The Ups and Downs of Blogging

photo by mefind

I have a love/hate relationship with this whole blogging thing.  

What I love:

Humanity on display.  I feel like we live in a culture (or at least I live in this culture in Southern California) where people really try to "keep it together" and appear as though everything is great.  I had this awkward interaction with my grocery store checkout person a week or so ago where I did the standard, smile, make eye contact and say, "Hi.  How are you?"  What was I expecting?  The standard, "Great. And you?"  Or, "Fine thanks."  etc. etc.  What I was NOT expecting, was for her to respond with tears in her eyes and say, "I am hanging in there.  My grandfather passed away yesterday and I am feeling it today."  I was so shocked by hearing true, authentic words come forth that it took me a few seconds before I could respond.  This is not the norm.  

But, the blogging world is that place that I can read how women are dealing with tantrums and infertility and doldrums in their marriages and fears about their children's development and how motherhood maybe is not all that they imagined it to be.  I love the raw stream of consciousness goodness that allows me to walk away feeling very much not alone in life.  I love that I get to laugh out loud while reading of someone else's escapades that could very well have been my own on another day.  I get the reassurance of knowing that everyone has hard days where they do not like their kids.  And, I get that sappy, sweet emotional feeling reading about another mother's big, big, "my heart is breaking open because this love is just too big", love for her children.  It is a spot at the lunch table in the cafeteria where you are understood, and you are welcome.

It gives me a sense of completion.  Some days it feels like I am living out my own twisted version of "Ground Hog's Day" [you know, that movie with Bill Murray where he wakes up every morning in the same day that was yesterday -- same song on the clock radio, same snow storm, same interactions with the same people around him, etc.]  It sometimes feels like I have the same plot every day where I prepare the same foods, clean up the same messes and have the same list of uncompleted tasks looming over me.  Everytime I publish a post I get this sense of completion.  Done.  Check.  Ahhhhhhh...

Resources, Oh Resources.  I love that I get to glean from other moms out there.  Looking for some sewing projects?  Looking for a craft idea?  Looking for someone dealing with sleep issues?  Looking for a daily dose of sarcasm? Oh, how I love the internet for this little gift!

What I DO NOT love:

The blogging worm hole.  It never fails.  I go online to write something really quickly, or to read one of my favorite blogs really quickly and three hours later I am battling a stiff neck, it is now dark in the house and I have zoned out on the kids jumping from couch to couch.  There is a total worm hole that I get sucked into as I go from blog to blog and it is madness, I tell you!  There is just so much good stuff to read out there.

Insecurity.  Blogging provokes two kinds of insecurity in me.  The first is when you pour your heart out and share something really vulnerable and then you know people are reading it, but no one comments.  I am left wondering if they read it and laughed at me, cried with me, stopped reading half way through with a yawn, etc.  I am totally guilty of the same thing because there are many blogs that I read that I do not leave comments on.  I know, total hypocrite.  But, I still cannot help but feel a little rejected when I do not get comments back on certain posts.  The second source of insecurity comes from my blog comparisons.  It comes when I start comparing how many comments other blogs are getting vs. ours, or how much advertising other blogs get, or how many subscribers they have, or their savvy web design, etc. Blog comparison is like how I compare my parenting or appearance or anything else in my life that is personal to me.  I can quickly spin myself into a melancholy place where I feel quite less than.  Just being honest.

Blogging ADD.  This is what happens to me.  I am walking along through life and something happens that is just the perfect thing to blog about.  I then rush to go jot it down so that I can remember it and forget what I was doing before I got the blogging inspiration in the first place.  I am having to remind myself lately that sometimes I need to simply be present wherever I am and to shut off the obsession thoughts I have about our blog.

As with every love/hate relationship in life, I am trying to embrace the good and learn to minimize the bad.  I really wish that I had known about this whole blogging thing when I was in the midst of my infertility struggles.  I remember feeling so alone, so awkward around my pregnant friends.  It was a really dark season for me.  I am thankful that many of the women walking that road now have so many people sharing their own journeys vulnerably.

I hope that if you are mom out there feeling alone or frustrated or just a tad weary in this whole motherhood thing, I hope that you will sit down at our table.  Welcome.  

16 comments:

  1. Amen! On every point... You're exactly right.

    And I wouldn't want to leave you without comments, so here you go. :)

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  2. Great post! I have many of the same feelings regarding blogging. But I try to keep this in mind... I really blog for myself. Whoever decides to read it...well they are just a long for the ride. Sometimes there is just something about getting your feeling out that makes it seem all better - I use my blog for that. I also use it to document what I and my family are doing. If I want to remember something so I can go back and scrapbook it later. I also wished I would have started blogging earlier. I two had my own issues with having a baby. I had a partial molar pregnancy and then another miscarriage. And I can relate to that horrible feeling that everyone seems pregnant but you. Wondering if it will ever happen. I am happy to say I finally blessed with two boys...but it would have been nice to have a record of that journey.
    So I just wanted to leave a comment and say. I agree with everything! Love this blog!

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  3. I totally had blogging ADD yesterday. There was this thing I wanted to write (short and sweet, wouldn't have taken too much time, etc). Problem was, that after five minutes in my kitchen, I came back to my laptop and TOTALLY couldn't remember what I'd wanted to write!

    I'd have to say, that I agree with most of your other sentiments about the loves and hates of blogging. Great post!

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  4. Totally understand, totally there with you on all accounts. I seem to be more addicted to the technical world than any thing in real life.

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  5. I am loving this blog more and more...

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  6. Ali, I could have written these exact words myself. Only it wouldn't have been as nicely written as yours because I totally would have gotten Blog ADD and forgotten half of what I planned on writing when I was in the shower/out on a walk.

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  7. Yes! So true. I actually keep a little notebook of what I want to post about. Sometimes I get to what I wanted to say, and other times I don't.
    LOVE this post. I feel so isolated without the blog, my outlet and connection to others in my shoes.
    You stated it well, of course. Once again, I'm thankful for the Mama Manifesto! :)

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  8. Wow...you nailed it right on the head. So many of us are dealing with these exact emotions. Thanks for such a great post. (I've been stalking for a while now.)

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  9. Brilliant post, Ali. I have all the same feelings. Such a confusing muddle at times! I find it helps to take a break every now again and reconnect with reality, and yet, I wouldn't give blogging up without a serious fight. I've gotten too much good out of it and grown so much in so many ways because of the inspiration I've received.

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  10. Oh, I SO agree! It has been such a blessing and such a curse in my life. It has made me feel so connected to other moms, and I have found this wonderful community of other transracial families that makes me fee less along. And yet . . . WOW does it make me distracted.

    I am also very type-A, and while I love the sense of completion, blogging also gives me this constant sense that there is something I need to do!

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  11. Sadly, blogging is my only adult conversation some days, so it is a bummer when no one talks back. i love this blog and now have it on reader. It's very authentic and has great meal ideas too!

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  12. Love the honesty! Love this blog! I love to quote my niece (the big HSM fan) "we're all in this together".....

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  13. I am so with you. Especially on the insecurity. Sometimes I feel like I did in Middle School, trying to fit in, and I have to slap myself out of it.

    I love the self-expression, community and support, though.

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  14. This was a great post that I really feel related too. I am new to the blogging and reading blogs but as my own personal Groundhog days come to a completion at least I know that sometimes the only thing during the day for myself is this. My own few maybe 5 minutes I can hack outta this mess for me, and even though my husband doesn't agree per se for me blogging, he isn't here to repremand me for doing it because he is at work most the day and I end up blogging in those last few minutes b4 he gets home at 11, so THIS IS FOR ME.
    Thank you for keeping me sane again Mamas!

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  15. I just posted something quite similar last week at http://aspotonthesopha.blogspot.com/2008/08/shiny-happy-people-holding-hands.html

    I totally agree with every point! The comparison, the humanity, the camaraderie, the vulnerability. I actually just deleted a post after getting so few comments I started wondering if my material had been offensive to some. One other downer about reading blogs is the fear of discovering that someone else has already written a post very similar to one I've been plotting. I fear it will look like I stole ideas. That and the writing might be so fabulous that it would be complete idiocy for me to continue with my own amateur post.

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