Who Even Reads Blogs Anymore?

>> Monday, May 22, 2017

Do you guys remember when blogs were, like, the whole world? I'm talking early 2000s to maybe about 2010-2011. I'd wake each morning and eagerly open my Google Reader to see who posted what, often reading for an hour or more before I officially started my day. Slowly, life started to take over. The hours I used to read became skimming or short bursts of catching up. And in more recent years, Instagram has almost completely taken over reading. I'll scroll through pretty pictures while nursing. And my new favorite activity is watching Instastories.

I'm losing steam when it comes to blogging. There are many reasons.

  • I don't feel I have as much to say as I once did. I used to take on a much more expert opinion on matters. In my ripe old age of 33, I don't necessarily feel like I have much figured out anymore. Or at least I've learned to put my foot in my mouth whenever I think I finally have figured out everything. Because, ultimately, there are many ways to do things. All things.
  • I don't have as much time anymore. Practically, I have to spend time where the money is, and that's freelancing for me. I make a modest living pecking out articles on medical matters. It feels much more stable than trying to hedge my bets on blogging as my main source of income. Unless you're part of a select few, blogging money isn't what it used to be. And I'm unwilling to submit myself to the sellout gods. I've experimented with sponsored stuff in the past . . . and I'm not saying I'll never take on sponsored posts again, but it's a delicate balance. Most people don't do it well.
  • People just aren't reading as much anymore. I have a good number of devoted readers, and I love you guys. But it's hard to pour energy and thought into something when it just isn't reaching many people for whatever reason. There have always been hits or misses, but lately it's more misses. 
  • And I think that has to do with stage of life. When I was in my twenties, I had all the time in the world to think about my fitness, eating, and personal stuff. Everything about adulting was so fresh and new and exciting. The sorts of people who are attracted to this space seem to care mostly about my journaling. My personal thoughts versus recipes, tutorials, or anything else. We know that planning the perfect birth/wedding/fitness plan/outfit isn't always feasible. That doesn't mean we don't try . . . but we'd rather read deeply personal accounts of life so we don't feel so alone. At least that's me.
  • But as I've written in the past (almost a year ago, in fact), I'm conflicted about sharing too much. Because sometimes someone random will take your photos and pretend your children are actually her children. For years. You know, weird stuff like that -- and no, I don't feel like going into detail!
I don't necessarily think I'm done blogging full stop, but I may approach it in a new way. I may go down to posting just once a week with words. Once a week with photos. Something personal. Something of quality. Something that means something . . . rather than churning water trying to get the number of posts up.

And as I typed that sentence -- not meaning to be done with you guys just yet -- my teething 11-month-old baby is waking from her fitful nap. No, I don't like to blame the children. But when you deal with early wakeups, skipped naps, and overall crank for days weeks on end . . . running to the computer to come up with content isn't really what you want to do straight away. You sort of just want to stare at the wall for a minute, take a deep breath, and keep on keeping on. Or call a friend. Or your parents. Or do 10 minutes of Barre3.

I suppose I'll return with a part II. For now, I'm going to grab that apple ice teether out of the freezer and hope to goodness it does its magic.

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Strong as a Mother

>> Monday, May 15, 2017


I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend whether you were the guest of honor or just spending time with the mother figure in your life. My in-laws were visiting over the cold, rainy days. We managed to go out to dinner with them Friday, sneak in a date night for ourselves on Saturday night (Nutella + peanut butter crepe? Yes!), and relax a bit despite Stephen being gone most of Saturday for a track meet. I visited with my parents earlier in the week. Mother's Day also happened to fall on my dad's 65th birthday, so a very happy birthday to him!

********

Being a mother has tested my mental and physical strength in so many ways. I remember the very day we brought Ada home from the hospital. I had never been so exhausted in my entire life. I remember many times in the first weeks of motherhood wondering why I wasn't feeling connected to my baby. Everything was so hard. My breasts were like rocks and leaking everywhere. I had night sweats. My body was unrecognizable. Ada cried and cried and cried. And I was so, so, so tired. My life wasn't about just me anymore. What a wild transition that was.

