My best blogging mantra - I will not compare myself • #capturingcolour • words

Over the last week or so I've read so many blog posts, comments on blog posts and comments on Instagram photos that have made me feel even more determined to stick to my blogging mantra. As bloggers we put so much of our lives on the internet (And mostly if we are really honest the nicer bits, the pretty bits, the dare I say it, the rose tinted bits - I know I'm guilty of that! I haven't shared the photo of the ceiling falling down in the bathroom, the mould on the window cills.) and the dreaded feeling of comparison starts to creep in. We compare how we dress our children, compare the review opportunities we get, compare the houses we live in, worry about how many times we are posting, in fact, I actually said last week, with life being so hectic I feel like a blogging failure, the blogger who hardly blogs!) But most scary of all, we can feel bad about the childhood's we are giving to our children. That our children's lives don't look as fun as someone else's. 

But this is crazy!!!!! Everyone is doing their best. The internet would be a very boring place if we all lived in the Truman Show, we all had the same holidays, we all wore the same clothes, lived in identical houses, where would the inspiration be? 

Social media can seem to be ruled by numbers. The ability to compare is right there on a screen in front of you! The number of followers, the number of likes, the number of page views, your scores and rankings. As a parent who blogs it can be easy to get swept up in this wave of comparison and forget what we are all really trying to do. So for last week's #capturingcolour theme of words I shared this and was overwhelmed with all the positive comments. 

I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet

And the gallery was also full of inspiring words and beautiful quotes to remind us all to be kinder to ourselves.

Sammy was asking me about all the different teams last week, why some people had blue signs or red signs, or purple, orange or green signs and I tried to explain a little about the different things all the teams wanted if they lived in the big house with the black door and number 10 in London. One of the things I talked about was that they all wanted to give more mummies and daddies to chance to work a little more. That more children would be allowed to stay at pre school for longer so (in our case) Mama could work some more hours to pay for things like our roads and doctors. And his answer was "Well I don't like the sound of that at all! We want the mummies to work less so they can play with us more!!!!!"

He was so forthright and it almost smacked me in the face! Sometimes we can be so busy making sure we look like we are having a good time that we miss actually having a good time! I know I've been guilty of trying to document every moment at a play park, lugging my big camera around with me, when all they really wanted was for me to push them on the swings!

So this image from Rustics UK just had to be my favourite from last week. The caption was "Love, Peace and Harmony I vote for this!

And it made me think about doing what we love. A year ago I went to a conference in London and had the pleasure of chatting to one of the hosts Kat at dinner afterwards. It felt like a bit of a wake up call, and gave me the confidence to believe more in myself, believe in the blog I wanted to write. That I could have a blog that was a family journal and a place to share my interests and inspiration too. That you can still be a parent blogger in the community even if you don't always post about your children. 

My family is integral to my blog, even on the days when I post about pretty flower workshops or conferences in London. In fact, on those days I reply on family even more. Because Rich has had to pick the boys up from school, cook them dinner, read their stories and put them to bed. Instead of sitting together in the evening watching a film and chatting, I'm tapping away on a laptop editing photos and uploading them. Without my little family I wouldn't have a blog! So when you get nominated for awards, really they are for all of us, for Sammy and Ollie, for inspiring hundreds of posts and being gorgeous models for photos, for Rich for (just about) putting up with a house taken over by mini photo shoots, tag teaming parenting duties so I can meet up with blog friends or speak at events, for providing never ending technical support to a slightly deranged stressed blogger when our internet crashes. 

I know I have been difficult to live with sometimes...! So this week I want to recognise just important family is to my little corner of the internet. Every week I share a new theme for the #capturingcolour hashtag on Instagram. Colours, florals, themes you can style with ribbons and spoons and pieces of white card on the floor. And in amongst the pretty pictures I post I share snippets of our family life. And do you know, every time I lose followers. I share a photo of the boys, our days out as a family and watch my numbers fall by a few. And at first it bothered me, but then I realised first and foremost I am a mother. My bio leads with Mama! And it's good those people unfollow because I'm not going to stop sharing my family snaps in fear of my numbers going down!

I wouldn't have been able to have all these amazing experiences and opportunities, to apply for brand ambassadorships without the help of my boys. I wouldn't be able to photograph all the lovely products I get to style without their little hands. Really it's Capture by Lucy and Richard and Sammy and Ollie. 

So this week I want to celebrate just how much we all treasure our families. Come and share your photos of what parenthood means to you over on Instagram. This week is all about FAMILY. You can share your family photos, those pieces of "abstract art" that those cubby fingers bring home from nursery, the little things you love like tiny toes or those sleepy heads in their beds. Anything goes! 

We should celebrate our differences, the things that make our family units unique. If we are lucky enough to raise a family the best thing we can spoil them with is love and attention. Rich once said it's a funny feeling when you touch someone you love. When you really love them. That there's that overwhelming sense of belonging and protection. That complete instinct that you are connected to each other in a unique way. 

Let's inspire each other, let's support each other, give ourselves a break more! We should be proud of what we achieve every day, even if some days that's just getting the children to school in clean uniform! I am so proud of this blog, for what it means I can do with my family, places we can visit, experiences the boys wouldn't have had without all the people who read it. And I'm so proud to have been nominated in the Brilliance in Blogging awards this year. Really, the Heath men are the outstanding ones! 

Only if you want to, you can vote for your favourites on the shortlist here. Voting closes on 15th May 2015.

#capturingcolour is a weekly theme on Instagram. Tag your FAMILY photos this week. Favourites will be featured next Monday :)