I’ve had a blog post writing inside me for a few months now, and although I’ve tossed the words around and around in my head, they never formed the sentiment I wanted them to.
“What will people think if I say that?” “What good will it do?” “Why should I waste my time?” All those doubts kept me from writing.
Maybe I’ll start like this: I’ve been largely absent from the blogging world for a few months now, and it wasn’t something I anticipated happening. Life simply got in the way — a new baby, extra work in the evenings, more responsibility in my day job, and just a general love of life that trumped sitting in front of a screen watermarking pictures and making pinable images.
I tried to come back — I really did. I follow all those posts, all the blog fan pages, all the Twitter accounts, everyone trying to grab a piece of my time and my heart and my words. “New on the blog!” they said, “Let me tell you my story ON MY BLOG.”
So one day this summer, my child was having trouble sleeping and by trouble, I mean he would refuse to lay down and would scream at me and make himself throw up so I’d have to come in and clean up his vomit every single night. This went on for two mind-numbing weeks. It’s one thing when your newborn gives you fits, but when there is intentional vomit from an almost-3-year-old, things get real. One night, my big boy fell asleep in our bed on a Friday night. He was just exhausted and was sleeping so peacefully. K was talking to his Mom, I was watching TV, and big boy was sleeping. Clearly, he needed the comfort of his Mom and Dad to reset whatever sleep clock was misfiring at that moment in time.
For one hot minute I thought about moving him to his bed. Then I thought about Tweeting about it and asking advice. All I could think about was the plethora of bloggers who would probably jump me for allowing my child to share my bed. “Once you let him in, you’ll never get him out!” I started worrying what people would think about me if I let him sleep in my bed, how people would judge my mothering and I’d feel guilty as a result.
Then I closed my Twitter app and got in bed and snuggled my little guy. Guess what? The world didn’t stop turning. We all got a good night’s sleep and he went right back to his own bed like old times the next night.
It’s then I started realizing how unnecessarily reliant on social media for parenting advice I’d become. For every piece of good advice, there was one person who had to throw in a snarky comment and about five who took a screen shot and sent it to her friend to make fun of me (and if you don’t do it, you’re lying.) I’d become wholly untrusting of the same people I’d conversed with, laughed with, and read faithfully. I was too worried about what other people thought of my parenting than what was best for my own child. That’s not right.
Is it because I have changed, or because blogging has changed? I started seeing it with different eyes. Stories weren’t stories, they were a way to get exposure and traffic. Negativity and melodramatics were rewarded and praised. Everything had a shareable image attached.
I get frustrated with posts that are urging me to cry or to feel anger and sadness. I can’t feel for everyone. By feeling intense emotions for other people ALL the time, I am less likely to feel for my own family. How sad is that? Humans aren’t conditioned to feel sadness and anger all the time. It’s not a healthy thing. We need to laugh and feel joy. That’s why everyone is depressed these days…we focus on sadness. Sadness goes viral; Drama goes viral. Chocolate cake recipes go viral. Wait, what?
So here I am, mad as hell and I”m not going to take it anymore. Is this the end of my blog? Certainly not. I will always have it here for celebrity gossip and refashions and comparisons of my beauty subscription services. But I just can’t read your sad posts anymore. It’s not you, it’s me. I can’t pin all your images. I can’t try all your recipes. I’m out of words to tell you how great your writing is. My child is almost three and I’ll have another one here in a few months. I have to reserve my attention and feelings and love and sadness for them. I have a million things to do every day; a pity party for blog friends is, unfortunately, not going to make that list.
I love to write; I love to share my life. but there has to be a line in the sand, so to speak. Some things should not be shared with the world. Blogging isn’t your own personal diary, and even though 70 of your closest friends comment every time, hundreds of others may stumble across your words down the line….neighbors, family, your childrens’ friends’ parents..your children. The pursuit of fame or notoriety through blogging has reached a tipping point, and it’s not something I really want to be a part of right now.
My takeaways fro anyone who reads this:
- Respect your family and their personal privacy
- Be happy; Laugh
- Reserve your most intense emotions for your own family
- Don’t blog about every controversial hot-topic out there; it makes your writing seem cheap and gimmicky
- Ask one person you chat with on Twitter or Facebook or through comments for their phone number and call them or text them; build that relationship and make it strong
No pinable image for this one..just pin it to your brain and your heart.