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Tuesday 13 February 2018

'O' Is For Optimism - Finding My Blogging Niche

O is for Optimism - finding my blogger ni

I've been having a bit of a blog crisis recently. Perhaps crisis isn't quite the word, but it's definitely some sort of general re-evaluation of purpose.

If you talk to any blogger, they will tell you that a blog needs a niche. "What need do you fill?" "What does your blog do?" It's a really good question, one that has had me tossing ideas into a metaphorical waste paper bin rather frequently on my commute to work recently.

The problem is, it's all been done before. The Unmumsy Mum broke the mould when she first started blogging about real motherhood, when suddenly a million mums across the country rejoiced in their emancipation, in mutual acknowledgement of the fact that motherhood isn't all cotton buds and cuddles. That sometimes it's a bit hard and more than a bit shit.

There are blogs about autism, homeschooling, multiple births, baby-wearing, working mums, single mums, chic mums, slummy mums, mums who travel, mums who day trip, city mums, country mums, foodie mums and crafty mums. And of course, the Dad blogs too.

But where do I sit in all this? What do I bring to the table? 

I'm not special. I don't have a ground-breaking birth story to tell (in short, it was a bit harrowing but I got through it). I can slum it like a pro on a Wednesday morning when the boys are at home with me, but like to think I don't scrub up too badly when the occasion calls for it either. And I have been complimented several times on my lemon and lime cheesecake, but I can't make a decent Victoria sponge and should absolutely not be trusted with a glue gun.

I could bet that the only thing that I have in common with these blogger mums is that despite being tired 99% of the time, we all still hobble along trying to be the best parent we can be. Until bedtime, at least. Tomorrow is a new challenge.

I apologise if this all sounds a bit negative. That's not my intention. When all's said and done, I'm pretty happy with my lot. And things could be a lot worse.

Maybe that's my niche: optimism. Blind, ignorant, sometimes ridiculous but not completely unfounded, optimism.

As the Unmumsy Mum thankfully allowed us to admit, parenthood is not all daisy chains and ice cream. But it's not all bad either. At least, I sincerely hope it's not for you.

The more aware I have become of the difficulties of parenthood, whether they're challenges I have faced personally or not, the more it becomes clear to me that we need that optimism in our lives. We need to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. That the sun will come out tomorrow (and maybe the kids will stay in bed until then - thank you, Groclock).

I needed that optimism in the early days of sleep deprivation, that hope that some day they would sleep through and I would feel like a human again. I needed it through the breastfeeding and the leaky poos and the loneliness and everything else that tempted me to run far, far away. I need it now during the shopping centre tantrums and when "NO, I want DADDY!" is the mantra of the day.

Heck, I need it when the car breaks down and I run out of chocolate.

Even writing this though, I realise that I could have had it much harder. There are experiences other mums have been through that make me thank my lucky stars and pledge even more sincerely to underpin my writing with support and encouragement. A literary hug, as it were. 

I may not have been in your shoes, but that doesn't mean I'm not in your corner.



  1. I still don't know my niche. People tell me it seems to appeal to new parents, but with Ben approaching two; can I still class that as a new parent? I also don't want to be a twin mum blog as I've got Ben who isn't a twin! Its so hard to find a niche isn't it? My thought is that it'll strike me when I least expect it!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

  2. Niche? Everyone talks about niche. You can't progress without a niche. Maybe they are right. But is there anything wrong with writing what you want to write. What you're feeling at that time? Maybe then you'll find your niche. I enjoy writing and I think my posts are more honest when I write about what I'm feeling rather than what fits inside a box. #TriumphantTales

  3. Niches are there to be broken. Nobody fits one mould online or off. Yes things have been said before but you are unique and you may see a different perspective. #TriumphantTales

  4. We all can use a dose of optimism... and maybe your niche, is actually being niche-less? Go no! #triumphanttales xoxo