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One Mom's Perfect Imperfection: Blogging. Out of Control?

One Mom's Perfect Imperfection

One mom's journey through life and her hodgepodge of hobbies.

15 March 2010

Blogging. Out of Control?

This weekend, the New York Times published an article written by Jennifer Mendelsohn entitled, "Honey, Don't Bother Mommy. I'm Too Busy Building My Brand." If you're a blogger and you haven't read this article, I definitely think you should. Whether you agree or disagree with it is simply your prerogative but I find it an interesting read by a journalist who also happens to be a blogger. Equally interesting is the response this article is getting in the blogging world. You can read many of the responses starting with SITS (The Secret is in the Sauce) - the blogging society to which the NYT article referred. SITS has linked their response to all sorts of other blogs with responses to the article.

I have been blogging since March of 2006. My husband started our family blog, The World of Noffs, himself after seeing his friend's blog. He loved the idea of close friends and family being able to see the latest pictures and hear the latest stories of our new son who was merely three months old at the time. Quite frankly, I loved the idea as well. My family lived at least 2 hours away, some further, and I was constantly being hit up for more pictures. Now I could tell them, "check the blog". Since Mike worked full-time and I had given up my job to stay home with Keegan, I soon took over the the blog. Again, it was simply a way for friends and family to stay updated with our family of three. If blogging conferences, communities, memes, etc. were going on at this time I had no idea and didn't care. I was completely focused on Keegan and my new purpose in life.

Then 90 posts ago, this blog was born. I sought a creative outlet for all the noise in my head and didn't want to lay it all out there on my original blog for certain family members to read. That may sound silly to some of you but it's the truth. I wanted to be able to express myself and maybe inspire myself and didn't need criticism from certain individuals. The more blogs I began to follow, the more I began to realize that there could be a lot more to this blogging stuff. I saw advertisements for anything and everything on blogs by moms who stayed at home just like me. These moms were also receiving free stuff in exchange for a blog post about the product. The blogging craze quickly sucked me in and I began thinking, I wanna do this! I want the free stuff! I want to get paid to display an advertisement on my blog. I want 500 followers or more! I want to see MY button on other blogs! I began joining blogging communities to get my blog URL out there. I started following more blogs and commenting on them, hoping someone would think my comment sweet or witty and click on my URL just to see what else I had to say. As my number of followers rose, the more excited I got about all this blog and where it could go. The increasing numbers and comments were romancing me into mass hysteria. And I fell for it. Hard. Who would have thought people wanted to tune in each day and see what this country girl from a small town in Kentucky had to say? I found myself saying to my kids, just a minute. Not right now. What movie do you want to watch next? Go play. All because I was busy reading the insane number of blogs I follow, trying to keep up with all of the blog communities I'd joined, typing a post or trying to figure out how to change the font on my blog post titles. I found myself rushing around at the end of each day trying to catch up on the housework, get dinner made and kids ready for bed so that it looked like I'd done something when the husband got home from work. Not that my husband minds me being on the computer or that I skip over the housework. My husband is a miracle sent from God. He loves me, clean house or no. But my guilty conscience was beginning to get to me; hence, the rushing around at days' end.

Now, I get that everyone is different. I have two small children at home with me all day, everyday. I am responsible for cleaning our house, doing our laundry and cooking all of our meals. I am fully aware that this is not the case for everyone. And besides, different strokes for different folks. I am in no way, shape or form taking sides on this blogging issue. But I've sort of had an epiphany as of late. For me, blogging as a whole has gotten a little out of control. I hardly scrapbook anymore. I don't spend half as much time cooking as I used to or experiment with my camera anymore. I spend less time engaging with my kids. I'd rather sit in front of the computer perusing blogs, blogging communities or tutorials. I'm not saying I won't be sitting next to someone from SITS a few years from now at Bloggy Boot Camp learning how to put together my media kit or that I won't even by writing an article for the NYT bashing said "boot camp" . My blog could become one, big, blinking advertisement or not. Only time will tell. But at this point in my life, I am going back to why I started the blog in the first place - a creative outlet, some creative inspiration to share with my followers, or lack thereof. My blog is for me. And if you enjoy reading about my journey and all the noise in my head, I hope you will follow. This Kentucky girl has a lot to say. But my family needs me to spend less time on the computer. I need me to spend less time on the computer. I will continue to post, though it might not be everyday. I will probably continue changing things around upon occasion, but when I have the time and not at the sacrifice of time with my husband or kids. I do enjoy blogging and will continue to do it. You won't get rid of me that easily.

