Why do I Write a Blog?

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve developed an obsession with Twitter!  It’s really good for finding other bloggers and baby related companies that are willing to work with me on my blog.  One topic that I keep noticing in various forums is, ‘How to Start a Blog’.  So I thought I’d write about why I write a blog and a few questions to ask yourself when you start writing.

Ollie is watching me write this!
Ollie is watching me write this!

1.  Who is Your Audience?

This is a really basic writing rule but blogging is often very personal so the audience isn’t always clear or there might be more than one audience or it may change over time.  My original audience was my close friends and family and I was blogging weekly to keep them updated on my pregnancy.  I planned to stop blogging or at least slow down to monthly once Ollie was born.

After my dramatic birth my sister said, “Imagine if you would’ve actually died, all Ollie would’ve had was the blog to know about his Mommy!”  I decided to keep blogging for Ollie.  If I do end up dying young then my blog will give him a pretty good idea of his Mommy and what I liked and what frustrated me.  If I go on to live until I’m 100 then how nice will it be for Ollie to read about the world when he was a baby and growing up?  Imagine how much technology is going to change by the time he’s 11, 18, 21… He’ll read my blog and it will be a time capsule!  “Haha people actually took brelfies?”  “Woah, that’s what prams looked like‽”  “Aww I almost had a little brother/sister a year younger than me?” I think that will be pretty special!  I would love to read about my moms frustrations as a new mother or what crap she bought for baby me and never used!

Of course Ollie isn’t my audience now, so I am writing for friends, family and other mothers as well but it’s all with the intention of giving it to Ollie one day.

I’ve always wanted to publish a book, one day I’ll turn my blogs into a book for Ollie! With the little MommaBoss logo as the front cover and his feet at whatever age I give him the book as the back cover.

So rule number one, who are you writing for?

mommaboss
MommaBoss Logo!

2.  Do you Want to be Controversial?

It’s no secret that some mothers do love a drama.  Since I’ve been blogging I have been the subject of a few rants where some people do not have the intelligence to realise that we are actually allowed to have different opinions and hey, guess what?  If you choose to read my blog, you choose to read my opinion!  That being said, I don’t actually want to be a Drama Queen.  (I’m already an 80’s Queen, I can only wear one crown!)

I am aware that some of my opinions will spark a negative reaction, all I can say to that is – I’m not writing about you!  It is incredibly self-absorbed to read a blog and assume you are the target.  However, it is an indication that I’ve hit a nerve.  No working mom is offended by my opinions on Full Time Mothers.  No one with a good job is offended by my opinions on Statutory Maternity Pay.  No one with the money to buy a designer pram is offended by my opinions on prams on finance.  So if you do find yourself getting worked up by my opinion, stop and think about what you’re saying about yourself before you say anything about me! Remember, I am writing about my life, for my baby to read one day!

I don’t want to be controversial.  When I write about a topic that might offend some people I always try to consider both sides so that I don’t come across too critical because I don’t know everyone’s story.  If you do want to be controversial though, you are likely to get a lot of traffic to your blog but it will be people slagging you off which can be quite hurtful sometimes.  Some people do it on purpose and it isn’t always necessarily their personal opinion, it’s just purposely to stir reactions.  If that’s what you want – go for it!

3.  What are the ‘Side Effects’ of Your Blog?

You can have intended and unintended side effects of your blog.  My intended side effects are to keep my family and friends up to date on Ollie’s development and I also write Baby Product Reviews as a way to connect with other mothers, bloggers and companies.

My unintended but very welcome side effect are:

Advising other mothers – some people ask me for advice based on things I’ve written in my blogs!  I’m very happy to keep doing that.  I don’t claim to be some kind of advice forum but I’m always happy to hear that somebody has tried something I do with Ollie and I love answering questions!  I’ve recently been asked to write for a daddy blog which is great!

Staying connected with old friends – I’ve had a few people that I worked with years ago message me or see me out and about and say that they follow my blogs! People that I never expected to be interested so it’s great that old friends can read about me and Ollie!

An unintended and partially unwelcome side effect is:

Annoying people – I don’t write to piss people off.  Refer back to my previous comment about being self absorbed… However, I would like to thank the people that I do seem to piss off because when you share my blog in forums and Facebook groups solely to slag me off, my stats boom for the day.  That is a welcome side effect!

