I've been blogging since last September, so thought it might be nice to do an update post.
I'm enjoying it still, hence I'm still doing it. The minute it becomes a hassle or a bore, I'm gone!
I thought this would become another "fad" hobby of mine, but I think because I tend to write about so many different subjects I'm kept interested.
I also have begun to really love taking photos for the blog, not family photos or outfit photos, but the nature ones especially. I love stalking insects and birds, haven't a clue yet how to work my camera properly, I just point and shoot, but I'm getting ok photos anyway. I'm still wary of putting my kids in too many photos, so you may notice I'm not really showing their faces anymore. I think it's a bit exploitative of them, since they don't understand it, and this is my choice to blog, not theirs. I'm not worried about weirdoes looking at my kids, they can see them on the street, it's more the use of my children for other's entertainment I have a problem with.
I also have become a bit wary of sharing too many intimate moments, especially blogging about breastfeeding. I suppose it has got such a bashing online, with the Facebook protests, my RTE interview, and the general public's ignorant views on breastfeeding, that I don't want to put it out there much anymore. This may change, but I view breastfeeding as a really intimate act with my children, like kissing or cuddling them. Though I may breastfeed in public, I don't feel I want to share my feelings about it here at the moment. This may change too. I don't want to use my breastfeeding as a political or an educational tool, trying to change people's perceptions by showing what I do. I just want to get on with doing it in real life.
I love writing. People seem to love my writing. That's been the biggest revelation so far. Writing was something I always took for granted, something that I could do, but had no real goal in mind. My book has stalled at the moment. I feel a bit reticent to keep writing it, as the more I read and learn, the less I realise I know, so am thinking, who am I to write a book? Who would buy it and why? I had toyed with the idea of writing my parenting journey so far, but it's all here anyway, bar the pregnancies, and I've only been parenting almost 4 years, a trifle compared to some. This may change. I may get a sudden burst of creative energy and tell you in a month's time to buy my ebook.
I have met so many interesting and inspiring people online. I have found "my tribe". I finally have words and names and labels for ideas and practises that I thought were unique to me. I realise I'm not alone, that there are other people on the same path as me, some further down it, but there nonetheless, and for that I'm truly thankful. It was a bit lonely before I made those connections. Now there are people I can contact with a question, blogs I can refer to to see other families with similar ideologies, and whole communities that I am looking forward to getting to know better. It's all a matter of putting yourself out there.
That's the scariest thing about blogging, that you are putting yourself out there. I have received some hurtful comments about my parenting choices. I have received hundreds more supportive ones, which I try to concentrate on, and ignore the negative ones. I have gained so much from this, and it just takes that leap into the unknown to start it. It's been a great learning experience, and one I hope to continue for as long as people are interested in reading it.
I get about 10,000 hits per month, which is fantastic. Thanks to each and every one of you for checking in and reading what I have to say. Thanks for all your comments, for taking the time to write, to email, to Facebook message me. If you have a product or service you would like me to review or link to please get in touch. I have readers all over the English-speaking world, from Australia to the US, Canada to even Iceland! I have heard from hundreds of strong women who shared their own birth experiences and breastfeeding stories with me. This has been the best part of blogging - hearing your stories, and how they differ, or relate to mine.
Women really are amazing, we have such huge capabilities, so many untapped sides to ourselves. Please make the time to realise your potential as a woman, whether it's baking the best brown bread, making a million euros, or raising three happy children, whatever you want to do.
Thank you all for joining me on this journey.