Embracing Discomfort (My First Year Blogging)

img_3271

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.

16923755_258210864625695_460718201_n

33 thoughts on “Embracing Discomfort (My First Year Blogging)

  1. My original intent in starting shopgirl was to offer a free source of management and sales advice to retail employees. My readers though had other interests, the narratives of my experiences. I even went as fast as to change the book I’m working with great confidence based on the feedback of my readers.

    My step parenting blog though was started much like yours, with the intent of therapy through an incredibly difficult and lonely experience. I hoped to find like minded individuals for support, but instead over time the blog had just become a personal journal of rambling that old friends from high school use to figure out why I was so different and odd in those awkward years.

    A year and a half in, my readers are helping to pave the road for many muse. Its fascinating how a perspective and goal can change so quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blogging is really a fascinating genre, and I feel like you quickly learn as an author “what sells”. To give in or not to give in? The evolution of your blogging is really fascinating. Thank you for sharing! I think for myself time is a pretty limiting factor. I enjoy watching my children grow more than my blog. But that’s the great thing about this platform, it can change with you 🙂 I really appreciate your words here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I go through these phases where I want to write and then I don’t want to write because, really, who am I writing to? I went from writing a personal blog to writing to an audience. Now I don’t feel like I can really say what I want to say because of my tiny ‘audience.’ (And mostly because the way my wife and I are old-fashioned in the way we raise our kids.) It’s a struggle because I use writing as an outlet. Why not have a private blog? Why not just write everything on a Word document? Okay…sorry for thinking out loud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand…on ALL fronts! It’s really easy to get wrapped up in the blog – the writing, the marketing, the “must try harder”. I always wanted to write a book, and now I wonder if the blog has ruined me forever with giving me insight into how others actually view my writing (for better or for worse). I’m not discouraged from it, but blogging has definitely altered how I see that dream now. I do appreciate your honesty here. And the parenting, your children are the only “readers” that really matter 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amanda

    Oh, if you could have a glimpse of the impact you make on others lives 🙂 You are encouraging me to keep sharing my (mostly very imperfect) drawings, which feels like baring my soul to all. In fact, your brave posting of your blogs on your facebook page made me think to myself, is it really being honest and true to hide away a secret project (which I had been doing for quite some time) from the people who actually know who I am? I was letting worry about judgement keep me in hiding. Keep writing, keep inspiring, and keep believing in yourself as well. You sound like a perfectly imperfect mother full of love and courage and strength. Love always, a

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amanda. Oh, how I savor our friendship. You inspire me as well, and I am proud of you for taking a leap with your art. We both know you’re the real artist in this relationship 🙂 I hope you can always find encouragement in the blog. I believe we were all designed to be bold with our gifts, even when we aren’t quite sure where life is taking us. Your unending love means so much.

      Like

  4. I loved reading this post. I agree there is a bit of narcissism in blogging. But we do have something to say, to share to whomever would read, right?

    I also believe the comments, even negative sharpens us. I’m not a year yet, but still loving this forum.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Vinitha S and commented:
    I admire her for her honesty!
    A read for all the newbies and my fellow bloggers who have experienced the same.
    Do not let your qualms or uncertainties restrict you from your passion.
    Its your determination that keeps you going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truthfully, I find myself surprised with each blog post. You never know who you will reach, who will find a connection, who will feel compelled to respond. It’s all very interesting and – at least in my opinion – unpredictable.

      Like

    1. Thank you so much! Sometimes it isn’t easy pressing “Publish”, but how rewarding it is when others connect to your thoughts and experiences. Thank you for reading and sharing your own insights – it’s one of my favorite things about blogging 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for connecting with me on my latest blog post http://bit.ly/2c5uhfA – ‘Thoughts and Mixed Emotions As a Mum And Parenting Blogger’. “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. ” How true is this- Just because we think differently, or we don’t raise our kids the same doesn’t mean we have to be against one another. Hold your hand out and help a fellow parent. They may just hold theirs out for you when you need it. We all need a hand along the way at some stage. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Clare. What a comfort to know our unique voices can actually connect us as well. In those special moments of unity, I am reminded why I began blogging in the first place. Every parent is looking for that little bit of extra encouragement. Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don´t have children, but this post was amazing and so is your writing. I have not read something that actually “read itself” for a long time. From the first sentence until the last, even for a one second I did not have an urge to skip to the end or to something else, as I usually do when going through blogs I discover.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Blogging Quote of the Day – The Habidash Satellite

  9. Pingback: Embracing Discomfort (My First Year Blogging) | arosebyanyothername2016

  10. Pingback: Embracing Discomfort (My First Year Blogging) | The WordPress C(h)ronicle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s