Home Blogging Tips How A Cancer Scare Encouraged Me To Start Blogging & How The Second Makes Me Think I Should Give It Up.

How A Cancer Scare Encouraged Me To Start Blogging & How The Second Makes Me Think I Should Give It Up.

by Jade

The Parenting Jungle began because of a boob.

I had never previously thought to turn my hand, or keyboard to blogging. Predominately, because I have a terrible grasp of grammar and my sentences all seem to run together. Reading my diary would be akin to cracking the Da Vinci code. My English teacher likely ‘stress drank’ when he marked my assignments. Secondly, I am distrusting of computers. One day they will eat us. And thirdly, I am awful at vocalising my feelings. Stoical. It is reverse logic that I choose to share my heart with 1000 people instead of 1.  It’s not that I feel anonymous text-vomiting my feelings all over the interweb, or that I won’t get trolled, challenged or berated. I am not a raving narcissist (someone would have mentioned it) and don’t relish the attention. Compliments about posts make me blush all shades of strawberry. The vulnerable, paused breath when I press send is a reminder that it is not an easy option to express opinions online.

It was I think, a combination of fear, love and a need for distraction, which made me start writing. A cancer scare. Two weeks off work, waiting for results after having a lump removed and a clumsy, clueless blogger was born.

Thrown into the Twittervere I found empathy, laughter, recognition, realisation and a social network of parents that made me feel sane and supported.

Quickly I immersed myself face first into a digital pool of social media, SEO, statistics, brands linkys, photographs and PR’s. Etc, etc, etc. It is a fast moving place.

And then…

Like most, I was taken with the idea of blogging becoming a full time job. And let me tell you, for all those who think we just flit around with a press pass, an IPad and demand free gin. It is hard work. If you want it, you have to work for it. Create quality content, engage in endless self-promotion, be productive, keep trying to engage and grow your readerships and manage hashtags, multiple social media accounts that can fall as quickly as me in stilettos after a few cocktails. Really easily. It is addictive, engaging, but also you can feel like you are swimming against an impossible tide and one unkind, unconsidered comment can put you in a teary cave of self-doubt. Pro bloggers are people, imperfect parents too that are sharing personal stories and pictures. Just because you have a book detail and 30k Instagram followers does not mean you can’t feel just as s**t. You need a hard skin in the blogger world.

cance scare mum and boy playing with toys

Here we go again.

I found myself recently on a fast track cancer check referral. This time my cervix being the culprit. Please note, if that word makes you squeamish I am going to use it frequently in the next paragraph so minimise the screen now. For me the needles, biopsies, pokes and prods is not the worse bit, it’s the waiting. The days where you have to have a little cry halfway up the stairs. If by the way, things hurt, bleed etc. See your GP. For women that have never had kids and still have some downstairs dignity. Don’t be embarrassed. The last couple of months I have had so many people’s faces is my downstairs mix up I am going to start charging as a tourist attraction. Get checked out, but perhaps, hold off on bad jokes. One appointment I had a gynaecologist don what seemed to be a camping headlight. So in knee jerk, panic humour I made a jest about my vagina being akin to a cave and he should run if the canary died. For those of you not raised in Wales, miners took birds down the pit shafts. It was intellectually funny. To me anyway. Better than the awkward waterfall pictures they put on the ceiling.

Moving on…

In between tests I was in hospital with kidney stones (when it rains it pours). I will not deviate into an NHS based oratory waffle. Another time perhaps. But I just want to add that yes, whilst there are long waiting times in A&E, the staff are overworked, tired and busy, there are also amazing people and a service that kept me safe, made me well. Nurses who will hold your hand at two am as you cry because you are frightened, in pain, just wanting to be back with your family and your home. Even though you have 3 days of washing up to do. Others, which after a day and a half on no solids put an extra pudding and muffin on your food tray. The gratefulness for these small, sweet gestures is profound. Sheets may have holes and paint may be scuffed, but the NHS has heart and I would have had to sell my car to afford 4 nights in a private system.

Leaving the jungle?

Whilst in my waiting haze, I didn’t write new posts, muted my Facebook notifications. I switched off, and part of me was bereft, and part relieved. Time with my family was priority. Playing snakes and ladders, doing school runs and eating cookies. I was determined to appreciate more, be healthier more active, more patient. I made myself many promises. Positive news granted me relief but my promises are already slipping. Slipping because the cloud of fear over my head will not fade. I am ok, but am feeling lost. Fortunate, grateful and annoyed at myself. Was it a wakeup call, a hint that I should just focus on my family? I am not a cat, one life is all we have.

So here I am, torn. Wondering if blogging is me being selfish.

And wondering when do I feel like me again?…

Do you think you can be a successful blogger and still be 100% focused on your family, how do you find the balance and is the guilt just me?  

