They’re not exactly a new innovation in the online blogosphere. And by that I mean there’s plenty of them out there. With the content of all these blogs varying from parenting advice to funny anecdotes about being shat on and everything in between.
You could say our blog fits in that ‘everything in between’ space.
I will say this however… When we first came up with this crazy idea to add to our social media presence and start a blog and brand it Not So Secret Life Of Us (NSSLOU), a parenting blog wasn’t exactly what we had in mind for it. We are simply humans documenting and sharing our lives through social media. And while the bigger picture for our NSSLOU project remains the same, at this very moment, one could argue that we do somewhat fall into the parenting blog category.
But what makes a successful parenting blog? Or any blog for that matter. Well, we are still figuring that one out. But what keeps coming up as a topic of conversation in our household is what we DON’T want for our blog.
History shows us that being relatable and raw (with a touch of humour) can be the best way to create a successful blog. Regardless of whether you’re a parenting blog, a personal development blog or a blog about sneakers. If people can relate to your experiences and have a laugh because they feel your story is reflected in their own daily lives in some way, you are more likely to build up a large audience of loyal followers.
But can being “raw” go too far?
There have been a couple of blogs and posts that have really blown up recently. And I’ll admit, one or two of the posts were quite funny. But when it comes to the content of these blogs, every post follows the same formula. They are always negative… They are always vulgar… And they are always attempting to be humorous for maximum viral-ability (that’s a word right?).
We certainly try and keep our blog as relatable and light-hearted as we can. But we don’t think we need to use profanity or crudeness to get our message across. Nor do we write content solely for the hope it will go viral. We write from the heart, we write with truth, we try to write with humour, and we try and stay as positive as we can. Because frankly, that’s how we live our lives. We love being parents and we love being married. And while neither are fun or rosy all the time we always try to see the positive side. We are honest and raw, but we are not negative. Why? Well, we think there is already enough negative in the world today. And we don’t need to add to that.
Everywhere you look there is negative. The six o’clock news is almost always entirely filled with bad news. Social media is jam packed with people having a whinge and bullying. There are mums attacking other mums. Dads attacking other dads. People attacking parents for their parenting choices.
When you weigh up the good against the bad, sadly the negative wins by an overwhelming margin.
And this is where, in our opinion, some “parenting” blogs have gone too far. One of the comments left on a particular post summed it up perfectly:
“Everything she says is very negative and depressing. I don’t find being a wife or mother negative in any way, shape or form, and love every second of my wifey role and parenting. Even when I get shat and vomited on. She drains the life from me and makes me feel sad. No good will come from glamorising depression, and its sad that so many women empathise with her and feel this way. I just want to help them all but don’t know how. It’s not supposed to feel like ____ describes it. It’s not…”
Many people obviously like reading these rude, crude and pessimistic posts, because otherwise they wouldn’t be as successful as they have been. But it’s just not our bag. If that is what we have to do to go viral then we’ll happily just keep our small group of followers. Retaining our integrity is more important to us than a ‘flash in the pan’ viral post.
We won’t be changing our approach to this great journey that we are on with NSSLOU. From the start, we had always imagined this to be a positive environment that encourages and uplifts people, parents or not. The kind of place where you could come along and go, ‘Wow… I’m not the only one who’s going through that’.
And not only that, create a place to share out story and journey for our son (and future children)… and their kids… and their kids kids to look back on and feel proud of what mum and dad accomplished not only as parents, but with this blog.
If we can add just a little bit more kindness, positivity and fun into the world while we’re at it, then we have accomplished our goal. And if we can encourage a few others to be more positive in their own lives and towards each other then that’s awesome too.
Let’s put an end to speaking negatively of our partners and our lives and our parenting skills and others. And maybe, together, we can start to change the negative landscape that is parenting in today’s digital age.