 

4. What is your Theme?

I follow some great blogs but every now and then there will be a post on something unrelated to the blog.  I love mommy blogs but if there is a random review about something unrelated to motherhood, I kind of lose interest.  I like reading about opinions on motherhood and baby products but if something pops up at random it just makes it look like you’ve been paid to put that in.  Don’t get me wrong, you can make a lot of income from blogging and it’s great to work with companies to raise each other’s profile. I know I’m not an advice forum, but I’d advise bloggers to try and keep it relevant to your theme.

For example, a blogging assignment that came up recently was to work with a paint company and blog about making a room over.  If you’re a mommy blogger – make over the nursery if you want to accept the assignment!  If you’re a food and drink blogger – make over your kitchen.  At least then it’s relevant to your readers.  It just doesn’t fit when a wedding blogger has suddenly reviewed the latest crime novel!

If you want to blog about a variety of topics then make sure you state that on your welcome page or Twitter/Facebook info.  That way your readers know that you cover a variety of topics and it doesn’t seem out of place when something different pops up.

5.  What is Your Intended Tone?

Are you trying to be funny?  Stressed out?  Advise?  A lot of bloggers are just being them and will tell you it’s just their voice.  That’s how I feel most of the time, I write because I prefer to express myself through writing than speaking.  I’m the sort of person that will write an essay birthday card telling you how amazing you are but I won’t say I love you to your face.  I’ll write a massive email to my boss telling him my frustrations at work but when he rings me and says are you alright I just say, yeh!  Most of my blogs just come straight out of my head because I’ve been over-thinking about a certain subject and need to get it out of my head.

I do write blogs with an intentional tone like when I write my silly blogs, yeh it’s intentionally being funny.  Even with an intended tone it is often the result of an over-thinking session. Good writers know how to select words to create a tone and I do sometimes purposely create a tone.  These are my four P’s!  My main writing tones.

1. Philosophical – I do like a good literary quote to inspire my ramblings and yes, I do think too much… Or do you not think enough?

http://www.mommaboss.co.uk/i-think-therefore-i-am/

2. Playful – I like to be silly and take the piss out of myself.  I do to try and be funny sometimes.

http://www.mommaboss.co.uk/9-stupid-things-people-say-to-new-moms/

3. Political – Inspired by current affairs and parenting politics.

http://www.mommaboss.co.uk/brelfie-am-i-missing-something/

4. Personal – All of my early blogs are personal, just a diary really with me chatting about my feelings being pregnant.  Now I write about my feelings as a new mother.

http://www.mommaboss.co.uk/baby-on-board/

So a good way to start blogging or if you’re a blogger with writers block – think of a tone then it’s easy to get a flow for writing.  When I get ideas for a funny blog it’s usually because I’ve made myself laugh by doing something really simple, then I write it down and wait until I do something else silly and add to it.  Before you know it you’ve got a long blog.  If you’re worried about something, start writing a kind of diary entry and there you go, a personal blog!  If you want to write some advice create a step-by-step guide for something whether it’s making up a bottle or getting baby to sleep.

That’s how and why I blog!  Feel free to comment with any extra advice.  Or ask me any questions if you’re new to blogging!

Ollie - this is you on the day I wrote this!  Check out the old computers.
Ollie – this is you on the day I wrote this! Check out the old computers.

 

 

The pen is mightier than the sword.

If people choose to look…

Ok so one of my many sayings in life is, “if people choose to look…” Anyone that knows me well knows exactly what I mean. For anyone else I usually conclude that sentence with, “they may or may not like what they see.” I’m the sort of person that will get soaked in the rain and then get changed on the back of a coach because I don’t want to sit in wet clothes for three hours. If anyone chooses to turn their head and stare at me, that is their choice but I will not change my outlook on life because a few miserable people do not agree. Another example is, if I hear a song that I like in a shop, I’ll do a pirouette! I like dancing, I like the song, why not? Again, if somebody chooses to take time out of their day to look at my performance then I cannot be slagged off if they don’t like it. I didn’t ask you to look. Refer back to my ‘True Happiness’ blog and I think it’s most likely the miserable unhappy people that will be in a mood over my public displays. Happy people couldn’t care less if I want to dance in the street or not. If fact they’ll probably join in!

I often get my 9 year old nephew into trouble because he completely understands my “if people choose to look” philosophy and yet so many adults don’t get it.

