Let’s talk about rejection. In ‘real life’ rejection sucks. When you don’t get a job, or you get dumped it can feel like a sucker punch to your soul. It’s very easy to let rejection knock you down and keep you down. While you may shrug it off as ‘no big deal’, that big fat ‘no’ can sometimes create a little demon that can sit there and whisper shitty things to you. That demon is a destructive little fucker and can be the root of many a problem.
When a large part of your working life happens on the internet, this ‘rejection demon’ is no easier to handle. I was recently put forward for a paid collaboration with a brand amongst a load of other parent bloggers. They were looking for 5-10 and they came back saying, “Love all of these, but the two names highlighted aren’t really on brand for us.” First up, thank GOD I wasn’t the only one and secondly, it wasn’t like they’d said, “The two names highlighted are total shit and we can’t even understand what they are doing on the internet.”
Of course, that’s what that little demon whispered to me and has been whispering ever since. It says the same thing when I don’t see growth with the blog in the same way that others do. It tells me that they all know something I’m too stupid to know, that I’m just not good enough, that I should probably give up before I embarrass everyone I know. It tells me I’m not ‘wholesome’ enough, that my images aren’t ‘professional’ enough, that I swear too much (he’s probably right there).
There have been times when I’ve let this demon guide me, when I’ve tried to be something I’m not. He’s made me look at other bloggers and compare myself and he laughed when I’ve come up short. He’s told me that I don’t deserve to be at certain events, or that people I consider friends are only humouring me because it’s too awkward and not very ‘insta’ to ignore me. He tells me that my blogs are boring, that my content is tired and that I’m a sorry excuse for a content creator. Whatever that is.
Here’s the thing: he’s not wrong in a lot of ways. My images aren’t super pro, they’re not shiny and bright. I’m not always looking fresh faced and styled. I do swear a lot and I’ve always known that’s a risk. I haven’t committed to a cause – I’m not the ‘mental health’ blogger, the ‘bo-po’ blogger, the ‘feminist’ blogger, ‘the organic mummy’ blogger, the ‘fitness’ blogger. I’ve always been told that I’ll do ‘better’ if I stand for something but here’s the thing, I DO stand for something.
Not So Smug Now has always stood for honesty in parenting. It’s always been a safe space for people to share how they really feel at any given time about parenting. Sometimes that will mean asking out loud whether they should have ever had them in the first place (we’ve all been there). Sometimes that will mean celebrating what a fucking awesome job they did because they made three homemade meals and read 27 books and played tea parties for more than 5 minutes without yawning. Sometimes that will mean venting about husbands, cracked nipples, playground mums, homework, friendships, hangovers, and everything in between.
As my kids have got older I naturally have talked less about breastfeeding or co-sleeping and more about what it’s like to be a working mum of two with a fairly average life. I love fashion, but I’m not fashion blogger. I love interior design but I’m lucky if I actually get an ‘instagram worthy’ corner finished let alone a whole room. I love my kids but I often consider putting them out by the bins. I have friends, a husband, neighbours, work colleagues and I talk about them all on the blog. I jump from fashion to furniture to fights with my husband to finances to figuring out how to fight depression and PMT.
Some people tell me that’s why my following isn’t growing in the way it ‘should’ – because no one knows what I’m ‘about’. “What do you stand for?” they say and I feel baffled because I stand for me and I hope that some of you get that and can relate to that. Not So Smug Now is about life everyday. It’s about the days when I am dressed up and the days when I don’t even brush my teeth. It’s about the #jugglestruggle and in the midst of all that I’ll drop a few f-bombs, I’ll call my kids wankers and I’ll fantasise about smothering my husband in his sleep or running off with the savings but at the heart of it is me. Trust me, I’ve tried to be someone or something I’m not and it was exhausting and a total waste of time.
If you want day to day, real and honest chats about being an average, size 12-14 woman with two kids, a job, a sizeable mortgage, issues with depression, a bit of a filthy mouth and an addiction to self-deprecation and rude jokes then this is the place for you. If you don’t like the above, if I’m not your cup of tea, or not ‘on brand’ for you that’s also fine. There’s plenty more bloggers in the insta-sea.