What Being a New Mom Taught Me About Blogging (And Life In General)

jasper

This is Jasper.

This summer, at the ripe old age of 38, I became a mom to a baby boy named Jasper. To be honest, I never thought it would actually happen as for many years I was ambivalent to child bearing. I roll my eyes at baby showers and utlrasound pics. Minivans scare me. The thought of becoming a hyper competitive helicopter parent made me want to throw up.

But in the end, it was the love that got me. I didn't want to go through life without having that bond with another person, being a mom, and possibly finally understanding my own mom.

I've only been a parent for five weeks, and by no means an expert in parenting. So far, my baby is still alive, and growing. He seems happy, but at this stage, they don't really show emotions yet. However, the whole experience has changed my perspective, not only on life in general but about my work, and blogging. It will probably change over time, but here is what I've learned so far.

Not all advice is good advice.

As soon as I started telling people I was pregnant, I got all kinds of advice. Granted, generally advice is well meaning. People love to help, and it's great to hear what's worked for other people, but not all advice will work for you. Maybe they don't have all the facts, or their advice is out of date. When I would hear something, I would think about it, and research, and maybe try it out. But just because someone has more experience didn't always mean their advice would work for me.

Whatever works.

blogging with a babyMy baby will not sleep in his crib. As soon as we put him down, he wakes up and starts screaming. This has been going on for five weeks, every night. Even though some experts say it's dangerous to sleep with your baby (although most of the world sleeps with their babies), the baby sleeps with us. It works. I'm not going to kill myself sleeping less than I'm already sleeping over it.

When it comes to blogging, if you are doing something, and it's not “conventional wisdom” and it's working, do it. Just do it. It works for you and that's what counts. If you're growing traffic and you're not engaging with anyone, great. If you have to reply to every. single. tweet. comment. email to build your following, do it.

Do what you can, and if it's working, keep doing it.

Don't judge.

After watching “The Business of Being Born” I was CONVINCED I had to have an unmedicated childbirth. Everyone thought I was crazy, I started thinking about home birth, water births, etc. I read hypnobirthing books, and went to birthing classes because I was going natural. To be honest I felt a little superior about it.

When labor started, it went on for 40 hours, I didn't sleep for two days and I had back labor which is painful. Around 35 hours I caved, asked for medication, and got an epidural. Let me tell you… it was magical. Thank goodness for modern medicine!

Anyway, when it comes to blogging, there will be bloggers who make mistakes, who do things that aren't the prettiest, or by the book. But it works for them. Who knows, maybe one day, it'll be us that goes down that path.

Be gentle with yourself, with others.

Before I was pregnant, I was so hard on myself, especially when it came to my body image. I never felt “thin enough.” When I gained 50 pounds from pregnancy, and looked back at those prepregnancy photos I felt stooopid for being so hard on myself.

We are all our harshest critic. It's hard to see, particularly in the moment. So when you're feeling like you're not good enough, stop it. You are good enough… believe me!

Put a lot of love into it.

When you love what you do, you put more effort into it. Whether it be blogging or child rearing, love is the key do being happy about putting so much work into something. I haven't slept through the night yet, this baby is attached to me 24/7 and I love every second of it, even if motherhood's one of the most demanding things I've ever tried to do. When you love something, you go the extra mile, you enjoy it, and brings meaning into your life. The same goes for blogging, if you love your blog, and love what you do, all those little tasks and the hard work has meaning to you, no matter where your blog takes you.

 

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23 Responses

  1. Asia Mays

    Congrats on this cutie pye Jasper! I love the comparison of motherhood and business. Synonymous is many ways. Great article and congrats again.

    Reply
  2. Nicole @ Three 31

    What a great and special and beautifully written post! Congrats on your cutie-patootie Jasper, he’s so handsome. My husband and I are expecting our first in December, so we have a blessing to adore as well. Thank you for sharing these bits of wisdom …. for first-time mothers AND bloggers!!!!!

    Reply
  3. Jane {torontoshopoholic}

    CONGRATS. Many of these insights are very true. Ultimately it comes down to just keep trying and love what you do.