Now the reason for this blog that is off on a tangent and not directly related to Ollie or parenting is because some people don’t like my blog, yet they are choosing to look. Taking time out of their busy lives to not only read about my wonderful life but to purposely look for things to slag me off about and then start Facebook conversations taking the piss out of me. Well done. Really proving to the world how mature you are. I have purposely blocked three people on Facebook because they have demonstrated that they don’t like me by either ignoring me, insulting me or even worse, slagging off newborn babies. If you are one of these three people – why the hell are you reading my blog? I purposely did you a favour by blocking you so you don’t have to see my life yet you have not only somehow found my blog, you are sharing the link on Facebook messenger and telling people to go and find reasons to criticise someone they’ve never met. Seriously what is wrong with you? Are you people so insecure that to make yourselves feel better about your existence you go onto some innocent persons baby blog and slag them off? I could easily get mad but you know what, I feel deeply sorry for you.

Yes, you are entitled to your opinion and I welcome other points of views on my blog. There is a difference between stumbling across a blog on a Google search or reading a friends blog and saying, oh you know what I don’t quite agree with you there… Fair enough, we all have different views. But to purposely seek out my personal blog just to make personal attacks at me when you don’t know me (and one of the people I’ve blocked has never even met me!) seriously I feel sorry for you. It is just nasty and outright rude.

If anyone is insulted by my comments on my iMom blog then you are admitting to being the person that made nasty comments about me and my baby. So instead of encouraging people to criticise me, have a good long look at yourself and you might see that you owe me an apology. If you didn’t make any comments, then it’s not referring to you is it?

I don’t really mind people insulting me, I spend a lot of time analysing human behaviour and word choice and I usually understand people better than they understand themselves but the sort of person that will slag off my baby or anyone else’s baby for that matter, I don’t want you in my life. I won’t be nasty and cause arguments on your wall or tell people the horrible things you’ve said but I just can’t associate myself with somebody that has horrific thoughts about a newborn baby. Don’t be mad with me just ignore me. I haven’t done anything wrong, I started a little online diary for my family and friends then made it public because a lot of people like it and agree with me and I’ve helped some people see sense in their lives.

It is tempting to confront the people that are being vile and nasty but I’m a nice person and I’m not aggressive and as my dad would say, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Unintelligent people fly off the handle and shout their mouth off on public forums/ places, clever people articulate themselves using words that have been thought about and written down.

If you don’t like my blog here is the solution for you… Don’t read it! That goes for everyone, not just the horrible blocked people. I do not want to cause stress to anyone’s day. I write because I love writing and a lot of people like reading and find it useful. If you don’t like, don’t worry your pretty little heads over my points of view. I am going to leave this post on my blog so when Oliver reads it when he’s older he can see that being nasty doesn’t get you anywhere. Oliver mate, when you’re old enough to read this remember, no matter what situation you find yourself in, it is NEVER better to be rude. I know you’ll be a good boy because you have a good mom and dad! Xx

True Happiness…

I wrote this post in September 2014. One of my favourite bloggers Run, Jump, Scrap has recently (May 2015) set up a #bestandworst Linky. 

Becoming a mom was my best moment of 2014 followed by my sisters wedding but I wasn’t prepared for some of the worst things of the year. They both revealed some sad truths. 

I think this old post combines my thoughts on some of the best things in life and the knock on effect it has to some of the worst things so I think this will fit and hopefully others will relate to it.

I am a bit of a loner in the world of motherhood so I hope there is someone out there on my level! Here is the original post… 

 
True happiness…

…reveals true friends. Last Saturday, 9 week old Oliver attended his first wedding. It was my sisters wedding. The night before the wedding she was saying that getting married has revealed who her true friends are, at one end she’s had friends she hasn’t spoken to for years sending lovely messages and making sure they clear their diaries to attend then at the other end of the friend spectrum, there have been drop outs because they were invited to a house party and didn’t want to look unpopular. 

It got me thinking because I’ve had similar thoughts about having a baby. At one point I was considering deleting every Facebook friend (I only have 170 friends that are mostly family and colleagues) that hasn’t liked a single photo of Oliver, a bit dramatic I know but the fact that they have no interest in the happiest time of my life tells me that they fit into one of three categories:

1. We are simply not friends. Never have been really, just somebody that I used to know but don’t have any interest in each other’s lives. No hard feelings but also no need to clog each other’s feed.

2. The other person just doesn’t spend a lot of time online. Fair enough, everyone isn’t a Facebook addict, as long as I feel like I wouldn’t walk past these people in the street they can stay on the list.

