Wrestling with Mom Blogger Identity and Obstacles
Hello. I’m having a blog identity crisis. Posts are few and far between. I want to fix that, but I feel stuck. The deeper I think about it, the messier it seems. I feel like I need to make a list. Here’s what’s on my mind:
1) Material. I have no toddlers left, so the constant stream of pint-sized mischief and babble bloopers has grown into something else, less universally cute and amusing. The boys are so overflowing and self-starting with their own interests that I do far fewer “big” projects to entertain and inspire them. Our daily activities and conversations often range from mundane to profound, peppered with occasional witticisms, but rarely do I experience the former compulsion that, “I simply must write about this day!”
2) Pressure. I get notions that what I say is supposed to amuse or entertain. I feel apprehensive when I write something serious, that it will be a disappointment. I lose track of the purpose of this blog, which originally was to help family feel included, and to generally have a space for my thoughts about my Stay At Home Mom experience. I also fall into the trap of letting myself be blockaded by invisible rules that say I can’t write about things that aren’t The Kids. However, a “mom blog” means there is also a mom involved, so I suppose I could feel free to write about her, too. Ha!
3) Audience. Sometimes, I can’t sort out who am writing for. Me? My family? People who want a peek into the life of other SAHMs and home school families? Honestly, I want to write for myself, as a creative and therapeutic exercise. I want to write what is on my heart and mind, and let an audience organically gather, or not. I wonder, though, if this ought to be a private journal; shame tries to tell me that I have no words of value to spend other people’s time on. It is purely because other parent writers add value to my life with their words, and because I want to exercise the courage to allow myself some of the credit that I readily give to others, that I choose to leave this record lying open for the curious passer-by to read. I feel exposed and susceptible to acquiescing to the demands of imaginary customers, but this feels like the right action for the right reasons.
4) Social media. I feel like the space allotted for Facebook and Twitter updates sufficiently contains what begs to be told about most goings-on in our family. I feel like I’m repeating myself and conjuring up words to fill space for a blog post, even though I’d like it to be the “official record”.
5) Ethics. As the boys have aged some, I’ve been more carefully considering the content of my social media and blog posts, in terms of how the boys might feel about it. I often ask their permission to post things, because I want to respect their opinions and privacy while sharing the joy they bring with friends and family. However, I also hesitate to ask them, because I am sensitive to this being new territory — they are the first generation in my line to grow up in a social media world — and I don’t want them to believe their existence is a performance or that their identity is tied to whether or not they provided any shareable content. I also don’t want to artificially encourage or discourage behaviors, feelings, or thinking patterns based on my sharing habits.
6) Energy. My thyroid has been nuts since late last year. When it was really high, I was exhausted from feeling perpetually juiced up and not sleeping. Just before Thanksgiving, I had the RAI (Radioactive Iodine) to knock out my thyroid, knowing it could take 3-6 months to really work. Well, that time has come, and now I’m dragging bottom from the dramatic death scene being enacted in my throat. I simply haven’t prioritized the bloggy motivators to spark more than a guilty thought about my blog. I don’t know if this is the start of a new round of determination or if it’s just another periodic system flush. That uncertainty, by the way, drives my stubborn self crazy (fie on my whimsical glands). I like to feel in control. I’m learning a surrender lesson, but that’s for another discussion.
7) Time. Operating at a slower pace with my cottonized brain in my head, I’ve not been stellar at time management. No beatings. It is what it is. I’ve made some good choices with my time, and let other useful things slide. I’d like to keep refining my days to find a good balance. I really love pen and paper and have tried to commit to a more frequent – ideally daily- practice of journaling and doodling. However, in addition to learning to feel freer in my blogging, I also want to figure out a posting schedule I can realistically maintain. It takes me a long time to organize my thoughts into written word. I enjoy it, but it’s a time commitment.
This list, I believe, fairly well sums up the major reasons I have been struggling to contribute new thoughts to this blog. It must be a growing pain. The boys are 7, 9, and 10 now. Two have been baptized, and the Elijah has thrown himself into learning how to read his own bible studies so he can be baptized, too. Ian and Isaac are reading novels. Elijah is an incredible story teller. They are all so fast. We’ve all grown into a new place mentally, physically, and spiritually, and I need to just go with it. I need to write whatever comes to mind, whether it’s weekly or monthly, and be authentic — send the imaginary customers home. It feels better to have found words for my tangled thoughts. It tends to shrink them to a manageable size. Thanks for listening!