Sidekick and I at Superman's Montessori Christmas program about the time I was contemplating actually doing that blogging thing. Also, I had cut bangs for the hundredth time and discovered for the hundredth time that I don't like them.
My younger brother was the one who encouraged me to put my frugal ideas out there for all to see. He knows a lot more than I do about technology and blogging but since I didn't have him to help me every step of the way I headed to my local library. I came home with stacks of books containing foreign words and concepts and tried to wrap my tiny brain around all of it.
After a year of doing this blogging thing I still don't have it all figured out but I have learned a few valuable lessons that I will share here.
First, don't blog for money. Whether they admit it out loud or not, every blogger has the tiniest dream of becoming well-known and paid handsomely for his or her writing. We all dream of exchanging witty banter with Matt Lauer or laughing at our good fortune over coffee with The Pioneer Woman. The truth is, though, that most of us will give more than we receive in the blogging business. Maybe someday I'll be able to monetize this little blog but for now I'm content to try to produce good content because I am so thankful for the great content that I consume from other blogs.
Second, I can be a good mom and an okay blogger or a good blogger and an okay mom. Am I saying that the good mom bloggers out there are terrible moms? No. I'm saying that they have figured out how to do both but I'm not there yet. At this stage in my life, with the ages of my children, our homeschooling schedule and extracurricular activities I have nowhere near enough time to blog as much as I should. One day I hope to have it all figured out on how to be a great mom and a great blogger but for now I'm doing the best I can.
Third, I am not a photographer but I do hope to become one when I grow up. I had no idea when I started this whole blog thing how important photography would be for the subjects about which I wanted to blog but I learned quickly how important a good photo or photos can be to take a post from good to great. I also learned that I'm not a good photographer. Being a photographer does not come simply from owning a camera but from knowing how to use that camera (and, perhaps, a good editing program!) to get the best photos. I own a point-and-shoot camera and I'm working on learning how to use it to its fullest capacity but this is an ongoing process.
Fourth, there will always be someone out there doing it bigger and better. At first this made me want to just pack it all up and shut it down, but I continue for one reason. If what I put out there helps at least one person be a little more frugal and a little more content, then I'm proud to have helped. I myself have gained so much great information from all different blogs and because of this I keep plugging along.
Fifth, it will always be weird to see someone in real life who tells me, "I read your blog!" Part of the safety of blogging in my mind is that, although it is extremely public, I always imagine that my readers are people "out there" in the blogosphere whom I will never really meet in person. To see someone in real life who read my very honest thoughts on this blog feels a little weird. I always have a mini moment of panic wondering if I've shared too much information on my latest post. No matter how weird it is, though, it is always amazing to know that someone took a few precious minutes out of their day to read what I wrote.
And, finally, it is impossible for me to do all of my holiday projects from Pinterest and publish a single post between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Evidently.
Thanks for reading, Cheap Mamas.