Those of you who have either been around since the beginning of Growing With Spawn (which really wasn’t that long ago) or have dug into the archives will know that this blog has evolved quite a bit in the past 6 months. One major change is that I no longer share as much content about Spawn as I used to, although I do still make reference to my experience as a mom – or lessons I’ve learnt while raising her. It was fun while it lasted, but there is a reason for my change of heart; sharenting. I promise I didn’t make that word up, it’s actually a thing! I always knew that people did it, but I didn’t know it had become so widely discussed that they had to make a term for it that was so commonly used that it was included in the dictionary… 21st Century things I suppose?
Before we dive in, let’s first define what sharenting really is so that we are all on the same page. As described in the Collins dictionary:
the habitual use of social media to share news, images, etc of one’s children
Ok, now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive in!
Why did I start sharenting in the first place?
Firstly, I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with sharing pictures, proudly showing off your kids achievements or even sharing funny moments that turn out to be good memes. In a perfect world, sharing such information would just bring parents from different parts of the world together in what would essentially be a secret club that only the insiders would understand. That was part of the reason why I used to share my letters to Spawn, talk about the changes in motherhood that came along with having a baby and even showed off quite a few of her pictures in several posts. The internet is a beautiful way to feel like part of a society (even though you may really be alone), so just imagine how reading about someone’s experiences which are similar to your own can boost your morale! I wanted to be that person to other moms … I wanted to document every bit of my daughter’s journey in case either of us (her parents) were not around one day and she needed some sort of a memoir… I wanted to write about anything and everything that made our lives special…
How have my views changed?
Honestly, not much has changed, it has been more of an awakening of preexisting fears. You see, before starting what was meant to be a mom blog, I weighed the pros and cons, thought about just how much to share and what to keep private, I even let my husband read every post before it went up! As I dived deeper into he blogging world, I realised that this place was not as safe as I had hoped for it to be – and by safe I am not talking about your typical translation of the word. I’m talking about the ‘safe place’ where I could voice my opinions and not have to listen to negativity or have my parenting approach questioned. Who was I kidding?! While I have never had any negativity on my blog, I found myself thriving off of praise from strangers that I had never even met. That in itself is not a bad thing, but when your confidence is directly linked to external factors, it’s time to reevaluate things. How scary is it that strangers can have that much of an influence on your life? I still write about my parenting experiences indirectly, when trying to emphasise a point or give an example, but it is no longer the focus of my blog. There is no way in hell I will open that door that may take more than just a delete button to keep negativity out.
What about privacy?
Exactly! What about privacy? When I started off with the blog, my husband gave me some advice. He told me that I could go either of two ways; be completely raw and keep my identity a secret or share a bit more but censor my content. Those words didn’t quite click until I found myself contemplating what would potentially get me in trouble at work, what Spawn would not be okay with having her friends know about her, etc. Of course I will share everything about myself that I feel can help someone else, but there definitely needs to be a hard limit when you are doing/saying things that will affect other people too. Being a mother makes it ten times worse, you are responsible for the wellbeing of your child so being too open may turn out to be deadly… literally.
What does that mean for my niche?
In all honesty, I don’t really know – or care! This started off as a mom blog but probably only stayed that way for a few weeks at most. Soon after starting, mental health quickly became my main focus because that is what I was personally working through at the time and the thing I could share the most about. If I were to focus my efforts on just writing about being a mom, I don’t think I would post more than once or twice a month because this motherhood experience is new to me and not one I feel knowledgeable enough to advise on. Of course that isn’t what I would want to make of my blog or the time I put into it. For me, blogging is a fun pass time that adds value to at least one person in this world … myself. My blog is therapeutic, it is fun, it is something I have created from scratch and have nurtured into what it is today. For those who may find that answer a bit vague and still don’t know what my niche is, Growing With Spawn is a lifestyle blog where you can find anything and everything you would expect to see in a millennial’s life. Still a bit vague? Stick around and you’ll get to see what I mean!