3. Unfortunately I believe this is the most common reason for ignoring happy events… Jealousy. Seeing someone happy instantly makes people compare their lives. It provokes thoughts such as, “why can’t I get pregnant?” “I wish we were at the point in our relationship where we’re ready for baby/ marriage/ mortgage etc.” “She’s younger/ poorer than me – how has that happened!” “Yeh right she hasn’t paid for that mommy and daddy have!” I could go on but you get the idea.

The thing is, truly happy people see their friends happy and think, awww that’s nice. Truly happy people have higher self esteem and a sense of security so they couldn’t care less if someone earns more, or has a baby or gets married because they already have what they want to be happy and will reach other life milestones when they are happy to do so. I have heard excuses to try and justify the lack of interest in friends lives.

1. It’s a sensitive subject. For example, “I can’t have children so I don’t want to see pictures of my friends kids.” Isn’t that a bit selfish and childish?

First of all, it is not your friends fault you can’t conceive so stop being so self absorbed. We do not all possess the same level of health and wealth. We are going to come across situations when our friends do things we cannot do. Similar sort of things include, “I’m not liking their holiday photos because I can’t afford a holiday.” “I’m not liking their wedding photos because I’ve just been through a break up and it’s really insensitive to post your wedding knowing what I’ve been through.” Again, stop being self absorbed. True friends are happy when you’re happy regardless of their own relationship or financial status.

I actually went through a break up the week after one of my best friends wedding. I can honestly say, I couldn’t wait for her to share her wedding photos. I couldn’t wait to catch up and see how the honeymoon went. I know of a few people that would just ignore the happy friend and bitterly sit pondering, why didn’t I get married. How can they afford that…etc.

You can’t only be happy for someone if your life matches up. If you’re single and jobless you can’t cut friends off for getting engaged or promoted! You’re heading for a very lonely sad life. Snap out your own selfish world and be happy when others are happy!

2. “We weren’t that close anyway.” Some people reading this that haven’t ‘liked’ my life events might justify themselves by arguing, we were never close. 

If that is true, a content person will still be happy for their ‘acquaintances’. If it’s not true and you were actually friends at some point for some time, then we’re back to the old jealousy chestnut! These people are trying to justify why they want to phase their happy friends out of their lives. In either case, ask yourself why you are looking at the profile and photos of someone you barely know? (Jealous!)

3. They don’t care. Some people quite simply don’t care. That is fair enough I suppose. If you have no interest in kids my 121 newborn photos probably are annoying. However, if you like me then surely you ‘like’ that I’m happy even if you don’t like the photos. If you don’t like either then again, I’d question if we are really friends. So a baby is a good revelation… 

The truth is, seeing someone else’s life in tatters makes you feel a little bit better about your own life. Even if you’re not brave enough to admit it. If your friend goes through a break up and you’re engaged, on some level you think, phew I’m glad that wasn’t me! I’m lucky to have my partner. If your friend is constantly arguing with her boyfriend you might realise that you are not alone and you too, are always arguing. Hence, you feel better about your own life being a mess.

Seeing someone else’s life going well makes you assess your own life. If your life is also going well, you don’t care/ you are happy for them. But if one of your friends gets pregnant and you’ve secretly been trying for months, their happiness makes you feel bad about your own life! This makes it difficult to be happy for them and transpires in bitchy comments and results in losing friends. You can’t be annoyed by baby photos just because you haven’t reached that stage in your life!

If you want to test my theory there is a simple experiment you can do. 

Week 1 : update your status to something positive about your life. A simple 🙂 will do the trick or try a “OMG I love my life!” Something pretty vague but that says, I’m happy. Your mom will definitely like it followed by your true friends/ content friends who are happy for you. (Possibly a few gossipers too!)

Week 2: update your status to something negative. A simple 🙁 will suffice again. Or try something like, “Why can’t anything go right in my life?” Sit back and watch your unhappy/ fake friends suddenly wanting to feel better about their own life. “What’s up Hun?” “PM me if you need a chat!” Of course, your real friends will still care if you’re sad! But see how many people suddenly pop up. When I went through my break up three years ago I had too many people taking an interest. They didn’t really care how I was coping, it’s just a relief that they’re not alone with relationship problems. I know this because the ‘friends’ disappeared when I was happy again.

When you are truly happy… Your true friends will show!

  

Best of Worst