The gaps between my blogs seem to have been getting longer and longer. Partly it is because I am rediscovering what I found when my eldest started school – after years as a full-time stay-at-home-mum you expect to be swamped with time when your child is off your hands for six whole hours every day. What you fail to take into account is the fact that you have just spent 4.5 years storing things up under the ‘when she starts school and I have more time’ banner, and it actually takes a lot of six hour sessions to catch up on it all, and while that happens you actually feel busier than ever.
I think another reason, though, is an uncertainty as to what the purpose of this blog now is. I started it over seven years ago, when my eldest daughter was just three, and I called it ‘A Life More Ordinary’ as I wanted somewhere to record the micro-moments of life, which can slip by unnoticed if you’re not careful. And I feel so grateful that I did that, and that I do have a record of what we did and how I thought and felt through those years. But things have now inevitably moved on. That three year old tot will start secondary school in September. Her little sister, who wasn’t even conceived then, although she was much longed for, is thriving in Reception.
Like it or not, and believe me there are days when I don’t like it at all, that specific phase of my life as a stay-at-home mum to preschoolers is over. And as the children grow, although they are still the centre of my life, I can’t help feeling more respectful of their privacy, and less comfortable sharing details of their lives. My 10 year old now has friends with mobile phones and Instagram accounts, and I don’t think she needs them to be able to read intimate details of her life written by her mother and published on the internet for all to see.
There is lots going on in my own life and lots of things I care about and would like to write about. Along with many other people I have been horrified by the increasing climate emergency, and inspired to do my bit to lessen our family’s impact on the earth’s resources. My husband suggested recently that one way I could do that would be blogging about my efforts, and the successes and (sadly frequent) failures. Like thinking I would avoid using plastic sellotape this Christmas, and ordering some recyclable paper tape on line. Only to discover when it arrived that it had a) been shipped from China, and b) was the wrong kind anyway.
At home I am very busy with plans to renovate our kitchen, and my head is full of ideas for that, and ideas in general for decluttering and improving the way our home and family life functions. Lots of people blog about home improvement or home management, but while I love reading about other people’s ideas and projects I am not totally convinced I have anything valuable to add. Although I might indulge myself with a few ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.
I am also busy working on my third book, I volunteer once a week in my children’s school, and I have just started as a school governor. Although interesting, none of those make particularly good topics for a blog as they are either rather passive to read about, or subject to confidentiality agreements!
Then there’s health. I am about to start a new treatment, on a clinical trial, for my ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis, and although this is niche, I wonder if there is space in the blogosphere for thoughts on living, and parenting, with a chronic illness. Mental health, particularly maternal mental health, is also an issue very close to my heart, and which has chimed powerfully with others when I have written about it in the past, getting some of the highest engagement of any of my posts.
The way people write and read blogs has also changed dramatically in the last few years. Many people now use their Instagram captions as mini-blogs, posting very frequently, with longer ‘think-pieces’ only occasionally. What do you want as readers? What topics interest you? Why do you read my blog, and what do you want to get out of it? Do you prefer blogs which focus on one theme or topic, or does a hotch-potch of things appeal? Please leave your feedback in the comments because I would love your input as I consider where to take this blog next.