Life before blogging seems like a distant memory now. Sharing my life on the internet and building up my little community has become such a fundamental part of my life that I can’t really imagine how it would be not to have my blog. I’m grateful to blogging for so many reasons and I would always encourage anyone thinking about starting a blog to just do it. Second to starting my family, I would say it is the most positive thing I have ever done and the thing that has made the most incredible difference to my life. I’ve written a list of reasons why I am SO grateful to blogging mainly just to express some gratitude for the path my life has taken, and also to hopefully encourage anyone else thinking about it to take the plunge and start blogging.
So, I am grateful to blogging because:
The reason why I started and the reason why I want to carry on for as long as possible. We live in a digital age and everything is very well documented through photos and social media. But how often do we actually look back through the many millions of photos we have of our children? For me, my blog is my place to document all the special days out, the every day moments that are so ordinary but that I never want to forget, my children’s milestones and my own thoughts as I make my way through this thing we call Motherhood. My favourite blog posts are always my personal ones, the letters to my children and my outpouring of thoughts and feelings when I just need to write. These posts generally aren’t my highest performing in terms of views and they almost never make me any money. But if everything else was taken away and this was the only point on my list, then that would still be reason enough for me to continue blogging. To think of my children reading the letters I have written to them or Darcie referring to my posts when/if she becomes a mum herself is just an amazing thought. I love that they’ll be able to see all the days out we had and the memories we’ve made. To me, it’s the most precious digital gift I could give to them and I know I will love looking back years down the line too.
Because I basically blog for myself, I often forget that anyone actually reads my ramblings. Every comment I get on here or on social media and every message that someone sends me makes me realise how lucky I am to have such an amazing community around me. And without blowing my own trumpet, I love that I created that! Everyone who reads my blog or follows me on Instagram who messages me and responds to my posts means so much to me. We help each other and remind each other that we’re all in this together. If I’m having a bad day and talk about it on Insta Stories I will always get messages of love and support from people who I definitely wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for my blog. Occasionally I will receive a message from someone saying that I have helped them with something or that one of my blog posts has really made a difference to how they are feeling, and whenever that happens it just totally amazes me that I’ve had a positive effect on someones day. Aside from leaving an online memoir for my children, this is another amazing reason to keep doing what I’m doing.
I always jokingly call my blog my therapist. But all jokes aside, it really is. If I’m struggling with something or if I’ve had a really bad day, I find writing it all down so amazingly helpful. Often I won’t end up publishing the post for a while until it’s been edited and made slightly more coherent, but just writing it down makes a massive difference to my mood. Then when I do the post, the response that I get from other people letting me know that they feel or have felt the same way, is incredible and let’s me know that I’m not alone in my struggles.
Regular readers will know that I didn’t find the transition into Motherhood easy. While I think I took to being a mum quite well, I seriously lost myself along the way (you can read my whole post on that here). Through blogging I have slowly started to feel like myself again. I feel like my blog gave me the emotional outlet that I needed and it became my own personal project, something that I had been lacking before. As I have started to earn from my blog that has given me a huge confidence boost too. I’m not a naturally dependent person and so I’ve found being the stay at home parent difficult from a financial perspective. I hated not bringing any money into the home and that in turn knocked my confidence a lot. Working with more brands has given me a real boost too, it makes me feel like I’m doing well and that people like and respect what I do. I love feeling like a great mother and get an amazing sense of satisfaction from that but it’s also nice to have something else that I do for me, and that I can more tangibly see the results of my hard work paying off.
Moving onto some of the more physical things that I’m grateful for. This blog gives me opportunity after opportunity to give more and do more with my family. Earlier on in the year we went on a Glamping trip for a review, last weekend we were invited to take Darcie on the trains for The War on the Line event on The Watercress Line and the list goes on. From baby classes I’be been able to take Darcie to, to family holidays, I am so grateful for this side of blogging. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of amazing events that I love taking Darcie to and to be gifted tickets in return for a review is something that I never would have thought could come from my little slice of the internet pie.
There’s no good way to phrase that. I’m not going to say ‘freebies’ because every blogger knows that these things are rarely ‘free’ when you take into account the hours of work that goes into photographing and reviewing them (let’s save that rant for another day!). But the point is that I am ‘earning’ these items for my family. It’s become particularly apparent to me during this pregnancy as we have been preparing for baby number two, that I am doing so well to be able to provide for us in this way (I was going to say ‘fortunate’ or ‘lucky’ but I’m not, I’ve worked hard and I’m going to own that!). There are things that I have been sent to review for Ernie that I couldn’t even dream of affording when we were pregnant with Darcie. As a one income family, money really doesn’t grow on trees! It’s not just a case of being sent items that we now don’t need to buy, it’s the fact that if we weren’t sent these items we wouldn’t be getting them at all. I love how excited Darcie gets whenever we get a parcel because she knows that nine times out of ten it will be for her, a new toy or gadget or a box of snacks. Whatever it is, it makes me so happy every time, to know that I provided that for her (and that often I’m being paid for the privilege too!).
I’m not here to talk about our financial situation but let’s just say that the money helps! I was unemployed as a stay at home mum prior to taking the leap to self employed blogger, so we can cope fine without my income. But it’s always nice to have a bit more going into the pot! Having the extra income means we can put it aside to save for a holiday, use it to treat ourselves every once in a while or even use it to bail us out if the bills are particularly high one month. I mentioned this in my point about confidence but it deserves to be said twice; it really gives me a great sense of self worth to know that I am bringing some money into the family home. Dan works so hard and I love staying at home with Darcie, but with my blog I now feel like I have the best of both worlds. The fact that a hobby that I love has turned into an income is amazing to me. I always wanted to be self employed and to have found a way to work it around also being a stay at home mum is a dream come true for me.