Parent blogging is a funny beast. Like anything, I find there are certain specifics attached to the genre, features of writing to tick the perfect parent blogger boxes. Expectations. If you want to be the typical parenting blogger, you need to talk about feeding, childbirth, crafts and healthy snacks. Run giveaways. Review. Post images of your children using the toy/ wearing the wearable technology or at the sponsored playpark. These blogs are important and I have read and continue to read dozens. Many are extremely ‘successful’ but maybe therein lie the problem for me. What makes a successful blog? Is it when the blog becomes monetized? Is it readership? Is it achieving personal goals? Is it even something we can quantify consistently from blog to blog? I personally tend to stop reading blogs that begin reviewing/ raving about products, winding them into some kind of home life story, which turns out to be a poorly disguised advert. Getting free things to write about is fabulous if you want them but unless it is a book, food or an experience, it is not for me. This may be another writer’s tale of blogging glory. I applaud this business acumen in writing. I just don’t have it. Any email I have ever gotten about promoting a baby product sends the shivers of sales pitch at me. Not my bag. I feel totally disingenuous. Humbug behind a curtain.
When I started blogging, I often attempted those posts of tips and advice you see. Other parenting blogs did it. It seemed wanted. Required even. As I progressed however, I began to feel like a dodgy trader. Who was I to give advice??? I was barely holding it together. Interestingly, I avoided sharing an old post in this style on the #ThrowbackThursday theme feeds as it felt fraudulent. How can what I have to say on Kitchen Timesavers be anything less than patronising or futile? Last week I just risked it and posted the thing. The feedback surprised me. People learned something- or at least they said so. Either way, they were interested in what I had written. Social media never fails to amaze me; what sticks, what doesn’t. My timesavers were not life saving. In retrospect they are a bit quirky meaning they probably suit the blog. (Quirky was my nickname in my masters year at college. True story).
The phone is a constant in my palm. Scrolling, liking, avoiding, sharing. How can you feel like an authority on the world and stay in one place? Internet. One thing I do not do much of is post my children’s pictures online. I am not fully sure why. Safety? Possibly. Possessive nature? Absolutely. I have thousands of pictures of those beautiful little mites. They would be very Instagram friendly. Facebook loving triggers of cute. Parenting blogs that post their children’s pictures win awards. Stories and all of that jazz. I just cannot do it. I cannot play the game. I don’t want to.
Posting image after image of Gigi and Betsy doesn’t float my boat. I like using images of them that do not show too much personality- as if social media will own their little faces if I post them! Sound ridiculous? I never claimed to be sensible.
I always understand when a parent gets snotty about a picture of their child posted online without permission. Always. I remember Stella McCartney being eyerolled for a reaction to her daughter being in a group photo posted online and getting it. My little girls will never be at Harper Beckham’s party in the palace and we are not celebrities. I still feel it is a violation. What were you at David Beckham? Look at yourself! Not your child!
So my Gigi will start school soon. As you may have read before, I am allergic to a cross section of opinions on the matter. It is out there now though. Once I type it, someone can talk about it. That is how this whole social media buzz flies. I will talk about this life changer in my writing. I will interact socially both online and in real 4D life. I will not give a pictorial account.
I am not an Instagram blogger. You will not see endless selfies of this Aero fond mug pushing a buggy whilst jogging, planking (plonking?)and looking like a decomposed Michelle Keegan. (She would probably rock that look as only she can). I won’t be posting the first morning at school perfect picture. I will take dozens. They will be stared at, cherished, framed and passed on lovingly to the grandparents. I will tick like on many others as I feel everyone has their right to decide on posting images in their own domain. My visuals will stay private but what I will make public are my true concerns on the first day. I know many won’t do this. They will fret behind closed doors and show the world a posed picture of family life. I will blurt it all out, warts and all. Words no picture as opposed to picture no sound. This is what works for this parenting blogger. Anything else feels strange to me.
Anxiety hits vertigo inducing levels at times like this. Just because I am aware I worry doesn’t mean it is an elite concept. In fact we all have the ‘gift’ to be anxious albeit an unwanted present much like a celebrity perfume gift set. It must be good for something else however. We need anxiety just as someone feels the need to think they smell like Britney. It makes us enjoy security.
On occasional occasions, I tend to do the opposite to societal expectations and here we are again. I will crib and concern over the new school venture. We will start. Adaptation will occur. We will all hopefully be OK.
You just won’t see any pictures unless they are a random pretty pencil case shot, a couple of LOL dolls or back of head frame in a doorway.
Starting school is a picture moment. It always has been and always will be one to recall. I want to be in it. I want to live it and not just point, shoot and post. I will write it after the time. It is our moment. Not Twitter’s or Facebook’s. They can have rivers, gifs, memes, lakes, Melania Trump’s poor taste, clever infographics and gustatory prodding portraits of Baked Alaska.
One day my girls will hopefully have a very happy, fulfilling life that they may or may not want to share online. That will be their choice. Until then, a few unfocused, blurred, shady profiles may appear here to illustrate the point but mainly objects and nature is what you will get from me. And a whole lot of truth. Ugly and beautiful. It may not be successful in some eyes but for me it is glorious.