The Blog Family Burgess! – Word from the Mr

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper “Word from the Mr” – and Dave actually wrote this for me ages ago so . . . 

Colette suggested I write a post about being a blog widower!  A title she has re-purposed from the days when she used to be an Xbox widow.  Days that are so so long ago!  She asked me to write about this partly because she wanted me to write a post for her again (I’ve been struggling for a topic).  But also, because she wanted to see what I’d say!  Dangerous ground lies ahead folks!  As I am a brave man I’ve extended the scope a little (without asking I might add!) to include how Colette’s blog has affected our family as a whole, because I don’t think it would have been a very long post if I had just said “This is good, and this is bad. See ya!”

Burgess family pull funny faces

So here’s my musing on having a blogaholic in the family!

To answer Colette’s original question, “What is it like being a blog widower?”.  It’s a bit like losing a wife, and gaining a family biographer!  A bossy one at that!

Now to some that may sound wonderful.  To others not so much.  Colette’s blog has taken off in a big way over the past two years.  That is in no small part because of the volume of work that she puts into it.  It is every waking moment of every day.  Pretty much.  I say waking, I’m quite sure that she dreams about blog things all the time.  This prodigious output is visible in the blog.  Colette has created over 1000 posts in two years.  Which is pretty close to 1.5 posts per day!  That’s a lot of work.

To fuel that huge output almost everything we do is documented and logged.  (He exaggerates . . . ) Which can be a pain at times.  Partly, this is because I am a grumpy bugger! Of that there is no doubt.  Sometimes however it is justified.  All events or occurrences must be photographed.  Not with just any old photograph mind.  Framed, posed, well lit works of art!  This obsession with perfection plays into Colette’s focus on details.  She has always been, what some people would call ‘picky’.  I think ‘has an eye for the aesthetic’ covers it better.  I have to say that.  Or she’ll kill me!  (It’s true! The devil is in the detail!)  Now that she understands photography a bit better she applies this critical eye to all of her, and my, pictures.  Meaning a lot of the pictures I take are now no good.  When the editor’s eye is in there is no second best!  (Ok, I admit it.  He’s right.  I’ve always loved taking photos but I’ve become increasingly critical of my own images over the last couple of years – and yes, Dave’s too – sorry love!) 

Now the most immediate thing that is a plus is the things we get to review.  If you speak to anyone they talk about the “free stuff”. Colette has a real issue with people saying that the items we receive are ‘free’, because they’re not free.  She does work for each and every item.  It’s a straight swap of labour for goods. Which is true, but as you’re not paying for stuff that you would otherwise pay for I can see why people make that error.

To be honest the review items we get and trips we go on are great.  Some of the things we get are fantastic.  There is no doubt that over the past few years a large percentage of the fun things we have done with the kids, and some for just the two of us, have come from Colette’s blog.  It’s allowed us to do things I would never have dreamed of.  Some things I just wouldn’t have paid for but were fun all the same.

An unexpected side of all the stuff is the parcels!  The things you have to review have to get to you by some means.  So that means parcels.  Millions of the things.  It’s a rare day when we don’t get some parcel delivered.  Unfortunately we’re not always in.  Colette still works part time so our next door neighbours have side jobs taking in parcels for us!  We’ve turned the street into a postal depot!  Our neighbours must think we’re loaded the amount of stuff that comes to our door.  It’s embarrassing to constantly pop round and ask for the latest batch of boxes that happened to be delivered that day.  (This does seem to go in phases and thankfully has calmed down a bit now but he’s right, my poor neighbours must be sick to death of our parcels!) 

On the other hand there is the financial aspect.  Things have been tight over the past few years.  Three kids and an extension that needed paying for have taken its toll on our, already wobbly, finances.  There is no doubt that Colette’s blog has helped financially, as well as given us the opportunity to get out and do things that our ‘pauper’ status wouldn’t have allowed us to otherwise.  It’s been a blessing really.  Something which the kids can’t really appreciate at the moment, because they’ve never known anything other, but has made a difference to their lives.

I mentioned before about the documentation aspect of blogging.  That might be a deal breaker for some people.  The kids are quite used to being photographed and videoed with products or on ‘adventures’. I think they like giving their opinions.  Ben in particular enjoys being in front of the camera.  He’s a bit of a performer.  Just like his Dad!

