The Singapore Blog Awards 2012 Finalist Post

Best Family Blog of the Singapore Blog Awards 2012's finalist post as instructed <deep breath> Obviously I'm very seasoned.................Haha NOT. <pores over instructions again> Ok. I have to answer these questions on a blog post:

1.    How do you feel about being one of the finalists in Singapore Blog Awards 2012?

Amazed. I actually have a blog. It's actually in the Top Ten Best Family Blogs at the Singapore Blog Awards 2012. I will put the official finalist badge up with honor.

2.    When did you start blogging and what drew you to it?

Barely two years ago; my husband wanted to build a blog platform, after an entire book case of social networking and media books, and a man-crush on The Facebook Guy. Other men have golf hobbies, my husband had this. And he is after all not allowed to set me aside for anything less than Cindy Crawford. Or a man. I suppose I could share him with some guy named Mark.

My hub and friends needed a guinea pig blog they could experiment on, that's really why I started. It wasn't like they could go to other bloggers and say "Can you try out this blog platform we are building from scratch and tell us what sucks? Oh, and you could lose your entire blog while you're at it." That's pretty much what happened to my blog quite a few times. Stuff would go missing, come out garbled - a couple times the entire blog disappeared. Often the servers were down..... I sometimes got emails/Facebooks from people I didn't know, saying they were sorry I had "quit blogging." N-ot a good way to build readership. But it was a humbling reminder that I blog first and foremost for a readership of one: Rockstar. Two, counting Baby Rockstar who is about to be born. (Back then we didn't know if we would be blessed with another). It's possible my husband read my blog on occasion, while he was slicing and dicing it. That's fine too.

I hadn't expected to love blogging so much, the unexpected element being other readers. I have shy readers I've never met who reach out with long, personal messages, but otherwise remain fairly anonymous to one other - and I wouldn't have it any other way. Every heartfelt email/ comment to me is worth countless happy smiley faces and mono-syllabic comments that don't say anything, least of all help me get better at my own parenting. We are all parents. We all know the challenges. We admit the challenges and our own weaknesses in dealing with them - and it helps us all raise our kids better.

As my hub and friends moved on to new interests, it became increasingly difficult to see the blog someday have to go. Who would be left to maintain the blog platform, after they'd all found new hobbies?

Unbeknownst to me, my hub was coming home each night from his already-grueling day job and quietly transferring all my blog entries onto WordPress under a new URL. That was about a year ago, and 250 blog entries. When he stopped with his hobby, I got to keep mine.

That's also a story for The Rockstars someday - how their pole-opposites-in-all-things-that-matter-less parents constantly have to work at family and marriage. Cos it's just  bullshit, that any of these things in life comes easy.

Where do you get inspiration for your blog content?

The blog is a continuing story for my kids to understand what it's like to live in this world (their parents' time anyway), raise them, strive to be a "good" parent and person, amid the challenges life will inevitably bring. Amid the fact sometimes I really don't feel like being a "good" parent and person. Having a faith helps.

I don't think I'd raise The Rockstars any different without the blog. But if my hub hadn't had the Zuckerberg Man-Crush, this would've been a diary, a book.

Parent blogging is a little different from other blogging I would say - you're writing about your passion, yes. But that "passion" is going to grow older, have friends who use search engines, encounter bullies in a social media world with new "rules" we had not encountered in our own time growing up...

That's predominantly why we went back and scrubbed Rockstar's name off the blog - so it wouldn't turn up on search engines if/when his friends came of age to start googling each other. I hoped it would allow me to talk more openly. On one hand the blog isn't worth having if it has no blood, no feeling, flowing in the writing. On the other hand if the blog be truly a love story for my kids first and foremost, I have to be prepared to take it offline for their benefit if I ever have to.

It's hard to be stuck up when you remind yourself about that. I bet parent bloggers often feel this way - bloggers write about their passion, their obsession - and if that's our kids we also have to worry whether we're gonna land them in therapy from the blogging.

Grow it too fast, too aggressively and suddenly it can negate its whole purpose of helping your parenting, by attracting haters or bullies and what-not. I call that the Paradox of the Parent Blog.

3.    How do you feel about the other Finalists in your category this year?

Intimidated! Some are professionals who've won or been placed in some big competitions, and I didn't even know what a blog platform was til my husband wanted one. In that sense, it's flattering to even place among them - at the very least it'll be great to follow their blogs regularly from now on, it can only help me improve my own parenting of The Rockstars.

How do you think you will fare compared to them?

<sheepish> I don't know. I have so much to learn about blogging.

