Tuesday 11 September 2018

Being a Finalist in the #BiBs2018 and Impostor Syndrome

Blogging awards, they are funny old things. On the one hand I love them, they are a public acknowledgement for a job well done, for working hard, for engaging your readers. Then on the other I loathe them, they can be a popularity contest, with those who shout the loudest winning.

My love:hate relationship with blogging awards has been going on since 2011 when I was a finalist in the family life category of the MAD blog awards. I’d only seriously been blogging for around a year and I was so made up that my readers would nominate me and then vote for me. I honestly thought I’d win, not from a vanity point of view, thinking I was the best but I was just swept away with the glamour and accolade of it.

I didn’t win, Jane at Northern Mum did and it was well deserved as she has an awesome comic voice that I could never hope to emulate. I remember dusting my pride off and thinking ‘oh well, there’s always next year’ and for a few years I continued to be nominated and then a finalist in both the MADs and the BIBs. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride is the phrase that comes to mind.

Left to right: Penny, Clare, Gemma, me, Michelle and Anya

In 2013 I received an award at the MADS for outstanding contribution to the parent blogging community. I wasn’t the overall category winner but I was so pleased and thankful to be recognised for all the charity and advocacy work I’d been doing with ONE, Save the Children and Operation Christmas Child.

Then in 2014 I was a finalist again (but in the BiBs this time) and I was all over the place. Should I be happy, nervous, excited, agitated? I had no idea! So I asked not to be involved in any of the awards; I just couldn't cope with the roller coaster of emotions that they send me on.

Left to right: Di, Anya, Me, Sarah and Vicky

For the last few years I’ve stayed off the award scene and been happier for it. I know that being shortlisted and a finalist played to my very ugly trait of pride and I didn’t want to risk undoing all the amazing work I’ve been doing with God in learning to be more humble and service centered.

When I saw the BIBs being announced this summer it didn’t even impact me, I've obviously moved to a healthier place, where I can know the awards are happening but not feel any connection, so imagine my surprise when I got the email last week to say I was a finalist. I must admit that my first thought was that I’ve had my day and why on earth is my name in that list?

I can accept that years back I was doing an awful lot of inspirational posts and campaigning but now? Well now, I feel a bit washed up on the front. Most of my inner thoughts go in a paper journal nowadays rather than on the blog and my public national campaigning has changed to volunteering for local charities in a physical rather than online form.

Left to right: Hayley, me, Kristy and Karen

I’m feeling a bit of impostor syndrome. I look at the list of other finalists and I’m in awe, people like Steph who is tirelessly educating others on PDA, or T who was the backbone behind the #bemorewitwitwoo hashtag taking off when we all shared swimsuit selfies. Then there is beautiful Louise who lost her beloved daughter Jessica this year and is still sharing regularly and showing us the strength of her love for her children.

Yes, I’d love to win, it would be amazing and I think I’m in a good enough place nowadays to not get a big head and allow it to be a bad influence on me. However, I truly think there are others who deserve it much more and it’s their time. I do feel like an impostor, I don’t believe I’m particularly inspirational at this point in my life, but if I inspire you then thank you. Thank you so much for nominating me and I’d be just plain rude if I told you not to vote for me if that’s where your heart is leading you.

I’ve had an amazing ten years as part of the parent blogging community and who knows, maybe I’ll have another ten. I just need to keep listening to my kids and being respectful when they tell me, no they don’t want me to share about them any longer.

Too many to name, but some of the amazing bloggers I've spent time with at BML over the last six years

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