Recently, a friend of mine decided to shut down her blog, and take herself off social media, deleting both her FB and Instagram accounts. It came as quite a shock, since her blog was a well-loved and popular one. This, plus some recent discussions with some other mummy bloggers about our purpose for blogging, has led me to think hard about the future of this blog.
Why do we blog? For many parent bloggers, we start off wanting to chronicle the fleeting moments of our children's growing up years. Some start blogging because they want to write about a topic they are passionate about, like travelling or cooking. In most cases, the aspect of advertorials and sponsorships creep in. I think many of us parent bloggers start when our children are pretty young, and there is lots to write about with regards to activities, things to do, and places to visit. Then comes the question of privacy and security issues: What is ok to share online? Are we compromising on our children's safety by sharing about the things we do? Some mummy bloggers have shared that it is because of these issues, that they have decided to go the route of posting mainly advertorials and reviews on their blogs, and many parenting blogs these days are penned in the style of lifestyle blogs.
So what about this blog? I have been thinking really hard about it.
I know this blog is here to stay, at least for awhile more, simply because I love to write. I've enjoyed the process of putting thoughts into words, and pen to paper, since I was really little. When I was in Secondary School, we were asked to write journal entries as homework, and that was one exercise I simply loved, along with writing compositions. (I recently found some of those journals when packing the house, along with stories that me and my friend wrote together, which had titles like "Hamsters in Singa-paw", and "Caverly Hills 90210". Those really made me smile!)
Perhaps it's because I am an introvert who finds it hard to express myself verbally, or maybe it's because I find myself being blessed by the writing of others. Whatever the case, I find that there is power in the written word: you can weave stories and change them as and when you pleased, you can create entire worlds by penning paragraphs down, you can encourage and uplift others from what you write.
So it is this love of writing that keeps this blog going. I'll have to be mindful of what I share and post publicly, because I have to respect the privacy of my children, so as time progresses, you'll find that we'll be sharing less and less personal details about our kids. However, I still hope to be real and authentic in this space, so I plan to continue to blog about some of our struggles as parents. Parenting is tough, and staying home with the kids is exhausting, and these are the very real things that I want to write about. Many of you have written in to tell me about how you are encouraged by the posts here and on FB, and that encourages me so much.
Also, I've realized that through this blog, we can be an alternative voice. I want to continue to encourage the value of free play instead of cramming our kids with activities and enrichment, and share with parents how you can let your children explore art and learning at home. We also hope to be able to give you a glimpse into our lives homeschooling in Singapore, which I hope encourages others that it is do-able, and dispel various myths about what homeschooling entails (like subject-filled timetables and lonely kids facing their books at home all day).
I've written about our stand about minimizing the commercial aspect of blogging before. While I see no harm in taking up sponsorships and review opportunities that are in line with our values and needs, I am still trying to be discerning and selective about what I say yes to. I admit that the fear of missing out still lurks in the corner of my heart, when I see some bloggers getting sponsorship after sponsorship, and running giveaways that boost their likes and following. However, I keep reminding myself that I need to "eliminate to concentrate", and I do not want to get side-tracked into doing more "commercial" writing for the wrong reasons.
This blog has branched off, with the FB page as well as Instagram. Those are the two areas that I plan to keep on going too, since FB allows me to quickly share inspiration: from encouraging articles, to helpful tips and inspirational posts. I love browsing through photos and taking pictures, so IG for me is another way of writing our story, where we freeze our moments in little squares. However, I admit that keeping on track with all the conversations in the comments section for these three aspects (as well as email and PMs!) is one area that I struggle with, so please be patient as I try to get back to you when you drop me a note.
With baby #4 almost here and our impending move, I foresee that the blog will be quieter this year. However, please stick around ok? I promise I'll keep writing, and I'll continue to be real in this space!