I’ll Always Be An Honest Blogger

honest

It’s been subtle, but lately I’ve noticed a slight turn against “honest bloggers”. This time last year, they were the best thing since sliced bread – it was super cool and trendy to be brutally honest about every part of parenting, especially the tough bits. It was de rigeur to admit that sometimes you flip off your toddler behind their back, or whisper “For fuck’s sake” when the baby starts crying for the fourth time in a night.

A few weeks ago I read an opinion column in one of the baby and toddler magazines – I don’t remember which one – which said that this is unfair of parents. We should be allowing our children to grow up without mocking them, as it strips them of their dignity.

On first glance, it’s quite a reasonable opinion – but it got me wondering. As a self-professed “honest blogger”, I’ve shared everything from getting baby poo in my hair to my struggles with postnatal depression, and pretty much every grisly detail in between. Have I been inconsiderate? Have I turned my daughter into a figure of fun?

Some people will disagree, but I think the answer is no. No, because I have been honest about our lives as a family. Nothing you’ve read in the two-and-a-bit years of this blog have been fictional. It would be a much bigger disservice to my daughter if I’d pretended that parts of her life never happened – and a disservice to everyone who reads my blog in search of support for other young/student parents, if I’m not completely honest about what having a child entails.

I’d go as far as saying that presenting this perfect picture of idyllic parenthood can be harmful to struggling new parents. Obviously if it’s true, no-one is expecting you to create bad situations to put on the blog, but I can’t deny that sometimes I read blogs or see Instagrams and I think… “But where’s the poo? Where’s the drool? Where’s the exhaustion?”.

If the poo and the drool and the exhaustion genuinely isn’t there, that’s great – parents everywhere salute and envy you in equal measure. If you are drowning in drool but you simply don’t want to show that stuff on your blog, fine – that’s your choice – but think long and hard before you criticise “honest bloggers”, and ask yourself – who is really being disingenuous here?

Having this blog to rant and vent helped to slow down the progression of postnatal depression. Finding the blogging community helped to stop the isolation I felt as a young parent. Had I not felt able to be totally honest on this blog, I wouldn’t have bothered continuing with it. Lately, it feels like the community is starting to show cracks, with in-fighting and silly arguments between the “honest bloggers” and the “idyllic bloggers” (why are we splitting into factions like this?!), and that saddens me. I love reading about the arts and crafts and the fab days out and the awesome family times that so-called “idyllic bloggers” post about. I also love reading about the down-and-dirty details of parenting that the books don’t warn you about. There’s room for everyone within the parenting blogger community.

What’s more, honest bloggers are important. We’ve already established that doctors and midwives and books and TV shows don’t tell us everything we need to know about being a parent. There’s the grisly bits and the unexpected bits that no-one ever warns you about – except honest bloggers, who will tell you that it feels like shitting out your liver when they deliver the placenta, and that sometimes it’s alright to write off your toddler as having a bit of a dickhead day. These honest bloggers are stopping parents from feeling so alone – they certainly do for me.

I’ve said time and again that if my daughter grows up and dislikes this blog existing, it will vanish. If she asks me to delete certain posts, they’ll be gone. This is my hobby, and there’s no justification for it to impact on SB’s life as she grows up, or to make her uncomfortable in any way, so I will respect her wishes. Until then, however, what do we really have to be afraid about?

Do I worry that someone will come up to SB one day and say “Ha, when you were a baby you did a poo”? Of course not. I worry that she won’t turn around and say “Erm, yeah – all babies do” – that will be much more a sign that I’ve let her down than anything I’ve written about her on the blog.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Advertisements

13 thoughts on “I’ll Always Be An Honest Blogger

  1. ShoeboxofM says:

    *Applause*

    It seems to be the natural flow to have a backlash against anything. It feels like we just see an accelerated version because of the speed of information.

    I whole heartedly agree that honesty is important. Part of the reason people feel miserable and so very lonely is they have the weight of expectation of what it should be like.

    They see the end result on Pinterest but not the 50 attempts that it took to get there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) says:

    I agree – I think that it’s important to show both sides. Nothing is perfect and idyllic all the time. There’s nothing wrong if that’s the only side you want to show online, but you shouldn’t *have* to hide all the work it takes to have those high moments. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  3. min1980 says:

    I have definitely noticed this split in the parent blogging community and I have a similarly themed post in drafts at the moment. I agree with you that there is room for everyone, although I would definitely describe myself as being on the honest side! Different people like to read different things, and have different reasons for blogging. For me, I like to read and write funny posts, and if my blog was all pretty pictures and loveliness, it simply wouldn’t be funny, and in my view, it would just be a bit boring. However, if you want to work with brands, teach people lovely crafts or recipes, or simply have an online keepsake of all your fab family days out, then you probably don’t want to write about how your toddler was just sick all over you, and that’s fine too. No one way is best, they’re just different.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mommyslittleprincesses says:

    I agree without honest blogs the majority of us parents/I would feel like we/I was doing something wrong. I know personally that a lot of the time I feel like I’m the worst mother in the world, and if it weren’t for these honest blogs who knows what kind of a mess I’d actually be. Okay I know I don’t always post about the bad because I prefer to actually document the good times. However after reading this post I see I should definitely make more of an effort to.Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday. xx #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emma Jones says:

    I agree you need honesty as parenting is bloody hardwork. I don’t want to see glossy posed photos of happy baby & children constantly. I do however find the every mum seems to drink vast quantities of gin posts slightly annoying but I digress 😊 #kcacols lifeinthemumslane

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nickykentisbeer says:

    I think honesty will always out. When my daughter was a baby I found it blooming difficult and wouldn’t pretend otherwise. It’s was always comforting to know there was someone out there going through the same thing. Blogging wasn’t really a thing back then. Shame really. I think honesty comes through when blogging. We’re not necessarily all going to agree on everything that’s written but that’s what makes it interesting – hearing different perspectives. I try not to blog too much about my daughter directly now that she is older just in case she was called out on it. I guess as I no longer have a little one, I wouldn’t have picked up on the stuff you mention. Great post Nicky #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lizzie ( firstooth ) says:

    Well said! I really enjoy reading the honest ‘warts n all’ posts and it’s a shame people are putting shame on doing that. I don’t enjoy reading the boring ‘my kids being an a’hole posts because it gives me a weird feeling if that makes sense? But the posts that capture the real and funny side of parenting are great. I will always write like that, for me it’s more entertaining. I still enjoy reading blogs that show only perfect parenting, it gives me something to aspire to, lol!#kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tracey @ One Frazzled Mum says:

    Parenting is different for absolutely every parent so every parent blogger is entitled to write about their experiences and publicise whatever they choose to on heir blog! I am 100% totally jealous of so called idyllic bloggers but I absolutely love the honest bloggers they help me to feel ok about not being 100% perfect all the time, ok well anytime. I am with you I will always be honest because that’s me and my life no point in faking it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A Moment with Franca says:

    I agree with you!! I love reading blogs that tells you the things how they are. No lies, nothing is hidden!! I love the real part of parenting. This is what I want to read about. Of course is also interesting to read the idyllic type of bloggers so you can dream a little bit but having a balance is the best as in our life there are always super crazy days and also dreamy days. So there is a little bit of everything. I agree with you when you say that if SB doesn’t like certain posts that you have written, then those posts can be deleted. At the end of the day you are just telling people what is happening in your life so they can read it or leave it and that is what I love about your blog that you are so honest!!! Great post lovely!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s