Wisdom from Mom Bloggers: 12 Lessons We Learned from Mom Bloggers in 2012Babble Editors
We couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic looking back at the past year’s Wisdom from Mom Bloggers, a series we launched in 2011 and continued this year with some of the top voices in the mom-blogging community. We heard from favorites such as Heather Armstrong, Jenny Lawson, Karen Walrond, Gabrielle Blair and more about all blogging topics under the sun — how they unplug from their ultra-connected careers, what advice they’d give to first-time bloggers, which undiscovered bloggers deserve a little more love, and even what their families think of their websites.
To celebrate twelve months of brilliant observations and witty quips from our favorite leading ladies, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite answers from throughout the year. Think of them as little bloggy fortune cookies, forecasting a prosperous year of writing and networking in 2013. And if you’re ready for more after that, don’t forget to check out this year’s Top 100 Mom Blog list.
The gig isn’t all writing 1 of 12I've been surprised by how much administration it requires. My inbox is a scary place. When I first got reader mail, I loved being able to respond and engage. Now, I've had to set boundaries with my time and can't always return every email. That has been disappointing, but necessary.
â€¨— Kristen Howerton, What's surprised you the most about blogging?
Blogging makes a great Christmas gift 2 of 12Each year, I turn that year's blog posts into a hardcover book and tuck away copies for my children. I want my children to know what I put into my love for them, that my investment in their lives started way before either one's birth day and blossomed without end. The blog lets me do that. I love knowing that they will be able to hold in their hands our memories of how we spent our days, that they will see the photos behind the stories and read the stories behind the photos, and that they will get an idea of the children they used to be.â€¨
— Jennifer Linney, What are the greatest gifts blogging's given you?
Don’t let a few mean comments stop you 3 of 12Understand that people who leave you nasty, hurtful comments are just sad, miserable people living in their mom's basement with too much time on their hands.â€¨
— Joslyn Gray, What's one tip you'd give a new reader?
Split your day between work and play 4 of 12I think it's important to set aside hours to work and hours to play; I'm offline a lot of the day and most weekends. Two of my tricks: I don't carry my iPhone around the house with me, and with few exceptions, I stay away from the laptop during the after-school hours â€¨through bedtime. â€¨
- Gabrielle Blair, How do you unplug from blogging?
We’re in it together 5 of 12Blogging is not a zero-sum game. Really, it's not. When another blogger has an amazing post, it doesn't mean you can't have an amazing post. When a mom turns blogging into other opportunities, be happy for her! Every blogger blazes her own trail. â€¨
— Elizabeth Jayne Liu, What do you wish you'd known before you started?
It pays to be engaged 6 of 12Comment on other blogs. Email people you admire. Don't try to sell your blog. Try to make a connection with other people in your same boat, and mean it. The point of a blog is to be a part of an online community, and to have a good time creating new relationships. Don't get too caught up in page views and numbers of comments. Just get out there and play.â€¨
— KJ DellAntonia, What's one tip you'd give a new reader?
Photo Credit: Earl Wilson for the New York Times
Twitter comes in handy for the job 7 of 12I wish I'd known more about social media, specifically Twitter. I did not use these critical tools very effectively my first year as a blogger. But once I started learning how to really use Twitter to my advantage, my readership and my network definitely grew leaps and bounds. I LOVE Twitter now! â€¨(See: For best results, tweet like a ho-bag.) â€¨
— Iris Beard, What do you wish you'd known before you started?
Blogging can give more than you expected 8 of 12Oh, wow. My miscarriage damn near knocked me down for good. I was devastated. I wanted to hide, but the more I Googled, looking for help, the more alone I felt. So I chose to put it out there. Everything. And that alone brought me more online help and compassion than I have ever experienced.
— Michelle Boudreaux, What are the greatest gifts blogging's given you?
Mom bloggings here to stay 9 of 12It started as a way for moms to bond over a series of shared experiences — to find common ground as they struggled, flourished, grew, and muddled their way through parenting. And now, "mom blogging" is its own entity. It is recognized by brands and the media as a force. It often carries a negative connotation. And yet, at its core, it is still so lovely — it is still a way for one woman to reach out to another and say, "I understand."
— Danielle Smith, What's surprised you the most about blogging?
Super moms are all around us 10 of 12Honestly, everywhere I look, there's a mother doing something better than I am: remembering the note in the lunch box, or reacting with kindness when her kid's freaking out, or convincingly pretending she'd rather be playing Candy Land than watching Breaking Bad. When I'm not busy seething with envy — when I can see past my own issues to the place where my best self lives — pretty much every mother I meet inspires me to try to be better in some way. Except for that bitch in my Zumba class. God, do I hate her guts. â€¨
— Julie Robichaux, Who are you inspired by?
Not everybody understands what you do 11 of 12The people that live in my house require that I receive their approval before posting anything involving them. My extended family thinks it has something to do with "The Facebook" … or something.
â€¨— Laura Mayes, What does your family think about your blog?
Youll never know who will inspire you 12 of 12My cat, Snowball, inspires me. She was really great at carrying her babies using just her mouth. I've never been able to perfect that.
— Jenny Lawson, Who are you inspired by?
Main image credit: Flickr user Victor1558