Why Do I Blog, Anyway?
Like most of the contributors to this blog, I have a "mom blog". That blog is not my public blog - I have a second blog, about books, which I actively promote and which has my name and email address on it. But my mom blog - to which I contribute faithfully every day - is much more private. It doesn't have my last name on it, my daughters are referred to by their first initials only, and I don't use tags or categories or send the link to anyone other than close friends and family. On a good day, I get 25 hits (not counting people who follow it in a reader) - and that's fine with me.
I started the mom blog almost two years ago, when my daughters were three. There were so many cute and memorable things that happened every day - funny things they said, milestones they reached, sweet moments between them - and I knew that there was no way I'd ever remember them all. The rest of my life was already online, so it made sense to memorialize their lives in a blog too.
The blog about the girls has, at times, taken on another role beyond that of a chronicle of their early years. At times, I've used it to vent, to share my honest thoughts about being a mother, and particularly, being a mother to these two sweet, but complicated individuals. For example, last week I blogged about a particularly challenging night. I don't raise my voice very often, but that night, one of my daughters pushed me to such a level of frustration that I found myself yelling at her. It happened right before bedtime, and shortly afterwards, when things had quieted down, I turned on the computer and wrote about it on my blog. Perhaps I should have waited an hour or so to calm down, but I didn't. Instead of writing about funny things the girls had said or what they did in school that day, I wrote about how frustrated I had gotten and how it had saddened me to resort to raising my voice to get her to cooperate.
I felt better after writing it, but the next day, after receiving sympathetic - as well as concerned - emails from family members, I started re-thinking the purpose of the blog and whether I should continue to write those types of posts - the let-it-all-hang-out posts. Here's what I wondered:
- Is this blog for the girls only? Should I only include things they'll want to read in 5, 10, 20 years? Will my daughter be embarrassed by her behavior at some point and will she be resentful that I wrote that post?
- Is this blog an invitation for people to comment on my kids and my parenting? After all, there is a comments field, and I put this stuff out there every day - what do I expect, that they will only comment (or call me, or otherwise) to say what a great mom I am and how wonderful my girls are?
- Is this blog primarily for me, to serve as an outlet for my many feelings - joyful, pensive, frustrating, whatever - about motherhood? Must I consider anyone else's feelings when I write it?
I am not sure where I come out on this. I can't be the first person to face these questions, and I am sure we mom bloggers all land in some slightly different place on the spectrum when we do finally find our comfort zone.
In the meantime, I will keep writing, and keep being honest. I can always edit out the bad stuff when my girls learn to read.
Original DC Metro Moms post.
Gayle also writes about books at Everyday I Write The Book.