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Betraying Myself

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I’ve had something to blog about several days in a row since new year, and each time I’ve decided against publishing because at the back of my head is a little voice telling me “some readers won’t like that”. And so I delete my entry and go back to hiding in a private blog.

I made a promise to several readers back when I announced my pregnancy that I wouldn’t turn this into a “mommy” blog and so I haven’t, but in keeping my promise I have violated the very reason for my blogging in the first place! I cultivated a reputation based on the fact that I am not afraid to speak my mind, and yet what is deleting entries if not scared to admit that, actually, I want to blog about being a mummy?

As I said at the beginning of the year, I have changed. If that makes me a hypocrite, or betrays a silly promise then so be it… better that than betraying myself.

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

49 comments so far

  1. Clem said:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Honestly, I’m sure Isabel takes up TONNES of your time, and she’s obviously a big part of your life. Of course there are other things you COULD blog about, but ignoring a huge/important part of your life would be silly. Of course you’re going to write about her – and you know what? People will read it (and enjoy reading it).

  2. Hannah said:

    No need to apologize, however, I am a fan of your mummy blogs. Like I’ve said before, if you keep blogging about geeky things once in a while, I’m quite happy. I can’t tell you what to blog! Blogs are meant to give you a place to say what’s on your mind without anyone telling you what to and what not to say. I’m sure that Isabel is on your mind a lot. ;)

  3. Claire T said:

    So being you is betraying yourself then? If people don’t like you talking about what is going on in your life then maybe they should 1. Start their own blog or 2. get a life! You have a daughter now life changes so maybe your blog should!

  4. Scott said:

    Go Jem!

    I hope to see some entries about your experiences of being a mum — after all, this is YOUR blog and it’s your choice. Izzy is a huge part of your life now, so why not talk about her? :D

  5. Meggan said:

    It’s hard to write about things you’re not feeling, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that you’d want to write about being a mum! If people don’t like those entries, they can skip over them. (Personally I love them, so I’m glad you’re becoming more okay with talking about it!)

  6. Ben said:

    I don’t necessarily think you are a hypocrite by becoming a "mommy" blogger, in my idea any blogging is better than no blogging. :P

    I just hope that we will still be graced with the occasional techy blog and pants award. :)

  7. Claire said:

    You’re not betraying yourself – you’re growing as a person. Imagine trying to keep a promise that you would still be blogging about shit now that you thought was REALLY important when you were 15… It’s ridiculous. This is your blog, your outlet. This is the one place online you can have space to be yourself. It’s just that the post-Isabel you is different to the pre-Isabel you (which is hardly surprising). Don’t be scared to be yourself, whoever and whatever you are, I’m sure there’s plenty of people here that will support any shift you make. :)

    Here’s to you being YOU. <3>

  8. Roxanne said:

    And that’s all that matters. No offense to those who you promised certain things to, but if you don’t write what you want for yourself, then who are you writing for? I don’t think writing a few post here and there about "mom-hood" will make this site jump into the "mommy-blog" category. Newcomers might perceive it as such at first, but once they take a good look around, I’m sure their opinion will change and they’ll see you’re an everyday geek who just had a child and wants to tell the world about it.

  9. Adrianne said:

    Hi Jem! Happy (belated) Birthday to you!

    I believe that one way or the other at one point, each of us will eventually change, most usual and probable reason is for the better of yourself and for the people around you. I’ve read a lot of "mommy blogs" around (including a cousin of mine) and many of them always talked about the same usual stuff (their child(ren) and their antics, some are good tips to caring your children and yourself as a mother, etc.), but I’ve never seen a blog where a mother talks about various things other than flailing and "showing off" their child(ren) and their crazy antics (in this case, talking about the who’s and what’s around the web while being happy being a parent).

    I’ve met some people who tell me stories about how they changed once they become a parent (both mothers and fathers) and so far the stories I’ve heard from them have been positive. After all, it was their decision to become a parent in the first place, right? Jem, I’ve read your blog for a very long time now even if I’m not as active at commenting than most of your readers, and I don’t think you would be betraying yourself if you end up blogging about being a parent and Baby Isabel. I guess as a reader, I’ve always like a few changes within blogs as I find them all enjoyable the same as your usual blogs (about web trends, Pants Awards, and your cats). You’d still be the same Jem we all know even if you’re blogging about something unexpected or unlikely. I’m more of the "expect the unexpected" type. :) If some of your readers won’t like the change then it’d be their problem.

    Stay true to yourself, no matter what. Don’t be afraid to write what you want to write. I’ve always respected you for everything you’ve done and written and that will never change. :)

  10. Vera said:

    Changing as a blogger can be really difficult. I felt like this a few times after I started working (I started my blog before that, as you – probably- know). It’s probably not the same kind of change that motherhood requires, but for me it was quite a radical one.

