I am no longer just a Mummy. I am a blogger. There, I said it.
If you're not a blogger you may well laugh and roll your eyes at that statement.
It's been six months since I started my blog and shared my first post about becoming a SAHM, so I thought I'd write a 'what I've learned in six months of blogging' type of post. But when I was thinking about it, rather than listing all the technical terms and phrases I have learned, I thought about what blogging has given me. It's given me so much more than some new found technical skills.
Blogging has given me a sense of self again.
When you have a baby you can totally lose who you are. I lost a lot of confidence at work. I wouldn't say I'm not a confident mum (although others may disagree - I do worry a lot), but when I went back to work I had lost the confidence in me. After 13 months of maternity leave I had forgotten who the pre-baby me was.
During the last six months my blog has given me exactly what I hoped it would. It's made my brain tick and at times it has made my brain well and truly hurt! Ever tried setting up an online completion, an email newsletter, an RSS feed? If it's new to you, it takes time. I can't tell you how as a stay at home mum sometimes all you think about is whether two slices of cucumber in a day is enough veg, why your toddler isn't walking yet, and whether you're letting your little one watch too much Peppa Pig. This blog has challenged me. Not like when I worked as a press officer in a "how do we spin this almighty cock up?" kind of way. But in a new way.
Yes I have learnt a wealth of things about website creation, website hosting, domains, SEO, readability, passive voice (the bane of my life!), blog promotion, social media, scheduling and the thing every blogger stresses about, the almighty DA. These are things I didn't even know about before I became a blogger.
Blogging has also made me look at life in a different way. Now when I'm going about my daily business I often hear or observe things and instantly want to write about it. I read thought provoking articles that ignite emotion in me, and I want to add my voice to the mix. It's also making me more creative. I trained and worked as a journalist, I did English literature at school, and I like to write. Blogging has given me time to use my skills again.
It's also made me incredibly organised. I completely underestimated how time-consuming blogging would be. There is a whole blogging community out there and you need to engage with them and build up friendships and readers. This takes time, but with some super duper bloggers sharing their tips and tricks, I have learnt how to save time online. Big thanks to Becky at Cuddle Fairy, Fi at A Mum Track Mind and the wonderful Aby at You Baby Me Mummy for all your help and advice. I have done a couple of free courses with Aby and they have been amazing in helping me work harder and smarter on my blog.
Over the last six months I've had my fair share of self-doubt. The blogging world sucks you in. If you're competitive like me, you want to do your best as quickly as possible. You compare yourself to other bloggers who started at a similar time as you. When their stats are better than yours, you feel like a failure and giving up. But I will only commit so many hours in a day to writing my blog, editing photos and promoting it on social media. The rest of my time is family time and looking after my daughter. No I don't have tens of thousands of followers on social media, I don't have tens of thousands of readers every month. I have more and more every month though, and you know what, that's something.
So the last six months of 2016 were life changing really. I became a SAHM, I ditched the day job and I got a new hobby. A hobby that I love.
Yes I will always be a Mummy first, but now I am proud to call myself a blogger too.
For more from Susie visit www.thisismenow.co.uk
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