    Jasper is lovely – welcome to the mommyhood club 😉

    Reply
  4. Seppy

    What an amazing post Jennine!!! Probably one of the best ones that I’ve ever read on IFB! Congrats on your beautiful baby! And your advice is totally true ! Thanks for the reminder! Take care and good luck with the lack of sleep!! 🙂

    Reply
  5. SACRAMENTO

    Such a brilliant and down to earth post.
    When I had my first girl it was all about “the baby needs its own space”, so we put her in a separate room. When the second one came along I was wiser and had her close to me- us.
    They are both the same close to me now , but the road to closeness took longer with the one who had her own STUPID space.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Reply
    • Jennine Jacob

      haha… i can see how easy that is to happen! we actually moved so he could have his own room. now it’s just used to change his diapers and hold his stuff, and we use it as an office. real smart!

      and to think i put that crib together at 38 weeks because it HAD to be done so he’d have a place to sleep!

      Reply
  6. Hey Mishka

    What a beautiful post – thank you for this and congratulations on your little one! This makes me even more obsessed with the idea of having kids than I already am. ;}

    xx
    Mishka
    http://heymishka.com

    Reply
  7. Kylie

    Aw he is a cutie…congrats!

    I slept with my daughter until she was 1 and a half and at 3 she still creeps in my room in the early hours. It makes them feel safe and that’s what’s important. I never thought I would crush her.

    Great post and there is so many life lessons you learn out of becoming a parent… You become a different person

    Reply
  8. Sandra at Debutante Clothing

    Oh Jennine! You have brought some sunshine to a pretty shitty day for me. I am so happy for you, and you know that personally you have brought me some hope. Thank you for getting personal.

    Reply
  9. em barrett

    Fantastic! I’m22 wks now, first time mummy and a blogger. Thank you so much for your wise wise words. I have been inundated with advice and “oh your life will never be the same” etc. Sometimes it all gets a bit much and you feel you need to walk your own path. Thank you for the great post. em 🙂

    Reply
  10. Cortney

    Congrats on the baby boy!
    I totally agree with you regarding putting the extra mile into something you love.
    My blog is not something i can reach out and physically touch, have or hold, but for me, it is my happy place and i love it. It brings great meaning to my life.

    PS The advice doesn’t stop after birth – i get unsolicited advice all time with an 18 month old. I usually listen, nod and smile and sometimes can even take something away from it!

    Reply
  11. lieslg

    Such a simply (and accurately) executed parallel-post, Jennine 🙂

    And oh, my! Your Jasper is most certainly a few (giant) steps ahead of cuuuute!

    PS: I’m a few years (literally!) ahead of you with similar (pre-Jasper) sentiments, but your post has pulled me, ever-so-slightly, into ‘baby-love-land’!! Hahaha

    Congratulations on your BabyBoyLOVE x

    Cheers
    Liesl
    lieslg.com

    Reply
  12. Shaqinah Fakar

    Congratulations – Jasper’s a megahunk! And thank you for this great article – I loved how you interlaced and correlated your experience as a new mother with the business of blogging! As I’m just starting out with my blog and building up my network – it can get a little daunting and at times de-motivating – this article is particularly touching for me. Thank you for the inspirational post! Take care and all the best Xxxxx

    Reply
  13. Janet Dubac

    Thank you so much for sharing this Jennine! This is a post that a lot of moms should read. I love the way you wrote the article and I learned so much from it. It’s very wonderfully written and it is full of great stuff! 🙂

    Reply
  14. carly tati

    Jennine,
    Congratulations on baby Jasper, he is such a cutie. When will we stop being so hard on ourselves, about our blogs, our bodies? We are our own toughest critics but in this moment of reading your post, it made me pause and say we are all doing our best and we just need to keep doing what works for us and celebrating the beautiful things of life. Thanks for sharing such lovely and personal thoughts:)
    Cheers
    Carly

    Reply
  15. Overwhelming Want

    Congratulations! I am so impressed with what you picked up in just five weeks. It’s taken me over two years to figure out the part about being gentle with myself…and I still have a hard time giving myself a break. When you become a mom, it’s amazing how your thoughts and opinions change week by week. Sounds like you’re ahead of the game!

    Reply
  16. KM Fern

    Congrats! I have 3 boys and none of them would ever sleep in their cribs either. Since they were pretty big, full term babies I felt okay letting them sleep next to me. Some people sleep too heavily and they would not wake up if they rolled over baby, but if you are a light sleeper I think it is fine as long as you clear your bed of extra pillows and blankets. Great posts and insight!

    Reply