    In the end, us "lowly" blog followers are somewhat similar to RL friends. If we can’t accept that you’ve changed, then we’re not "real" friends.

    In conclusion, I see no reason why you shouldn’t publish motherhood related blogs, as long as you’re comfortable sharing that kind of stuff with the e-world. I’ll still read your blogs, but probably not comment as often, since I know virtually nothing of being a mother. But then… you don’t generally care do you? :)

  11. Mumblies said:

    I agree wholeheartedly with the comments already posted on this subject.
    What use is a personal blog if it never reflects all of what goes on in your life? Isabel is a very big part of your life now, so obviously you will have things to tell about her too. Personally I really enjoy reading your blog and will continue to read for as long as it is here. The subject matter really isn’t what appeals… it’s more about your sense of humour and how you view things in general. Keep on blogging Jem, we love it! Those that don’t care to read the mummy bits can always not read it can’t they?

  12. Lilian said:

    A change in focus on Jemjabella would not cause me to unsubscribe or stop commenting. The reason is simple — I like what you have to say about your life. (I suppose you could even say I care :P blimey!) This is a personal blog, and as such you should not feel as though you have to pander to an image you no longer identify with.

    I am wondering though, have I just given you a blessing for posting poop-related entries? :P

  13. Kaylee said:

    Obviously having a child would change you; I would consider whatever promise you may have made invalid. Don’t let anyone’s desire for your blog to remain the way it was before stop you from being yourself! They can live with it… and I’m sure you’ll get new readers interested in mommy-blogging to replace them :D

  14. Tess said:

    I know I bitch on Twitter about Mommy blogs, but it’s the content vs. the actual Mommy blog – I can never explain it without sounding like the biggest bitch around, so I’ll leave it at that.

    I meant to respond to one of your tweets and forgot about it, but: you actually have something interesting to say, if it’s any consolation; you’re posting about being a mother, something you’re proud of, not what your daughter ate for breakfast. If people don’t like it (and I’m including myself in this), they can just as easily not read your blog. It’s YOUR blog, not theirs, and promises or no, you can do whatever the hell you want with it, I say. :D

  15. Vixx said:

    Life changes, as do what’s important in our lives. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I don’t consider myself to be a ‘Mummy’ blogger, but I do blog about being a mother – it’s part and parcel of who I am, which is what my blog – and yours – should be about, right?!

    V xx

  16. Angela said:

    Part of your life is being a mum now! It makes sense. Hopefully you won’t be like the "mommy bloggers" and talk ONLY about being a mum. Gotta keep your own interests and still be you! Either way, I’ll keep reading!

  17. Chans said:

    Do what you feel is best for you. If that means not writing about certain things because you just don’t want to than no one can demand any different. Stay true to yourself, that way you will never betray yourself and if people don’t understand that than they don’t respect you. And those are the people you can really miss in your life..

  18. Angela said:

    I agree with alot of what has already been stated. the biggest difference between you and alot of other mommy bloggers though is that I am sure you will still be your quirky geeky self, and all your posts won’t be about being a mommy. I don’t think it makes you a hypocrite at all, you simply can’t know how something like becoming a mother will change your thoughts and feelings until it’s happened.

  19. Katy said:

    just don’t go dedicating your entire website to boring ‘mommy’ stuff :p The world does not need an ongoing record of how many nappies you’ve changed, for example! (unless maybe you’ve written a geeky little web app for it)

    But yeah, like everyone else has said… write what you want to! It’s your life, and your blog :)

    maybe a new category of pants awards – rubbish parenting websites, hehe

  20. Darnielle said:

    Very few people care about my blog entries about metal, but I continue to write about it anyway, because it’s important to me. That’s how you should approach your mummy blog entries. Just try to keep a balance between them and geeky entries.

    I like reading mummy blogs. They serve as a reminder of how terrible a parent I will be and how I should just stay away from penises! Heh.

  21. Aisling said:

    The other day someone on Twitter was complaining about how annoying someone’s blog about their pregnancy was… and it pissed me off. Personal blogs are meant to be personal. And being pregnant, or being a mom, are HUGE parts of a person’s life. Complaining about what someone else is writing on their blog just makes me think the complainer needs a hobby, and an attitude adjustment. Priorities change, and that’s one of the cool things about having extended archives on a site. For example, my blog starts in May 2006, and is pretty much a day-by-day account of my life, which people always slag, but at the time it was important to me, and that’s just what it is. Nobody else may find my Katimavik entries entertaining, but they document one of the most influential times of my life, and provide a guide for people interested in the program.

