Recently, an issue has been bugging me. I've been blogging for 7 years, and the reason why I started the blog was to document my journey as a mum and also to keep a conservatory for my kids so that they can see their childhood as they grew up.
In the first few years of my blogging, everything was very simple - I took tons of photographs and took note of everything that happened in their lives - from minor stuffs such as suffering from a flu to milestone moments like their first word. Everything was new and very exciting for me as a new mum, and I wanted to document everything down simply because they brought me so much joy. I couldn't wait to share with everyone!
Then somehow, somewhere along the line, non-friends started noticing my blog and suddenly, I've got emails from 'readers' of the blog asking me for advice, or leaving me comments that they enjoyed reading my blog. It was very flattering at the beginning, and even now. I love it when people tell me how cute my kids are (even though I already know that), and especially when they shared that they were inspired and encouraged by what I wrote. It was a very fulfilling journey, both experiencing and sharing.
Before I know it, product review opportunities and advertorials started pouring in. Most of my weekends are packed with invitations to events and previews, and almost every week, I had some product to try and review. It was nice actually, and I appreciate the opportunities a lot. It opened my eyes to the vast possibilities out there, and my family and I had the chance to try stuffs we would otherwise not know about. I enjoyed sharing about products and services that benefitted mothers like myself, in hope that other mums who read about my reviews would benefit from it as well.
Blogging has also created many opportunities for me as a mum by widening my network to link up with likeminded people and many mums who go through the same struggles as me. I appreciate the support and comfort I found in this new network who understood what goes through in my emotions on a daily basis. Motherhood is not something a layman can easily identify with.
Then all of a sudden, there came a period when I started noticing what other bloggers were getting invited to, and I found myself asking, "How come I didn't get invited to that?", and then I sulk (mostly to hubby).
I got shocked by myself. Since when is blogging like that? It was a sobering moment for me as I paused and asked myself, 'What do you blog for? For the perks? For the benefits that came along with it? Or do you truly want to document your kids' lives?' Has something that begun so innocently evolved into something else so complicated?
I mean, I don't mind the perks of course. (Who does??) But surely, the perks should not become the motivation force behind why I blog. Once I allow the perks and the monetary benefits that came along with blogging to be the reason why I do it, it loses all meaning and significance. I would be writing from a totally different angle than from a mother who wants to leave traces of her kids' lives.
And so, I told myself that I need to refocus back to the very reason why I started blogging, and I remember clearly, it was to document my kids' lives and my journey as a mum. It was as simple as that and I intend to keep to that. I will still take on product review assignments or invites to events and places, but the main reason is to let my kids experience them and also to share those stuffs with other parents who can consider bringing their kids as well. I don't do it to show off my fame or gain bragging rights. That would be lame.
No, I will not allow myself to go back to the place where I covet for what is not mine. If I get invited or sponsored, nice. If not, I'll just keep blogging because I love doing it.
I'm decided - I'll derive my joy from my blog and stay happy in my own place. :)