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30 comments

Susie at This is me now 2nd July 2017 - 7:55 pm

Oh Jade, so sorry to read what you’ve been through but glad all is ok. I find it hard too and there is guilt and frustration sometimes that I can’t do all that I want for my blog, but for me I know I just need to wait a few years til my daughter is older. I hope you find the balance you’re looking for. I’ve just taken a blogging break for a month or so and it’s actually been incredibly nice not to feel the pressure. Do what is rigt for you and your family xx

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Sophie Lovett 26th June 2017 - 3:02 pm

Very glad to hear the outcome of this second scare was positive, but totally understand the doubt it’s thrown you into. Even without any major health scares I’ve wrestled with the guilt since I started blogging a couple of years ago, and have settled for a halfway house – one where I’m not nearly as ‘successful’ in the blogosphere as I maybe could be but where I’m not having to prioritise the social media frenzy nearly as much as I did when I was chasing that goal! I can’t give it up completely though – the words on the page have become an important part of my identity. It’s just finding the balance that’s the tricky thing… Good luck! xx

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Our Altered Life 25th June 2017 - 10:04 pm

Great blog. I love your humour! I think being a parent and trying to anything alongside it creates guilt. Guilt is like stretch marks. Inevitable and unfortunate but it just makes for part of your journey. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs.

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Jade 26th June 2017 - 2:44 pm

Hey there, thank you so much for the wonderful comment. You are totally right I don’t know where the internal guilt we put on ourselves come from if we try and be more than parents. I love your guilt analogy and I certainly have a lot of stretchmarks! xx

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Stephanie 22nd June 2017 - 10:52 pm

It really is hard work & you’re a natural, I really enjoy your blogs x

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Jade 26th June 2017 - 7:20 pm

Thank you honey, that means a lot from an amazing writer like yourself!xx

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ljdove23 20th June 2017 - 10:58 pm

I’m so glad that all is fine, I am going through the same thing at the moment and its hugely worrying. I started blogging during health issues as something to focus on to keep my mind occupied through the worry, Thank you for sharing with us at #SharingtheBlogLove

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Lucy At Home 20th June 2017 - 9:34 pm

Oh I’m so glad that someone added this to the blogcrush linky (feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge). You really have been through such a tough time, and I really hope that you can have a bit of a rest now that you’ve got your positive news #blogcrush

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dearbearandbeany 20th June 2017 - 2:23 pm

I’m so sorry to hear all that you’ve gone through and I’m happy to hear all is ok. For me it’s a balance. My girls will always come first and I only blog when they are not with me. Yes, I might pop onto FB or IG when they are watching TV or playing together, but I would do that anyway. But blogging has made me a better mum, it has helped me overcome so much that without it I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

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Lisa Pomerantz 20th June 2017 - 12:22 am

Wow, you have been though a lot, and I am thrilled that you are okay, Balance, is all relative. To blog is to be honest and transpaprent. That’s why we started, right? Trust your instinct and do what feels right. Plus, the family serves as the muses… Stay real, but more imprtantly, stay well. #blogcrush xoxo

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Tasha - Mummy&Moose 17th June 2017 - 11:40 pm

Jade. I can’t imagine how stressful this time has been for you. I hope you didn’t have to endure that waiting alone?

The thing about that niggling guilt though is that really it’s not about the blogging. It’s you reminding yourself that you need to check the balance – I can assure you only good mum’s get that niggle because they care. You are doing great!
!
Maybe you need to examine what success in blogging actually means to you?

Fingers crossed for you (and the canary)

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Talya 16th June 2017 - 7:21 pm

Firstly oh my goodness – scary! Secondly I think blogging meets a deep need in many of us which is why it takes over and I have certainly known it too but when it starts getting in the way of family life unless it really has become your job in terms of providing a sustainable income then you have to weigh things up…it’s a crazy hamster wheel to get sucked into and my goodness this has given you some serious perspective. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this xoxo

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Jade 30th June 2017 - 11:17 am

A hamster wheel is such a good description! It has given great perspective in knowing its ok to step back, to appreciate!x

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Dad Without A Map 16th June 2017 - 1:47 pm

IYou have to put yourself (health) and family first. After all, without any of those there would be no blog. So I don’t think you should feel guilty for having doubts, or feel guilty for wanting to write. I am not a fan of guilt full stop. It’s such a damaging emotion. Very glad to know you are OK after your cancer scare. Take as much time out as you need. #blogcrush

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mummyhereandthere 16th June 2017 - 10:50 am

I think it is hard work trying to find that balance but also what the meaning of sucessful is is a real struggle to define?
#sharingthebloglove

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Lucy At Home 15th June 2017 - 10:40 pm

Wow this post both touched my heart and made me giggle. That is a real gift! I can totally understand why you are contemplating leaving blogging, and I think only you can make that decision. Family is important but so are you as an individual and it all needs weighing up before you can make a decision. It’s a hard one to make but I hope that you come to a conclusion that brings you peace. And I’m glad that you had positive news at the end #sharingthebloglove

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thesingleswan 15th June 2017 - 9:05 pm

Jade, I’ll leave the blogging and family decision to you because only you can make it. I just wanted to say that I think you write beautifully and I really enjoyed reading this post. I loved the canary in the vagina humour and I am not even Welsh.
I write because I enjoy it. I stop myself from becoming involved in social media stats – I am able to do that because I have a full time job. Blogging for me is my relaxation and my release. I should probably just take up netflix.

thanks again.

