Not Married, Not Welcome?

Question for my not-so-married readers: do you feel “welcome” here?

My blog is about my life, so I write about whatever interests me without concern for whether it matches up with the interests and experience of all my readers. But I do not want others to feel as if I only want readers who share my experience.

I try to write posts and ask questions in such a way that reflects the fact that I love comments from whomever feels like reading and sharing their thoughts with me. But recently I have realized that what I think of as open may not feel that way to others.

Several of the bloggers that I read have recently started the wonderful journey of motherhood. I have read blogs of pregnant women and mothers of young children for years, so I did not anticipate any change in my response to these blogs.

But then far more of them than I expected changed their headers to read “If you are not a mother or at least pregnant you really don’t belong here. K THX BYE.” Well, not really, but they might as well have.

And one day as I read yet another post by a pregnant woman (and did not comment because the questions at the end made it clear the blogger did not want to hear from me) I realized that many single people may feel the same way about my blog. Sure, I try not to gush too much about Josh, but I probably exude “not married, not welcome” vibes in other ways without knowing it.

I do not want to do that.

So, will you do me a favor? Please let me know a few little things I could improve to make everyone feel welcome. I will not completely stop writing about Josh, or my religion, or anything that is a part of my life. But I can write things a little differently, or lose the pretty pink flowers in the header or other small things in order to make this a better little bit of the interwebs.

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42 thoughts on “Not Married, Not Welcome?

  1. Katie

    First, I have to say that I love the picture! It goes so well with your post!

    As a singular person in the blogosphere, I have to say that I never once felt like you narrowed your audience to the happily married. Your thoughts are well developed, and your world perspective rises above your life position. It’s also entertaining to read about your daily life with Josh, as well as your thoughts on other matters, too!

    I think the best blogs have balance, you know? A funny post and then a serious one…a picture post and then a thoughtful one…a family post and then an individual one…you’ve got that here, Rae!

  2. Maggie

    I sure hope me changing my blog’s header isn’t one of the blogs you mention as being a “you don’t belong here if you’re not a mother” blog! I honestly don’t mean to exclude anybody!

    1. Rae Post author

      Not at all! I love your header. I was just trying to come up with a visual image for what is accomplished largely in the way questions are phrased and posts addressed.

  3. practicinghuman

    You’ve always been married during the time where I have read your blog, so I cannot comment on the switch. I appreciate how you affirm the high calling of marriage in a way that exhorts people towards an example. If every married person thought as highly of marriage as you do, then I think we would have a much different society with regard for single people. After all, being single has a lot more space when marriage is a high (and rather difficult!) calling.

    1. Rae Post author

      ” After all, being single has a lot more space when marriage is a high (and rather difficult!) calling.” I certainly hope so!

      While dating/engaged I would not blog about Josh at all. But now part of me feels like “it” is my life, and that there is something to be said for expressing what my life including marriage is like for me.

  4. Matt

    As a person who has suddenly found himself unmarried, I find your posts about marriage and about Josh some of the most interesting and heartwarming of all. I hope for more! :)

  5. alison

    i’ve struggled with this too. i never uninvited moms from my blog but i’ve seen them disappear as i’ve discovered this new cross and i wonder, did i run them out with all my talk about my problems with fertility? ultimately, i’ve just realized that people have different reasons for their blogs and some are more personal than others. you seem to post on a wide variety of subjects, so i doubt you’re running anyone away.
    and from experience, i just don’t go to those newly pregnant/mom blogs as much (if at all) anymore because i get that they’re going for a different audience now (as evidenced by the questions they pose at the end of posts).
    you can’t please everyone and i try not to look at my stat counter, ha!

    1. Rae Post author

      I agree that you can’t please everyone! But I don’t want others to think that I am “going for a different audience now (as evidenced by the questions they pose at the end of posts)” which is a perfect description of what I have felt elsewhere. It is not bad, I just don’t want it for my blog.

