Friday 16th September 2016. The day I won a prestigious national blogging award. From the hundreds of thousands of votes cast in the MADS (Mums and Dads Blogging Awards), my little blog only went and bloody won Best Baby Blog (and was also nominated for Best New Blog and Best Writer)! But why am I only writing about it now you might ask? Well, initially I was waiting for some official photos from the evening to accompany a post. I waited and waited and then the moment seemed to have passed, but the other day I stumbled across a couple of images from the awards on Facebook, which reminded me that even though months have passed, I really should mark my triumph with at least a few words. But, there’s another reason that’s held me back from celebrating that has nothing to do with a lack ceremonial photos. The real reason that I’m fairly shy when it comes to blogging and social media is the uncomfortable sense I have of being held back by self-doubt, embarrassment and feeling apologetic towards people I know.

After the win, I should have bulldozed my way through social media and local press like the other winning bloggers did, but I felt unsupported and uneasy about the reaction I’d get from an (admittedly small) handful of those closest to me. So, except for a couple of Instagram posts, I remained relatively mute. I really want to be seen as a talented writer and a great, hands-on dad, but instead I still find to this day a tinge of negativity hangs suspended around every post I produce, whether it be a brand review, a collaborative blog or a simple photo of my child splattered with yoghurt. Unnecessary piss-taking comments are probably laughed off as ‘banter’ by some, but banter it certainly isn’t if someone’s passion is unfairly inhibited.

Almost five months on from the awards and I’m only just starting to address my thinking. There’s no obligation to follow my blog or my social media and I think I’d rather people simply didn’t if they’re not interested in me, my writing or my core subject: my children. Writing is a huge passion of mine and has opened up great opportunities with some great brands, magazines and newspapers I love and admire, but more importantly, exposed me to the huge online community where support comes in bucket loads. God knows how my Klout score would look if I hadn’t felt so inhibited all this time! My blog won from literally thousands of other bloggers, so it’s time I actually started acting like the award-winning blogger that I am.

From now on, instead of posting with disheartening doubt, I’ll be aiming an ‘up yours’ every time I hit that ‘publish’ button. I should have done that a long time ago.