for quite some time now, mainly because I was worried that by publishing it, it might seem like I was patting myself on the back or trying to make it seem like I’m a better mom and blogger than I actually am. I’m, as they say, the world’s okay-est, and I'm completely fine with that.
I love my kids fiercely and think of them almost every second of every day, but you know what? I also crave alone time. I’m an introverted person by nature. I don’t always love getting down on the floor with them to play with cars or build skyscrapers out of blocks, and the thought of playing with Play Doh actually usually creeps me out (I hate when it gets stuck underneath my fingernails). I try my hardest not to portray a picture-perfect life on social media, or on this blog. My kids have dirty, boogery faces in most of the pictures I post and they're rarely wearing outfits I've pinned on Pinterest. In fact, I'm lucky if they're even wearing clothes at all most days. I’ve often written about how difficult being a mother can be. How I sometimes feel like I’m struggling. How I fall under the weight of balancing my professional aspirations and being a mommy who is there for her children.
I came across a post today that made me feel defensive. In it, the author calls out “Mommy Bloggers” and tells us to "just quit" because our blogs “[expletive] suck” and "no one is reading." She claims our blogs are boring, and while it may be true that business reviews and PR-friendly content might be at the forefront of my most popular posts, I truly believe that blogging has helped me to become a better mom, and perhaps more importantly, has helped me to become a better me.
Let me explain.
Blogging gives me an excuse to document the lives of my children in real-time. I have posts dating back from when we first found out I was pregnant with Marleigh, to when we found out she was going to be a big sister. Posts highlighting random trips to the playground and talking about our holiday highlights throughout the years. As a self-proclaimed procrastinator, I am happy that I have these moments in writing, because Lord knows I have been horrible at keeping up with documenting them in their baby books.
Blogging gives me a connection to other women in the same walk of life. As a work at home mom, I don’t get a chance to really connect with other adults who can understand my day-to-day. While I wouldn’t trade the friendships of my real mommy friends, it’s nice to be able to scroll through my Bloglovin’ or Instagram feed and nod my head in solidarity at the end of a long day. I find solace in unwinding by reading other mothers’ words on their blogs and knowing that we are all in this together, even if we’ve never actually “met” in real life.
Blogging gives me the push I sometimes need to explore creativity with my kids. My parents used to call me “Sloppy Jo” rather than Sammi Jo when I was little, but now that I’m a parent, mess-making tends to seriously freak me out. Documenting crafts and activities for my blog is a fun way to force myself to make memories. Through my blog, I have been given opportunities to experience fun places with my family, create fun crafts, and invite my kids into the kitchen to cook with me. These are all things that I most likely wouldn’t usually take the time to do if it weren’t for the little push of a promotional post.
Blogging gives me cool stuff for free. I mean… I’m just going to go ahead and say it. It’s awesome to receive free products and even monetary compensation for reviewing products that I would either buy for myself or lust over on Pinterest for months before I make a splurge. I’ve written about everything from diapers and wipes to cell phones and home decor, and I love every single second of it. And this part of the article where she talks about how nothing is true? I can’t agree with that. While it might be true that I have never used a certain product before writing a post on it, there have been many things that I tried and LOVED thanks to getting blog campaigns.
Blogging helps me practice my professional skills. As a copywriter by trade, blogging is a fun way to perfect my professional talents. Marketing products using natural storytelling and honest reviews is a great way for me to hone in my copywriting skills and helps me get my creative juices flowing when I’m stuck in a rut with writer’s block. Blogging also helps me learn more about SEO, link building, and HTML coding.
Whether you find your best self in the pages of a book, the strokes of a paintbrush, the notes of a favorite song, or by scrolling through a complete stranger’s words on the screen; whether you are the type of parent who loves nothing more than getting dirty with your kids or would prefer to sit on the sidelines and watch as they play independently… no one has the right to criticize or judge your passion.
Keep dreaming, keep painting, keep playing, and - Mom bloggers - please keep writing. Because despite what some people may choose to say or think, your blog doesn’t "[expletive] suck," and I, for one, would be really sad if you "just quit."