Monday, August 19, 2013

Why I Blog

I've been thinking about redesigning my blog, or having someone else redesign it because let's be real- I'm what the French call "les incompetents" when it comes to anything techy. The thought of putting any more time, energy, or even money into this online endeavor has got me thinking a little about why in the world I started this blog and why I stick with it, even though there have been plenty of times I have wanted to stop and delete the whole thing. And so I will do what the blogger does: write a blog post about blogging and post it on my blog. Act like you care. Kidding, no one in the world is that great of an actor.

Commiseration: When I asked myself why I started the first thing I thought of was my mom. She is one of the best people for me to talk to when things are rough, and not at all because she puts a rose colored spin on things, or spouts cliched phrases like "it goes by so fast" or "cherish them while they're young!" No, no. Whenever I have called my mom during a rough patch since college I always get great advice, usually supernaturally oriented advice which puts whatever challenge I am facing into perspective, but the thing that is the most therapeutic about talking to her is that she commiserates so well.

During the first year of marriage, and especially the second month when morning sickness from our honeymoon conception kicked in and I was completely disillusioned, I called her. I remember her just telling me how sorry she was that I was going through it and that first trimester sickness is one of the hardest things she has ever been through. I could hear the empathy in her voice, she did not have any advice about helping the sickness get better, and she didn't even say that it would pass quickly because for all of her eight pregnancies she was throwing up right up until she gave birth so I am sure she did not want to give me any false hope- praise God I've never been sick for that long. She consistently validated my need to complain a little without ever making me feel like I was a baby or exaggerating (though I'm sure I was both). And that is what I needed. I have called her when the girls are going through horrible crazy tantrum phases and she always knows exactly what I am feeling and just says she is sorry and again validates the fact that YES it sucks, and YES it's ok to acknowledge that fact do some venting.


^^ Wimpy mother of one.

During that first year Mike was constantly directing me to Simcha's blog and I have been an out-of-the-closet fan of hers from those earliest blog reading days. And while I know she is not a "mommy blogger", she does have almost 2 of her own basketball teams of kids, and frequently writes on motherly matters and so I think she counts. Grace was my very first favorite "mom blog" and in my wildest blog dreams (oh, you don't have wild blog dreams?) my blog would have been just a poor man's Camp Patton. If Jenny had written something new that I hadn't read I would skip a meal to read it and I have been a creepy excited follower of Dwija and Cari for quite some time. There were just so many to read! I was like a kid in a candy shop and it was only a matter of time before I would go ahead and parrot what all these other greater mothers and writers were doing and receive my own more frequent blogging therapy through constant Internet venting. I have added a whole host of new blogs similar to the above listed over the years that are all so good and I think it is safe to say that I read too many blogs


Comfort: Without all the solidarity and "community" that the blogging has brought me I do not think I would have stuck with it. It is so uplifting to post about something that is nearly breaking me (sleep deprivation, toddler tantrums, potty training to name a few) and that can feel so isolating while in the thick of them and get so many responses- heck even one response!- from bloggers and non-bloggers alike letting me know that I am not at all alone. My fellow comrades are on the front lines fighting against great odds to be half-way-decent mothers daily, and it is hard.



I also enjoy and appreciate blogs that take a more positive approach than mine, sometimes I have to force myself to go forth and read and stop wallowing in my pool of self pity, because yes misery loves company but too many miserable people is just annoying. I love Lindsay's blog for it's uplifting, often deep spiritual approach and for how much she just soaks up the goodness of motherhood. Katrina is always full of uplifting posts about her sweet little one. Sheena is always doing some project that makes me want to bust out my glue gun and just glue the first thing I see. Lauren was my best friend in college and just redesigned and renamed her blog after my favorite saint I will be visiting daily no doubt. 

