Who What When Where Why How?

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 gr3dUSMapown 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!

Categories: blogging, My View | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Your Mark, Get Self-Start

The boys were great self-starters today. When I was getting ready to walk Orbit, Elijah reminded everyone they needed to do the next 2 states in their workbooks. The boys sat and did most of their Government unit study while I was out. They wrote a Washington quote in their journals, looked up definitions, watched a Liberty Kids episode about George Washington, drew a map of the 13 colonies, and answered questions about the early pilgrims.

Ian is struggling a little with the “greener grass” of the idea of going to school all day with friends. Although he admits he really wishes every day was Friday, and he knows it isn’t and can’t be. He knows there would be major trade-offs.

Here are the sketches Isaac & Ian made in their notebooks of the first colonies.

 

Ian drew an interesting picture that is a bit Escher-esque, only with more circuits, ducks and soda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also did some Lego and started some paper mache. The boy’s projects just look like a covered balloon right now.

I’m being crazy and starting a sad attempt at a paper mache First Order Storm Trooper mask. No idea what the future holds for it.

Categories: Daily Life, Home School | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

School of Hard Walks

I am SO bored of walking this dog. Yet I’m bound (by choice) to it by two chains. One, it keeps Orbit sane, and two, if I want any chance of beating back the scale, I have to get my 10,000 steps in. I am desperate to make it bearable. I’ve burned through all the interesting podcasts I’ve currently found. I’ve worn out my favorite songs. Now, I’ve resorted to hatching Pokemon eggs and catching ridiculous numbers of Rattata and Spearow. Level 11 in da ‘hood, wooptie woo. *sigh* Sometimes I snag real-life “Pokemon” by photographing bugs, fungi and turtles. The blistering heat and sogginess of August don’t help. “Getting” to walk in the rain makes me giddy. Sometimes I mix things up by walking the in the opposite direction or adding or deleting a section of neighborhood. I’ve made a point to remember names of neighbors I meet (Yes, I write them on my list called “neighbors”). Sometimes the boys come along and we chatter for half the walk and then whine for the rest. I try to mentally focus on the benefits, but it can be a struggle.

I usually like it better when I’m not walking alone (since it’s “their” dog, but he’s too big for them to control), but, we have a deal. If the boys don’t come with me on the walk, they have a different job. It’s either a house cleaning task I assign or a school job. Today, I gave them the open-ended job of coming up with a school project of their own.

Ian invented a multi-purpose spoon that was also a wrist band, a cake tester and a writing utensil. My biggest question was how you feed yourself without stabbing your own eye with the toothpick, so he demonstrated how it barely grazes one’s forehead. I suppose that could help a person pace one’s self at the table.

Isaac invented a more imaginary gadget called a “Shrinkinator.” He jammed a bent paperclip through a bottle cap to make a selector that “clicks” along the ridges of the bottle cap and taped that to a ribbon spool, which also had a spoon taped to it to direct the shrink rays.

Elijah drew a picture of what he’d like the world to be like, which involved a powerful helmet that lowers onto his head, causing major electrical surges and allows him to then go defeat lots of enemies.

Next up, we have some Bible study and some geography. Happy Tuesday.

Categories: Daily Life, Home School | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment