pssst: have you heard the news?
I've thought about honouring my readers a lot this past year. Do I honour you? Am I respectful of you? Two occasions brought the topic to light for me and I think how I've navigated them has helped me figure out if I am and how I can. Namely, a home tour and a third pregnancy.
I remember when I was asked to host the home tour on Life Made Lovely. Seems like so long ago now, and our house is TOTALLY different these days! Around the time that I was asked to host a tour and was preparing our home to do so (we were in the process of painting our kitchen cabinets, etc), I came across many blog posts discouraging such things. The posts I read, and I couldn't shake them off as coincidental as I was planning to do a home tour that week, said in no uncertain terms that posts where you straight up display your "lovely life" are unedifying to readers and in a way, bragging. And in many ways, I agreed with them.
And then I read other online opinions discouraging Mommy Bloggers (Am I a mommy blogger? I don't know but I took it to heart nonetheless since I am a mommy and a blogger at the very least) in general, because blogs like that (like mine?) only show the sunny side of life + give the wrong impressions + false expectations + raise unnecessary standards for all women + discourage anyone whose life is unlike yours. Well. That's a lot to think about. And I don't want to be that woman or that blogger. But where is the balance?
My question for myself (and I suppose for you) became, how do I share my passions and my life, while still guarding my family's privacy, while still telling a true story, while still honouring my readers?
And I'm still figuring that out, but here's what I've come up with. I'm responsible to my readers, but I'm also not. If you're coming here every day to share a bit of life with me, I'm so glad you're here. I do my best to show the good, the bad, and the ugly, and never want to give off the impression that I've got it all together or that I'm the perfect mom/wife/friend/Christian or have the perfect life. But at the end of the day, I can't control the thoughts in one's heart or head so if that impression is given despite my best efforts, I'm not responsible. The owner of the heart is :)
Several months ago when Brad and I were trying for Baby #3, I shared my heart on how hard it was for us over on the Baby Bump Blog, and one person commented that I was being insensitive to those who have been trying much longer than us (at the time we'd only been trying 5 months, though they felt long to us) by voicing my struggle. I reevaluated right away, but came to the conclusion that there will always be readers, and in life, people, who have been down a harder road than me. If I don't share challenges and struggles I'm having for fear that someone else out there is going through something worse then I'd never share anything, and I wouldn't be telling a true story. That said, I want to honour you all as I share those burdens.
Practically, the home tour and our third pregnancy taught me to blog with grace, authenticity and honesty, though not salvaging privacy. It's why I added a picture of my house looking like an absolute dump during my home tour, and why I preface my pregnancy joys with the understanding that we are so very blessed and we know it (and a great number of my friends and readers have experienced pregnancy loss and I want to respect that while sharing my story).
I think bloggers should be able to share fun projects and life wins and yummy recipes online without fearing that they're making another covetous, but that it's a fine line and we need to make sure we're honouring our readers. I think bloggers should be able to shout it from the roof tops when they're pregnant or give birth, no matter how long it took them to get there, but understanding 1 in 3 women will miscarry demands us to blog with grace and gratitude. I hope I've done both for you, and am thankful for your grace when I haven't!