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Why Do I Blog – a blog hop!

21 Nov

I posted recently about why I blog. It was inspired by fellow blogger Dillytante. She’s now started a blog hop about it – check out her blog here.
I’d love to know why others blog and what they get from it so if you blog about it then share the linky love!
OK, the 7 month old has backwards-crawled under the couch. Time to rescue her! Especially as she’s playing with her brother’s potty. Nice!

Why do I blog?

16 Nov

It was my one year blogoversary on 14 November. I had remembered it, but just hadn’t had the time to post. We’ve had laptop issues (now resolved!) which made it really hard to get online. I’ve also got a 2 year old Chuggington & Peppa Pig addict for company who wants nothing more than to get his hands on my phone so he can watch videos (so much for not having a TV!) so blogging from the phone (or ipad for that matter) is nigh on impossible. Excuses, excuses…it was mainly because I usually feel so freakin’ guilty about how little I blog. I was feeling all angsty – I enjoy blogging, so why don’t I just blog? Why do I waste so much time procrastinating about the whole thing? Will I go to my blogging grave as the queen of the unfinished draft post?

Then one of my favourite bloggers – Dillytante – started an interesting thread on Mumsnet about why bloggers blog. Dilly’s questions seemed like a good way to mark my one year anniversary in blogging, while also letting me get some of my angst out of my head.

Why do you blog?

I blog for myself. I started this blog when I was pregnant with my daughter and was staring down the barrel of a year long maternity leave with a 2 year old and baby (and even then I knew we’d probably move to the US and I’d be staying at home for the foreseeable future). I wanted something for me and a blog seemed like a good idea (less work than a pet! But seriously, I wanted something to provide an outlet for myself so I didn’t just drown in family stuff). I love the environment and try to live mindfully and sustainably and I want to foster these values in my family. Hence my theme, although not a great deal of thought went into it! In reality, over the past year, I’ve found it’s more personal. Blogging helps me to hear myself.

What do you get from it?

I get great satisfaction from it. More than I expected actually. It’s great to think about words in a non-pressured way. Very enjoyable. I also get guilt – why don’t I blog more? How can I blog more without neglecting my “real” life? Will I ever finish all the drafted posts I have?? – but I’m a lapsed Irish Catholic, so a bit of guilt never did me any harm.

Is it trivial and is that ok sometimes?

It is mostly trivial and that is just fine. I’m not about to halt climate change or bring world peace. I’m also not interested in a book deal or anything like that. I’m just happy to blog for myself and hope that anyone who stumbles across this blog likes it. I do like to highlight things that matter to me when I can but that’s because it’s MY blog so I can blog about whatever I fancy…But really even the “trivial” stuff is important to me and that’s enough for me.

Why should people be interested in what you write?

People can be interested or not. I don’t really have a reason as to why they should or shouldn’t!

Do you care if they are not?

I really don’t. I know that everyone says that and that we’re supposed to all be secretly obsessed with our stats but I really don’t mind who reads or who doesn’t. I do like to see what countries people visit from – so interesting! And I like to see what search terms bring people here – it’s fascinating to see what people search for! But most of all I love comments. I love love love comments.

If you blog just for you why do it publicly?

Well, it’s public but it’s not like I’m forcing anyone to visit or read. It’s just such an easy way to write. I can blog from anywhere with an internet connection (as someone who loses notebooks this great – much easier than paper and pen!). Plus I like the sense of community blogging brings. I like reading other blogs and like when they visit me (see above about my love of comments!). Hopping around blogs is so much fun. It’s actually the thing I miss most about working in an office…all that glorious blog hopping I could do while appearing to “work” [sigh].

What value do you think you are adding to the world by blogging?

This is an interesting one. I’m a bit of a history buff, so I could argue that I’m contributing to the social history of our time. Which is particularly important when you think of the lack of female voices from most eras of history and how blogs provide some balance to sexist mainstream media (women do not all care about having a beach bod or whatever). This would be a good point to sidetrack into why I think most of the criticism of mummy/mommy bloggers (see, I’m going native here in the US! I’m slowly starting to be all diaper this and stroller that) is all part of the misogyny running through Western culture. But really I don’t think about it in terms of value. I like blogging so I blog and anyone who cares can read (or ignore or think it’s rubbish…).

Do you feel defensive about blogging?

This is an even more interesting one. I guess I do sometimes. Well, not so much defensive as guarded. I have this thing where I don’t want people I know in real life to read my blog in case they think it’s terrible and judge me accordingly. Plus I don’t want random people to know about it (work colleagues and the like). I don’t want my name to turn up on Google as a blogger for privacy reasons. Plus I don’t want my kids to be too exposed in it as I’m the guardian of their privacy and don’t want to invade it when they’re too young to consent. So I keep schtum about it to most people. But I’m happy to discuss blogging with anyone who’s critical of it. It’s the sense of community and inspiration that I usually talk up. And [sweeping generalisation alert] I find that people who hate blogs have usually never read any actual blogs (I don’t count newspaper blogs as proper blogs btw). So I can remain straight-faced while discussing with them while mentally filing them under “speaking out of their arse”.

 

Liebster love

11 Feb

The lovely Tracey over at Single Married Mum has very kindly sent me a Liebster Blog award. I was absolutely delighted to find out yesterday, as it brightened up my week no end (it’s far more fun than the poorly, vomiting toddler I’ve spent my week with!). I’m honoured that she thought of me, as I’ve not been blogging long and it’s great to get some virtual blogging love.

