Why I quit my “mommy” blog

Why did I quit my “mommy” blog?

I quit because I had, in the simplest terms, outgrown the space.

I was ready to talk about more than just motherhood and wanted to speak more to my new experiences as a writer and didn’t feel like I could really do that there.

That’s the simple answer.

But, do you want to know the real, more substantial reason I stopped writing at Mommyhood NEXT RIGHT?

I stopped because I realized that the only reason I continued writing there was because I was afraid to be a woman who didn’t write there.

I had grown to need the validation that I seemed to get from writing at MNR.

It was a hobby, yes, but that was something I said when I was being dishonest about my true hopes that one day, someday, not far away, some one great would find me and pick me up from my lowly position on the floor and make me a writer, not just a writer, but a FAMOUS WRITER with a book deal, a million dollar signing bonus, and a loyal audience that cared about my hair and what I ate for lunch.

I wanted to be that kind of big.

That was making it for me, or that’s what I thought when I would stay up late into the morning hours to write a post about having to stay up late to write a post.

I was building something with MNR and the bricks of stats and page views and comments were all indicators that someday, a house would be built, a house that I could live in when my children abandoned me for their own careers and livelihoods.

The vision of the house built was what made the process seem worth it.It made it seem worth it to worry about being present with my children and husband, to have under-eye circles, to not sleep, to eat instead of sleep, and to not really fit my clothes. “Someday, my hard work will have paid off and my husband will regret that he didn’t take this “hobby” more seriously!” “Hmmph.” I would often tell myself.

This all was a seemingly minor consequence for me to be somebody. Yes, because while happy as a stay at home mom, in the back of my head, I still held out the unexplored idea that I could, and should, be so much more if only I did things right online.

I could be great if only…

I should say here that I did my blog for me. It really was for me that I wrote about my children and shared their pictures online, pictures that otherwise would have lived hidden in familial photo albums that never left our living room. But… since I have an ego and the talk of BLOGGING is so pervasive among bloggers, it was inevitable that I, too, did get caught up, often, in the race to be a better blogger. I got mixed up in the talk of niches and loyalty and audiences and the devastation of what big changes could mean to anyone SERIOUS about the rules that seem to have been written about online spaces.

“You’re blog is growing so much! You should really do something with it!” said a friend of mine when I got my first post on Babble. “You should write a book!”

“Yes!” While I had (and have) no desire to write a book about being a mommy blogger, the idea seemed feasible. Yes. And the hours spent online seemed to all make sense! Yes! A book. A book about something that would sell, or that I could sell to my audience and make millions!! Yes!

But I started and stopped that book when I realized I had no passion for it, at all. I had no passion for writing a whole book about anything on motherhood as I addressed it on my blog and I was losing passion for writing so much about my children, who, might I add, were “on” to the fact that they lived on my computer screen. “Mommy! It’s me!” my oldest daughter said when I left the screen up to a post I had written.  Yes…it is,” I said, with a plastered smile that I hoped would hide my clicking of the red x box in my browser’s right corner.

I was ready to change. I decided this in the week I got sick. I didn’t want to blog at MNR anymore. I didn’t want to blog out of anxiety about what I’m doing now and fears about who I would be without my blog. I was ready to talk about more than just motherhood and to stretch myself more. I wanted to write again, and not like 500 word, oh-my-god-their-eyes-will-gaze- if-I-don’t-throw-in-some-free-pie kind of writing. I wanted to really write. I wanted to be offline more. I wanted to make my marriage more of a priority. I wanted to see myself in the mirror and feel connected to the image I saw.

So, I changed.

I decided to start this blog because I didn’t want fear to define my life anymore, in any area.
I didn’t want to be a afraid anymore.

I didn’t want to be a fearful woman. I don’t want to be a woman who is so insecure about her legacy, current station in life, and going poor and dying without a proper gravestone that she never really lived.

I didn’t want to be a fearful mother who didn’t really trust herself to be a secure, confident mother to her children.

I want to write, yes, but I want to write not just so others can comment on what I say, but because I have to write and share only when I have something to say.

Taking yourself seriously. My good friend, Ruby of Focus, Woman, wrote a post, in part, about the importance of taking yourself seriously as a woman, and that post struck a chord.

This blog is me deciding to take myself seriously.

It’s me deciding that I don’t need to be picked up, that I’m already there, that I’m a writer, that I’m able already to write and to do the things that writers who are serious do.

I am writer when I’m not mothering and a mother when I’m not writing. The two must be separate for me.

This blog is me deciding to try to set boundaries for my online life so that I can be present in my real life offline and sleep or take cake decorating classes or read Virginia Woolf essays during my children’s naps and bedtimes if that’s what makes me happy.

This blog is about me becoming fearless and writing and everything else.

This blog is ME.

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37 Responses to “Why I quit my “mommy” blog”

  1. Alison says:

    Doesn’t it FEEL GOOD??? :)

  2. Monique says:

    Good for you! Writing should be enjoyable, not limiting. I’m glad you found your balance and way. :)

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Monique! I agree. Writing is most fun when you can enjoy it and feel connected to the process. I like the feeling I get when I write now. For a while, I didn’t.