I was asked if I had considered the impact this would have on our kids.  That by making everything public we are teaching our kids to not be private.  It took me back to be honest, because I had never really thought of it in that way.  I spent a long time thinking about my position on this, and here it is:  I think that photographing and videoing your kids is far more prevalent today than it ever has been.  It’s just so easy to whip out your phone and take a video or a picture that everyone does it.  You’ve only got to look at social media to see how commonplace people documenting their children’s lives is.  I can’t see anything wrong in that.  Now, whether this increased level of documentation creates a desire to be photographed I’m not sure. I do know that my girls will ask me to take their photograph and will pose accordingly.  This is cute at the moment, but it might not be in 10 years’ time.  I can only hope that by teaching our kids correctly we can counter any narcissistic qualities we may be rearing unawares.  If we can’t counter those issues then at least we won’t be alone.  There’ll be a whole generation of people growing up who can’t go 2 minutes without snapping pictures of themselves.  Funeral selfie anyone!  (I’m with Dave on this one, I am conscious of what I share on my blog with an awareness of my teaching job and also my children’s future privacy – but as Dave says, this is kind of how we as a generation live now – photos, videos, sharing – it’s become normal, though admittedly not to the extent we do it . . . )

cute sibling photo

What I do know, for a fact, is that without Colette’s blog our children’s lives would be duller.  Less full of fun, excitement, intrigue and amazement.  New experiences bring childhood to life.  Seeing large animals up close, visiting places which are completely different to where we live, doing something brand new.  These experiences make our children more well-rounded and aware of the variety in life than they would have been had we not taken these opportunities and stayed at home.  How could we not?  I think it’s your job as a parent to provide the absolute best for your children that you can.  That means feeding, clothing and loving, but it also means broadening their horizons as much as you can.  Give them every opportunity you can.  How else will they know what’s out there?

I know plenty of bloggers read Colette’s blog so I’d be interested to know your take on how blogging affects your life, and your family’s lives.  Let me know.

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39 Comments

  1. June 16, 2016 / 8:05 pm

    I want to hug Dave after reading that post. 'What I do know, for a fact, is that without Coletteโ€™s blog our childrenโ€™s lives would be duller. Less full of fun, excitement, intrigue and amazement.' That sentence made me cry. He completely gets it – and not many people do. This is a great post and I know my Dave would say exactly the same, although not so eloquently. I spent every waking moment, or so it feels, blogging. But it is so rewarding and life changing. Plus, I have some of the most awesome friends because of it too! x

    • June 16, 2016 / 8:41 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Donna. Glad you liked the post. When I see you I'll give you that hug! Thanks for sharing on twitter too. Much obliged.

  2. June 16, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Brilliant post Dave (and Colette) I have just shown my husband and he has nodded along with everything you said apart from the photography, as he is actually a better photographer than me and it is me that ends up getting grumpy and saying "Just hurry up!" I am in awe of the amount of posts you have done, I don't think I have managed anywhere near that and I have been blogging five years (but my excuse is that I have seven children!) You have explained the 'job' of a blogger well and it will certainly put the ones who think we just get freebies straight, well done both of you xx

  3. June 16, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    What a lovely, supportive post, and great that you're so understanding of the work that goes into writing blogs! ๐Ÿ™‚
    People saying "ooh, so great, you get free stuff!", well you don't really as you have to work for it with all the writing and photographing etc.
    As for the documenting everything, my kids know me taking photos is just "what I do!" They're a bit older now though so the eldest won't let me take his photo…

  4. June 16, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    Aww Dave, what a fab post! I love that you 'get it' and appreciate how hard Colette works on her blog for you and your family. As a blogger, I love the opportunities that pop up which give my family a chance to try something new (we recently went to a family rave on a Sunday afternoon which I was dreading but we all loved it!) it's not about the free stuff, the endless parcels or promised hampers (that contain 2 boxes of biscuits!) it's about making friends, making memories and sharing the good, bad and the ugly. Great post x

  5. katefever
    June 17, 2016 / 10:32 am

    EPIC post! Well done Dave.
    It's nice to hear from another husband, as I know my own often complains about the amount of time my blog takes up – but equally, we have had some incredible experiences we might not have otherwise – a Center Parcs holiday, Legoland – all things we would not have been able to afford without my blog.

  6. June 17, 2016 / 9:47 am

    This is a great idea for a blog post. It's nice to hear it from someone elses point of view. Im sure my husband would have a few things to say about being a blog widower!

  7. June 17, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    Loved loved, loved this post! I'll definitely be sharing. I think your Hubby has said it all, really. The hours spent blogging, the photos that always need to get better and better, the free stuff that's not remotely free, the great stuff we get to do with our kids as bloggers, the fact we document our memories. Brownie points for the Mister!

  8. June 17, 2016 / 12:27 pm

    What a great post, it is lovely to hear from the other side, my husband lets me get on with my blog really, but I do get the comment about when is dinner as I suddenly look at the time, or jokey comments of I am busy, which is my common answer to most things these days x

  9. June 17, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    I think my hubby and you are in complete agreement. He gets sooooo frustrated by the amount of deliveries we get and we have nowhere to put it all (don't talk to me about all that packaging either.). But it is a small price to pay and he understands that we have had some amazing opportunities that we would never had otherwise had. Will point towards this post and see what he says :0)

    • June 18, 2016 / 7:11 am

      Hi kara. You're spot on about the packaging! I should have put that in the post. We rarely manage to fit all our cardboard into the bin. Thanks for commenting.

