Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Mommy blogging

I'm supposed to have a coherent, polished presentation ready to show my Motherlode conference co-presenters by the end of the day today. I have spent many, many hours thinking about this, but only about two hours actually committing any of those thoughts to paper or pixels.

I really should have done this about a month ago, but if it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done around here. And my life has been ever so slightly out of control this past six weeks or so, for reasons which you are well aware. (Ah, you think, she has no shame. She will play that pregnancy card to death by the time she enters the second trimester. And you are right.)

So here's what I want to ask you. I need your ideas and experiences to flesh out my themes. One of the subjects I want to discuss in my part of the conversation is why blogs are a communication tool to which mothers in particular are drawn. What is it about blogging that we find so addictive and so compelling? Is it in the reading, or the writing? More specifically, would you be willing to share (either in the comment box, or more privately, via e-mail to danicanada at gmail dot com) an anecdote about how blogging helped you as a mother? Was there a time when you were at the end of your rope, and blogging helped you find another inch to hang on to? Did reading someone else's experience help you realize you were not alone, not the only person struggling with something?

Myself, I always think back to my epic "is this my life" whine last year. I was so tired, so frustrated, so overwhelmed by everything, and just sending it out into the blogosphere helped me get it off my chest. Then so many people responded, either with a 'there, there' virtual pat on my shoulder, or a "me too", and I felt so relieved. It was okay to be overwhelmed, and having you all acknowledge it helped me be okay with it too.

There have been other more practical things I've gotten from the community of blogging. I learned about cheap OPKs online, got great gift ideas for Simon's birthday, and got some great tips on potty training, to name just a few.

And the fact that I've blogged so much of the minutia of our lives means that I have it here, recorded in cyberspace. I love it when I happen to be flipping through my own archives looking for something and I stumble across an anecdote or set of photos I had completely forgotten about.

So that's three things I love about blogging: the sense of community, the connection with other people, and the chance to tell my stories to a receptive audience.

It's your turn, because I'm just too lazy to do this whole thing on my own. What about you? Why blogging? What is it about the medium that makes it so popular with mothers? What has blogging done for you lately?

Edited to add: In reading your comments, you made me realize that my own questions were very leading. Maybe there is a darker aspect to blogging that I didn't consider. What are the detriments to blogging? What do you think about the idea of blogging as a popularity contest, of the accusations of clique-ishness, of blogging as exclusionary instead of community-building. Thoughts?