I spotted something at Mummy from the heart yesterday that I wish so much that I had seen sooner. Every January, mummy from the heart hosts a 'new bloggers fortnight' where new bloggers offer advice in the form of guest posts to new bloggers about what they have learnt. I had a read through some of the posts from previous years and there is just so much wisdom in there and it has really made me stop and think...
....Is the blog that we have, the blog that we intended to have? And the answer is no.
There have been several wonderful things happen that we never for one moment expected to happen (like becoming Nuby bloggers, Toyologists, Savoo deal pros, and being one of the winners for our Aunt Bessies recipe post) but whilst this has been amazing, it has left us with little time or energy to blog about all the things that we had set out to blog about.
If I am honest, it wasn't just the lack of time that caused this. This sounds stupid to say it but we suddenly realised that (shock, horror) someone, other than us, may be reading our blog! Which they were - the more we saw the number of views go up, the more I became really self-conscious about everything I wrote and stuck to 'hiding' behind mainly doing the review blog posts which didn't involve baring my soul for all to see.
So I have been left with assessing where we are right now. I had so many things that I had planned to write about and lots of things I wanted to 'sort out' on the blog (as we ended up having to rush to set it up and got thrown in at the deep end so to speak).
If my blog is not what I want it to be, then now is the time to make it a priority to start writing more about what I want to write about. So here is a kind of early new years resolution that from January (once our Toyologist commitment for 2012 comes to an end), I will write blog posts about some of the things that I have had in my head for a long time - here is a rough checklist so that I had check back and hold myself to it.
Sort out the areas of the blog I am not happy with. There is probably little I can do to change the name of the blog as we hurridly came up with a name that a) hadn't been already taken and b) was unique to us. Hence I wanted it to be a play on words around the word 'bee' in our surname 'Beesley' but it makes it sound like we feel we have lots to 'buzz' about which wasn't the intention at all. But at least I could write a blog post explaining how we started blogging and sort out the 'about us' section so that it isn't the rushed mess that we have started out with.
Another big intention was to document some of the amazing experiences that we have had with our children since starting to homeschool them. I want them to be able to look back and be proud of what they have achieved because we are really proud of them. There just hasn't been time to do that. I keep telling myself just to prioritise it but that is much easier said than done between breastfeeds and nappy changes, homeschooling the boys and juggling keeping the house is some state of order so that we don't all run out of underwear to wear when the wash basket overflows, and that we manage to get the odd properly home-cooked meal rather than facing another evening of 'I haven't had a chance to cook so how about beans on toast?'.
Even our evenings are short by the time we get the kids to bed (and by the time Josh manages to actually fall asleep as he has always had such difficulties with sleeping). As it is it is often way past midnight by the time I actually finish all my 'jobs' on the computer and squeeze in the odd blog post. This just isn't sustainable in the long run - but I love blogging so much now and have found such an incredible community of bloggers that I can't bear the thought of ever stopping. Yet I know that I need to find a better blog / life balance.
We need to remember that we are supposed to be blogging for ourselves. So easy to forget once you are doing reviews for others. The reviews gave us somewhere to 'hide' behind as you don't need to write so 'deeply' about how you are feeling. Yet on the odd occasions that I have turned to the blog to pour my heart out, I have felt so much better for it. It feels like having a good friend to talk things over with. And receiving such words of encouragement and support at a difficult time made me realise that I wasn't alone. I wish I could do more of that (not more bad days - please not more bad days!) but I mean more of being able to be honest about when there are bad days (here is another one) and not try to cover up my feelings.
Other bits and pieces, I want to write about (again written here as a prompt so that I don't get out of it!)...my (severe) technological failings when it comes to blogging. Even a simple blog hop leaves me stumped. And what a twit I am on twitter (still can't make head nor tail of it).
A bit about our journey that has led us into the world of blogging including some of what happened at school (but I'm really conscious that I don't want it to become too negative or painful because of what happened as Josh may well be reading this blog in future). I want the boys to understand our reasons behind home-schooling and how we have just been trying to make the right choices for them as best as we can (and for them to fogive us if we ever get things wrong - which I am sure we do!).
Joshua has asked to have a 'Joshua's Jokes' section on the blog, so I finally want to get around to that, as well as typing up some more of the book reviews he has done.
Ditto for Daniel with his passion for cookery (or 'cheffing' as he calls it).
Would love to also share my own experiences of parenting about the difficulties of baby's sleep! Weaning etc. And even my own naivity - I can't quite believe that before I had my first baby, my boobs swelled so much during pregnancy that I used to think that all the milk that baby is ever going to need is produced during pregnancy and just sits there in your boobs all that time waiting to be drunk. No-one had ever told me anything otherwise and I just didn't have a clue!
I am conscious that there is so much out there already that I have been afraid of re-inventing the wheel but I am gradually beginning to understand that this is one of the beauties of this thing called blogging. It doesn't really matter if you are blogging about the same topics because it is a way of sharing, exchanging ideas, learning from each other and every person brings their own unique perspective. It is like we each form one little piece of the jigsaw and the whole jigsaw together is more powerful than any one piece, but every one piece is still colourful, beautiful, unique and needed.