I think blogs breed narcissism. But, then again, what social media account doesn’t?
Ironically, this is one of the reasons why I began my blog in the first place. By my third year of parenthood (shortly after my daughter’s birth), I started to feel particularly weary from endless “perfect child”/“perfect mother” musings that I encountered throughout Facebook.
When you are raising your children hours away from family and find yourself daily questioning your parenting abilities, this environment is, quite frankly, damaging.
So I had a pretty bold idea. Why not use a blog to work through my own struggles? Why not highlight how I am coming to peace with imperfection? Why not share my story to, perhaps, empower others?
Except what I didn’t know then is this: Honesty makes people uncomfortable.
I teach first-year composition, and my blog keeps me accountable: I stay active in the writing process. What I am learning, however, is that even when you stay committed to your initial purpose, your audience may change.
I remember a conversation I had with my husband in the early months of my blog.
“I got six new followers today…and they’re all men.”
“Really? Well, I’m not surprised.”
It was the first time I had considered that my blog may be viewed differently than I had originally intended. But, still, I persevered. I wanted to encourage other mothers, like myself, who were afraid to project a different narrative.
Then came the knives.
A post about navigating my small town’s culture as an outsider.
A post about how I became a believer in vaccines.
A post about raising children apart from the screen.
As I often remind my students, disagreement is healthy. I am truly grateful for the dialogue my blog has fostered. But the truth is, there will always be a louder voice that tries to silence yours.
Keep writing anyway.
Has real life changed over my first year of blogging? Sure. Writing opens the door to all kinds of vulnerability. But the discomfort that honesty creates in you and me has a greater purpose: it helps us see other perspectives.
I don’t have this whole thing figured out, but, if you are a parent, you have a friend in the trenches…even if we choose to raise our children differently. And perhaps this is the greatest of all things we can unlearn.
Though the highs are fleeting and the lows may linger, the blog – I must admit – is an incredible outlet for it all.
Thank you for reading.