Pen x #coolmumclub

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The Squirmy Popple 15th June 2017 - 8:24 pm

It’s so hard to find the right balance, isn’t it? You just need to do what feels right for you and not worry about what you’re ‘supposed’ to be doing. Forget stats. Forget scheduling. Just write when you want to write – or don’t. If it feels right, it probably is. #ablogginggoodtime

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Hannah 12th June 2017 - 3:51 pm

Am so glad you had good news! I think finding a balance is elusive for most women, whatever that are wanting to achieve – it’s the classic trying to do it all!

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R123 9th June 2017 - 9:57 pm

II personally have never been able to juggle both effectively. I gave up my blog a few months ago to concentrate on my family and job. I have started up.a brand new one just so I can let off steam. I am a as and when blogger now which suits me. Happy to hear you had positive results xx

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Clare 9th June 2017 - 2:03 pm

Wow you’ve really been through it recently – glad to hear everything is OK though. I think it’s fine to be a bit selfish about what you do – lots of people are. Most women beat themselves up about having quality family life time – sure it’s important but so is having your own outlet be yourself and not just a mum, whatever that might be. I get moaned at for tapping away! Finding the balance is the right thing.

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Lynsey 8th June 2017 - 10:21 pm

Great post. I struggle to find time for my family and blog. My evenings are filled with me writing my ramblings and the daytime and weekends are family time. Looking after yourself is most important. I hope you are well.

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Eliana 8th June 2017 - 9:21 pm

I think blogging as in everything in life goes through different stages, it can evolve, it can change. I’ve personally taken the decision to not be successful if that means sacrificing my family. I love blogging and I think is a new discovered passion in my life but sharing stories that help or entertain people every once in a while makes me happy. I don’t need to set an schedule and go crazy trying to promote it. So for me the question would be ‘do I need to be a successful blogger to be a happy blogger?’ I already made up my mind. 🙂 great post Jade! All the best in whatever you decide. X

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Lisa 8th June 2017 - 9:15 pm

Whatever path you take or job you have, the parenting guilt is always there. I flit from feeling good about blogging and want to make it my full-time role (it’s a lifestyle rather than a career) to craving the monotony of a job where I work my hours, do the work and when the bell rings it’s done. Hope all is well otherwise x

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Sanna 2nd June 2017 - 2:21 pm

It’s a tough one! I think blogging is the same as any job really – you can be a successful blogger and parent just as you can work and still have as good family life. There is also nothing wrong with having a hobby if that’s what blogging is to you – that’s not selfish.

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Eva 2nd June 2017 - 8:58 am

Deep read, hope all will be ok in the end. Just do whatever makes you feel good. If you need a bit of blogging in your life to feel like the old you again, then don’t stop completely, just slow down. Well, I don’t know anyway, but probably that’s what I’d do. Best of luck with the check ups x

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pat - white camellias 2nd June 2017 - 8:24 am

Jade you have gone through so much I think it’s only natural that you feel this way. A successful blogger will probably not be a full time mummy and have time to do all that is needed in normal working hours (while kids are at school) so they don’t really have to choose one or the other. Blogging is their job (I guess) Anyway I don’t think you need to feel guilty. If you enjoy blogging you should carry on doing it but maybe just not instead of spending time with your family. And remember it’s your life also so do whatever makes you feel happy and works for you and your family. That’s the key for me. Love the canary story. Isn’t it that if the canary dies there is no air left??? Xxxxx

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Jade 30th June 2017 - 11:19 am

Haha thank you beautiful, the canary dies if you hit a gas pocket…which is a weird analogy I know 🙂 xx

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min1980 1st June 2017 - 11:04 pm

Loved this post as always. I’m not sure how you can be a successful blogger and be anything else, to be honest. They must live and breathe on their phones! Don’t worry about blogging, you’re still fab at it and the most important thing is that you are well. Xxx

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Island Living 365 1st June 2017 - 10:10 pm

Oh Jade, you have been through so much lately and you are still able to crack a brilliant joke about a canary and your vagina! I love your writing and I really hope that you will continue but I completely get where you come from. That first paragraph could have been written by me and I am always questioning whether I should stop playing around with my blog because a part of me wonders if it is selfish. BUT I don’t think it is, this is our something and if we want to write then we should, but on the otherhand we shouldn’t be afraid to walk away from it when we need to. xxx ps is this as clear as mud? Sorry for my waffle of an answer.

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