Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the thing about blogs...

I love blogs.

I get inspired and rejuvenated when I get a minute to read what others write, and there's something inside me that feels so fulfilled when I have a chance to spill out my own feelings and to make a record of what our family is up to in this blog. Once I write things down, it's like my brain can relax instead of holding tight onto things that may otherwise get lost in the vast expanse of my own forgetfulness.

But some things trouble me about blogs.

Every once in a while I get reminded of those worries...e-mails asking incredulously how in the world I balance things so well. Me, balanced?? Yeah, those two words together are actually quite laughable. Or someone will say something about what a good mother they think I am from what they read. Luckily right then and there I can set them straight and let them in on how I forgot to feed my kids dinner the night before or how I slammed three doors because I was so mad at something or other a couple days back.

One thing in particular has made me think long and hard about blogs lately. There was this one session we had back at my sister's motherhood retreat in June that has knitted my eyebrows together in earnest concern ever since.

The topic was something to the extent of how to keep a positive outlook in your motherhood. The question was posed about what makes mothers spiral into depression or negativity.

And do you know what the most overwhelming answer was? Not health issues. Not finances. Not childrens' behavior issues or the lack of having enough hours in the day to do what we need to do. No. The big answer from a whole slew of moms was that blogs are the problem. Yes, blogs.

And that made me worry. Because I have a blog. And the last thing I want to do with it is depress people.

In writing this blog, my intent is not only to do what I started it for in the first place: to help preserve memories and keep a family journal. I hope to also be able to inspire others to find joy in the journey of motherhood. I have learned that not all mothers have dreamed of motherhood their whole lives like I have, and even if they have, they have realized that taking on the "motherhood mantle" wasn't quite what they had cracked it up to be in their minds. I know this may be a lofty goal, but I hope in a way, through this blog I can reach out to those mothers as well as the ones who are loving the journey already and create motherhood strength.

I believe that mothers have power beyond just creating a positive, loving atmosphere in their own homes. As mothers we can join together and with synergy we can create a network of strong families. We have a powerful voice if we just raise it up enough to be heard. We are strong. We can change the world if we work to build up our own families as well as others around us. And what a great conduit blogs can be to bind mothers together and create that synergy.

The goal is certainly so very far from creating jealousy or comparison.

But the trouble with blogs is that we tend to accentuate the positive instead of the negative. It's human nature. And that's good, isn't it? The bad part is that we see that positive "tip of the iceberg" that others are portraying and compare our worst to their best. (I like the iceberg analogy Ashley left on a comment after this post I wrote a while back along the same lines...) That's human nature too. And that comparing is not good.

Despite my best attempts to "keep it real" on this blog, somehow some people misconstrue the good stuff I write to mean that life is perfect all the time. And that just isn't true. They haven't seen the 90% of my iceberg that's under the water hidden from view.

Those kinds of things make me wonder how I can make this more real life. I mean, I want to capture life as it is. But you know what? Life as it is, is good. Not because it's perfect by any stretch of the imagination, because it isn't. My kids fight like the best of them. My heart worries endlessly about random things that probably don't need to be worried about. I forget important things. I have about a bazillion wrinkles. I get mad as a hornet about dumb stuff.

But life is good because I love it. And I'm thankful for it...especially when I break it down into moments. Especially when I slow down enough to enjoy the journey. And that's the kind of stuff I like to write about.

So I guess this post is really meant to say that I've struggled with writing thoughts and feelings for the last while because I worry about making life sound like it's all hunky-dory around here when there are a million worries and concerns along with the good stuff.

But I'm just going to go ahead and let it all hang out and not worry anymore, because people are going to interpret blogs any way they want, and I can't change that. Please know that just because I don't write every day about things like how I have love handles doesn't mean they aren't there.

Enough said.
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