To Mommy blog or not to mommy blog …
Warning: this is a mommy post :) Well this is a post about whether or not I should do mommy posts. Its come up that I may have made the turn into mommy-blogging of which some of you like and some of you don’t, so I figured it was time to address it. (See this post and comment thread for what i’m referring to).
Reading a mommy blog as a non-mom is like being a car-less, non driver watching a demonstration about how to fix your transmission; you aren’t interested, you have no point of reference and you don’t really retain any information. I’m exaggerating, it’s not that bad nor is it the case for everyone (as many of you have been so kind to tell me). But reading a mommy blog while pregnant or a new mom is like your car breaking down, being stuck on the side of the road, in a desert with a broken transmission and you would read the entire encyclopedia if it meant there were some transmission answers in there.
You get it – some people love it, crave it and engage more with the mom-content and many just aren’t interested. I’ve thought about this for weeks, nay YEARS as both a reader and a writer – to mommy blog or not. I think that unfortunately its an extremely nuanced question that garners, yes, its own blog post.
First off: this blog has always been very personal in addition to being a design blog. I write what I like to read and I’m a voyeur that wants inside peoples emotions and lives as well as houses, so I’ve always shared my personal life online. As much as I love DesignSponge and Apartment Therapy I’m addicted to the blogs that have a person/family behind them. I believe that while I have some design chops, that many of you read this because you feel like we have some things in common, that we relate, and you know that you aren’t getting a machine, a schedule (got knows … ) or a group of contributors that are crunching out 10 posts a day. Its me, with some help now, of course, but it’s a person. I, Emily Henderson, am a person.
So, of course it would make sense that when something HUGE like having a child happens to your personal life that yes, you blog about it more than you did before … especially at the beginning when you are barely leaving the house so you aren’t exactly shopping and styling and your hormones are hardly letting you think about anything else. Its 100 percent all-consuming for the first 2 – 3 months and that is a good thing.
That being said …
This blog has always been a conversation between my readers and I. Without you I would just be journaling which would be a wonderful thing but not nearly as satisfying as writing for a wide audience, and certainly would not be furthering my career. I know that I’m not going to please everyone and frankly I don’t really want to. But that doesn’t mean that when I see a pattern of comments that I don’t take notice. I’d be an idiot to just ignore them without addressing them. Not only am I addressing them but i’m listening to them.
Lately I’ve been pushing it with the amount of Charlie posts – its like I knew I was kinda doing too many but unable to stop because they are just so easy and cheap to do. My design posts some times take weeks to write and thousands of dollars to produce. They receive good traffic, sure, but then i’ll write an instagram roundup of Charlie pics with a question like ‘hey any tips on breastfeeding?’ at the end, that will garner 476 comments. That post took me 2 hours and cost me nothing and got me a lot of engagement and frankly useful advice. So yes, when i’m exhausted from work and Charlie, and staring at the blank draft posts on my computer at midnight its REALLY easy to just go for that. This blog was never intended to be a mommy blog and it’s still not, but my god its tempting to write about Charlie when my web traffic is telling me what is most popular. But I pushed it too and strayed too far away from my style roots, and you guys called me out on it.
So after thinking about it for weeks i’ve decided to never speak about Charlie on this blog, again. Charlie will no longer exist online.
Ha. Yea right. I’m kidding obviously, don’t worry Charlie lovers. What i’ve actually decided to do is create a new page for the super personal stuff. A lot of people mentioned to do what Young House Love does, which i’ve thought about, and because i’m totally redoing the blog (upgrade, folks, with lots of new functions to become a blog and total design resource) it will take a while. So until then I’ll be doing a few charlie/mom posts a month and on those days I’ll do a second style post. The Charlie/mom posts will have a ‘read more’ thing so for those less interested you won’t even have to look at his adorable face. If, however, its a style post that just happens to be about Charlie or have pictures of Charlie in it, then I’ll probably just stick to that one post.
The reason i’m not completely getting rid of these posts is that there is an audience for this dialogue and while there are A LOT of mommy blogs out there, there aren’t a ton of working mommy blogs that I relate to with real stories (and please leave comments of your favorites because maybe I just hadn’t found them). For instance, I read all over the internet that if breastfeeding isn’t working for you its ok and that formula isn’t harmful, but if someone who I have followed for a while and who I seem to have a lot in common with and trust said, ‘I wanted to exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, but due to traveling, working, a nursing strike and a growing boy I am unable to keep up with it and am supplementing with formula’, I would be ECSTATIC. It would make me feel SOOOO much better. There are a lot of tips, product roundups and discussion boards, but there are very few blogs by individuals that I know that make me feel good about my situation, and most just make me feel worse. So ignoring those conversations just seems nuts and downright un-American.
To those of you not interested in the kid thing – I totally get it. It can feel like a betrayal to come for one thing but be force-fed another. I was childless once, too, and I would get kinda annoyed with blogs that turned that corner. All I can say is I’ll do my best to balance it and with the added traffic of the mommy followers i’ll hopefully be able to create more content about style, too.
To those of you who are suffering from infertility and reading this blog makes it hard … I am just so sorry and you should know that we tried for a year and a half, had a 10 week miscarriage and was seeing a fertility specialist when I got pregnant. So I totally understand your pain and it kills me, truly, that my blog causes you any of it. That is the most compelling reason for me to not write about Charlie, for sure, and while i’m tempted I know you know that I can’t stop now.
WHAT YOU CAN DO …
The content of this blog is kinda dictated by the traffic and the comments. If you like a post and want more like them, please share it on Facebook/twitter or Pinterest. It honestly means the world to me to see all our hard work actually pay off. I look at the numbers and I see what is popular and see whats not and it definitely informs our content, so if you want more makeovers then share the makeovers. If you want more mommy posts then share the mommy posts on Facebook. All you have to do is ‘like’ it at the bottom (or tweet it or pin it) and it makes me sooooo happy. So really the content is up to you – you share it, we notice it, we do more of that. Is this my way of manipulating you into sharing the posts? Kinda, but honestly I also really want you to be happy and fill like you are getting what you want from this blog.
Either way, I really, really, really appreciate each and every one of you. So the question is to Charlie or not to Charlie … Weigh in, y’all.
*ps In case you are just joining: read the pregnancy announcement, watch the gender reveal video, read my 5 favorite things about being pregnant , check out my maternity must haves, see my first baby shower, my second baby shower and read my birth plan and of course the play by play of the birth)
*ps and something is wrong with my comments and they aren’t showing up, but my IT person is on it and they are being entered and will show up in a bit.
All photos by the lovely LK Griffin team. Thanks, Kat and Luke!