Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at Scraps of My Geek Life about iApps That Support Your Spirit, and I’m beyond excited to welcome Mandi Ehman of Life Your Way and Jungle Deals & Steals to Aubergine:
Image by Photon_De via Creative Commons.
Why do you blog?
Is it for the sense of community? Because you hope to contribute to your family finances? Or because you can’t not write, and a blog seems like a good platform to share your words?
We all blog for different reasons, and that’s okay, of course, but there’s been a recent trend of divorces among some pretty popular family bloggers, and it’s hard not to wonder what role their blogs have played in the demise of their marriages.
Most of us wouldn’t blog at all if we weren’t receiving some payoff; we’d stick with our private journals for putting our thoughts to paper.
But the feedback and friendships and community that develop through a blog can be powerful ties to the outside, grown up world, especially for stay-at-home parents who may feel sequestered from the real world in the midst of changing umpteen poopy diapers and preparing yet another snack.
Things like free products and trips and actual cash money can be pretty motivating payoffs as well, especially if your family budget is tight or you rely on the income from your blog to pay the bills or put food on the table.
Much has been written on the importance of work-life balance, here on Aubergine and elsewhere around the web, and that’s certainly a challenge for most bloggers, who carry their blog with them as part of their everyday life both in their thoughts and in their hearts.
But what if we looked at it through the lens of how our blog can actually benefit our family? And if it’s not benefitting the family – but rather coming between those relationships – maybe it’s time for things to change.
A Creative Outlet
Having a creative outlet is a good thing. When we use our creativity to express our thoughts and emotions, we’re better able to handle the things that come at us every day. That’s why art therapy and journaling are so valuable for children and adults alike.
Blogging can certainly be that creative outlet – allowing you to craft words from your heart and design beautiful things and wrestle with various pieces of code. If your blog serves as a creative outlet for you, you should walk away refreshed from writing or designing or coding, which makes you a better mother to your children and a better wife to your husband. But beware – the art is not the goal. It’s a tool to use to express yourself, but if it becomes more important to you than your family (in action, even if you’d never say that out loud), it can cause arguments and impatience and strife.
Similarly, community is good. Motherhood can be lonely, but it’s not supposed to be. Connecting with other moms – moms in the throes of raising toddlers, moms who can look back with fondness on those years through the lens of time, and moms who are just getting ready to welcome their first child and are looking to you for encouragement – is good for the soul. Commiserating and encouraging one another, laughing and crying together, sharing ideas and inspiration – all of it is good.
Having a community brings perspective to the journey of motherhood, and that’s beneficial. Valuing your community more than your family, however, is unhealthy and dangerous. It often results in treating your family as if they’re a bother and spending car rides with your nose stuck in your phone, and sadly even children can feel when this line is crossed.
For the entrepreneurs among us, building a blog and growing a business are exciting. Not only can we contribute to our family’s finances, but there’s just something invigorating about taking an idea and making it a reality. Earning money is a good thing – whether it’s for basic expenses, family vacations or future college tuition, and running a business from home is a great way to inspire a future generation of entrepreneurs. For many families, the money from blogging actually allows them to spend more time together, as opposed to other part-time jobs outside of the home.
But in any business, there is the always more that can be done – longer hours to work, another project to tackle, more ideas to stay ahead of the competition. If we get caught up in the rat race of trying to do bigger, better things, we can easily lose our connections as a family, even when we’re all in the same house all day! So,
I’ll ask again…why do you blog? What is the payoff you get from your blog? And is it truly benefitting your family?
Mandi Ehman lives in wild, wonderful West Virginia with her husband of ten years and four beautiful, spunky little girls. As a full-time work-at-home, homeschooling mom, she runs Life Your Way and Jungle Deals & Steals and consults for a variety of websites and brands. Mandi loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces!
Visit Life Your Way to see all of the Ultimate Blog Swap participants!