It might sound absurd to say that blogging saved my life—but hear me out.
In the fall of 2014, I was trying to gather up the gumption to go back to work after having my daughter earlier in the year. Being a new mom was a struggle but I still wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.
When my little girl turned one, I just couldn’t go back to work.
It had always been my plan to go back after the first year of her life. But I felt conflicted, and even worse, I battled postpartum depression, which later turned to major depression. I didn’t have a solid career path lined up, and everything I tried felt wrong.
Before I had my daughter, I didn’t have a job I enjoyed, and it was barely helping financially. Once I got through my daughter’s first year, I started applying for jobs and scheduling interviews, only to turn around and cancel them after thinking about my daughter again.
The traditional woman in me felt like being a homemaker, but the modern woman felt the desire to be my own success. As time went on, I felt like I was burning bridges, ruining my chances of ever having a job again, and spiraling down further and further into depression.
It was tough because I wanted to help my family financially, but I also wanted to be with my daughter. Yet, I had my own struggles. The idea of not supporting my family left me deeper in a depressed state, making me feel useless. I knew that my little girl needed me.
Still, I felt insignificant.
I had this nagging feeling that my purpose had not yet been found. How could I support my family financially but be a present parent, too? How could I give my own life purpose? Being a parent didn’t feel like enough.
The Modern Mom Conflict
The struggle of being a woman in 2016 is much different than it was even a few decades ago.
Women have the power and resources to do and be anything they want.
While this is wonderful, it only adds to the notion that women must do everything—get an education, have children, manage a household, travel, and look like a million bucks while doing it. While I am grateful to be able to follow my own aspirations, I let the pressure of having to raise a family and have a career leave me feeling anxious and worthless.
I didn’t ever feel like I was doing enough for my family. Feeling like I had to choose between raising my daughter and having a career wasn’t something that sat well with me.
It wasn’t until, on a rainy October day in 2014, when I came across a blog income report on Pinterest, that things finally started to click.
Blogging immediately appealed to me because I already loved to write, but also because of the unlimited potential involved. It was exciting to know that I could potentially stay home and still make a decent living. I started to do more research about blogging, and I realized that I wasn’t the only woman out there that wanted to make a difference for her family financially… and they were doing it by blogging!
Jazzed About Blogging
So I got started blogging with this huge amount of motivation and excitement. I was enthralled. The idea that I could be my own boss and travel when I wanted to was enticing. Not only this, but my husband and I had discussed homeschooling my daughter, which would only be possible if I stayed home to raise her. Blogging could be the perfect solution to all of my personal and financial worries…and to this day, it has definitely helped.
But in truth, my first few months blogging were a mix of excitement, confusion, disappointment, and defeat. Granted, I had a lot of other things going on. I have to tell you that I did seek help for my depression, and it has helped me in many of my personal battles. Picking up blogging was helping me have purpose and goals, but it wasn’t all fun and games like Pinterest had made it seem. Blogging was much harder than I ever could have imagined, and I contemplated giving up several times. I got frustrated, felt worthless all over again, and started over from scratch several times.
If you’re a blogger, you’ll quickly learn (if you haven’t already!) that blogging is something that you have to truly enjoy to continue doing. Believing everything I saw on Pinterest is among one of my many blogging mistakes. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s not going to make you thousands as soon as you hit the “publish” button for the first time. It might not even make you any money for years. Blogging is truly a job, and it’s one that requires passion and perseverance.
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Finding Purpose and Direction
Today I am grateful that I didn’t give up on blogging.
While I haven’t made a fortune blogging, it has helped me fulfill that desire to be my own boss and it has quenched my entrepreneurial thirst. But as someone who has a history of depression, I can’t tell you how important it is to have purpose, and that’s what I have now that I’m writing a blog.
I still have the same excitement I did as when I got started any time I think of a new post idea or see a new comment on my WordPress dashboard.
I still love to write, and I love to interact with others in the blogging community.
I love to talk to other moms and help others whenever possible.
I feel like I have found some direction in my own life and found an appropriate “work-life balance.” I still feel limitless. I love to sit down with a notebook and cup of coffee and brainstorm, set goals, and write to my heart’s content. If anything, blogging has helped me feel important again in my own little world.
As you can see, I think that blogging can totally change your life. Blogging has changed my life for the better by offering me hope and the ability to pursue my passion.
I want to encourage you to use your passions and talents to their fullest and not ignore your needs as a human being. If you are passionate about anything—be it cooking, technology, human rights—whatever it is—invest in your passion! Don’t let society and outsiders tell you how to feel like I did. ☺
Author bio: Chantal Steele is the creator of Ironwild Fitness, a blog focused on helping women realize their potential through blogging. She is a firm believer that women shouldn’t have to choose between family and a career. Chantal is a mom and freelance writer. When not blogging, Chantal can be found with her nose in a book or getting her hands dirty in the garden.
Are you interested in blogging? If you’re already a blogger, has it changed your life?