I loved Mandi’s post this week about the big elephant in the room regarding criticism and the internet. It’s so true. It’s something I had been wanting to write, but wasn’t sure how to address it, but it’s something that’s definitely influenced my blogging. It’s made me slightly afraid, it’s made me more of a people pleaser, and it’s made me struggle with what I would normally put out there.
I first came across GOMI a couple years ago. Some of the things they say over there are hilarious, and I get why they need this place to vent, but nevertheless, what was said in a forum about me, definitely cut. It’s no surprise to me to get ridiculed for our kid name choices (we aren’t oblivious to how unusual they are), and we were well aware of Soul Glo when we decided to name the child after Soul, Glow. And I know I have many blind spots about myself, we all do, and I have friends in real life who help me navigate those areas that need work. I’ve tried to think through the negative things said about me and examine if there’s any validity in it and if there’s something I need to change. I think there were possible truth in some things, but I think what hurt most was being said I was fake. I try as hard as possible to be as honest and candid. I have no problem sharing our messes or talking about me dropping f-bombs. I’m not a perfect mother and I’m always learning daily how to fight my natural inclination to be selfish. I want to always love serving my children, but sometimes I don’t, and just want to throw in the towel and crawl into bed until Ben gets home (yesterday was one of those days).
I’m not going to lie. There are some bloggers that make me scratch my head (maybe I’m one of those bloggers for you), and I’ve headed to GOMI to see if they make anyone else scratch their head too. I get it’s kind of a way to vent and see if your feeling are validated. After awhile though, the negativity got to me, and it didn’t make me feel great, and I’m not one to easily shrug these things off. As a blogger, I know I’m not going to please everyone, though I do struggle with wanting to, and I know not everyone’s going to like what I have to say. It really is such a battle of the heart for me, but for me, it’s better for me to not fill my self with it. I feel much better when I don’t indulge in reading the negative banter, even if it isn’t about me. Plus, kindness is magic, right?!
I have very much appreciated when readers have emailed me to voice their concern of how I might have come across in a certain post, or have kindly left a comment disagreeing (or questioning) something I do in the comments. It doesn’t feel great at first because criticism is always hard to swallow, but after rereading it and they way they said it , made me realize that they really just care. I’ve also received sarcastic comments, and those are especially hard because I don’t get the point (did they just want to put me down for fun?!) I’m well aware that this is just part of the nature of blogging, so I don’t expect it to go away, and if I didn’t like it and can’t take it, then I should just get off the internets.
So far though, I’m not going anywhere. I love blogging. I love the creative outlet. I like thinking of projects and things to share and it’s all things I would be doing anyway if I didn’t have a blog. We would still have our garden, I’d still be sewing, the girls and I would still be crafting, there would still be cooking, and our life would basically still be the same. I probably wouldn’t be taking step by step pictures, but there would definitely still be a lot of picture taking because I love capturing moments. Additionally, I have loved all the sharing that goes on, I love watching Rachel use her mad power tools skills, I love watching Katie’s bus to home transformation, and I love how Danni grows her business, or how Merilee keeps coming up with the cutest paper crafts! We all learn so much from each other and I’m thankful for that. Creative opportunities (can’t wait to share more about them!) have come my way that wouldn’t have happened had I not being blogging.
There’s so much good from it, and they definitely out weigh the bad, so I’m going to keep trekking on. I just wanted to share my thoughts on it because it has made me a little bit of afraid and I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be paralyzed by what others think of me and it’s something I continuously have to battle. Blogging tends to be a place where we want to garner the praise and affirmation of others, but with this platform, we will undoubtedly also draw the insults and critical eye of others too. I have to be able to take both.
Jessica at House Inhabit also made a good blog post of how mommy blogging has changed. I never knew exactly where I fit in because I started my blog when I started my etsy shop and wanted to jump into the community of crafters, so it was about crafts and vintage hunting, but somewhere it also became about my life with my kids, so I guess I’m a mommy blogger? After a few years, opportunities came and I’ve been able to collaborate with bigger companies. I’m thankful for the opportunities. It’s not something Ben can quit his day job for, but nevertheless, I’m thankful. I say yes to some things, and I say no to some others. Yes, I am a blogger who does sponsored posts on occasion, but I try to keep it real. I know not everyone may agree with sponsored posts, but again, I can’t please everyone.
Even now, I’m nervous to press “publish.” I know some will just think this comes with the territory of blogging, so I need to suck it up, which is true, and others may empathize with my feelings. I do enjoy thinking of projects and recipes and sharing it, I really just love being able to do creative projects. I love that I do get to stay home and work on these projects for and with my girls, and I’m thankful that it some thing that I sometimes get paid for. In the end though, I really just try to enjoy God through all of it. I know it may not make sense to some of you (and might sound ridiculous), but it’s understanding how my trust in God plays a role in every aspect of my life. I’m not perfect at all, so all my imperfections just teaches me to depend on God more.