Wednesday, September 23, 2009

love/hate relationship

I have a love/hate relationship with blog comments.

Of course, I think it's human nature to love to get feedback. And I couldn't be more thankful for so many great connections out there I never would have had if not through the blog world.

Through blog comments people virtually "wrapped their arms around us" when we found out about Lucy's syndrome (we couldn't feel more grateful), people have given me all kinds of remedies for everything from Claire's urinary tract infections to allergies to sympathy over super bad haircuts (which I have once again gosh darn it!), to recipes for fresh-baked bread. I love making connections...with neighbors, old high school friends, missionary companions, etc., etc.

One of my favorite ever blog comments was this:

Shawni and Dave,

I'm the father of a 3 year old boy with BBS. Like Dave, my instinct is to learn and fix. So I've spent the last 3 years reading everything written on BBS over the last 15 years.

I'd be very happy to share everything I know, as well as our experiences with our son, with you.

I can't even express the feeling that one gave me...after so much searching to have someone there who knows ...really knows...so many things we really need to know.

Needless to say, I love comments.

But here's the bad part of blog comments:

I have "not-replying-to-comments" guilt. I feel horrible when I don't get back to people.

No, I don't feel bad about the general ones...the ones that just say hi or that just make a nice comment about the post...I know those comments are just nice comments (and thanks for those...love 'em). But what stresses me out is that I can't seem to "give back" enough after all the kind things people do and say specifically about Lucy (and some of Claire's issues too). And even if it's just a few comments here and there (it's not like I get them pouring in my any means), they start building up in my in-box and the guilt sets in. It just feels so good to have support, and I wish I could give it back more.

I could turn the comments off, and just communicate with e-mail, but e-mails are a whole other ballgame of guilt. And don't even get me started on Facebook...

So, in conjunction with my 2009 word for the year, I have to CHOOSE whether I want to be "with" my kids and husband soaking them in when I get a chance, or whether I want to sit in front of the computer for hours on end to let other people know I appreciate them.

So I'm CHOOSING to let my comment-reply-guilt fade, and give a big heart-felt thank you for comments right here and now. If I don't reply to what you write, it just means I'm being a mom and a wife and a maid and a laundress and a chauffeur and a nurse and a practice-piano-helper and a psychologist to my family. Oh, and trying to make dinner for a few people, and take care of church stuff, etc.

But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the kind words...especially from those who are so sweet about Lucy.

Thank you thank you thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

13 comments:

Nicole said...

Hey!
I hope you weren't too late picking up Lu. I was worried for you.
Our assignment is to experiment with reflectors.....no specifics....just mess around with them to see what they can do.
SO great to see ya yesterday!

kara jayne said...

to make you feel better...i RARELY reply to comments. unless they are asking me a question, i figure they don't expect it.

shawni said...

Yeah, I know people don't expect to hear back...but those nice ones about Lucy get to me, and I only replied to like half of them from forever ago when we got her syndrome results, and then in subsequent posts. I just want people to know I really appreciate all the support that goes out to Lu.

Then there are the people who can totally relate to the Lucy issue, (and Claire too) because they, themselves are going through similar things with their kids, and I wish I could give them the same support they give me...because I know how much it means. But I just can't seem to get back to people! I'm sure they understand, but I wish I could do more.

Anyway, lots of rambling. This was just really supposed to show appreciation to all those nice people all in one fell swoop! Maybe I better change that in the post...

MMW said...

oh no worries! usually I just reply back to those whose comments really move me - i.e. particularly touching or meaningful or funny, etc.

Christine said...

Shawni,
You are one of the MOST thoughtful people I know. I understand the guilt about keeping in touch with people as I have a mound of my own guilt with certain friends and even some family members. I think the women (and men) that read your blog are just grateful for all that you share with us. The fact that you care about what they have to say in reply is telling of your genuinely thoughtful character. You are AMAZING lady! Take care and no worries about replies to me!

love, Christine

Jennifer said...

Maybe the "give" on your part is the fact that you are writing the post and expressing your heart. Sometimes writing in the comment box is just another way of connecting... not that the commenter needs validation... that supporting you is validation enough. (Good grief... I really am turning into a pontificating doctoral student!)

It's enough.

No guilt.

It's your blog, your way! And I don't think anybody is going to get their feelings hurt. And if they do, they can just go read someone else's blog! :-)

You're awesome Shawni!

Ashley said...

You know what's funny? You don't know me from Adam, but I've commented once or twice before. I am from Arizona (years ago) and have been a member of valuesparenting.com for several years now, which is how I knew of you. Anyway, I thouroughly enjoy reading your blog, along with a few others. The funny thing is, although it is loads of fun to "hear back" from someone when I comment, I usually comment in the first place because I feel like I'm a total scary stalker if I don't introduce myself. I, just yesterday, updated my status on facebook saying that I will not be taking part in any "extra applications" because they are what I call "time suckers". Don't ever feel guilty for being a wife and mom first. Afterall, if you put off being a mom, how would you have all those great secrets to share? (Love your book, by the way!) AND-I know that Lucy's syndrome is always on your mind, and I can't claim to know at all what that is like, but man, she is the darn cutest thing I've ever seen!

The Shelley Family said...

I think your blog is AMAZING! So are u and I totally admire your parenting and life perspective :)
Your blog blesses MY life and us leaving comments is a way to give back to YOU for letting us into your world :)
So....Thankyou!

Muriel and Jerry said...

you never have to respond to me! I am so abd at it too. Just know I am thinking about your darling family, your awesome sister and you.

Ali F. said...

Shawni,
I knew you at BYU and got on your blog through joy school - so fun. U R the best!
Ali Thomander

Jessie said...

Shawni I think you just have a way of writing about things that makes people want to comment. I think you are too hard on yourself! I would never think twice about it if you didn't respond to a comment I had made. You just inspire people I think... Oh and btw the pictures of Lucy...priceless! I just want to eat her up!

I am LoW said...

I think it's easy to comment on 10 or 20. But imagine being The Pioneer Woman with hundreds or thousands? Ooooey!

Nickolei said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. Anyway, I'm been looking for topics as interesting as this. Looking forward to your next post.


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