I blog because otherwise I might explode.
Like many other bloggers, I started my blog because I had begun writing a book, and I had no idea what to do with it. It didn’t take long before I realized how much effort it would take, how much criticism I would have to endure, and how many query letters I would have to send, before I found a literary agent who could help me get my book published.
Then I got pregnant with my youngest daughter, after several consecutive losses, had a rather taxing pregnancy in which I threw up for months on end, and promptly immersed myself in the “baby fog” of the 4th trimester. I wandered out of the sleep-deprived mist (don’t be fooled- we continued to suffer from sleep deprivation for fifteen long months.) and realized that I needed to start writing again.
The idea of trying to find an agent and a publisher, almost two years later, was too daunting, and I had heard that it helped to have a social media platform to successfully market a book, so I bit the bullet and started my blog. About 4 years ago, when I began writing my book, I had entertained the idea of blogging.
But blogging seemed too self-indulgent to me, as though I was publishing my diary for the entire world to read, so I abandoned the idea. Ha- look at me now! How the mighty have fallen.
Blogging- An Outlet For Moms
I vividly remember the day I decided to create my blog. I was listening to a radio show one morning while driving to work. The DJs had asked for moms to call in and discuss whether they loved being a stay-at-home mom or hated it. Well, I worked part-time, but I had some very strong feelings on the subject. Namely, that I think many mothers simultaneously loved and hated staying home with their kids. That motherhood is a mixed bag- it is quite possible to love being a SAHM and still detest certain aspects of your daily life. I got through to the radio station, and I introduced myself.
Before I was able to share my thoughts, the line was disconnected. I was furious. In fact, my reaction was so disproportionate to the situation that it made me pause. In that moment, I felt like exploding. I needed my voice to be heard. My voice mattered! I felt as though I had been silenced. While it was perhaps a silly feeling, the next day I sat down at the computer and created my first website on Blogger.
It took me a few months to find my footing, but thanks to several important blog friends, including my blog guru, I found my niche, improved my overall design, and refined my style. I am still a very “small-time” blogger, but I am thriving in my own way. I have found that I truly connect with other bloggers, and we read and support each other’s work faithfully.
The book that I wrote (you know, the one that is collecting dust upstairs in my bedroom) is very similar in style and theme to my blog. I write about parenting, about the dichotomous experience of motherhood, about the “darker” side of raising children. My tagline is “A candid glimpse at the imperfect reality of surviving the daily grind with young children.“ I have always been more inspired to write about my own life, my struggles, my elusive moments of clarify, and even my embarrassments, than any other subject. And at this stage of my life, that means that almost all of my blog material is filtered through my mom lens. Whatever I write, be it funny, painful, or an attempt at inspiration, I strive to always be honest about my experience as a mother.
Connecting With Others Through Blogging
One of my favorite things about blogging is that it provides an instant outlet. When I have a challenging day as a parent, I can write about it. Even the most horrifying public outing can have a silver lining through my blog. Writing about my MOMFAILS maintains my sanity, releases the pent-up pressure of motherhood, and helps me feel genuinely connected to other parents.
When I read a comment such as, “Every time I read one of your posts, it makes me feel less alone.” or “I cried through your entire post because I finally felt like somebody else understands what I am going through,” it validates the time and energy I pour into blogging. I have expressed the conflicting range of emotions I feel about blogging- my awkwardness, my ambivalence, and primarily the guilt I feel that it takes up so much time, and the anxiety I have about whether I will ever truly “go anywhere” with my writing.
But when I write something that I find resonates with other people, especially other mothers, it immediately fills the holes left by my insecurity and guilt. Blogging makes me feel like I am doing something important, something that matters, something that extends beyond the work I do as a mother. Though it often causes me to feel pulled in too many directions, it is not an exaggeration to say that blogging is a sanity-saver for me.
One of my most rewarding experiences in recent months is my collaboration with Jessica Smock to create The HerStories Project: Finding Support, Staying Sane, and Reinventing Yourself During New Motherhood. Though Jessica and I have very different styles as bloggers, the topic of reducing isolation and making connections to help women thrive during motherhood is one we are both passionate about.
We have read so many moving essays by other women about the friendships that have changed their lives and the isolation they initially experienced in motherhood; this project has definitely affirmed the fact that writing, blogging, about motherhood is something that matters.
At the end of the day, if I have questioned my parenting choices, or engaged in a discouraging interaction with my children, or sat down and cried out of sheer exhaustion or frustration, I instantly know what to do to find clarity and catharsis. I sit down. I write. I blog.
Welcome Back to Finish the Sentence Friday!
BLOGGERS– link up below with your post about why YOU blog. If you didn’t write a post, we’d love to hear your thoughts about blogging in the comments!
We have a special guest host this week! One of my blogging besties, Kristi, is just joining us as a co-host! Go check her out at Finding Ninee– you will love her! Funny, insightful, hilarious pictures- what’s not to love?
Me from Mommy, for Real
Janine from Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Kate from Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine?
Dawn from Dawn’s Disaster
- Follow Your Hosts, If You Like, and Anyone Else You Find On the List!
- Make Sure to Read and Comment on at Least Two Other Posts.
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- Link Up Your Posts Below with This Week’s Sentence Prompt.
- Hop around and have fun!
Next week’s sentence is: “My favorite movie of all time is….”