Blogging, It’s More Than Just Free Products

My husband sees things the old fashioned way. When I fell pregnant with P2, he asked me to be a stay at home mum so that I could watch her grow up and be there for her every step of the way. Just like his Mum was for him and for his brother. But the thought of giving up the only career I’d ever known was terrifying. I never went to college after having P1 and part of me always regrets that decision, however I went straight to work when she was ten months old. It certainly wasn’t a job that I pictured myself doing but it was well paid and I felt like an adult and a real mum.

I began my maternity leave on the 4th December 2012 still very head strong that I would be returning in nine months time to a job I didn’t particularly enjoy. I never imagined that getting a taster of being a stay at home mum would change me. I felt more independent, more grown up and even found confidence in myself for the first time ever. I was enjoying being a full time mum and that shocked me. Five months in we made the decision to extend my maternity leave to the full entitlement including annual leave I had accrued during my time off.

But as my time at home taking P1 to nursery, going to baby yoga with P2, soft play in the afternoons and visiting my Grandparents nearly every single day, I began to feel sick about returning to work. So the decision was made for me to quit my job and become a stay at home mum. I handed in my resignation and that was it. I had created this blog right at the beginning of my maternity leave, as a hobby to document my life and the girls. I was thrown into a world of parenting and three years on I am still here as a stay at home mum. 

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Recently I received a message from a friend. I’m sure she meant no harm by the message but for some reason I keep relaying it over and over in my head. Basically I had said I was really busy with work and she questioned what I meant by work, that she thought I’d found myself a well paid job and could retire early. Like I said, she meant no harm by it but I know that lots of people don’t understand blogging and I’ve had other people in the past question it or make comments that are all too familiar for us bloggers.

“Oh so you get free products and have to write about them. That sounds good. I should start a blog” is quite a common one for me and that happens with nearly everybody. Most people don’t even ask what I do for a living because I suppose it is a bit obvious when you attend several play groups a week with your kids. But the above statement always follows when someone has asked and I answer with blogging.

My blog is my job. I call it work when I need to get something done. I work blooming hard on this blog and it’s completely different to my 9-5:30 job being an Aircraft Spares Shipping Manager. It’s so much harder, more stressful and extremely tiring. It’s a constant just like parenting. I don’t have set hours, set breaks or annual leave. Blogging is a hobby and it’s my life. I don’t blog because I want free products or days out, I blog to document the girls as they grow up and thankfully my writing and photography has landing me with so many amazing opportunities.

I am probably rambling on a bit but I have to explain the whole free products and day trips because it’s not all fun and games like I suppose and outsider would see it as. I know my friends certainly do. When I receive ten or more parcels a week that’s ten different items I have to photograph in a styled way, it’s ten products I have to learn about fully before I can write about them, I have to plan exactly what I want to write to make sure I am explaining everything I think my reader will want to know about said product. I might have to create a recipe which would involve going to the shop to buy ingredients, filming or photographing every step and then writing about it. I have deadlines to meet and it’s stressful.

Then we move on to the days out and the holidays. I am so incredibly grateful for every single adventure we get to go on but sometimes it can be extremely stressful, especially when the girls aren’t behaving but I still have to photograph, film and pay attention to everything. It’s not just about enjoying myself like I would if I’d paid for the day out myself. There’s pressure put on to develop a certain post or review. Yes I may have bagged myself a long weekend in a brilliant cottage home and have a shiny new pram that I didn’t have to buy myself, but the background side of it isn’t exactly unicorns and fluffy clouds.

I work every day. Sometimes I can be doing it all day from the answering of emails, posting on social media, photographing or filming, editing said photos or video and of course all the hours of writing I do. I suppose it sounds like I don’t enjoy blogging and that certainly isn’t true. I adore my blog and I’m very proud of every opportunity I get, even the tiniest items. I feel very lucky to have a job I love even if it is a 24/7 one that I can’t switch off from very easily. Recently, I’ve been getting really lovely emails after I send my finished work to them and I finally feel appreciated a little for all the hard work and time I put into each blog post I create.

So there. I’ve finished ranting, I’m not even sure any of it makes any sense or has any structure but hey ho. Blogging is hard work but it’s a very rewarding job to have.

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18 comments

  1. I have only begun in the world of blogging, and it is far from easy. It takes up a lot of time, thought and preparation. And that’s without the added pressure of writing reviews x

  2. I couldn’t agree more! People just don’t ‘get it’, which is why the blogging/vlogging community is so amazing as we all understand each other and why we do what we do.

  3. When I ran MumsBabyMagazine my friends would often ask me to get them products for free and it irritated me, they werent free, they were worked for!

  4. I don’t think people understand unless they blog – I certainly didn’t appreciate how time consuming it was before I started and I’m nowhere near up to your standard of blogging! However, it is very different to working for someone else in an office, so I can see why people would think it’s not a “proper job”. As long as you enjoy it don’t worry about everyone else! 🙂

  5. I find it really hard to say what I do for a job as people don’t understand at all.

  6. I agree with all of this. Saving it to show the next person that thinks I have an easy life. Like you say it’s hard work but very rewarding x

  7. This is so annoying! I spend so much time on my blog. The hours I put in are probably the same as my part time job!

  8. I agree! It is my job too and it is so hard to switch off. There is always something you could be doing to grow your business and getting the balance right is tough. I love being able to work from home though 😉

  9. Have to agree, it does get annoying when people say ‘Oh I should start a blog and get free stuff too.’ They don’t realise all the work that actually ends up going into reviewing the product!

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