The Ups and Downs of Blogging


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.

10 comments:

  1. I echo everything you wrote here! Especially about insecurity. I write knowing/hoping that others will read it and then I worry about what they will think of me. I am glad to be (mostly) anonymous and I then I am sad that I don't get comments. The public/private space that blogs occupy is tricky.

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  2. Your post describes perfectly how I feel about blogging!! Thank you for sharing that :-)

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  3. I struggled with that for a moment and then remembered the reason I blog-- for me, not for anyone else. To preserve memories for our family (as grainy and unprofessional the photos may be) and not to impress anyone or make money. It has been fun to meet new people and get ideas and inspiration... but at the same time blogging can feel like high school. You know who the "groups" are and the "cliques" and it can be disappointing to not feel like you're a part of them-- that is, if you let it get to you. You just have to do it for you and not get caught up in the comments, page clicks, and all the other junk. :)

    As always, thanks for sharing Ali!

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  4. Thank you SO much for this post. You've eloquently written everything that goes though my head regarding blogging. Now why the heck didn't I bother to write it down? :)

    Thanks for brightening my evening...

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  5. This post is fantastic!! First, I, too, live in So. Cal and know what you mean by the society behaviors you mentioned. That grocery clerk really must have needed someone to ask her that simple question that you asked her. You were in the right place at the right time. Karma, if you like. God's doing - if you believe. You touched that clerks heart.

    Have a great day!

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  6. Ali, you dear girl! who knew you were such a great writer!? I just stumbled across your blog, and now i'm hooked! i love you dearly and look forward to reading you more. oh, i sent you a message on facebook, check it! xoxo kate merrick
    ps i'm such a tech retard that i don't even know how to post a comment non-anonomously.... i'll learn soon, right?

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  7. Hey, its been really great to read about your feelings with regards to blogging so Thank you. This is especially helpful as I am currently involved in starting a blog for my non-profit, with a colleague. Its great to hear the same concerns I have echoed by you and others!

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  8. Thanks for posting this. I agree fully! I have so many mixed feeling about it all. I truly do love that I have met so many new moms and women doing the same thing I am, but also I get wrapped up in it too often, like the hole you're referring to! I have recently make a vow to not sit on the computer, or even check my mail while my kids are awake. I feel a whole lot better for it...well at least for the past 4 days :)

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  9. Totally agree with everthing about this post. The insecurity piece rings true as I, with my little following of 6, wonder if anyone other than my mother, sister, and 4 following friends read my blog? I've been caught up in the insecurity, only to have your post remind me exactly why I started blogging in the first place. My days of scrapbooking have long since been forgotten, but blogging incorporates my love for journaling, photography, and documenting the joys of being a mother. Thank you!

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