Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Tree-Hugging Public Service Announcement of the Day

Courtesy of Blogging Matters
I attended a small blogging meeting/workshop this past weekend. It was comprised of local women bloggers, all from different walks of life and different blogging stages. I walked away with some great information, and a huge blogging-confidence boost. Apparently, I'm doing what I need to do to be a successful blog. So, the question then popped into my head...

"Why is The Inklings of Life not a topic of conversation in every mommy circle out there, with tens of thousands of followers?"

I took it upon myself to do some deep research into blogging, mommy blogging, and top mommy blogging, and came up with some very interesting conclusions:

1. I don't over-share enough. I wasn't aware that some potential readers want to know exactly how my ass smells after an intense workout in the gym, or explicit details into my sex life or even the birth of my kids. While I promise that readers will get an honest, yet funny, look into parenthood, my life is still personal. Have you ever actually seen a picture of my kids' faces on here? Nope. Why? Because my kids are gorgeous and I'm afraid some freaky stalker will follow us around Target one day and try and kidnap my kids because they know what they look like. And, I want to keep some things about my family, well, private. I'll share funny stories about farts and how the cats don't leave me alone while I use the bathroom, but as far as explaining things in so much detail that you feel like you are sitting on the toilet next to me- not going to happen, sorry.

2. I don't drink enough or have enough prescriptions. I love my wine, don't get me wrong. But apparently, my glass every few days isn't quite enough for some readers. And, the fact that I currently lack
any prescription meds other than flexeril for my back, has many potential readers out there bored with me. I'm sure if I have a nervous breakdown (and I might be due for one here in the near future), my readership will double. Come on, crazy psychotic episode, where are you?

3. I like my kids and being a mother. I've noticed this amazing trend since I started blogging (about 3 years ago), away from positive mommy blogging into motherhood sucks, my kids are the spawns of Satan, my life is horrible, kill me now mommy blogging. I don't get it. These women wanted kids, right? They made the decision to be mothers, right? So what happened, and more importantly, why portray your life in this way for the entire world to see? I love my kids. Most days, I like my kids, too. I love being a mom. Is motherhood always rainbows, butterflies and unicorns? Hell no. Some days the rainbows are covered by clouds, the butterflies have a broken wing, and the unicorns won't stop crapping everywhere. But that's not every single day of motherhood. So, if the trend in mommy blogging is to constantly complain about motherhood, then I will never be a top blog. Sorry.

4. I know the basics of parenting. I happened upon this blog recently when I was researching mommy blogs who have published books (as I will have a book out soon). This woman had written a post about how her toddler had run around so long without a diaper change that the child's diaper was overflowing, was sagging to the child's knees, and crap was spilling out onto the floor as the child walked. As I'm reading this, I'm wondering how on earth this woman is selling books when she should be in jail for child neglect. And furthermore, her book was in the top 100 selling humor parenting books. Seriously? That story is not funny; it's horrible. Why didn't she just change the child's diaper? Why hasn't her child been taken away from her? And why would she share this story with the entire world? I guess because my kids were taken care of and I know the basics on parenting and safety of my children that some people find that boring. Oh, well.

5. I refuse to play nice. We talked about networking in this blogging meeting. We talked about how networking and getting to know other bloggers and writers, you can work together to promote each other's blogs and gain readers. I have watched so many mom bloggers, just starting out, network with these negative, 'life sucks' mommy bloggers out there, and as a result, their readership has skyrocketed. I can't do it. I refuse to associate myself and my blog with these women who hate motherhood just to get my name out there. If you have been a reader for a while, you are probably having a sense of deja vu right now because just back in January, I blogged about this subject. But a blogger's life is spent re-evaluating every few months, just to make sure they are staying true to their original intent for their blog, and the blogging workshop had me looking at things again. I still can't play nice with others. I have accepted that about myself, and while I don't do it in my personal life, I can't do it in my blogging life, either.

Inklings will continue to be a place where you all can come to read about the craziness of motherhood, but please understand that my craziness falls within guidelines of child safety laws. If you are looking for a blog where the mom ignores her kids and drinks all day, this isn't it. My life is unlike any other, my kids are not cookie-cutter kids, and the story of Hubby and I goes against just about every statistic of not only high school loves getting married, but also of separation and divorce period. I love sharing my stories, advice and nonsense with readers who appreciate it. This will remain a positive blog, though.  I feel it always has been, and that's what it will continue to be.

That's what I learned the most at this blogging workshop. Very valuable lesson, indeed.

Thanks to all of the readers out there who make Inklings what it is, and who get me up and writing each day. Y'all rock! If you decide you want to pimp me out to other positive mamas you know, then please do so. There are several links in the right sidebar (including a new G+ one to recommend Inklings to your Google+ circles), and facebook and twitter share buttons all over the place. We should strive to make Inklings a gathering place for moms who are sick of the negativity out there in the blogosphere.

And there's my tree-hugging public service announcement of the day.

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  1. ummm....you know I love you and your blog, right?!? But. And I'm only speaking for myself (btw my blogging has become virtually non existent recently thanks to my brother and his wife and a whole situation of nastiness that I won't go into here...)
    1. I don't want to know all the super private details. Let's keep the mystery involved. It's healthy.
    2. True. But you're perfect just the way you are.
    3. I've noticed that trend too, and I while I have more than once complained about life and kids and such on my blog, I always wonder what those kids are going to think years down the road when they read that stuff. Hello, upward trend in therapy - courtesy of class of 2020.
    4. Yeah you do. I admire your parenting style. You strike a great balance!
    5. Thank God.

    I hearty heart heart you and your blog. I can't wait to buy your book!

