Why I’m quitting blogging (for now)
You probably won’t have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet on here lately. There’s so much noise on the internet that when one blogger quietly steps away from their website, no one is the wiser.
I could give you a lot of reasons for why I haven’t been writing as much. I recently had a baby, for starters – that’s a pretty legit one. As many of you will know, having a newborn can be pretty full-on, and when you’re sleep deprived it’s pretty hard to string coherent sentences together. I’ve also had a lot going on personally – visits from my parents, a stressful wait for my husband’s visa (which thankfully came through, ending years of uncertainty and instability), preparing to move house, and generally trying to get to grips with parenting two children. All very good reasons to take a break from writing, in my opinion.
But there’s more.
I’m not sure I want to be a blogger anymore.
I started The Squirmy Popple when my oldest daughter was only a few weeks old. I’ve always loved to write, and I wanted to document my experiences as a new parent. At the time, I thought this was a pretty clever idea – I had no idea that parenting blogs were a thing, and that there were literally thousands of other parents out there sharing their experiences of first steps and sleepless nights.
I eventually discovered the UK parent blogging community and got to know some amazing women who were going through the same things as I was. While many of us have stopped blogging, we continue to chat on a regular basis, supporting each other through break-ups, miscarriages, births, deaths and everything in between. If one of my children is doing something weird, these are the ladies who I ask for advice. I’m so grateful to blogging for bringing us together.
I never wanted to monetize my blog, like many bloggers do. It’s not that I’m independently wealthy or anything, but I just couldn’t get excited by the idea of writing sponsored posts about things that I didn’t need. Instead, I chose to use my blog to write about the funny things that my daughter did, as well as explore issues that had come to mean a lot to me, such as flexible working, the high cost of childcare and women’s rights. I liked having a platform – albeit a small one – where I could talk about things that mattered to me.
My blogging journey led me to a volunteer role with Pregnant Then Screwed, an organisation that fights for women who have experienced maternity or pregnancy discrimination. It led to my articles being published on a variety of parenting websites. It led to me running a guest series called Flexi Mamas, which shared stories from working mothers and the issues that they face. Perhaps most importantly, it forced me to write on a regular basis.
These are all great things, but lately I’ve been questioning whether I have anything left to add to the conversation. The blogging world is so saturated, and I can’t help feeling that if I keep writing, I’m just adding to the noise. That, combined with my increasing discomfort with my children having an online footprint that they didn’t consent to, has made me think that it’s time to stop blogging. Maybe not for forever, but certainly until I figure out what my next move is.
Given my love of writing and my digital nerdiness, I can’t imagine I’ll stay away from the digital world for long. But until I decide what my next project is going to be, I’m going to take a break. Read more books. Try writing fiction again. Enjoy the rest of my maternity leave.
I’d like to thank the tens of readers who have kept up with The Squirmy Popple over the years. I hope I’ve managed to make you smile, see something in a new light, or care about the rights of working mothers as much as I do. Watch this space.