Category Archives: blog boundaries

behind the blog (alternate title: “disclaimer”)

I haven’t been able to carve out time to blog consistently in recent months.  When I have limited time, I tend to sprint toward recording “things I don’t want to forget!”, focusing on the “family scrapbook” part of the blog.  As a result, recent posts have been full of highlights.  The momma in me loves that.  I want my kids to be able to look back through this blog someday and have those happy memories triggered by what they see here.

At the same time, this blog is more than a family scrapbook.  It’s also my connection to other moms.  Sometimes, I am able to get through a tough, lonely day where I am the only adult present for 10+ hours because when the fifth glass of milk tips over onto the table (and I want to scream!) – or I am trying to figure out how long I’ve been walking around with a child’s poop hanging from my ear (seriously, how does that happen without me noticing at the time?) – I think, “I can write about this, and another mother who reads this will appreciate what this moment is like for me”, and I smile.

Recording those crazy memories brings me closer to other moms, even if I never see those moms.

But here’s my question:  does recording our good memories have the opposite effect?

If it does, I am writing to say that if you have recently read about our staycations and trips and living room fun and activities and are thinking we have it all together, we don’t.

But in my little family, we have each other.  And that’s good.

And if you’re reading this, you and I have a connection.  And that’s good too.

To quote a blogger I read recently (at http://www.71toes.com/p/disclaimer.html)

“Disclaimer

 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….

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 . . . . [But also to] bind mothers together [or at least feel less alone in the journey myself!]

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….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…[just] 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.”

: )

She has a way with words, doesn’t she?!

I don’t know why I felt the need to post this tonight.  Maybe because I have been struggling with some decisions about how many activities to involve my kids in this summer, and I have recently realized that I really have to let go of comparisons to what other people are doing and figure out what is right for us.  (More on that later, but man, it is a struggle!)

And maybe because I realize that while I’m listening to random folks and thinking, “I should be doing that!” and feeling badly that I’m not (even though I know it just wouldn’t work for our family), someone could be reading/listening to me and thinking the exact same thing.

So I’m quoting someone else’s disclaimer, because I don’t have the energy to write my own at the moment!  : )   And because in addition to feeling guilty about the things I’m not able to do with my kids, I was feeling guilty about posting the things I was able to do with them.

Motherhood is a very guilt-inducing state sometimes, isn’t it?!

I have no catchy end to this post, because my brain has sort of shut down (as it now does every night around 8pm!), but I can say this.  Sometimes, for no reason, I feel a tiny instinct that I should say something and I have no idea why.  And anyone who knows me knows that (sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse) I will usually err on the side of saying it.

And tonight, for some reason, my tiny instinct told me to write this.  And then, while ignoring that instinct and searching the internet for “tips on creating chore charts” and “advice about allowances for kids”, I stumbled across a new blog – and this disclaimer – that addressed the very instinct I had been trying to ignore.

So here you are!  A peek inside my muddled, unedited brain, in-between Disney posts : )

And a little blog hug from me to you!

Love,

K

 

I didn’t put these ads on my blog

Just logged onto my own blog for the first time in a few weeks (life has been crazy busy!) and there’s an ad there.  I clicked on the “detail” button and it says it’s there because I’m either

(1) trying to make money by having readers click on ads (I assure you, I’m not…and I had no idea ads were being placed there) or

(2) I didn’t pay for the upgrade ($30 a year) to keep my blog ad free.

Is anyone familiar with any of this?  Each time I log on I am offered an opportunity to buy the domain name “lotsofjoyfulnoise.com” at $18 per year, and I never have because why spend the $18 and lose the user-friendly wordpress   system, but now I’d have to pay $30 a year to keep the ads off?  And contacting the wordpress folks is tricky because (in my quick research) they don’t have a phone number, claim that they don’t offer customer service via e-mail “because you can’t help large numbers of people that way”, and want me to post a question on a user-forum if I need help.

If you’re reading, do you know anything about any of this?  Do the ads bother you?  For fellow bloggers, any similar experiences or suggested resolutions?  I am hesitant to start the blog over on another site because I’m lazy (she said with the utmost honesty : )

Leaving this aside and off to write the post I meant to start an hour ago…  Thanks for any feedback!

 

To blog, or not to blog . . .

To blog or not to blog . . .

That has been the question! I suppose the punchline to this post has been spoiled, since you are reading it on my new blog. Still, it is worth laying my inspiration and my reservations out there, since together they have helped me figure out what (I hope) this blog will be and what (I really hope) it won’t. I promise most posts won’t be this serious. (teasers for future posts: possible titles include “The Binky Bandit”, “Finding Meaning in a Smashed Fruit Loop” and my personal favorite “Cultivating Dandelions”).

But first, to lay my cognitive dissonance out there:

My inspirations/reasons to blog:
(1) Feeling disconnected from some faraway friends (would love to open a phone line to everyone, but thought maybe opening a window into my head was at least a start?!)
(2) A determination to convince my nearby friends, and remind myself, that I am able to – on occasion – think in complete sentences (This is especially for friends who patiently attempt to converse with me while we all chase kids on the playground!)
(3) The hope that my husband and kids will enjoy a record of this stage of life, and
(4) An itch to write (and the sense that an audience might motivate me to do so…)

My reservations:
(1) Feels presumptuous to send more detail about the thoughts in my head…I promise to counter this by making most of it self-deprecating
(2) That my kids will at some point wish the record was less public. Even though this blog is a peek inside my head, my kids occupy a lot of that brain space and I am sure they will be referenced frequently. I read an article in Newsweek about parent authors (http://www.newsweek.com/2009/09/11/stealing-neverland.html), and it served as a great caution. I will spare you the summary, but author Julia Baird has a few lines worth repeating. She states that “some broadcast the exploits of their offspring in a way that violates not just their privacy but their trust” and says that she “can’t be the only one who is very glad my parents never wrote about my formative years”. She concludes that parents “mess up . . . when they forget that their only real obligation is to protect the child from the world, not offer him up to it”. So I submit that this is not a blog about my children (though they are present) and commit to not offering my children’s full stories, but simply enough of their exploits to make you realize that usually, they are the heroes and I am simply trying to keep up. I further commit to writing nothing that they would cringe to have a future prom date or school-aged archenemy/class bully read. I would love to hear from other bloggers/writers about how they decide where those lines are… (For the record, all the blogs I follow do a great job at this, so if you know I’m a reader, you should be feeling my admiration at this point . . . )
(3) I already have trouble remembering who has heard what from me.  Now I will have no idea who has read what already on the blog.  Feel free to stop me if we’re talking and you’ve heard it or read it before!

(4) That I will start something I cannot finish…telling all of you that I have this blog, then realizing that it is too hard to figure out what is appropriate to include or that there is too little time to write or that I’d rather just save all of it for a Christmas letter : )

So I am taking the plunge (blogging!), but also taking the pressure off myself by saying that if it doesn’t work, I will find a different way to connect with all of you. In the meantime, welcome to my virtual world!