Tracey is a very talented writer and she blogs about life as a parent when her husband is overseas with the armed forces. Join her at Single Married Mum while she counts down the days until they’re reunited and you’ll enjoy her funny, witty and touching insights into life (though you may be jealous of her ever increasing number of crochet granny squares – though that could just be me and my guilt at the unfinished granny squares blanket I’ve now been storing for, oh, 12 years…).

Now, according to the rules of the award I’ve got to nominate five other blogs I love that have 200 followers or less. I’ve got no idea how many followers the blogs I’m going to nominate have, but they’re such lovely bloggers that I don’t really mind if I bend the rules slightly!

So here goes:

For parenting with a Montessori twist, check out Rachel over at Sparkling Bay. She writes beautifully about raising her young daughter and her posts often leave me with a smile on my face, as she reminds me of the value of enjoying the small moments in life. Her weekly “Living, Learning” posts about how our children learn through life are particular highlights.

For funny (and useful!) posts on life as a working mother check out the wonderful Yummy Mummy, really?. She writes brilliantly about the realities of juggling a family and work while also maintaining a sense of self. Her posts really brighten up my day (especially as I usually read them at work!).

Ruth over at Mixed Bag of All Sorts also writes a lovely blog about her life raising her young son while also being a wife, a linguist, a food lover and, most importantly, herself. Warning: her recipes will leave you with cravings for delicious food! Not that that’s a bad thing…I just wish I had the time to try them all!

For a French slant on raising a family in Britain check out the excellent A Frog at Large. I love reading her thoughtful posts on raising her baby daughter. She has a refreshingly practical approach to parenting that I really enjoy. Plus she’s currently on the baby led weaning adventure with her daughter and I’m jealous of the foodie fun they’re having!

Finally, for another “foreign” view on Britain, check out the lovely Living Life as an Expat Parent written by an American woman married to a British man. I particularly enjoy this blog as my husband’s American, so her American view on Britain resonates with me. Her writing is very funny but remains thoughtful and insightful too.

I really hope you go and check out these wonderful blogs – may the blogging love go forth and prosper!

Blogging Resolutions for 2012

17 Jan

I’ve been blogging for just about 2 months. I started because I wanted a space for myself, a space where I could expand our experience of trying to live a greener family life. I didn’t think much before starting to blog, I just dived in!

I’ve really enjoyed my start in blogging though. Although I don’t think of myself as a blogger yet, if you know what I mean. This is still such a new hobby for me and there are so many fabulous bloggers out there that I think I’m still a little shy of calling myself that. But I spotted the Mumnset blogging resolutions blog hop and it got me thinking about making resolutions as a blogger. I really enjoy blogging, and I want to grow and develop as a blogger, so I thought it would be interesting to make some resolutions public on here. That way I can look back in a year’s time and see how things look. To be honest, this year is going to be so busy (with a second baby arriving and a planned move from London to the US), that I think making these resolutions on here is about the only way I’ll stick to them!

Here are my blogging resolutions for 2012:

1. I will commit to blogging at least twice a week: I’d love to blog more, but I want to maintain a blog/family life balance. I currently do a fair bit of blog reading, and even writing, at work (shh! don’t tell my boss!) but I’m off on maternity leave in early March so I’ll have to fit everything in around a newborn and a toddler. I want to maintain a level of writing and engagement that keeps it interesting for me (and for anyone reading!) but I also want to enjoy and cherish this time with my children and husband.

2. Twitter: I will aim to tweet more regularly. I like reading Twitter – so many interesting and witty people and organisations! – but I haven’t been as good at joining in as I could be. This WILL change in 2012, especially as it fills the gaps between blog posts so nicely. If anyone wants to follow me (and I’ll follow you back!) I’m @lowimpactmama (there’s also a handy Twitter button on my sidebar).

3.  I will embrace my Facebook page: I’ve used Facebook in a personal capacity for years but I’ve found the switch to setting up a page for this blog harder than I expected. So my aim for 2012 is to start to enjoy my Facebook page and for it to grow into a “behind-the-scenes” of this blog. So please do like Low Impact Parenting on Facebook (there’s also a button on my sidebar) – I’d love to “see” you on Facebook!

4. I will continue to read a diverse range of other blogs as often as possible: I love all the different voices and styles I encounter on the web. It inspires me to keep blogging!

5. I will support new bloggers and blogs as much as possible: I’ve found fellow bloggers to be very supportive and helpful to me as I start out as a blogger. I’d like to make sure I share that love with other newbies (as well as established bloggers I like and admire) so I’m going to aim to do regular shout-outs on this blog and continue to find and read new blogs.

That’s it. I’ll stop at 5 resolutions. I could go on and on (eg get my visitor stats up; think about self-hosting; think about reviewing products or services that match my ethical beliefs) but I’m dooming myself to failure if I take that route. I’m hoping I can stick to these 5 resolutions. It’s going to be interesting to look back at this post in a year’s time and see what I achieved…

So this is my first blog hop. Unfortunately, I can’t link to it properly (damn you wordpress.com!) but do check out the Mumsnet blogging resolutions blog hop for the other blogs taking part.