Learning to blog can be daunting . . . but I recently realized it’s a lot like parenting! Read on . . .
I have a toddler!!!! No, I didn’t go have a secret fourth kid and not tell you until now. I’m talking about my blog, MOB Truths! It’s turning 2 in early May!
In 8th grade history class, my teacher used to intertwine his fingers and say, “It all fits together.” He tried to instill in his students that someday we’d start to see more connections between all the things we were learning in different classes. We didn’t believe him. But I also remember that during my freshman year of college, when suddenly a concept we discussed in my Intro. to Asian Religions class perfectly mirrored a concept I had learned in a bizarro math class the semester before, I wrote a letter for my 8th grade history teacher (yes! a good, old-fashioned letter that went through the mail!) to tell him he was right! It all fit together.
Just like my history teacher, I love drawing connections between experiences. I should have guessed that launching a blog would be no different. So, in honor of MOB Truths’ 2nd Birthday, I’m reflecting on how learning to blog is actually, surprisingly, much like parenting. Here’s how.
Every child is different. Every blog post is different.
You know how in parenting, you have constant reminders about how each of your children is an individual with his own interests, tendencies, needs? And how they respond differently to the same things — like how my first son took a bottle or breastfed with no problem, and my second — even though my second never ever ever ever took a bottle? Blog posts are the same. It may feel amazing to hit “publish” on one, while the next one makes you hesitate. One may feel forced while others feel authentic. One may get good response, and another may be a bit lackluster. But they’re all your babies. They’re all your creative work in the blog posts. So you will inherently love them all the same way.
Just when you think you’ve figured it out, you realize you have so much more to learn.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll give a brief example just in case. We always joke that parenthood should come with a manual. Well, blogging sort of does . . . so many sources of information and tutorials and great online classes and networking groups. But it can be daunting! And just when you think you’ve mastered the steps to success, you realize a social media algorithm has changed or your following isn’t big enough or something. Just like in parenting, there’s always something!
It’s about connections, and capturing moments.
At least that’s the case for me! I started blogging to build connections, to share stories, to find a community and hear others’ stories as well, and to learn together. I didn’t start mobtruths.com to make money (though of course it would be nice!). And it’s not about perfection. It’s about progress, and cherishing the little moments along the way. Like the time I was published on Scary Mommy in my first few months of blogging! Or the time I found a blogger network group that is so supportive and helpful that I look forward to chatting with the members daily. On a day when I’m frustrated by my kids’ behavior, I still love them with all my heart. My mobtruths is the same way.
It takes longer than I expected.
Think about watching a toddler zip his own jacket. It takes me that long to get a blog post out! The writing itself often comes easy, much like the toddler’s insistent “I do it myself, Mommy!”. But the list of what goes on after writing and before hitting “publish” always takes me longer than I expect! Choosing images, branding them for the blog, choosing a featured picture, determining the right keywords, thinking about how to drive traffic, what the wording should be in a social media post … the list goes on and on. But I keep at it!
But it goes by fast.
Yes, just like parenting, it is simultaneously slow (like the toddler zipping his own jacket) and too fast (how is my first baby turning 10 this year?!?!?). Maybe that’s just life?
I love having this blog as a creative outlet and a chance to share stories. If I can make even one reader smile, or feel a connection, or want to know more, then it’s worth it. And if this ends up being a great memoir of my boys’ childhood, then it’s worth it. Not every blog post performs well; not every kid behaves well all the time — but when you string together a bunch of little, much appreciated moments, you realize you’re in something really rewarding and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Rewarding? Yes, clearly, both blogging and parenting are rewarding. But if i’m honest, they’re also both exhausting! From lack of sleep with a newborn to staying awake worrying about all things children-related to being woken up several times a night to get blankets or a cup of water . . . it’s draining! And if you put a blog on top of that, which I can work on either late at night when others are sleeping, or on a weekend, when I feel guilty for taking time away from my family, and add it to the daily pressures of a fulltime corporate job and managing a household and a family, yes, it’s exhausting! There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to, because it turns out, I seem to need at least 4 or 5 hours of sleep per night! But bloggers and parents alike know how to power through.
It’s not always glamorous.
So now you know – I’m squeezing in blogging in whatever free moment I can grab, usually while severely sleep-deprived, and I’m learning as I go. I always smile a (jealous? curious?) little smile when I see the beautiful pictures that portray blogging — see below: Who gets these bloggers all these fresh flowers, anyway? Who makes them that perfect cup of coffee or tea, and who makes sure they blog on a super-stylish and clean table? Here’s a pic of me, blogging with paper and pencil and my phone, in a parked car, while my kid sleeps in the carseat behind me . . . and another, of the scene of a night-time blog post on Halloween, balanced on the stairs next to the candy basket, so I could answer the door for trick-or-treaters in between typing words. No, it’s not glamorous for me. But it’s fun, and I’m sticking with it.
Just keep trying.
It’s inevitable that you won’t always get things right. I cringe sometimes when I’m parenting and I tell my kids that they lost dessert for the day because of their behavior, just as I’m remembering that we’re going to a birthday party where there will be cake and ice cream and treats galore. Or when I feel like I’m not spending enough time with each child, or that I’m not letting them know frequently enough how much I love them. I also cringe when I write a blog post and realize afterward that a far catchier title or smarter key words could have gotten more eyes on it. But I keep moving forward, and I keep trying.
I can’t believe my baby www.mobtruths.com is a full-on toddler now, turning 2 on May 7!!!! I love what I’ve learned so far, and I can’t wait to see the site get stronger and more stable while being as fulfilling and adventurous as parenting.
Cheers to all who stop by to read and connect. Keep it coming! And spread the word!