Monday, April 11, 2011

Thoughts on Blogs and Blogging

A few weeks ago, when I was interviewed about blogging, I was frustratingly tongue-tied. (Number of times it took me to correctly spell tongue, about fifteen, I have always had trouble spelling that word.) Afterward I thought and thought and thought about how I came to blogging over five years ago and why I still do it today.

I laugh now to think about what a BIG DECISION it seemed to begin blogging. Somewhere I have a couple of notebook pages with possible blog titles on them. Midwest Mom surely wasn't a stroke of genius, but I guess it seemed better than whatever else I'd thought of at the time. I worried a lot about whether I would have anything to say... I wondered whether anyone would read it. I also wondered whether I would want anyone to read it. For a long time I contemplated blogging anonymously but ultimately decided that part of the point was to share our lives with the family members and friends who were far away. For me, making the decision to blog non-anonymously also meant making a decision to leave some things out of the blog. 

Have I ever written before about what a lifeline some parenting blogs were to me in Harper's early days? I felt like I'd found a secret club where people told the truth and it was okay not to 100% love everything about parenting all the time. I didn't know if I could be that kind of lifeline for someone else, someday, but I try to hold myself to a certain degree of truth-telling in this space. I love my kids and I love being a parent, but I hope I am open and honest about the less-than-glamorous aspects of this job and the many, many faults I have discovered in myself while doing it. 

I do wonder how things will evolve over time. Harper is definitely aware that I share stories and pictures online and I know in the not too distant future there will come a time when she won't want me sharing so much about her. And I imagine the same will happen with Michael. Maybe that will be a natural conclusion to writing in this space? Maybe it will evolve as I evolve and I will find things beyond potty-training, speech therapy, and TV limits to discuss?

Another wonder I have - and I try very hard to stop myself from asking very often - is who is reading here? Some of you I know, of course. I know that some people read every time there is something new and others only check in once in a while. I think there are a few people who click over from Facebook and a few who read through Google Reader - but I have no idea how either of those things come together and fit with the number my counter says come here from day to day. Mostly I make peace with the fact that I will never really know those things, but I still wonder. Just like I wonder how, if you don't know me in person, you got here in the first place. If you never leave a comment, why not? Don't be shy!

I have said that I would write here even if no one reads because it is such a good tool for reflecting and such a good record of my children's lives. But one of the things I love about blogging is the sense of being part of this larger community and reading your thoughts makes me feel more a part of the conversation, rather than just an eavesdropper. 

So here we are, 827 (!) posts in, and I guess I want to thank you for reading and say how glad I am I started doing this and how grateful I am to have staked a claim in this community - even if Twitter is slowly making me obsolete.


bluedaisy said...

Yours was the second blog I started reading. Right after Florida Ink, my college friend and your cousin (I think?). I love reading here and will continue to do so. I will never, ever tweet so please keep writing here :)

Jill said...

No idea how I found you? But it was several years ago. Blog365? FunMonday? Something. anyway, I appreciate hearing about your kids because I'm following in your footsteps--soon I'll be where you are (not locationally of course).. 2 kids, etc. You're in my reader. I always read, even if I don't click over to comment.

Jana said...

Um, I think I found you through Mommy Daisy. My youngest son was born a couple of months after your son and I've really enjoyed reading about Michael since he's about the same age (not that I don't enjoy reading about Harper, too, though!). I *think* I once asked you about how you knew Harper had a peanut allergy when my son got a rash after his first taste of peanut butter. Anyway, just wanted to let you know you have another terrible-about-commenting reader!

Val said...

Yup. No idea how I found you originally, but you have been in my Google Reader for at least a few years. I read every post - sometimes I comment, sometimes I don't. But I read every one of them.

I have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son and I find it comforting to read other parents blogs, often seeing the same situations, and thinking the same sorts of thoughts that I do.

CARRIE said...

I started blogging after G moved to PA, and she encouraged me to write a blog. And then from reading her blog I found your blog. You know the rest.

Hillary or Ryan said...

I love your comment about how parenting has made you realize your own faults. I thought I was ready for parenting after being a camp counselor and teaching high school for many, many years. But parenting is a whole different world in which I identify many of my faults. It's like a mirror is being held up and you can see everything that you need to work on in your personality. Let's call these personal goals?! I would like to be a better parent and spouse. But sometimes, I'm just a bitter spouse and frustrated mother. It is obvious to me that I am no where near perfect. But I'll keep trying to do the best job I can.