I open the floor to comments on the NYT article or the responses from SITS and other blogging moms. I would love to hear your reactions to both.

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  • At March 15, 2010 at 2:14 PM , Blogger Suzanne said...

    Read this just an hour ago on another mommy blogger's site (Liz's).
    I hear you, I too have gone blog crazy, but there's a time and place for everything, including blogging...
    Like you said, when scrapbooking was the craze, that's what you did, but there have always been other things to keep moms busy.
    I think more than anything, we have to keep up with technology.
    I told Liz that my kids may be working on Macbooks next year...I think it helps if mom has a clue!

  • At March 15, 2010 at 2:22 PM , Blogger mrs.notouching said...

    1.The NYT is getting exactly what they wanted - traffic and publicity.
    2. The article was offensive and disrespectful.
    3. I believe that it is getting so many reactions mostly because there was a bit of the truth in it...
    that said - you post was refreshing. Thank you. There is nothing wrong with wanting more out of your blog and having a vision for it, but lately I've been getting more and more comments that are just for the sake of comments... you know - to drive traffic to their own blog. I can tell that some don't even read my post before leaving a comment. I wrote a post about it and lost some of my readers, which was expected... since you know... I named it "This is the post where lose some of my readers..."
    There are a lot of great writers out there, but the aggressiveness and comment for the sake of comment or follow for the sake of being followed turns me off. I am not against self-promotion, but I AM for being true and honest to yourself, your readers and the blogs that you read. Ok... getting off the soap box. Have a great day cooking and scrap-booking, I hope.

  • At March 15, 2010 at 2:42 PM , Blogger liz said...

    You love cooking and scrapping, so you should get back to focusing on it, and blogging about it! Your craftiness can inspire the rest of us. :)

    I was planning on giving you a shout on still want it? You seem pretty defeated.

  • At March 15, 2010 at 8:59 PM , Blogger Mandy said...

    I think it's whatever you want it to be! I have had those moments when I think I say 'just a minute' one too many times, but then I just took a step back and looked at my priorities. My kids always come first, and I know yours do too. Just do whatever feels right for you~ I truly believe that if you do what God is calling you to do 'success' (on His terms and not necessarily the world's) will come, and you will be happy doing whatever that may be. Good luck!

  • At March 16, 2010 at 4:35 PM , Blogger The JAMC Johnsons said...

    I have gone blog crazy, for sure. And sometimes I've had my kids go watch a movie while I'm on the blog. But I worked to get my priorities in order and I usually blog late at night after everyone's gone to bed...I felt guilty I was spending so much time blogging. And I've decided right from the get go - no ads, no memes...cause if I'm blogging it better be because I want to. Although I admit I get super excited when someone follows me...and I do love my BlogFrog community. More because I work and take care of my kids, so I think I crave the social interaction it can provide. : )

  • At March 18, 2010 at 3:41 PM , Blogger KDC Events said...

    WOW, I stumbled across this blog throught the Mom Blog Network. This post hit me like a ton of bricks!! Thinking back over the last year, I am totally guilty of going blog crazy!! I have been blogging off and on for about 3 years now, but have seen a recent "addiction" in the past few months.

    Thanks for sharing! It's good to have someone bring me back to reality! I look forward to reading more form you, as my mommy time allows =)


  • At March 19, 2010 at 6:25 AM , Blogger Dalia (Generation X Mom) said...

    I started blogging not too long ago. When I started I never in a million years realized what it really was. I thought I would start a little blog, write a little, and maybe somebody would read it. I had no idea that there is a whole other world out there with people, groups, get-togethers, cliques, you name it. Who would have thought! Needless to say, I have succumbed to the blogging addiction. Had I known that blogging addiction existed, I am not sure I would have started. It really does take over. Crazy, but true. Maybe there is a Bloggy Anonymous and Withdrawal Camp out there too (I wouldn't be surprised).

  • At March 26, 2010 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous Alex said...

    Thank you for sharing this. I orginially began blogging in order to write everyday (because I write poetry but I can do that in between naps as easily), and I fell in love with it. But I was just talking to my husband about how my blog also allows me an outlet and comments or readers does give me some affirmation and sense of community, which I need when I stay at home with two children who are still learning to say thank you.
    However, I need to always remember why I started the blog -- because I LOVE TO WRITE. And I ALSO have to remember why I chose to stay home with my children. Not so I could blog... although some days you may not notice ;)

  • At March 26, 2010 at 10:00 PM , Blogger Courtney said...

    Alex, thank you! Good luck with all your writings. I'm definitely going to hop over and check it out!


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