With time, though, I fell in love with my little babe. We got into a groove. Sure, there were bumps -- sleepless nights, teething, etc. But being a mom eventually felt natural and, yes, wonderful. And then when we discovered Ada would need brain surgery, I spiraled into another amazing feat of motherhood. The fear and worry was constant. The lack of control sucked the air out of my lungs. I actually don't remember much from the first six months after Ada turned two. We made it through . . . but the anguish was like nothing I had experienced up until that point.

Toddler years with Ada were remarkable. Despite everything we went through, Ada grew and developed on schedule. Watching her learn new things . . . seeing her develop into a tiny person before our eyes. Wow. It's the stuff that makes life feel like it has meaning. When we started trying to conceive another child, that tested my strength as a mother yet again. Like, to the breaking point.

It was pain and confusion like I had never known. But you all know about that story. Being a mother to Eloise has been challenging in its own ways. It was like my newborn mom muscles had atrophied. It was hard getting them back again, but we've managed. Eloise is a totally different person with her own quirks and joys. She has her own light. And she fits into our family so well. I love watching my two girls interact.

There's so much more I could write. But the point is this: Being a mom is definitely all the things. Sometimes spread out. Sometimes all at once. It's beautiful at times. There are days when I get these bursts of energy and vitality -- a true zest for life. It can also be downright ugly and draining. Maybe I don't shower for a few days and find myself in a fit of tears after a particularly bad stretch. It happens to the best of moms. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Because why? Because mothering requires an almost superhuman strength. You have to shoulder so much for your family . . . for your kids . . . for yourself.

Anyway, I hope some of you mamas got to give your muscles a bit of a rest yesterday. Or maybe had the luxury of getting them massaged. I enjoyed seeing a movie by myself in the theater. One of my absolutely favorite activities. Then I ate my favorite sandwich for dinner complete with my favorite red wine and favorite chocolate cake for dessert. It was surely sweet.

Happy Monday. Back to the everyday grind. Back to the continuous training that we call motherhood. From what I'm told, it never ends. There will always be new challenges and triumphs.

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Weekend Things | Burst and Bloom

>> Friday, May 12, 2017

// 1: Check out these flowers. They're blooming on the tree in front of our home.


After nearly two weeks of cruddy, rainy, cold weather -- next week looks to be turning all things summer. Well, that is, after this weekend's monsoon. I'll take what I can get, though. And today? Today things are looking nice.

// 2: Read When the Gospel of Minimalism Collides With Everyday Life via the New York Times.

It's an interesting take on the "trend" of minimalism and how maybe all those pretty photos you look at of all-white rooms on Instagram don't tell the whole story. It is definitely a new way to look at things when you realize that minimalism is something that you can come to mostly if you have some privilege. It is indeed a privilege to decide to live without things that you already have versus simply not having them.

I'm in the middle on this discussion. I find a host of benefits from trying to adopt minimalist ideas. I'm far from being perfect at it, so this will be a discuss to expand upon another day.

// 3: Make chia pudding. Just do it.

Today's ROAD meal was a simple smoothie. But I wanted to mix things up a bit -- quite literally.


Chia pudding is simple. Just use a cup of almond milk or any plant-based milk. Then toss in four tablespoons of chia seeds (I get mine at Aldi). Stir every now and again for about 15-20 minutes. And then you're golden. For the rest of my smoothie, I simply blended frozen cherries, banana, and water in my NutriBullet. Then I layered and slurped.

// 4: Look at these girls!


Eloise is on the brink of walking. As in, I think it'll happen within the next week or two. As a result, the girls have suddenly started playing together. As much as they can. It's adorable to watch. I still have to be around E like a hawk because she's still in that phase of falling on her head often. You know, though, progress.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there. This will be my sixth big day, and it gets sweeter each year.

// 5: Try Schmidt's deodorant.



I've made my own deodorants throughout the years, but I decided to give Schmidt's a try, and I'm so glad I did. It works really well and smells absolutely amazing. You can find it at Target . . . but they have even more fun varieties on Amazon. My personal favorite is Lavender + Sage. I bought Stephen the Cedarwood.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

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