Sanity: There are things that my blog contains that I never would have thought it would, because whatever form a sanity-saver takes on a given day it could end up in the blog. For instance, if style related things are making me happy, I may do a shoddy outfit post (see every Sunday post this year). If doing the shred is helping me feel less like a mad woman, I may do an entire post about trying to workout, and look back and shudder at how annoying I can be. If making and eating delicious food or sewing something or fixing up a room in our home is bringing me particular joy, I will probably blog about it. If coffee is helping me get through the day (EVERY DAY) I will blog about again, and again, and again. Sanity takes so many forms, and being able to blog about it is a double sanity booster.

So there you have it. You can go back to sleep tonight when you wake up in utter turmoil over not knowing exactly why I started and continue to blog. And if you don't have a blog, you can stop saying that your reasons for starting one are too stupid because you'll always have this post to look back at and say "hey, someone else has dumber reasons for starting a blog than me".

13 comments :

  1. My blog needs a facelift too, and I love reading yours. At first, I thought this post was going to be about taking a break from your blogging and I was thinking "NOOOO"...so glad it wasn't that!

    Commiseration is a great thing, your potty training posts hit the nail on the head. My 2 yr. old has started potty training (somewhat against my wishes). And I hate it, hate it, hate it. Once we're on the other side I'll think "that wasn't so bad". Yes, it really is bad when I'm in the middle of it. And he's our 5th!! I keep thinking this should get easier and it so, so doesn't...cleaning poop and pee off whatever just is not easy no matter how many times you do it!

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  2. I love reading your blog. And, I blog for almost all those same reasons. Even though my blog is relatively new and I probably have all of 2 followers, blogging is my therapy. I love the writing process and just writing something out makes me feel better.

    Commiseration and comfort is a wonderful thing. Being a mother is hard, hard, hard work...so anything we can do to make it easier..well I'm all about that!

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  3. I think it's important to not feel alone. I tend to blog more in the winter, when I am stuck in the house with sick children for six months, but I love you honesty!

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  4. I love your blog Ana! I'm not a mom yet but I am Catholic and engaged and getting married in 7 months...so it's possibly just around the corner, God willing. I love the humor so omnipresent in all of your posts! I suspect you are a really good mom and I love reading about your daily journey with little kids. You are so real about everything, and I really appreciate that about your writing. Keep up the good work!!

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  5. Ugh. I'm a whole month into this whole mommy blog thing, and I'm pretty sure I have a daily meltdown wondering why this sounded like a good idea in the first place. For the 3 cents it's worth, I like your blog design and totally used it as inspriation for mine. Hope that's not completely creepy. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?!

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  7. I don't blog, but I LOVE yours! I my favorites along with many of the ones you mentioned. I love being connected to the online community - a lovely, wide circle of friends to add to me "real-life" people! So don't stop.

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  8. I loved this post, Ana! This summer I was feeling like I couldn't keep up with the other wonderful mom bloggers (including you) and then Dan encouraged me and helped me to start fresh, hoping that I would be more motivated to write, even if my friends and family are the only ones who enjoy reading it. And I mean let's be honest, the main reason I really got into blogging was because of you! I loved your stories and knowing what was going on in your life and you encouraged me to do the same. :) So thank you! And I love you!!!!

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  9. Your blog is awesome, I love how honest and real you are, while still being funny and light! There are times were I think about why I blog or back to my younger self and laugh at the fact that I blog about being a mom. Younger Lily would have wanted to blog about travel and serious life. But now I blog about poop, how its not in the potty, and the fact that even among adults at a very fancy wedding I say "use the potty".... I am much happier with the community of Mommy Bloggers I belong to than the far too serious world out there :) Glad you're a part of it too!

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  10. I love your blog. For the record, you are one of the bloggers I skip meals for.

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  11. This is awesome! And your mom is awesome!

    Excited to see where you take this thang.

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  12. I love reading your blog. Your sense of humor really comes through in your writing and your kids say some of the funniest things!

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  13. I love your blog, of course. And I completely agree with the commiserating. That's what I love about my mother-in-law. She always is able to commiserate with me which is what I want!

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