You may have noticed – or not, hopefully you all have better things to do with your time than monitor my online activity! – that I haven’t been overly chatty of late.
In fact, I haven’t published a blog post since mid-December.
This started off as simply a week off as I wallowed on the sofa with nasty dose of flu two weeks before Christmas. Then came Christmas, which I was now behind on prep for, so I decided to take Christmas off.
Then, on Jan 3, I started a very exciting new job, and I thought, ‘just one more week while I settle into the new routine, get my ducks in order, etc, etc’.
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A smudge late to the party, but hopefully I'm just fashionable rather than just plain rude…….! After a bit of a blog and social media break over the festive season, I've started 2017 off with a bang. This week, as well as a new year, I started a new job. After seven years in marketing, moonlighting for the past three years as a blogger and freelance writer, I'm taking my career in a slightly new direction as an Editor at a UK parenting website. I'm four days in and they haven't sent me packing yet, so fingers crossed that's a good sign! Hope your New Years are all off to as successful a start. Here's to a bit less drama, a few less deaths and a lot of health and happiness for 2017!🎉 #newjob #firstday #hello2017 #freshstart
And suddenly, it’s mid-February.
I’ve had some bursts of writing inspiration over the past eight weeks, but on the whole, I’ve just been enjoying the calm. I haven’t been thinking about likes, comments, page views. I’ve found that I’m a bit more relaxed (ish). I have more time for myself, the Other Half and Little Miss.
On my commute, rather than typing furiously on my iPhone or scribbling a blog post outline in my notebook to and from work, (I get the train, I don’t drive!) I’ve been grabbing an extra 20 minutes kip on the way home. I feel more refreshed when I walk through the door, in a better frame of mind to help wrangle an over tired toddler into bed.
I’ve also been reading more. Which is long overdue and glorious. I’ve been meaning to read The Book Thief for years; it’s been sat on my shelf, forlorn, unloved and forgotten, patiently waiting for me to have the time and headspace to devote to it. I’ve also finished The Power, which was excellent and half heartedly skim read Feminist Fight Club (not really my style of feminism I’m afraid). Which means in eight weeks I’ve read three books.
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The Book Thief, by @markuszusak I've taken a break from blogging since mid December. My evenings have been wide open – honestly, it's been glorious. But most importantly, after all these years, I've managed to *finally* read The Book Thief. Hands down one of the most captivating and beautifully written books I've ever had the privilege of devouring. I'm so glad I waited until I could genuinely devote time to it and enjoy it. (Speaking as someone who's read a *lot* of books based in/around WWII) it's so original and manages to bring an entirely fresh perspective to WWII. It's poignant, funny, shocking, brave and I found myself bumping into people on the street, not because I was looking at my phone but because my was nose glued to a book for the first time in years. I simply couldn't put it down. I'm purposefully giving no spoilers here, which makes for a rather vague review. But in short: READ THIS BOOK! An absolutely cracking start to 2017. I don't really know how I follow this! . #amiecaitlinrecommends #thebookthief #markuszusak #whatimreading #bestbook #amazingbook #wwii #wwiiliterature #bloggingbreak #favouritebook #bookworm #bigbookworm
I expected to miss blogging more than I have done. Over the past month, it’s been ticking over in the back of my mind – ‘why aren’t I missing it more?!’ and this is where I’ve got to:
In October 2013, I started this blog in its original guise, Bump, Baby and Me. It was a time of great uncertainty in my life. I was lonely, my confidence had taken a knock and I was staring down the barrel of a huge unknown. We’d fallen unexpectedly pregnant at just 24 and frankly, my whole world felt like it was spiralling.
Then, just as we had pulled ourselves together, I was made redundant the week I went on maternity leave. And suddenly, we were thrust once again into the unknown, this time with a constant worry of money and me wondering how I would get my career back on track before it had barely begun.
The blog kept me sane when I had nothing else but baby bodily functions to manage and conversation that only revolved around the colour of said bodily functions. I felt uninteresting. I’d meet my pre-baby friends for dinner and find myself growing quieter and quieter each time as I felt I had nothing to actually talk about – discussing the various milestones of baby ability can only sustain you so long, especially when those around you don’t have babies. And the only other conversation at my finger tips was what interviews I’d had recently and how they had rejected me – again. Super fun!
The blog became a haven; I could write without worrying I was boring anyone (if they found it boring, they simply didn’t read it – easy) and monitoring my social and blog stats, engagement, trends, structuring a piece of content, perfecting the photography… it all made me feel like I had something else to do. It kept me from completely losing myself.
Blogging also provided me with a community. There were parents going through all the same things as me, struggling with the same things as me and if nothing else, we could talk about blogging and social media and engagement metrics til the cows came home. We had a common ground other than our kids and, given my background in marketing and social media management, I felt like I had something useful to say.
But then, finally, I returned to work. And slowly, over the past year, I’ve found myself again. My confidence has built back up and I feel like I’m not boring everyone around me. I’ve also found a few genuine, real-world parent friends who I have genuine things in common with beyond our kids and sleep deprivation.
I suppose, in more simple terms, I haven’t felt the need to retreat into my online world as much. I feel more fulfilled by my real-world life.
The final piece of the puzzle came in January; I started a new role as an Editor at a large UK parenting website (funnily enough, the blog was the first step to me achieving this, though I didn’t know it at the time). Now, I’m researching and developing content for a living and it feels like the perfect fit. So much so it would seem, that for now, I don’t have the drive to develop content for my own blog.
Honestly? I’ve enjoyed the last month, just ‘being’ rather than the constant wirring in the back of my mind whether this would make a good/funny/insightful post for the blog. Blogging, for me, has always been a hobby. But it also becomes a lifestyle. And when you’re a lifestyle blogger, there is a risk of turning your’s and your loved ones lives into a (somewhat less racey – in our case anyway) version of the Kardashians! <shudders>
So, after much thought, I’ve decided to make my unofficial blog break an official hiatus. I love my blog, and I will miss it in many ways, especially writing about the issues surrounding parents at work, feminism and equality.
I’m not closing the door on Finding Our Feet. I’m just stepping off the blogging treadmill for a while and taking a break. And for now, this feels the right move.
You can keep up with the fam and I Twitter (@amiecaitlin) and Instagram (@findingourfeet) while we’re away from the blog.
Or turn in to the Meet the Parents Podcast, where you’ll find me regularly chatting away about all things parenting (the clue is in the name).