How many times have you heard someone say that all Mummy bloggers write about is nappies and weaning? Or that a parent blog has a natural shelf life, and will expire somehow when the children are no longer young?
A third of the bloggers in the Tots100 have children aged 5 or under, and we list hundreds of blogs written by parents of older children and teenagers. So how does blogging change as your children grow up?
Louise from Bloggomy has children aged from almost two to over 19, so knows more than most about blogging through the different stages of parenting! Here, she shares her thoughts on blogging about older children:
Picture this – you’re a parent blogger happily babbling about your baby and life with a new-born. There are the highs and lows of nappies, and sleepless nights. All too soon, you’re on to toddler tantrums, and the terrible twos. Then there’s nursery and toilet training and getting ready for school.
At every stage, there are fellow bloggers at the same stage in life – sharing advice and many of them at home during the day, or awake in the wee small hours, just like you.
But sooner or later, you reach the stage when the children start school. You might go back to work, start a new career, get caught up in activities and family days out. Where does this leave you and your blog? Does it become irrelevant?
I think lots of people worry about being washed up on the shores of parent blogs when their children reach school age. As a Mum to four children aged 19, 12, 10 and just 15 months, I have had experience of all the stages of parent blogging.
Yes, having a pre-school child does mean you have a whole array of blogging material close at hand. But parenting older children is also a rich source of blogging inspiration. I write about my older children, but perhaps in a different way – those stories of mishaps, worries and ‘firsts’ are less frequent these days, and I have to bear in mind that they may not want to be the ‘star’ of my latest blog post every time they do something I find hysterical, but they find less so.
The older children are very conscious that their school friends may find my blog, and that limits my ability to share their lives on it. I’m very sure they don’t want me to post photos of them in cute poses, while my 15-month-old is a very happy model!
So what are the options? Short of adding to your family and starting the blogging journey all over again (bit extreme) how do you blog successfully as a parent to older children? What parent blogs have real longevity?
In my view, the parenting journey doesn’t stop when children turn five, so why should a blog stop then? Your blog is your space and if it is important, therapeutic or downright hysterical, then by all means share it!
Many parent blogs evolve over time to include more of the “parent” – as we’re able to claim a bit more time and space for ourselves, our blogs can change to reflect this shift.
Blogs written by parents to older children can also address the challenges of this phase of parenting – homework, balancing school and play, healthy eating, family budgeting and holidays – these are issues faced by all parents, and blogs play a vital role in allowing us to share our experiences online.
If you’re a parent to an older child, there are some fantastic Tots100 blogs written by Mums of older children and teens. Here are a few you might like to explore:
Nickie is a Mum to two grown up children, and uses her blog to write about, well, just about anything that takes her fancy!
Rosie’s daughter IJ is an inquisitive, lively eight year old, and Rosie’s blog has evolved to become a charming mix of parenting stories and posts about Rosie’s own life.
DD’s Diary is a gorgeous blog that combines book reviews, opinions and tales of family life in Dulwich from journalist and author Alice, Mum to two teenage daughters.
Crystal Jigsaw, written by Kathryn, is a fabulous insight into farming life, and also shares the story of Kathryn’s life with her daughter Amy, who has autism.
Not Supermum is Mum to a teen and an almost-teen, and combines family life with a career as a primary school teacher.
What do you think? Do blogs have a shelf life? And how has your blog evolved as your children have got older?