Recently, I've stopped caring.
I've had to. It wasn't healthy and it's not worth the trouble. I see so many mom bloggers desperately trying new things to grow their following. And their desperation shines through more than their actual content does.
If you want to know why I've stopped caring if you like me or not...and whether I care if this blog grows or it doesn't...then read on.
I was recently told by a good friend that this blog and this following may never "make it big".
Because, "I don't have what it takes to make it."
It's not because I'm not likeable, or I don't try to expand the following.
I've tried what I could over the past five years and it's always taken this steady, slow, organic sort of pace.
Its because I'm not willing to be something I'm not to make all of you wish you were me.
It's because I'm not going to stand in front of brick walls, dressed like a Target model, with a latte in my hand, and toddlers pulling at my dress all with a hysterical smile on my face.
It's because I really don't care to spend hours and hours and hours editing photos, doing giveaways, and telling people to make sure they turn their notifications on.
I'm not willing to trick my followers into liking posts and engaging, just so more traffic comes my way.
And I'm not willing to make my whole platform all about myself, portraying a fake portrait of motherhood, while I miss out on real life motherhood all around me.
I've probably accomplished what most bloggers would only dream of. And it happened totally organically. And it happened because God spurred it on to happen.
That accomplishment was having a blog post shared on radio stations, websites, and read by half a million people in two days.
It got the attention of celebrities and other influencers that have no clue who I am.
But that attention was short lived. And that sort of accolade was only temporary.
I can't, and I won't, spend the rest of my motherhood trying to gain it back, somehow.
At my core, I'm a yearner for acceptance.
I want people to accept the choices I make and I take it really hard when people don't. In other words, I'm an insecure decision-maker, although I'm almost always confident in my choices.
I feel rejection. I feel stressed out. I feel like a freak. I've been this way since I was a teenager. It's been hard to change.
I see my fellow bloggers desperately trying to make it big and I feel for them.
Then there's the influencers that already have a following. They start blogs and small businesses and make it big the same day they begin. And I get jealous.
But I'm tired of feeling jealous. It's exhausting.
And since I'm not willing to write what you want to hear, or photograph what you want to see, or spend the hours that require me to become BlogFamous, then maybe I am accepting that maybe my influence is supposed to stay small.
Because maybe a smaller following actually yields a deeper influence in the end. And if I had to choose between the larger audience and the more shallow influence, or the smaller audience and deeper influence...well, when I put it that way, it's easy to choose.
If God wants to grow this blog, He can and He will. The timing will be perfect and I'll be ready for that day.
But for now, I'll be proud of what I've given to my small ring of influence.
I've given truth, laughter, tears, sorrow, and passion.
I've shared ideas, concepts, and encouragement.
And most recently, a book that has touched whoever has read it. Even though the royalties remain poor monetarily and rich in impact; That's payment enough for me.
Maybe that's the sort of royalty we should all strive for. Impacting lives. Impacting souls. Being an encourager instead of an influencer.
I surely don't want to influence Mothers to feel less than just because of something they read and saw from me.
And that's sort of the way the blogging world is. It's less about being honest and more about making you feel envious.
It is essentially fueled by envy.
Bloggers who harbor envy as it looks to the success of another blogger, all while displaying beauty in ways that spurs the viewers heart to invite envy inside:
I can't compete with all of that. I'm just me.
And I don't have time to show you anything beyond that. I've choosen to live life authentically. And maybe that's just not enough for what the blogging world requires of me.
So, I guess I don't care what you think about me anymore.
I'll keep writing and sharing. But I won't even try to keep up.
This is Honestly:Motherhood. And that's how it'll stay.