The more I blog the more I see how it parallels parenting in many ways. Sometimes the line between “work” and “fun” can be a little blurred. And there’s often an imbalance between output and return. Just like parenting, I was blissfully unaware of what kind of commitment it would be until I launched right into it. Here are 7 ways blogging is like parenting:
1. You learn on the job
Blogging is not really something you can learn prior to jumping in and giving it a go. It’s a work in progress and the goal posts are continually changing. No sooner have you moved through the newborn fog of sleep deprivation than a new set of challenges awaits you. This means you are in a permanent state of learning. As soon as you get a handle on keeping a newborn alive, a crawling, mobile toddler is unleashed. This can mean you never really feel certain or confident in what you’re doing. Similarly blogging presents ever-changing challenges. It’s not just about writing the blog posts, you have to learn how to market them through Pinterest, Instagram and social media. And the world of SEO, Google Hangout, Plugins and Pingbacks are a minefield for some!
2. It’s full of self-doubt
Blogging, like parenting can be a love/loathe relationship at times. You question your abilities regularly, lay awake at night wondering what you could try differently, and the inner critic catalogues your deficiencies telling you you’re lousy and really should retire from blogging/parenting school.
3. It requires you to give, give, and give some more
Just like parenting if you are going to succeed at blogging you need to continually give to your readers and not expect anything in return. It’s a real labour of love. You must feed and nourish your community, even when it seems like no one is reading. And, like parenting, your efforts can seemingly go unnoticed and then BAHM, a reader comments on a post and says that it was exactly what they needed to read at the time and your post has changed their outlook. Similarly, when you’re a parent, you infinitely give to your children and sometimes you wonder if you’re doing a good job and then, someone comments on what great manners your child has, or your baby gives you a smile, or your toddler says “I wuv you.”
4. You threaten to shut it down/resign/retire
Most parents, at some point in their parenting careers, will threaten to walk out the door and abandon ship. At least, the ones that are honest will admit to wondering why they signed up for this voluntarily. Blogging is like that. It requires a discipline, commitment, dedication and passion, which invariably wanes at times. Fortunately, like those moments in parenting, something really great happens to lift you out of your slump and the next post is usually bang on the money!
5. It’s personal and matters to you
Blogging, particularly personal blogs, require an investment of yourself. It can be revealing, leaving you feeling vulnerable. It can also be liberating – the freedom to write what you like without constraint. Just like parenting it’s a personal journey. The passion is what motivated you and drives you to keep writing. It’s a meaningful relationship. But talk about it too much and you’ll bore the pants of anyone pretending to listen!
6. There is no single right way
Ah, no truer words can ever be spoken in relation to parenting. There are plenty of books and guidelines about parenting and blogging, and myriad theories and experts telling you how you should be doing it. But ultimately it’s your experience and your journey and the more you develop as a blogger, and parent, the more confidence you gain and the more intuitive you become.
7. It’s your baby.
Although there will be plenty of self-doubt, you will guard and protect your baby fiercely with unwavering loyalty. You treasure, nourish and preserve it and give it a voice You may put it down for a bit, but you always return to it. You are connected. A “like” can allay your fears, just as a smile tells you you’re doing a great job. A true smile is pure gold.