Another year, another opportunity for change… and boy, is it needed.
After a super extended from blogging, I’m back with a new perspective on what it means to be a fashion blogger… or blogger if I’m being honest.
I’m just going to cut to the chase: I created House of Jeffers 6 years ago, and within that time, so much as changed. I’ve moved, had 5 different jobs, traveled to England, met friends in the world of blogging who are my friends beyond the computer, met some not so nice bloggers (told you I’m being honest), worked with amazing brands, was a couple of feet from Adam Levine, was on a TV show… Oh, and I became a mother to twin boys. So yeah, things are different now for me, which means that I’m not the same person I was when I first started this blog. Something called “priorities” has shifted my life into new territories and given me commitments that I cannot put on the back burner. And I don’t need to tell you this – because you can clearly see – but I’ve put my blog low on the priority list.
Since the birth of Landon and Nathan in 2015, now 20 months old, my life has completely changed. Adding mother to my role of wife has made me look at things with more importance of significance, awareness and meaning. Time is fleeting, and parenting is an eye-opening reminder of how quickly time passes. There’s never enough of it, and you can’t bring it back, so making every moment count and discovering the secret to making the most of it becomes a neverending quest to find more of it. Hate to break it to anyone – but I still haven’t found the secret to defeating Father Time. So when you put things in perspective, family comes first and always will. Momma bear instincts kick in, and you will do anything for your family, and as a mom that means sacrificing.
In November of last year, the guilt of not keeping up with my blog started to linger. I would find that even with everything going on in my life, particularly, in regards to the accomplishments I’ve made with my blog – I felt that I had nothing important to contribute to a blog, and calling myself a fashion blogger became something I wasn’t worthy of. But most concerning to me, I didn’t have enough time to create the content I’d like.
This sense of guilt was made more apparent when perusing Instagram, scrolling through photos of perfectly put together individuals in places that are far beyond my reach and reality financially, and of whom, had a lot of spare time to do things. For some people, this is their lives, but for some, it’s a complete facade. At night, after putting the boys to sleep, I’d sit down for the hour I had left in the day, which is sometimes 10:00 by the time the boys go to bed (after starting our routine at 8:00 – so yeah, an hour and a half or more of trying to put the boys down for the night), and see what I was missing in the outside world.
To be frank, it was making me feel less than stellar as a blogger. That level of perfection, I wondered, how much was real? In my heart, I didn’t want her anyone else’s life, I just wanted the opportunity to be able to create something with a little more meaning when it comes to my blog.
I started to judge myself and compare my life to what I saw others doing on their blogs and social media. And if you know me, I typically do not get caught up in validation from others to make myself feel significant. Everyone is entitled to live their life the way they want – to be who they want, spend money how they see fit, dress themselves however they like. It what makes the world, the world. And we’re all not the same. Every blogger is different and I don’t walk the path of many other women – working moms, stay at home moms, girlfriends, wives, business women – do. But, I was comparing myself to them. My husband, who bless his heart, was subjected to my conversations with myself out loud, did his best to put things in perspective. “That’s just not our life, and that’s okay,” he’d say. I was definitely putting myself through the wringer as I knew I only had myself and my life experience to offer. Perspective took a while to kick in, but as the weeks of not updating House Of Jeffers passed, I understood why my life is so much different from all anyone else.
It just is. And that’s okay.
My life isn’t a well-staged Instagram feed of perfection. Staged photographs for “likes” depicting things that you know, and I know, are not someone’s reality – also known as bullshit – is not something I want to show you. But I am tired of seeing that.
We as a generation of content creators are being made to believe and influence others that we live these perfect lives via social media. When the clothes some bloggers are wearing are rented and/or returned (which is not always disclosed), backgrounds are photoshopped (So he wasn’t really in Rome?), and every moment has a perfect filter. All this to give you the perception of perfection. Filtering their life for the approval of others. Sounds scientific and not authentic.
The reality is I go to my job every day and race home to spend the remaining time left with Landon and Nathan singing songs like “Old McDonald”, or reading books before bedtime and making silly faces and sounds until we laugh – or they look at me like I’m crazy. On the weekends, the days that I’m home and not working, it can be hectic, but my husband and I do what I think is a good job of taking the boys places, taking day trips here and there. That is 100% what I live to do each day: To be the best mom I can be for them and give them the best of me. To get to Friday knowing I have the weekends off to do fun stuff with them. Sometimes, we don’t leave the house and I don’t have on makeup. We might even just go to the mall and eat French fries, or drive to an antique shop, or go to the park… or make LEGO castles in our sweatpants. That’s it. Fancy, huh?
And that is what I have to offer as a blogger: The reality of what it means to be a mother to twins who happens to love fashion, but has a family .I still love fashion, and shopping… and all that girly stuff. But I’m older, and have a family now, which is a big definitive factor of what makes me Jen. House Of Jeffers can still be about fashion, but I want it to be about other things, too. Real things and not so pretty things. Honest things that maybe someone else is thinking but doesn’t want to say. Fun things and the cheap and cheerful. Rants. Experiences. Just what it means to be a mother to twins, who has great bangs (don’t take that away from me if that is all you take away from this post), and manages to make the most of her time. I can’t be like other bloggers, and don’t want to be… because I don’t have the energy to make you, the reader, believe my life is something it’s not.
But actually, I do some cool stuff. I travel… to the mall. I eat fancy shit – like tacos from my local Mexican restaurant that serves amazing salsa. I workout – I carry 2 kids around, 20+ pounds each. And get this – I take photos of actual things I see in New Jersey.
I say this as to not downplay anyone’s role as a parent or blogger, nor am I sending the message that because someone might not be a working mom, or work at all, that they are creating a perception of falseness on their Instagram feed. They might have a lot of time to do these things, and that’s awesome if that’s what is authentic. I am referencing a generalization among social media that all bloggers lead these fabulous lives where money is no object, time is never fleeting and traveling is a hobby that cost no money. Life is not that perfect. I know mine isn’t.
So, House of Jeffers is changing. It was/is inevitable. I want to thank anyone who has supported me along the way. I have met some incredible people who have inspired me to stay true to my roots, and supported decisions to not follow the crowd. I hope that you will be interested in taking the ride with me through this thing called life and see what I come up with. I’m not even 100% sure where I’m going, but if you’re cool sitting in the backseat with the kids, and being covered in Cheerios, it might be a fun adventure.