Since I’ve been living in Utah again, I’ve had lots of opportunities to meet fellow bloggers. Combined with the blogging conferences I’ve attended over the last 2 years, I’ve made some amazing contacts. Some are photography bloggers, some are adoption advocates, some do professional blogging on behalf of businesses. Last week I attended a meetup of local Utah bloggers. As I introduced myself to people I was meeting for the first time, I was asked “What do you blog about?” and “What kind of blogger are you?” It’s often difficult for me to answer the second question, because I don’t consider myself a mommy blogger.
I’m a mom. I blog. But I hate the term “mommyblogger.”
The tagline of my blog used to read “The Culture Loving Pilot Wife Mom Blog.” I was in a very specialized niche of women, the pilot wife/girlfriend bloggers. A lot of people are interested in the unique experiences and struggles that a family in aviation experience. But after a few years of having my blog being focused on being a wife and a mom, I was forgetting to write for myself.
Now don’t get me wrong. I fiercely love my husband and daughter. They are the two most important people in my life. I devote an enormous amount of energy toward working and sacrificing for their happiness. However, I have realized through much trial and error that I don’t survive well without focusing on myself.
I have been blogging for 9 years now. I’ve blogged on a variety of platforms – Blogger, LiveJournal, Myspace, and now WordPress. My blog has evolved several times in each platform.
A few years ago, Mashable posted an article titled “Top 10 Misconceptions About Mommy Bloggers.” The list includes cliches, such as “Mommy bloggers just write to get free stuff,” “Mommy bloggers only write about baby-related topics,” and “Every mom that blogs loves being referred to as a Mommy Blogger.” For a long time, I didn’t mind when people called me a mommyblogger. And when I started adding MOM to my blog tagline, my traffic increased. But after reading and writing blogs for almost a decade, I’ve realized a key reason that I am not a traditional mommyblogger.
I embrace my imperfection.
There is a difference between chaos and imperfection. Everyone knows that being a mom can be chaotic. But many of the closest friends I’ve made through blogging are the ones that have been able to sympathize and commiserate on weight loss, depression and health problems. And those topics are the hardest for me to write about because I reveal my imperfections and insecurities. And I’ve also found a lot of strength.
When I began blogging in 2002, I didn’t know a lot of people who blogged. I would add everyone’s blog to my reading list, comment faithfully, and loyally read every post. By keeping up with all these blogs, I had the same problem as when I wrote more traditional “mommy blog” posts. I got sucked into everyone else’s life, and didn’t give myself enough time to focus on me. Six months ago, I made the difficult decision to give up Google Reader. As hard as it was to stop following the lives of so many friends I’ve come to know over the years, it was also very cathartic. I found myself comparing myself less to others. I spent my precious free time reading about topics that I wanted to know more about, rather than following the minute details of every friend’s child’s dance recital or potty-training success.
Do I feel like a jerk that I gave up every detail of my friends lives? Of course I do. But do I regret it? Not at all.
And I’m not embarrassed to say it…because this blog is about me. I’m a “self-centered” blogger. And it’s totally okay.