  3. Good for you, girl!! Here’s to being fearless and free!!!!!!!!!
    xo

    • Jessica says:

      Yes! Thank you, Jen. This new place I’m in a still very new, but I’m happy. I look forward to learning more on this journey and pushing myself to be someone that I feel proud of. xo.

  4. Brandi says:

    Jessica, this is amazing. I am so proud of you for being honest with yourself, for speaking your truth, and doing, really doing, what you want. Yes. Yes. Yes!

  5. Kimberly says:

    Now open those wings and fly:)

  6. Alexandra says:

    You are saying what so many are afraid to say.

    Some may cheer because you lead the way, others may cheer because now there is less competition at the top of the heap.

    In the end, what will matter to us?

    I’ve heard so may stories, of marriages and families breaking up, because the spouse is hooked to the screen: thinking if that one more thing happens, then they’ll be happy.

    We do have to pursue what makes us happy, and what our dreams are: but let’s not forget that what makes us happy is our families, and that our dream once was a family.

    Let’s not forget the dream once we reach it.

    Because to have a book and a big blog and hundreds of comments, is a rare occurence, indeed. For those who attain that–how wonderful.

    But for the rest of us–I hope we don’t lose everything we have, and wake up one day to an empty house having nothing in either hand.

    WOnderful, honest post: I wish you the best of everything–in balance.

    xo

    • Jessica says:

      Yes! Yes! You’ve said it so well. “We do have to pursue what makes us happy, and what our dreams are: but let’s not forget that what makes us happy is our families, and that our dream once was a family.” Yes! Thank you, Alexandra. Your words ring so true!

  7. Yay yay yay!! You go girl! What I also love about is that this is about the no-holds barred self-love, and also: putting your voice out there, no matter if it sounds “different” to what the rules say. Women have been historically kept down by rules, and we seem to be drawn to such rules keeping us there. The fear of freedom… and fthe fear of trying something new, and listening to your inner voice. Not the critic, but the real you.

    Reading this makes my heart sing :-)

    • Jessica says:

      Yay! Thank you, Ruby! And thank you for your wonderful post on taking yourself seriously. I read it in the week I was most sick with Flu and most uncertain about what to do with MNR. That post came at the right time, for sure. Please keep writing!!

  8. Life is ever changing isn’t and it’s so wonderful. Your journey is expanding now and it is so exciting :D

  9. Lucy says:

    Sometimes I think life is just one long journey back to our true selves. And you’re making strides.

  10. LaShawn says:

    this is so amazing. This post has me feeling some kind of way Jessica! So proud of you!

    • Jessica says:

      Awww. Thank you, LaShawn!! I am happy to have gotten the guts to leave MNR and start new here. It’s been so much fun and inspiring so far! I look forward to what the future has in store!

  11. Kita says:

    Love this post. I could not just be a mommy blog because I am so much more.

  12. vanita says:

    yay! i’m so happy for you girl and it looks pretty damn beautiful around here. you’re doing great and i’m just so happy for you!

  13. I’m excited for you! Inspired by you! Supportive of you! And just with you in general ;)

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Christine!! I am so excited about this new chapter and so thrilled that you will be joining me on this ride!

  14. Cecilia says:

    It’s been really amazing to see you grow, Jessica, in even the short amount of time I’ve known you. I think it takes courage to really look honestly at yourself and make these decisions and, of course, to then express your words to others. This is a cliche but it really is true that if you follow your heart everything else will fall into place. Write what you feel and it’s that honesty and authenticity that will draw readers to you. You have that in abundance so I have no doubt you will go on to do great things!!

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Cecilia! Your words mean so much! I am enjoying writing what I feel because that, or writing what’s inside, is really the reason that I write. I write to tell stories and to give physical presences to my ideas. When I wasn’t really writing for me, or when I was writing with the fear that others wouldn’t really get me, I lost the joy in that. For me, I blog to write, so if I can’t write, then it becomes more like a job I don’t want to go to, you know? lol. Thank you for your support and for being you!

  15. Jessica says:

    Good for you! Change is scary but it’s so good for us.

  16. Mirjam says:

    I already read your post, but I was on my phone, so I had to come back to comment.
    First of all, your new blog design is absolutely stunning.
    I love the simplicity and elegance of it.
    And I can totally see that this, this is you.
    Wonderful.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Mirjam! You’re too kind! I am happy to be writing here. I feel like starting this blog is like a fresh start for me! I’m so excited to travel down this new path!

  17. I’m just starting out in the mommy blogger turned book deal world, and it already is anxiety-provoking, that constant need to keep churning and running, so I love that you wrote about this. Hope for the future and being authentic and writing for the sake of writing, not just the blog stats. Thank you,

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Chaunie! It was a huge leap, but I’m happy to writing again without all that pressure. Best of luck to you with your book deal! That sounds amazing!!

  18. [...] from a “mommy blog” (formerly known as Mommyhood Next Right), into a blog about her whole self. And that self is a writer. If you identify as a writer (and so many of us here in the blogging [...]

  19. Chelo says:

    So glad I found your blog again. I had to google Mommy Next Right and was directed here. I have a lot of catching up to do (reading). This post really rings true to me…the very same reasons I quit “Home and Bahay”.
    Your writing is both courageous and inspiring :)
    Chelo recently posted…The First Post in 2013 – “Random Facts About Me”My Profile

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