March Round Up
Well it’s been a funny old month. You may have noticed I’ve blogged a lot less. At first my words got stuck and I couldn’t form what I wanted to say. Then I realised I didn’t have time for everything so continued to give myself time off. I’ve also been having a really tough month with my mental health as we’ve started doing trauma work in therapy. It is really really hard. We are renovating the upstairs of our house meaning boxes everywhere and sofa surfing at various people’s houses. Being out of my comfort zone is HARD. Finally, a thread on Mumsnet has made me reflect on what I’m publishing and why I’m publishing it.
Blogging and income
Here’s what I’m thinking right now:
My blog has helped me (and others) traverse through the journey of grief and trauma. It has helped me manage my mental health, and helped me process what has happened. I have loved my blog for that. It also helped me to see that I was being a good (enough) Mum on the days that I felt like a failure and became riddled with guilt. Writing about my adventures in motherhood has been fun. I enjoyed it. These things all make me feel good and that is ultimately why I write.
In February, I quit my job because the load on my mental health was too great. In the midst of multiple miscarriages, I needed a break. However, leaving my job made my anxiety spike for different reasons: money. Basically I was in a situation that I felt totally unable to go to work, but also realised I needed to be earning. So in order to calm those worries, I set about thinking of ways to earn. It struck me that maybe my blog could become income.
And maybe it could.
I have written about how a blog can make money. I’ve written posts with affiliate links. I have adverts on my site. I have also got a full inbox with writing opportunities.
But it all made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. The work opportunities filling my inbox don’t seem to fit. I don’t want to write about something because I have to. This is my happy place – I don’t want to fill it with other people’s words and products if I don’t love them. And if they have no relevance to miscarriage, mental health and motherhood, do they have a place here? I’m not your standard mummy blogger – and there lies my problem. I don’t want to water down what I think matters most, by writing about every paid opportunity. I’ve found myself worrying more and more about what I’m saying. My honesty has freed me and is what I’ve built this blog around – it’s really hard to make sure what you are writing really is true and has integrity when suddenly you are paid to write it.
So here is what I have decided:
I am not going to pursue any paid opportunities coming from this blog. I will continue to add affiliate links if they are appropriate to what I happen to be writing about. All the posts I have written specifically with affiliate links in mind will stay in my drafts folder. I didn’t hit publish for a reason – it just isn’t what I’m about. I, of course, will continue to declare openly if there are affiliate links that happen to be appropriate to what I want to write about. The same goes for product reviews and freebies – I will only write my honest opinion (as I always have). If the product was a gift I will say so. Please know that I will still give my honest opinion.
OK. So that’s it. I think I might feel able to write again now. Which is great because I’ve missed it. And now that I’ve got that off my chest, here is the rest of what March offered:
1 Step Closer
In the midst of snow, chocolate, meals out, working too many hours and my mental health deteriorating, fitting in running has been a real CHALLENGE. This week I decided not to run. So I should be at 500 minutes, but I’m only at 430. With 6 weeks to go, that leaves me about 100 minutes a week, or two 50 minutes runs. I’m confident I can do it! I’m enjoying running more, running longer and further and feeling better for it. When I have time! I’m completely OK with the fact that I didn’t have time last week (usually I would be beating myself up pretty badly about it) because life is BUSY.
I will complete me challenge so it is OK if my schedule is too hectic for a week.
If you want to donate, visit my fundraising page or text MDLD99 £3 to 70070.
Thank you so much to everyone that has donated so far. Whilst I don’t think I’ll hit £1000, I am absolutely delighted to be able to give ICP Support some money. If anyone is interested, they also run a monthly raffle and given that they sold 100 tickets last month, your odds of winning are actually much much better than they are of winning the National Lottery. You can buy tickets here.