    1. Yay!! I always love when you comment. Makes me feel all warm and squishy inside. ;)
      I was thinking of you the other day; I'm already starting to comprise a list of people I'd like to have read my book and review it when it comes out, and you are top on the list (which means you'll get a free copy!). I can't wait!!

    2. I would be honored!!! Wheeee! Sara and I had a rough day today, so this was JUST what I needed to turn it around!

  2. I love your blog, and I love that you are positive about your life... I will continue to read your blog no matter what, and you are so right when you say that we often have to reevaluate ourselves no the purpose behind our blogs. My life, kids, marriage isn't cookie cutter either.

    1) I am glad that you do not over share, I may be guilty of some slight over sharing, but no one will ever know every detail of my sex life or how my ass smells after I work out and truth is, I don't really want to know these things about others

    2)I do not drink at all anymore, and have no prescriptions, but I have also noticed that if perhaps I had a slight nervous breakdown it would probably cause my readers to double, however I myself am not willing to be an over medicated alcoholic in order to gain readers (it is nice to read other non medicated non alcoholic mom blogs)

    3) I am guilty of writing about some of the crazy things my kids do, and calling my kids "the spawn" but I do love my kids and love being a mom, I don't spend every post talking about how awful it is to,be a mom or how much I hate my kids, honestly it is the opposite I will often write posts about how important my kids are to me. It always makes me happy to,see other bloggers who write more good then bad yet don't sugar coat parenting

    4) I always feel so horrible thinking about the kids in those post whets moms think it is hilarious to have neglected kids, and I often wonder if they are for real or simply made up stories to grab reader attention

    Anyway, I said all of that to say I agree with you and I love your blog, and have always enjoyed reading your blog... You are an amazing writer and I can not wait to read your book


    1. Well said, Kimbra and a-to-the-men.

      That said, I'm heading to your blog....now!

    2. Wow, thank you! Don't get me wrong, I'll come out and say that my kids are being little butts sometimes, but like you said, it's not an everyday thing. I headed to your blog and really like it! You have a new fan here!! ;)

  3. Good post, Morgan. I remember your earlier post, too. I like that you are staying true to yourself.

    1. Thank you! That's the most important thing someone can do!

  4. I just wanted to holler out "Amen sista!" to all five of these. I like to share details of motherhood, but no, I am not going to involve you in the details of my bathroom business! (Unless I ever blog about the time I had to have surgery on my hiney thanks to things that happen with pushing babies out... it's kind of a funny story, but I"m really not ready to go there yet!!)
    I like to drink wine - a lot. But I agree with you 100%. My kids don't "drive me to drink" (although my mother does!) And I do take anti depressants, but I need them. I lost a daughter 18 months ago. So I'm not planning on ditching them any time soon. And I do encourage other moms facing severe depression to give it a go and see if it helps.
    I"m with you - I don't get the "I'm the worst mom" competition that is going on right now. I was actually thinking about this the other day. How the mommy wars have shifted from who is the most perfect mom to which mom has failed the most. Now don't get me wrong,I make a lot of mistakes, and I enjoy sharing and learning and knowing that I am not alone in these mistakes, but I am not in a competition to have the worst kids or be the worst mother.
    And what the hell??? Why would ANYONE think it is funny that a mother left her kid in her diaper that long? That makes me want to cry!

    I have surrounded myself with a network of good, uplifting, positive mommy bloggers who encourage me, share my struggles, and let me know that I am not alone. I also have made my place a "safe house" for anyone who has suffered a loss... where they can come and hopefully find comfort.

    I am now understanding why my blog has not skyrocketed in popularity either!

    Great post!

    1. Thank you! And I completely agree with how eloquently you put it. It is like a contest for the worst mom award nowadays. That's the perfect way to say it. I really feel bad for the kids of these people down the road. Once it's on the internet, it will never go away...
      I LOVE your blog, by the way. I'm so happy that this post just connected me with more positive mamas!!

  5. And those are the exact reasons I LOVE 'Inklings'!

  6. I love you just the way you are. (can you hear Billy Joel? he's better singing this than me)
    I've been plotting on writing a post similar to this myself. I know that many moms have adopted the persona of worst mom/my kids suck/why did I ever have kids in order to be funny and get attention, and it's working. But like most trends, I worry about the backlash that is bound to happen. And although I do share pics of my babies (they're adorable! I love looking at them!), I don't discuss how my ass smells. Ever. I don't even want to know that.
    I don't drink any liquor anymore. I did before kids, but I don't really miss it. Chocolate will have to do. I am on antidepressants, but I don't really discuss it, since, again, my kids aren't responsible for that. Who is? Uncle Sam, I tell ya! :)
    Keep up the great work! Oh, and I tweeted this one to the universe.

    1. Thank you, ma'am. I loved how your tweet was phrased!
      Chocolate is my alcohol, lol. Yes, yes, yes!

      I will clarify here that I see absolutely nothing wrong with anti-depressants. It takes a strong woman (or man) to know their limits and know that they would be better for their children if they are on them. The problem I have is with the women whose entire persona is built around those anti-depressants, and yes, who blame their children for being on them. That's just not right.


  7. I like most of your blogs but this one seems so pretentious, which is the very thing you're complaining about. That networking must have really stuck a cord

    1. Hmm. You say 'pretentious', but there are a heck of a lot of women (look above) who would disagree with you.
      Actually, aren't all bloggers pretentious? Don't we want people to read our words and resonate with them, so we make what we say colorful and showy?
      My beef isn't with pretentiousness; it's with bad mothers and their bad parenting being the "norm" nowadays, and how these women are getting positive reinforcement for their bad behavior by making money publishing books and having thousands of followers read their every word and possibly (gasp) imitate them. It's just making for a generation of kids who will need a LOT of therapy.

  8. Your blog is great. Yes there are days when motherhood is so very difficult but I'm also not going to write about how bad my kids are etc.