I wasn’t sure whether to write this post or not. After all, nobody likes to admit to being a bad parent, but I felt I needed to, to get it off my chest and to explain why my plans for 2017 for my blog have changed slightly over the past few days.
You see, I had grand plans for my maternity leave when I finally started it exactly one week before Benjamin was born. I’ve always loved to write and ever since I started my first blog (From FallenAngel to YummyMummy) back in 2010 I secretly dreamt of one day being able to write full time, to not have to ‘work’ in the sense of going to a job everyday just to get paid and pay the bills.
I figured that whilst I was off work for several months, it would be the perfect opportunity to take my blog from a hobby to something that would be able to earn me an income.
Don’t get me wrong, my blog has improved over the past couple of months with more regular content, collaborative posts with brands and PRs, and a stronger social media presence from myself. But it’s this last point that is what’s bugging me. Yes, I have more engagement on my blog and yes, this means the ever important stats of my blog are looking healthier, but at what cost?
Social media is like a drug, it takes over, slowly but surely, and before you know it, you’re addicted. I might sound melodramatic, but I’ve actually begun to scare myself at how attached I am to my phone (aka my link to the world of social media).
Today is a prime example, I decided I would have a day off my phone. I would watch Christmas films with my youngest two whilst Cameron was at school, and I would chill out and totally enjoy my children and the festive films. What really happened is I just went online quickly to check my social media accounts, I then had notifications so I looked at them, they were to do with links to blogs I ‘had to’ read so I read them, commented on them, and before I knew it, I was caught in the spiral and an hour had gone by. Never mind, I thought, I’ll just get off it now. Five minutes later I’m back on my phone browsing, and the cycle begins again.
Then the post comes and I have blogger mail – yay! Apart from this means I then feel obliged to photograph the contents, and start drafting out the blog posts about it…. More time ticks by. It’s now early afternoon and before long I’ll need to pick Cameron up from school. Do I get off my phone? Course not, I’m now on Twitter trying to interact with others to prevent my account from just being a dumping ground for my own links.
So my phone free day has ended up being just the same as any other day, me with my head bent over my phone whilst Carly watches a film basically alone. I feel awful. I feel like the worst mum around. Something has to change.
You see, if blogging was my full time job, my career, as I really, really want it to be, I probably could justify the amount of time I spend online. But it’s not. Not just yet anyway. And this precious time I have off work, able to be at home, I’m wasting by constantly being present online.
I decided to take part in Blogmas and Vlogmas on a whim because I thought it would be good for my online presence. Not for the kids, not even for me, for the blog. Blogmas itself wasn’t that hard as I was writing around 4/5 posts a week beforehand anyway so it hasn’t been a huge increase in content but vlogging daily, after barely doing anything beforehand has been, quite frankly, hell.
I’ve ended up resenting my YouTube channel. Every ‘fun’ activity has been a bit of a nightmare if I’m honest, as I’ve had to schedule time in to do said activity, followed by even more time to edit and upload it.
As a result I’ve been snappy with Ed, with the kids, even with Benjamin. I’m sure my existing depression is partly to blame for this, but I know deep down my constant vlogging has been a huge factor.
I had originally planned to up the ante on my blogging and vlogging in 2017. I wanted a complete overhaul and to really go for it. But what I’ve come to realise over the past few days is that I should be enjoying my maternity leave, I should be cherishing this time in my children’s lives. I shouldn’t be living my life through my blog, focusing on how everything would look on a blog post.
The older two are at an age where they really notice how often I’m on my phone, and as much as I can say it’s ‘work’ I know that it isn’t, and even if it was, do I really want to be remembered as a mum who was always too busy on her phone to spend quality time with her kids?
So my new goal for my blog for 2017 is to post less regularly but with better, more thought out content, with posts that I’m proud of, but that haven’t taken up every spare second of my time. I want to document my children’s childhoods, not take away from them. I will be posting videos on YouTube, or at least plan to, but it’ll be once a week, and I’m not going to beat myself up about it if I miss a week.
And in the meantime? I’ve already scheduled posts up until Christmas so that I can have a proper break from it all starting this weekend but I’m going to bid farewell to vlogmas, it’s just causing me stress that I don’t need right now and I’m not enjoying it. I will film as and when I want to and if there’s festive content there worth putting up then I will upload a video, but if not, I’m ok with that.
As for social media, I’m going to try and make sure I set aside time once or twice a day for it, at set times, rather than dipping in and out constantly and getting stuck in the cycle.
Life is for living, and in 2017, with a wedding to plan and exciting milestones for us all, I plan to really live, in the moment….