When I was pregnant with Boo, we made a choice. It’s a choice I didn’t want to make but I knew I was putting our daughter first. We chose not to move house. We chose to stay in our small house with our small mortgage. This was hard for me as I was desperate for space and to have a house that felt more like our forever home. But on reflection, I am so glad we made the sensible choice. Because having a small home means we could afford for me to quit my job. Sometimes not having things, is a far better outcome! In order to enjoy our little house, we have been slowly doing it up (read: adding more and more storage options). Finally, our bedroom is getting a proper up-do. We are currently camped out at our in laws as all of upstairs has been replastered. Electrics are done. Now we just have to put up some amazing wall paper and paint the walls.
We have had a little saga with our bed. When my husband and I moved in together we kept his bed and got rid of mine. I’ve always hated his bed as it was way too masculine for my taste. Finally we decided to get a new bed. Then I decided I wanted a bright flamingo pink bed. And my husband said yes! We bought a gorgeous bed on gumtree ready to paint (I wasn’t about to paint a brand new one …) but … oh. my. god. The noise! It was relentlessly squeaky. No amount of washers, WD40, screws, padding or lying as still as possible helped. After a week, I completely lost it (sorry fam) and we decided the best thing would be to get rid of the bed. With great joy, I got the tools out and dismantled that sleep thief! Hurrah!
Now we have no bed. So this week we need to go and find and order one and hope it won’t take too long to arrive. Because until then, our mattress is on the floor.
Oh how I miss that masculine bachelor bed.
If you have any tips or recommendations please let me know – I have no idea where to start and it is so overwhelming suddenly being faced with buying something so expensive. Help! Also mattresses – I have read about 1000 reviews and still have no idea. It’s a lot of money to spend and get wrong!
We may not have a bed but I have bought bedding! La Redoute have a massive 40% off sale so I treated us to some new bedding. I cannot wait to put it on when we finally have a new bed.
I’ve also got some amazing prints for the wall from small businesses.
I have 2 more arriving soon from local businesses. I’ll post them up on Instagram when they arrive and I might do a bedroom post on here once it’s all done.
Boo is obsessed with skirts at the moment. She has a lovely tutu but after wearing it every day I decided to buy her some more. Mini me stitches custom made a gorgeous panda skirt for Boo. We also ordered some panda leggings which are made from gorgeous material.
Last year I discovered a small brand called Pop Pop Designs by Lea Lloyd. I really love her clothes so ordered some last year. At the time, Lea had changed her printing process so the image was a little faded. I still loved the tshirts and was very happy with them. However, when Lea changed her printing process again earlier this year she contacted me to ask if she could send the Tshirt again. This was so kind of her as I was already really happy with what we had (part of the amazing service of shopping with small brands). However, the new tshirts are AMAZING! The tshirts are made from organic cotton and wear really well. They are perfect for spring as they are slightly thicker material than a normal Tshirt. The ink designs really pop and look fab! Boo particularly loves her new sparkly silly sausage Tshirt. Along with her twirly skirts, she pretty much wears these tops all the time. Thank you Lea!
I. LOVE. AUDIBLE. Oh my goodness what a game changer. I have loved listening to multiple books over the last month and happily kept my membership going after the free trial finished. For £7.99 a month you get one credit. Last month I used this to get How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. I didn’t love the narrator but found his voice more enjoyable at 1.25x speed. I’m still to decide what book I will get this month. In the meantime, books are pretty expensive. Here is how I have navigated the confusing interface to find cheaper books:
On audible.co.uk there is daily download for about £1.99. I check in every day to see if it is something I will enjoy. You can get some great books at bargain prices this way. There are a real variety of genres to choose from.
On amazon.co.uk you can search and filter by price. I have searched authors or genres and found books at a price I am happy to pay. I love the classics and have really enjoyed listening to some Jane Austin and Charles Dickens for less than £2 a book.
Otherwise, if I see a book I really want to listen to but it’s too expensive, I put it on my wish list and wait to get it with my monthly credit. So far it’s working out well. You can get a month for free using this affiliate link. Just set a reminder on your phone for 29 days from now to decide whether you want to keep or cancel.
So that was March. It was a toughie. But there were so many successes amongst the struggles. I’m looking forward to the month ahead.