    Even now, I wrote about a concert I went to last night, and same with most of my concert-related entries, I probably won’t get very many comments, but I’m not in it for the comments, I’m in it for sharing with people who are interested, and keeping a record for myself (since I started sucking at maintaining a paper journal several years ago).

    I won’t be able to relate to the mommy stuff, and if I have nothing to say, I won’t comment. Same thing goes for a whole lot of other blogs that I read. I know I’m doing this commenting thing, and I’ve seen a few remarks about how I shouldn’t be commenting just for the sake of commenting… I’m not, I’m just trying to find a way to hold myself accountable to the community, and once again to share stuff (like what OTHER people are saying, that I’m interested in) with people who are interested.

    :)

  22. Hanna said:

    Well one the things I believe in is never say never. You change all the time and it’s unnecessary to think that just because you said you won’t do something year ago, you can’t change your mind. This is your blog and you write about things that you know best and it’s quite understandable that you want to share your feelings and thoughts about this completely new phase in your life. :)

    So you keep on doing what you have been doing and writing what you write.

  23. Calítoe.:. (Cristina MJ) said:

    I agree with Hannah (never say never) and your decision. You have always blogged about what you wanted, haven’t you? Don’t stop now. :) Actually I read you now more often than before (blog and Twitter) because I like you much better now. I knew I would. This is something I had wanted to say too and didn’t because I didn’t want to start a personal war and you have the right to be "you". Anyway I knew that that battle you seemed to have against the world because you were "ultimately better than anyone else" would soften up and take another approach (not that I dislike irony, but those poisoned darts of yours were rather creepy sometimes). Best wishes for you and your family. :)

  24. Jenn said:

    I think you should blog about what you want and don’t worry about your readers. You are an awesome designer, writer of awesome script and now a new mommy. Just new chapters in your life. I would look forward to reading any entries you write.

    So, more power to you. Write what you like. Write about the new steps in your life, then write pants and so on. Be the awesome person you are! :D xox <3>

  25. Christine said:

    You are who you are. And no one can place a label on you. You could blog about wall paper and I’d probably find it interesting because if anything, you are a narrator of life. So what ever you want to write about, then do it!

    I believe more than any other truth out there, that humans are emergent beings. We are not static, we are ever changing and ever evolving. That very nature allows us to not betray ourselves, but to grow and understand that the "you" that made that promise then is not the "you" that exists now. And that is a beautiful thing.

  26. Anthony said:

    The only response I can think of is "lol". A lot of your readers would love to read about you being a mom, myself included. You just gave birth and it’s something that has changed your life forever. This is Jem’s blog, a place for Jem to post about her daily doings. And well, now you’re a mom and that’s apart of your every day life.

  27. Audrey said:

    Blog about whatever you want. You’ll still be you regardless of if the subject matter is about being a mother. You’ve changed, but so do your readers. Don’t worry about us.

  28. Manda said:

    You have every right to "retract" previous statements and do what you like with your blog. It’s YOUR blog after all, and if you can’t do what you like with it, then what’s the point in having one? No one will judge you for changing your mind, and if they do, then, well, you don’t need them as readers :P

  29. Amanda said:

    We’re all growing up and changing, no matter how old we are. Big life changes have a way of skewing our outlook on things, it may be in little degrees, it may be a 180 change in viewpoint. Either way, your blog is about your life. Izzy is a very big part of your life, as she should be (and Karl too, don’t forget about him). You are in the process of melding these two halves of your life, and personally I think that would be an interesting journey to follow. Becoming a mother is something I’ll be doing myself within the next handful of years, and that is something you are able to provide insight on right now. I would read just to see your views (like on attachment parenting) on topics, because I have come to value your opinion. And as other commenter have mentioned, if someone doesn’t like that aspect of your blog, they don’t have to read, or comment on it.

  30. Julie said:

    Do you really believe we expect you to be a mom and never tell us anything about it? I’m already looking forward for the cute things she’ll have to say when she starts talking…

  31. Noellium said:

    If you were to post about something that didn’t interest people, they could just skip over it (just like any blog entry that didn’t interest them). And it’s your blog, so don’t let other people tell you what you can’t post. ^^-b (I personally would be interested in your Isabel entries. :3)

  32. Kathleen said:

    Life changes and since your blog is about you and your life, the topics you write about here will also change. So you are a mom now and you want to write about your little girl, then just do it. I don’t think you’ll ever turn into one of those crazy ‘mommy bloggers’.

