Hi everyone! Today I am posting something a little more personal than usual, and it is a topic that has troubled me for the past 6 months of blogging, and I am sure that I am not the only one out there who has struggled with this! Even if this title made you roll your eyes a bit, I encourage you to keep on reading.
I find blogging a strange territory to be in in general, and something I fell into 4 years ago mainly because I enjoyed reading other people’s blogs and also enjoyed writing. Randomly, I find that the people I know in real life are less supportive/interested in what I am doing, than people I ‘know’ online (this isnt inclusive of everyone. I have a group of very supportive friends). I have always been curious as to why that is so. But that is a blog for another time. I have rebranded a few times since the start, as I made the mistake of pigeonholing my content to a particular topic that suited the season of life I was in at the time. I also started blogging sort of in the middle of the road – not in 2010 where it seems nearly everyone who started a blog and stuck with it has found success, and also not in 2017 where it honestly feels like such an over saturated market, mainly ‘thanks’ to Instagram, and the term ‘Mummy Blogger’ is now said with an eyeroll. When I started back in early 2014, it didn’t feel like everyone else was also doing it, and it was actually quite scary to put myself out there like that. I am very introverted, especially in situations and environments that are new to me. But I am also a very quietly confident person, so a bit of a strange mix. I think that is why blogging was so appealing to me – I could say what was on my mind and express my thoughts and ideas without worrying about being the centre of attention in a conversation.
My last home (Pretty Organised Life) was actually quite a success (statistically speaking), and still gets great traffic even though I am no longer posting there. I made the decision to move over to This Wilde Love because, as I previously mentioned, I had made the mistake of pigeonholing my content. Yes – I could have just stayed there – but if I wanted to give ‘this blogging thing’ a real go, I felt like in the long run, rebranding was the best option. Which leads me to what this post is actually about. The internal battle I have with being a (Mummy) Blogger and Instagrammer, without involving my child too much. Sounds backward, doesn’t it? Let me explain.
Up until Hunter was around 6 months old, I happily shared candid shots of him on Instagram without thinking twice. My following had increased significantly since falling pregnant, I was getting more opportunities and I was yet to experience any negative side to sharing these photos. One morning I stumbled across an account that was using a photo of Hunter as a newborn as their profile picture. Thinking it was weird, I clicked on the page, and was opened to the world of Baby (or Family) Role Play. For those of you that don’t know what this is, give it a quick google, but in a nutshell, people (mainly kids) take photos of children from public accounts and ‘Role Play’ that they are their children. Yes – it can be completely harmless – but there are some out there that can get quite sick and twisted. Anyway, I confronted the owner of the account, they told me it was ‘just a game’, and I still insisted that they remove the photos of my son otherwise I would report them. They did so very quickly which was great. However I did a bit more digging, and there was one particular photo of Hunter that was circulating and sending a lot of people to my account. It was then that I decide to switch my account to private and change my user name to see if that helped the dust settle. I also got all of the photos I could find on random accounts removed. Luckily everyone I approached was kind about it and followed my requests. I also deleted over 1000 followers which took a very, very long time! As yucky as the whole experience made me feel, it was a godsend, as it made me reflect on how I was sharing and more importantly made me think about why I was sharing.
I enjoy being on Instagram and finding like-minded people that can turn into real life friends. I have a handful or two of gorgeous Mums that I chat to on at least a weekly basis or catch up with if we live in the same city. I also enjoy sharing my motherhood journey with others, asking for advice and giving advice when needed. I enjoy blogging about my favourite products, our family stories and creating a little business for myself here on This Wilde Love. But do I want to do any of this at the expense of my son and his privacy? Definitely not. A while ago (when I was in the midst of this dilemma), I was chatting to another ‘Instagram Mum’ and she said that as a way to try and protect her child, she tries to be in as many photos with them as possible. This was perhaps the best advice for me at that time (you know who you are and thank you!! xx) as it made me look at how I was sharing in a different light. I decided to stop with the candid shots, and start getting in front of the camera myself. If you go through my Instagram feed, you will notice this shift. Any posts with just Hunter I try to make them as ‘styled’ as possible – so they look just that – and not like anyone could have snapped it on their iPhone. It may sound silly, but those types of photos are less attractive to accounts like I mentioned above. It also ensures I attract the types of people I want following me. As Hunter gets older, I will be mindful of his wishes and willingness to participate in photo sessions. Is it harder to post to Instagram in this way? Absolutely. And some days I feel like throwing it all in. But I do enjoy curating a pretty feed, and being creative. My day job before having Hunter was very creative, and it is something I have missed since leaving my full-time position. In terms of being a ‘Mummy Blogger’, I will always endeavor to share our stories, rather than Hunter’s. I am not one of those people that will put a blog post out there in the hopes it will go viral. I will not document every tantrum or bad day, and I will not share anything personal that my child may be going through (potty training for example). I do not want to put anything out there that may embarrass him in the future, or use him for monetary gain. I will, however, share tips on how to navigate Motherhood, what products we like and our Family Adventures. ‘Hunter’s Potty Training Journey’ will not be a title of a future blog post, however, something like ‘Tips on how to Potty Train your Toddler’ that doesn’t involve him directly, may be a feature.
I hope that this post has shed some light on how I approach this blogging gig, and also hope that it resonated with some of you that are in the same position as me.