  6. Jeanine Spano

    Well, I’m married, so I *know* my opinion is skewed, but I think that you really represent a balance. There are different levels of married as well. You have been married for a couple of years, and are in a completely different place in your marriage than my husband and I who just celebrated 1 year together. I, too, hope that my blog is not one where you don’t feel welcome because you don’t have children. Besides, we’re new at this, we listen to advice to anyone we can! ;-)

    I <3 reading your blog! :)

  7. That Married Couple

    I worry about non-mothers and single people feeling unable to relate to my blog, because like you I want everyone to feel welcome and love hearing from people with different perspectives! But ultimately I realized that my blog is about my life, and being married and having a baby on the way are just too big to not write about. I do still try to balance by having at least one non-baby-related post a week, though.

    I’ve never felt like you excluded unmarried people here, but as a fellow married person perhaps I am less sensitive to that.

    1. Rae Post author

      I think it is at least as much how it is presented as what is presented. I actually find it a little funny (not bad, just “wasn’t expecting that”) that you and Sarah post so few pictures/updates.

  8. Rebecca

    I worry about similar things, will all of my football talk drive people away who would rather read about my faith (and vice versa) and what about the totally pointless rambling that I do sometimes?

    I love the balance you have created here and even though I am married, I do think this is a single-friendly place :)!

    1. Rae Post author

      I do skim most of your football posts, but they won’t drive me away since you write about other things that I find really interesting. I think it is good that you balance your interests.

  9. Mama Kalila

    Obviously I’m married so I can’t answer this… but I have a question of my own. I’m not one of the mommy ones who does that am I? I know I focus a lot on parenting stuff… because its pretty much taken over my life lol… and because I started it about my family (for family and friends) but I’m not meaning to exclude anyone either. I have several unmarried friends.. and several married sans kids too and is sad to think it could come across that way.

    Anyways, I enjoy your blog just the way it is. I can’t imagine how anyone would feel unwelcome.

  10. Andrea

    Not at all! I’m single and and have never once felt put-off by any of your blogs. I don’t understand the “selective-readers-only” mentality myself. If one blogs to the world, by doing so one should expect to receive responses/comments from the world. Those who don’t are going out of their way to make those they don’t want to hear from feel like outsiders. INclusivity not EXclusivity – that’s what Jesus taught.
    “You can read my blog but I don’t want to hear anything you have to say” – that’s ridiculous. The reason 99.9 percent of bloggers do what they do is TO GET RESPONSES FROM A WIDE RANGE OF READERS.

    ’nuff said. :)

  11. Karen Peterson

    I think it’s important to recognize that not all of your readers are in the same circumstances as you, but they’re still coming here and reading what you have to say because they like you. Since you are keeping the conversation open and not gearing EVERY post toward one topic in particular (like marriage) then you don’t need to worry about leaving anyone out. No post is going to resonate with everyone who reads it. That’s just not possible. The people who come here come back for you.

    1. Rae Post author

      ” they’re still coming here and reading what you have to say because they like you” That is a really nice thought. Thank you.

  12. Susan

    Rae, you are very considerate to write this post. (Love the photo you chose too! Very funny.) :) I am single and have never got the “not welcome here” vibe from any of your posts. You have not been smug at all. And even though some of your readers are single, they may someday encounter the issues related to marriage and pregnancy that you talk about.

    I look forward to your posts in the future! ;)

    1. Rae Post author

      True, true! I’ve been aware of that from the beginning. I’m not sure how much I can fix… what would be the top things you’d suggest I change?

    1. Rae Post author

      Thank you so very much! My husband has been “following” you for years, and I am quite happy to have encountered you recently.

  13. Dawn Farias

    “I try to write posts and ask questions in such a way that reflects the fact that I love comments from whomever feels like reading and sharing their thoughts with me.”

    I have always felt this about your blog. And your tweets. And your comments. And…

  14. threelittleowls

    I feel welcome here! Occasionally, though, I have fits of jealously about all you married women. I’m still searching, wishing, hoping, & praying for my future husband.

  15. Erin

    I feel very welcome here. We do not share a religion, but I still feel a part of the conversation when you talk about religion. I think you are one of the most graceful and accepting bloggers I read.

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