So here we are halfway through 2018, and this seems like a good time to take stock of Mum’s the Boss.
Once in a while in the life of many blogs, it is often a good idea to sit back and focus a bit on what the blog is all about. And so it’s time for me to take a good look at Mum’s the Boss.
If you are one of my regular readers you will know that this blog was allowed to slide into disuse and disrepair for a while (OK for several years). I had quite a few family issues to deal with, encompassing caring for someone with cancer, bereavement and selling of my family home, mental health issues and redundancy in the family, and now, my dad being diagnosed with dementia and moving into a care home. It’s at times like those that I have been truly glad that I work from home and for myself. I was able to just park the blog and throw myself wholeheartedly into caring for the person or people that needed me at the time. That, after all, is what mothers do.
In the middle of it all the menopause hit me good and hard – which is part of what informed my quest for natural remedies like essential oils. That journey is now an essential part of me, and will probably find its way into the blog because it’s who I am. And of course the children…. when I started blogging they were only just starting primary school and I had lots to say on the subject of how kids should be educated, entertained and fed at that age. Now my children are 15 and 13, and although I do still have some opinions on parenting, it’s all a little bit different….
I have a huge amount to be grateful for, don’t get me wrong. And although I flirted with the outer edges of depression at times during the last three years, I didn’t completely fall into the dark pit, thank goodness. Somehow I have found sufficient resilience within myself to hold myself together and to heal. But it’s still a colossal struggle some days, and I know I’m not alone in this.
Is anyone there?
Now that I have the time and inclination to come back to this blog, I did wonder to myself whether I still had an audience at all, was anyone out there to listen to my inane ramblings? Ratings had certainly gone down and my email list had dwindled to almost nothing.
So the last three months have been an experiment – I have been writing again, and curating posts from elsewhere too. I have taken some hesitant steps back out into social media land and decided to have a go at Pinterest, whch I had always avoided as irrelevant up to now.
And the definitive answer is yes – I most certainly do still have a potential readership and a market, although perhaps not the one that I thought I was appealing to. Pinterest has gone absolutely bananas over the last three months, but it seems the things that people are flocking to are my smoothie recipes, healthy eating tips, my stuff about doTERRA and also some of my parenting posts. So not so much the work from home market that I thought I was writing to, although I guess it is still possible that some of the smoothie drinkers and essential oil lovers are actually mums at home. So I’ve seen what people want , and I’m determined to do more of it, as well as a bit more of what I want to write about and what interests me now.
So I’ve been having a bit of a think, and doing exactly what I would recommend any new blogger to do – defining my ideal reader/customer – or rather redefining her.
She’s not the same person that I was writing to back in 2010 because I’m not the same person.
I’ve been mulling over the new reader persona for some time and then it dawned on me. My story of having to leave the blog for three years because life took over, defines me, and a whole host of other women. We are a niche, and maybe a forgotten, downtrodden one. Maybe some of us have a job, maybe some of us have home businesses or are home educators, and some are caring full time for young children, children with special needs or adult relatives. Whatever it is, and however much we are juggling, we do it all to the best of our abilities, but in the process we run the risk of losing a bit of our essential selves, our health and a bit of our sanity.
The quest I am on, since menopause, since (just about) losing my parents, and since becoming aware of this problem, is a voyage of rediscovery. I need to have fun, just for me, occasional treats, and I need to take care of and love myself a whole lot more, because nobody else is going to do it for me. I need to happily stand up for myself, and get help or just say no when things are too much for me to handle alone. In short, I need to add myself to the list of people that I care for.
In order to do this, I need to find time and space in my busy life. I need to step up and change a few things around here. I need to get more efficient and productive at doing the stuff that must be done, so that I can find time for the stuff that I want to do and that nurtures me.
I cannot pour from an empty cup and I must put on my own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs. But also, by getting on top of the clutter, mental and physical in my home and my life, and working more efficiently so I have time for play, I will become a better parent and wife, and the whole family will be happier, especially me.
Mum’s the Boss is for all the women in the middle of it all. Mum certainly is the Boss – we are in charge of so much and the buck stops with us.
We have children or step children – maybe even grandchildren that we look after. But we may also have parents who are becoming frail and starting to depend on us. We have houses and gardens to look after, the kids’ education and extra-curricular calendar to take care of, some of us do voluntary work, and we should also be saving for our own and our children’s futures… But many of us have partners in demanding jobs who can’t help us because they are working, or maybe we are single parents. It just never seeems to stop!
Does this resonate with you? It’s certainly a story that I have seen in many versions on my friends’ social media accounts. I was lucky enough to be able to take time out to deal with some of my more serious issues but I know people who are going through worse than me, while still working and parenting and all the rest of it. I salute you all, strong, wonderful women, but I also want to help you to find some happiness just for you.
I have been taking care of myself much more in the last year or so, nurturing myself with better food, better sleep and relaxation in several forms. I do take some time just for me now, and I have found several outlets which have helped me to rediscover my happy, all of which I will be sharing with you on this blog. it’s still a stuggle, the guilt is still there and I coud still do more about my health and fitness, but at least I have recognised the problem and I have started to address it.
So Mum’s the Boss is going to document my search for health, wealth, happiness and my essential self, and I will share the hints and tips that I find to help me on my way. I will be covering topics like
- Self Care
- Healthy Eating
- Mindfulness and relaxation
- Time management and productivity
- Home organisation and decluttering
- Small business tips, especially those which make life more efficient , like social media scheduling
- Parenting (particularly teens) and preparing for the empty nest
- Developing passive income streams (so I have some pocket money to go out and play with)
I hope that some of you reading this will choose to come with me on my journey as this blog enters a new chapter. I’m also startig up a new community of mums like me in September. Mums in the Middle is for anyone who is stressed or overwhelmed with the mum role…. Take a look here, or leave your email address below for more details