There come’s a point in a blog’s existence where you make a choice. You choose, one way or another, whether this hobby of yours is going to continue being a hobby, or start being a hobby that makes a little bit of money.
For me, it’s not a hard choice. I’m lucky that lots of people read my blog. I’m lucky I get to make a little bit of money off writing and blogging, which I what I love to do. I’m lucky that this little bit of money contributes to me being able to stay at home with my kids for at least a little bit longer.
And the guilt doesn’t eat at me very often. I feel the same way about my corporate whorism now as I did in the Before.
Anyway. Once you’ve made that choice, there are a thousand smaller choices within that spectrum, that have to be made too. How much, how often, and how. Everyone has a line- where do you draw yours? And how much money would it take to make you cross it?
There comes a point in your blogging career- well, it has in mine, anyway, where you stand before a table full of plastic, fantastic, brightly coloured children’s toys, and feel a little like you’re being tempted by the devil. As your mind weighs up how much you really don’t want to do another review post right now…. compared to how much your son would absolutely adore that Thomas the Tank Engine set.
I don’t think I need to tell you that my kid wins, every time. And that particular sponsored post is coming about in the near future.
Anyway. The point of this post is, I caused a bit of an unintentional stir on Twitter the other day when I Tweeted this…
It’s not the first time something like has happened, on Twitter, regarding breastfeeding. I should know better… it’s far too complicated a subject to broach in 140 characters or less. Hence, this blog post- the story behind the Tweet. A little bit of self justification. Because, as I’ve said before, this is one topic where I have unlimited empathy.
And the whole experience proved to me, in some blessed way, that I still believe in the things I did in the Before. That somewhere deep down under this crushing, constant exhaustion there is still enough energy to have passion for something other than the constant litany of good mental and preventing other people from living through the hell I’m in right now.
In the Before, I was passionate about breastfeeding. I spent a lot of my time doing it. My daughter weaned only two months before her father died, but it doesn’t feel like that… it feels like a million years ago, eons ago, a whole space of a life since I’ve breastfed.
In the Before, I believed that women were, as a society, being ripped off when it came to breastfeeding- it is so difficult, for so, so many of us, and that all points back to a massive failure in our society… a society where artificially feeding a baby has become much more trusted than a women’s ability to nurture their own child.
I’m not going to waffle on about too much, because, quite frankly, there is enough about this online to fill a million books, and the argument is stale and boring (to me, anyway… as I said, it’s difficult to find the energy for passion).
But I will say this, because it was bought to my attention on Twitter that a lot of people actually don’t already know this. The World Health Organisation recommends against the marketing and advertising of formula and artificial feeding products- including, I think, dummies.
The law in Australia states that it is illegal to advertise infant formula. Now before anyone starts jumping and down saying “But the ad’s are on TV!”- the ads on TV, and in print, are for toddler formula. Not infant formula.
Just as the ad spots I was offered recently, at a very lucrative rate, where for pregnancy related services- such as a due date calendar- were sponsored by a toddler formula. Not an infant formula. It’s a very convenient loophole.
Let me reiterate here- formula can be a Godsend. And I’ve got nothing against it. But the WHO guidelines are in place for some very good reasons, the least of which being correcting an unfair playing field where breastfeeding organisations don’t have the advertising budget to compete, and stopping the alleged practices of certain formula companies in third world countries.
And…. well. I guess, all that boiled down, was enough to tip my scales. The coupla hundred bucks would have been lovely, especially just before Christmas. I sat and stared at the email for a few minutes, with all those principles from the Purple past ticking away in my mind. I wondered for a moment if I still gave a damn, with so many other things that eat at me, that demand my attention every waking minute of every freaking day.
And I found I did still care, enough, just, to be passionate about this one. Possible- probably- because that passion needed to form itself into nothing more strenuous than a simple ‘no’.
Whatever. It feels good to know that, somewhere beneath the constant litany of writing and the occasional corporate whoring, there is still a hippy, semi-lactivist, somewhat feminist lingering there. Maybe in a part of my guts that hasn’t been used for a bit… but she’s still breathing. And that’s a comfort.
Comments are off for this one, jellybeans… as I explained, I don’t have the energy for untold passion, and there are a hundred other places online to debate this one. I just wanted to put my opinion, my explanation and justification out there… now that it is, I’m OK with that. As usual, if there’s anything you want or need to tell me, please email me.