4.    Give a reason why readers should visit your blog and vote for you?

Because they like the blog, because I rarely hold back when I write - not feelings, not flaws, not mistakes.

The Rockstar thinks readers should vote about this continuing story about raising him (and how he shall raise his younger sister who will be arriving soon to "not be a yucky girl who likes princess dresses") "because no one (his) age is better than (him) at Lego." He made me type that.

Update: Crap, I just realized people usually include a link so readers can actually vote for them. In fact some have whole posts showing people how to do it. Here's the link, please vote for me?

(I know, I am just SAD.)

Related posts:

About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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  • Sengkang Babies

    hi hi Rock Star, got to know your blog through OMY, and I am now a fan haha. Catchup soon, cheers Andy.

    • Aileen

      Thanks! I’m a fan of yours too – FOUR kids?? You guys should get an award just for being able to manage that, I’m on my second and already can pengsan….

  • :)

    im from sg. one of those stalkers who only read but dont comment. not a parent and dont have plans to have kids (yet). really enjoy reading about your life in HK and i think im in love with rockstar <3

    • Aileen

      Haha “smiley face”! I get that, funny! Singapore has changed so much from when I used to study there and when my hub n I then worked there… Visiting couple times a year (a few of my closest friends are there – and about to have babies too!), we still marvel at the rapid changes over the years…

  • YTSL

    Hi Aileen —

    Believe it or not, I’m not a parent — nor ever plan to have kids — yet find your blog an addictive read and visit about once a day.  (It helps that you write in a really interesting way and update so often!) 😀

    • Aileen

      Ohh thanks!! (bit pressured too, but no no I shall choose to feel flattered! Not pressured!)

  • hwl

    Go Princess Go!
    (can you check the URL – “server not found”)

    • Aileen

      Erm looks ok leh.. N I think others didn’t have prob?

  • Susanna Ng

    Congratulations, Aileen! It’s so exciting and I’m so happy for you =) All the very best. Take care =)

    • Aileen

      Same to you, Susanna, and thanks for stopping by!

  • christina

    Not surprised you were nominated at all! On another note, ever thought of naming your daughter as the “rock chic”?

    • Aileen

      Thanks Christina, yes we are considering Rock Chick.. Also Litle Miss Rockstar, Princess Rockstar etc… We’ll decide after she comes out, when we’ve had some idea of her personality – Rockstar is “Rockstar” because he was such a difficult baby/ toddler, screaming his lungs out all the time, impossible to distract away from stuff we didn’t want him getting into…

  • fidelia

    YAY congratulations, it’s such a great thing you & rockstars are in! Winning or not, it doesn’t make me want to read your blog less, it grows on me haha! I’m not a mum but your inspiration & dogged devotion to your family (JD included) transcends for one day if/when I do become. But of course, it would be so much fun to be good at what you do and also win (#coolmum)! Rooting for you .. 😉 speedy recovery too. 😉

    • Aileen

      Thanks, Fidelia… Hope your return to Singapore is smooth, safe, blessed. Sorry I’ve been sick and couldn’t make it here, maybe we can meet in Sing someday… Though JD won’t be able to make it then, she hates flying no matter what we do – there’s a limited doggie passport her classmates used to use for competing in Japan among others but even then we never took her cos she had such a bad reaction to the Sing-HK flight we took when we first moved here 😛

  • zmun2

    Congrats! (for being nominated) I like how Rockstar promotes himself – because he is best at Lego in his age category – well, I guess that’s true from what I read. He’s the best! and your blog is my favourite to-read-blog. I always check your blog first when I go online. 🙂

    I signed up at omy and voted for you. Took a look around the forum too but can’t read much because I am not well versed in reading Chinese. 🙁

    • Aileen

      Thank you, Mun. Ah, to be 4 again, when Lego talent (and your own brand of logic) trumps all reason! He’s serious about the Lego ok, he’ll be so happy someone “gets” him 😀 And your Chinese will always be better than mii-iiiine!

  • Heather Sario

    Congratulations on the nomination! I can’t think of any other blog more deserving than yours to win the award. Your honesty, wit, humor and incredible devotion to being a wonderful parent is not only a fun read, but most importantly, an inspiration. Raising Rockstar’s one of my favourite spaces on the world wide web, and I feel so privileged to be privy to Rockstar’s (very impressive) growth as a good young man, and so excited that I’ll soon get to see Rockstar Too, too. Thanks for always, always sharing, no holds barred. Your words always make me think. In a good way. :))

    • Aileen

      Wow thanks Heather, you must have spent a bit of time just to write a longer thoughtful message here. Really appreciate the effort! Thank you once again, and hope someday we get to visit all those exotic places you’ve been living in!