  33. Antoinette said:

    For what it’s worth – as I seem to repeat the above comments – it’s YOUR blog and no matter what you promised, you’re entitled to write about subjects affecting YOU.
    Lord knows, when I became a mum for the first time, there was nothing else I could talk about. Boring to people without kids, probably, but it was the most important thing in my life at that time (I have to add that I didn’t have a blog then and RL friends tend to be a little more patient than online friends). Now here I am 14 years later and although I still write about the kids occasionally, I’ve discovered a looong time ago that there’s so much more to write about (just give it time and you’ll see the world in perspective again).
    As for me, I love reading about kids and – other than your technical stuff – it’s something that I can relate to ánd it gives me an opportunity to get to know you better. ;) Now tell me more about `Isabel smacking herself in the head then cooing´…

  34. Melissa said:

    After skimming the comments, I will throw in my repetitive 2 cents and say I definitely agree with everyone about how it’s your blog, your life and you should do whatever the hell you want! :D Even though a lot of your past entries and articles are web/code/ninja-related, I’ve really always seen this place as your PERSONAL blog about what YOU want to talk about, not just full of tutorials and Pants Awards.

    I also never figured, if you were to start blogging regularly about your escapades with Izzybee, that you would become one of those typical and boring mommybloggers either. I’ll be perfectly honest and admit that mommybabykids articles wouldn’t really be my top priority interest when it comes to reading blogs (and I skip over like 95% of them) but there are a few that I positively LOVE to read (dasbecca, dooce, etc) because of how interesting and witty the entries are written.

    For sure it’s the WRITING and the personality of the author that keeps me coming back. Not just the subject itself. Dooce could probably write about picking lint off sweaters and I’d still be crying with laughter after reading about it.

    On a regular blog, I’d be bored to bits reading about how little Billy lost his left sock yesterday or how Husband didn’t bring home the bread (damn him!) or how little Sally threw her carrots on the floor… but put those everday moments in the capable hands of a true storyteller-blogger-mom and you’ve got yourself a interesting narrative that’s exciting as watching an action movie with tons of explosions!!! OMG THERE GOES BILLY’S SOCK, AHHH!!! D:

    Don’t sell yourself short either, Jem, because even though you haven’t written books or have millions of followers on Twitter you still command an audience with your blogging. Also, don’t feel you need to try to measure up to anyone, I’m not trying to make you feel like you have to… I’m just explaining the reasons why I keep reading certain blogs aside from the subject matter. It’s the BLOGGER, the WRITER, that is the reason to return, not just the article itself.

    So blog away, MommaJem. :D I can’t promise I’ll always be as enthralled by Isabel’s epic farts as you and Karl are, but I’ll never abandon you on the Interwebs. <3>

  35. Hev said:

    You know Jem. The last time I checked this blog was run by you. I imagine it is also paid for by you. So in my opinion that means you can type ?

    Besides since when did you care? Where is the Jem that does what she wants & says what she wants?

  36. Josh said:

    Jem, you’re so famous, what do you need those few readers for? ;P I say stick it to the man (or stick it to the people?) and do what you want. Don’t let them oppress you!

  37. Renate said:

    I’m too lazy to read through the 41 previous comments, so I’ll just throw mine in even though someone else has probably said it (albeit from their own point of view, which sort of makes this comment something new?): I’m not one of your most avid readers, I’m sure, but I’d love to read more mommy-related posts from you, because well, that’s what your life is about right now, and will be for some time. If all your posts more or less ignored the fact that you are now a mother, it would feel a little fake, like this isn’t a personal blog any more.

    So, you go for it, blog about baby Isabel and all that comes along with her, to your heart’s content. :)

  38. lula_bebop said:

    Hi Jem, long time no see!
    I think the world needs to know that you can be a mum and stay a geek at the same time and even be geeky in your approach to parenthood. ;)
    (on the same board, really…)

  39. Cristina said:

    Jem, everything that I think has been said. Basically it’s your blog, do what you want. I personally have no problem with what you’ve been writing so far, and if it continues so be it. I like it. :D

  40. Jordan said:

    While I’m not a mommy blogger there are parts of my life that sometimes I just don’t blog about because I’m not so sure people will enjoy it… I just need to realize that while I may have readers ultimately it’s my blog and I shouldn’t feel I have to censor myself on my own creative domain.

    With that being said, I do think it would be fantastic to read about the trials of being a young mother raising a ninja.

  41. Nori said:

    Aww, there’s nothing wrong with posting about your kidlet once in a while. You can post about her without feeling like a "mommy blogger" – because hey, you may be talking about her but you probably aren’t going to be posting status updates about her every five minutes ("She just mucked her diaper, it was so cute!" "She just spit up all over my favourite shirt, eww!"). You’re a new mother, it’s only to be expected that you’d want to talk about her – especially on what is technically your personal blog – once in a while :)

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