I always reminisce about starting to blog. There was no thought behind it, I just wanted something to do, some way of spending the hours I had free when LP was tiny and sleeping and Dave was out at work. I started writing just over four years ago and I have never looked back.
Blogging has been an outlet, a way of clearing my head and a constant in the changes that life has brought us. Blogging has been there through weaning, my second pregnancy and every single day since becoming a family of four. It has been there when LP broke her leg, when we had horrendous holidays and when we have had so many good times too.
Blogging has gone from something I do for an hour in the evening to being something I spend so much time… not ‘doing’ but being, living. Blogging is no longer just something I do but it’s something that I am and a huge part of my life.
Over the last four years I have come out of my shell as a person, I have grown and I have learnt so much. I have taught myself about the world of blogging, often with a little help, and I have made so many friends along the way. Friends who would be there even if I stopped blogging tomorrow. Friends that you drive to the other end of the country to see and ones that live so close you get together for playdates whenever you can.
Blogging has increased my social circles, it has given me a life long hobby and it has given me something to fill the quieter times of our life with – experiences and adventures. It has also given me the hope of one day working from home and it has given me the confidence to believe in myself and to prove people wrong. Kids that leave school at 16 and work full time can achieve so much if they put their mind to it.
When I wrote my first blog post on 1st April 2012 it couldn’t have been further from an April Fool. Four years ago I had no idea that blogging would change my life. I didn’t think anyone would read what I had to write and to be honest, I didn’t care. I was writing for me, documenting our family life, LP’s weaning journey and the things we got up to. I hadn’t thought of it past that.
But four years on and people do read what I write. People find my posts on Google and email me to ask me questions, thank me or just to say hello. I have written things people relate to, things people share with their friends and that people comment on, saying how they feel the same.
Four years on and I still feel like that same maternity leave Mummy just wanting to pass the time. I love my little space online as much as I did then and I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would grow as much as it has. I am constantly amazed that people read, I appreciate every single comment and I never take for granted the people that take time out of their lives to visit this little space of mine.
This month I have been ranked number 3 in the Tots100 chart and to many people that doesn’t mean anything at all but to me it means so much. It isn’t about a number, or even a chart, it’s so much more than that.
To start a blog, to write and to share your posts for years. To have people read it, to make friends and to be part of the blogging community. To help other bloggers, to share tips and to give back to that blogging community as much as possible. To share the blog love, to shout about blogs you love and to try, always, to remain true to your roots. To keep the blog grounded, about your family and a record of your lives. To spend every single evening doing this thing you love, blogging, writing, reading other blogs, commenting, sharing and then doing it all over again.
To do all of that, to do so much more and then to be ranked third in a chart you don’t quite understand but that you have always followed and checked. It’s such an overwhelming feeling. It doesn’t make my blog any more valid, any better or any more worthwhile. But, it’s like a pat on the back, a hand on your shoulder and a little hug all rolled into one. It’s a little bit of recognition and it’s somewhere I never, ever, expected to be.
Close friends will confirm that I joked at the start of the year that it’d be nice to be in the top 10 but did I ever expect it? Not in my wildest dreams. Those spots were reserved for the bloggers who inspired me to start blogging. The ones I have been reading for years and the ones who opened up this amazing world to me. I didn’t, ever, expect to see my name beside them.
But, for this month at least, that is where my name is. I am so proud of this space of mine, and so proud of myself. But even if next month I fall in the chart I will still be proud, and I will still be doing this thing I do. This blogging thing that non-bloggers often don’t really understand. This bloggy thing that has literally changed my life.