When I started my blog back in 2008, I was not a Mom. I was a married 27-year-old who had a new communications/outreach position with the Harris County Elections Division here in Houston. I started my blog as a “place to practice my writing”. Soon after I got pregnant and had my son. During that time I discovered Mommy bloggers and while it wasn’t too popular it was very much about being open and raw. It was about sharing for and with moms who wanted to feel relatable and like we belonged. I loved it. And, I shared. Lots. My husband quickly questioned how much I would share and with whom. Back then my biggest audience were family members who didn’t live in Houston or Texas and wanted to know about me, my pregnancies and my kid’s well-being. As well as close friends who loved blogs and some other mom blog connections that we would find via blog searches. I didn’t even have social media. :: insert completely flabbergasted gasps here::
Flash-forward to 2012, I had two children, discovered that bloggers got paid to blog and also had a full-time outside the home job in a non-related field. So, then again the question of what or how much to share came up. My husband’s biggest issue was that I was ruining our private/special family moments. It wasn’t how I felt but if he felt that way so I had to rethink my content and really cater it to an audience, which I was not doing before. I also had to think about conflict of interest with my job and privacy. I changed my perspective and content.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
You can still share content as yourself, be genuine and connect with others without having to share anything too personal. Or too much of your personal identifying information, like where you work or your kid’s schools, both of which I never write about or mention on my blog. And, I am not saying to be fake or lie about your reality, I am saying be tactful in how, when and what you share.
What and When to share:
Do share content that is relevant to moms- Obviously. Even when or if the topic may be difficult to talk about. Things like post-partum depression, tantrums, diaper rashes and your favorite place to eat with kids. These are all things that many moms new or seasoned can relate to, or can truly engage in. You will be more relatable for sharing your experience, in a real and raw matter. I love reading how other moms deal with certain milestones so that I either know what to expect or what I can do to help my situation. So share real experiences.
Do share in a real and raw fashion- It’s okay to tell people how you truly feel. Don’t be scared to share your heart, because you just never know how that can impact someone reading. As a storyteller, you will know how to compose your story so that the people reading it can find some hope or inspiration in our story. Not saying every post has to be super positive and inspirational because you want people to really get to know you, good or bad. But, providing them with your real story and how you may be overcome situations or faced your fears, is always good content.
Do share personal anecdotes and stories- When sharing your personal stories or things like family vacations, you don’t have to give every hard detail those details “belong” to you. Usually, telling people about your family trips can be confined to broad details like how family friendly it was, or if it was affordable or the type of family-friendly activities were available where you went. I never have to share super personal situations, unless they are truly relevant to my content.
Don’t share when you are sad, upset or feel like you are going to rat- While your feelings might be very real during difficult situations you may not mean what you say or right. Because when you are mad or sad your mindset is usually not in the same place as when you are calm and doing well. Don’t note write or share while you are sad or mad. I usually give myself a few hours or a day to calm down and rethink what I will share. It’s always helpful to walk away from posts where you feel the content will be too harsh or not truly what you mean. Be tactful. Again, not saying to be fake, just make sure you are in the right mindset.
What not to share:
Don’t share personal identifiers or information– People might think they truly know me, but I can guarantee you that unless you are a close friend or family member, you cannot tell me where my kids go to school or where I work. I do this on purpose. Most people (even family and friends) don’t know that I have a full-time job outside of blogging, in a non-related field or what I really do. And, vice versa, most my co-workers have no real clue about my online life. Not that I am not being real but I am trying to protect my privacy on both fronts.
Don’t share about your personal life, unless you are prepared to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth– Not saying I have never shared about my personal life. I have shared about my marriage and Husband here and there but I don’t ever share full details about my relationship with him, or about our personal issues or family issues. Those are our issues and truly, not public. My Husband is not a blogger nor does he care to be, so I try not to drag him into my posts because he doesn’t feel comfortable with it. I respect that! Once again, that’s not saying that I am not real or raw because I am. When I share about us on IG or on my blog, I always state that we are not perfect and the ways that we annoy one another. But, I don’t think I’ve ever made truly personal details public.
Don’t share about people who have not given you permission to share about them- When I write or post pictures of my kids and happenings. I rarely post a picture with other people’s children unless they feel comfortable with it or have asked me to share. And, even though my blog is public, I truly don’t like when other people share my kids’ pictures unless they are family or have asked for permission.
Remember that content can be real, raw and controlled all at once. But, it should not be unrealistic or fake!
THE AUTHOR: CONNIE GOMEZ
Connie, better known as Momma of Dos. Born and raised Texan, she grew up in a small town near the Mexican border and moved to Houston in 1999 to attend the University of Houston where she received her Bachelor’s in Psychology. She has worked in the non-profit and governmental sectors most of her career. These days she works around the clock to provide for her little Mexican-American family both in and outside the home. Her family is composed of her Husband who is also a University of Houston graduate and “Dos” amazing, children; Camila, 6 years old and Santiago, 8.