  10. June 17, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    Aw such a supportive husband, this has been so nice to read! I am guilty of the photo perfection thing too, but I think my hubby is used to it now! x

  11. June 17, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    Great post, blogging has offered us toys and outings that we otherwise couldn't afford since being on statutory maternity pay then paying for childcare but I do get annoyed when people say how great it must be to get these freebies. It is a fantastic position to be in but I do work for the company that has gifted them to us in exchange and I don't think people realise how much time goes into a review. I am conscious of photos as well, Lucas is nearly one and half and poses as soon as he sees my phone held in his direction. I try to not put anything on that may embarrass him when he's older and I am very careful with how he is dressed. If Lucas decides he doesn't want to be on the blog when he can tell me that, I would stop featuring him and I will be making sure he knows about boundaries and safety with photos, the internet, strangers etc.

  12. June 17, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    What a fab post, it's great to hear the perspective of a blog widower ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. June 17, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    What a great post, he must be a patient man. I'm lucky to live alone so no one knows how much time I spend on my blog x

  14. June 17, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    What an amazing post! Great getting his side view of you blogging. Fantastic post x

  15. June 17, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    What a great post. So lovely to hear about blogging from the other side. I hope you continue to have many more blog adventures!

  16. The London Mum
    June 17, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    You've literally nailed it on the head- exactly what my other half thinks. I'm so fussy with pictures too, and my partner works in film so you'd think I'd be happy with his images but they're never quite right lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. June 17, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    Ha great post Dave, I am lucky that my hubs is a blogger and he knows what it is all about, though he is possibly more of a perfectionist than me x

  18. June 18, 2016 / 2:54 am

    Oh wow what a fantastic post. Being a blogger has brought my hubby and friends lots of opportunities and we've all had many great experiences through it xxx

  19. June 18, 2016 / 7:14 am

    Thanks everyone for your lovely comments. They're very much appreciated.

  20. June 18, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    Lol at the neighbours having a side job taking in parcels. They must be nice.

  21. June 18, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    What a supportive and lovely husband you have! It must be difficult sometimes blogging pretty much full time and keeping a balance in the family!

    MadeFromBeauty.co.uk

  22. June 18, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    Brilliant post, it's good to see that hubby is supportive, mine is on and off, he can moan a bit especially as i have late nights working often.

  23. June 19, 2016 / 8:52 am

    This is such a great post! It's so great that Dave is so supportive and it's true without our blogs we wouldn't have got to do a lot of things. Although I blog mainly about beauty I have for one got to do some fantastic things myself and also some wonderful things with my family, my daughter wouldn't have the life she has now if it wasn't for my blog and for that we are all very humble for xx

  24. June 19, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    This is such a brilliant post – glad to here he is so supportive! x

  25. June 19, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    What a great post and wonderful that he is so supportive, you definitely need that. My partner is really supportive too and takes a huge interest in my blog. We do have evenings that we ban technology though and just focusing on spending time together, that's the only thing he insisted on!

  26. June 19, 2016 / 4:35 pm

    You're such a great team! Sometimes what we all need is a supportive loving partner ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. June 19, 2016 / 7:34 pm

    I just got my husband to read this too! I have only been blogging since January and already he dreads going round to our neighbour to pick up another parcel! It's great to have someone so supportive, I can't imagine doing this without Andy supporting me x

  28. June 19, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    I absolutely love this Colette, it sounds like your hubby is fantastic. I love that mine is so supportive too, sometimes he rolls his eyes at yet another round of photos, but he knows that it is my passion and he is so grateful of all the amazing things that have come from it. xx

  29. June 20, 2016 / 7:50 am

    Hehe it's interesting to hear your husband's side of things! I definitely work longer hours than 9-5 but it's so worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. June 20, 2016 / 8:43 am

    What a fab post! I really enjoyed reading your husband's thoughts on being part of a blogger family, I'll have to ask my husband what he thinks of it

  31. Five Adventurers
    June 20, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    This is such a lovely post! I love that your hubby is a blog widower, I have been an xbox one in my time ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so glad that your blog is doing so well Colette and wow to the amount of volume you have produced. the comment of your lives being duller without the blog made me smile, I am glad blogging has brought you so many opportunities ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. June 20, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    I love this idea for a blog post, what a lovely read!

  33. June 20, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Apart from the photography front, I think MOH would be 'expressing' the same views as I do put a lot of work and time into my blog. A lovely read

  34. June 20, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Love this post, being able to hear how blogging afects families. He is a good writer too.

  35. June 26, 2016 / 8:09 am

    It's lovely to hear your husband's POV (they're often forgotten about aren't they? Poor things!). It's interesting to see his perspective, and lovely that he is completely supportive of you and your blog. You make a great team!

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