The Day Mommy Blogging Died

As you may have guessed this isn't my first walk around the block when it comes to blogging.  Or should I have written not my first walk around the blog? Yes, that would have been more clever.

I started blogging in 2006.  Over a decade ago.  My first blog was on MSN Spaces.  Yes, I'm serious. I wrote about motherhood.  I documented things my children said and did.  I wrote because it was cathartic.  I had kept a diary as a teenager and blogging was like a digital diary, but for all the world to read.

I later migrated to Blogger and then a few months after that I moved to my own Wordpress domain.  I was a Mommy Blogger.  I connected with so many moms (and dads!) like me who struggled with parenting and careers and just wanted validation that we were doing things right.  We built a community, a space of our own called the Blogosphere.

I attended blogging conferences and rubbed elbows with the blogging bigwigs (Heather Armstrong of Dooce, Liz Gumbinner of Mom-101, Kristen Chase of Motherhood Uncensored, Catherine Connors of Her Bad Mother and many, many more).  I met celebrities (Paula Deen) and bloggers who became celebrities (Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman fame).  I was even published in a book authored by a dear blogging friend. I wrote articles for BlogHer.com and worked as a Headlines Editor for their advertising network.  I learned so much from my blogging community, things I carry with me to this day.

I don't feel like linking to my old blog in this post.  It's been neglected and I don't know what I want to do with it now.  Most of the posts have been made private because my 13-year-old started reading it and was very uncomfortable with his name being used.  He told me it wasn't because I wrote anything embarrassing but because his junior high friends google each other's names for fun and he didn't want them reading about his toddler years.

I stopped blogging regularly at that old place sometime between 2011 and 2012.  My middle child was around 2 years old and I had recently returned to school to finish my bachelor's degree.  I just couldn't commit to writing.  I truly felt it was time to reexamine my goals and purpose in life.  Instead of writing about it I wanted to focus on living it.  I love writing and I love the blogging community but I felt like I was lacking the effort and motivation to continue.  My hiatus was only intended to be brief, and I came back a few times each year to post lackluster updates, so many that now seem redundant.  Just checking in, here's what you've missed, same old situation, and on and on...  When I stopped blogging, I assumed my fellow Mommy Bloggers had continued with their blogs.  I slowly realized a handful had lapsed.

When I got home from work last night I began organizing my Google drive. It was on my to-do list forever.  In my sorting, I found an old spreadsheet of blogs I used to read almost daily.  This list had hundreds of URLs. I started clicking the links.  Nearly 90% of these blogs are now defunct.  Some of the last posts were in 2009-2010, others stopped blogging in 2013, and then still others had blogged as recently as 2015-2016.  Some of the very popular Mommy Bloggers have even deleted their websites completely.  I didn't expect this at all. Tears began welling in my eyes and this sudden feeling of grief washed over me.  It was as if I had lost a loved one.  I realized how much I missed my friends.  I missed reading about their children.  I missed reading about their struggles and victories in parenting, in their careers, and in their lives. Had Mommy Blogging died?

I consulted Professor Google with my query:  Is Mommy Blogging Dead?

And then I found this.  And this.  The latter written just five days ago.  And you know what?  Most of what I read is true.  So many blogs became more about monetization and less about content.  And for some of us, we just couldn't do it anymore. Our children were growing up and we were concerned about privacy.  We worried about sharing too much or not sharing enough.  We had anxiety over what to write about.  We sought ways to become a "blogebrity" and generate some revenue.  We worried about not making enough money from our ad networks.  We became upset when we didn't get pitched by brands and marketing professionals. We sold out. And for what? Sponsored travel and free stuff? We lost our focus.  We lowered our standards.

Why did we begin writing in the first place?  For me, it was the community, and maybe I abandoned that community, but they also abandoned me. Maybe Mommy Blogging was a fad, out of style like certain fashion trends.  Then again, maybe it's making a comeback.  There will always be mothers.  They will always seek out others going through the same things. Maybe they'll build their own blogging community.  Mommy Blogging is not dead.

As for me, I'm going back to my roots.  I think I'll hold onto my old blog for awhile.  I just can't pull the plug on this part of my life. I still want to write about my life and my experiences.  I still want to document the things my kids say and do.  One day I'll be old and my memory may fail, but I'll always have my blogs to remind me how blessed I was.  And who knows, maybe my children will hold onto my words after I've left this Earth, cherishing my stories and sharing them with their own children.  Only time will tell.

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