Wednesday, November 17, 2010

reflections on blogging

I love my blog.  Really.  Usually.  Okay, mostly. 

Oddly, perhaps, I sort of think of it as 'my place to go' in the world.  When I first started blogging 14 months ago, I was a stay-at-home mama in desparate need of blowing off some steam, having a place to sort myself out, a place to reinvigorate my intellectual (and snarky) self, whom I was really, really started to miss.   It was also a place where I didn't have to worry about coming out all of the time, where I could be unabashedly queer and equally unabashedly mama, without having to worry about other people's perceptions about the diametrical opposition of those two identities.  A place where I could be unabashedly feminist and unabashedly stay-at-home mama, without having to worry about other people's perceptions about the diametrical opposition of those two identities.  All my 'selves' could come out to play, so to speak.  My own space in a cluttered mama's life, focussed mainly (too often?) on the needs of others.  And a space I didn't have to worry about tidying up, to boot. 

When I first started out, I'm not sure I ever really thought about whether other people would or could read and/or connect with what I'd written, connecting with readers (both known and unknown to me previously) has been one of the most marvellous parts of blogging.  Fast forward almost a year.  I've written 188 blog entries.  And since I installed a site visit tracker four months ago, just shy of 8000 visits have been made to the blog.  (Can I say holy shit?!  It's nothing by super-famous blog standards, but by my standards, it's pretty mind-blowing).  People started to comment on some of my posts, or talk to me about things I'd blogged about, which has felt, and continues to feel, fantastic.  I started to feel, I don't know, a bit like I had a job, a role, a place outside of (yet not completely so) raising kiddies and keeping the homefires burning.  And then, I even got nominated by some (fabulous) readers for some bloggy type awards that I didn't know existed (but I sure do now and it's really freaking exciting.)

But there's been a few moments of downside about my time in the blogosphere too, mostly (and wholly unsurprisingly), in the forms of niggling fears and self-doubts - particularly as the blog gathered a bit of steam and found some readers here and there.  It's not about the readers themselves, who have largely been awesome.   (I have yet, knock wood, to get any really negative feedback, other than the feedback that I'm too 'negative.')  It's more about the pressure I feel to live up to some kind of blogger ideal. 

Most of the really great blogs I read (the ones that top Babbles list of mommy bloggers or are likely to win things like blogger awards) are done by people who somehow blog (and blog well) every day.  For  real.  Every single one.  (How they do this?  How do they find the time?  Are their toddlers running around climbing the shelves and playing with knives?  Are their preschoolers plotting world domination?  Because that's what my smalls get into when I'm on the computer, which, in case you were wondering, they deeply, deeply resent - and they aren't even old enough to read the damn blog yet!) 

One of  my great frustrations about blogging is that I don't have enough time to write the way I'd like to.  I try very hard to scramble together thoughts when the kids nap - which often results in a less thought-out than I'd like, typo'ed blog.  And then there's the irony of the fact that if the kids don't nap at the same time, I have to ignore them periodically in order to blog about my life as a parent, which doesn't exactly qualify me for mother-of-the-year.  Anyways - and those other famous, fantastic blogs have advertisers, advertise themselves, and likely know how to design their own webpage, which are artsy and lovely and link-y and all kinds of cool.  When I get stuck in the land of comparisons, when I get freaked out about not living up to people's expectations, about not having time to write like I want to, about being nominated for awards I don't really feel worthy of, I lose the point of why I started this out in the first place.

The other day when I was having a mini-melt-down (you could call it a tantrum and not be too far off) about the fact that I had to choose between having time to run and take care of my body, or having a blog, and taking care of the rest of me, L.  (in one of her rare I'm-gonna-rap-my-knuckles-across-your-forehead-moments) replied to me:  "Sounds like great fodder for another blog!"  Mmmm-hmmmmmmm.  I don't need more fodder for blogs - what I need is more hours in the day.  Or one of those super-awesome-free Nannies.

Ah well - anxieties about not measuring up aside, overall - this blog has been a life-saver.  I mean this rather literally.  It started out as a diversion, and it become a process that reminds me often, if not daily, that I am more than my job, that I am more than a mom, that I am more than a wife - but also that I love my job, I love my kids, and love my wife.  

And that's no small thing.


  1. Right you are, and that is no small thing at all -- love your blog!

  2. I have often thought the same thing about other people's (mamas) blogs...when DO they find the time. I started my blog for me to keep a "day to day" record of my daughter's life and to share some experiences. I end up writing 5 minute posts in the dark as she sleeps beside me (as I type quietly and furiously fast). I'll probably show her the blog one day and let her know that the reason it's boring and infrequent is because I was spending so much amazing time with her ;)

    I enjoy your blog...please keep writing!

  3. I write less on mat leave when I'm with the kids constantly because they HATE when I'm at the computer and more at work when I'm on a break. So yeah, it's hard to find time sometimes. And my blog is like verbal diarrhea sometimes--nothing important to say but I like having the outlet to do it. :P I love you and your blog.

  4. You know, I love reading your blog and think you're incredibly insightful and funny. And secretly sometimes I'm happy when I check your blog and there isn't a new post because I read while the little one sleeps so then I get to skip ahead to the next thing.

    What I mean to say is that your writing is a gift, and your taking a bit of time can be a gift too. To me. Because, clearly, you're writing just for me.

    Rolling eyes at self.

  5. I hate to point out the obvious, but if this is what you come up with in your brief available time, you should be pretty darn proud because your *rough* work is AWESOME. One day, you will have more time to write, and grow!

    The blog world is interesting. How DO they do it? Should they even? How do people even have time to read them all?!! Do they make money blogging? Should there be some quality control out there? Plagiarism... Metaphysics... How does it all tie in with Facebook, twitter, etc. It makes you want to go back for a sociology degree. Or not. Thanks for capturing some of the 'bloggers thoughts about blogging' in your usual eloquence.

  6. Thanks you guys - you are all lovely...

    And Eve -when I was contemplating heading back to school for my Phd, I totally wanted to dive into studying the world of blogging, and 'mommy' blogging in particular. I find it fascinating.