On That Blog

I do my best blogging in the shower.  
Oh, if you could see the awesome posts I've written in my head while enjoying those few minutes of quiet, man oh man, your mind would be blown.  But then I get out of that steamy bastion of intellectual prowess and poof!  Gone.  I always find the exact right way to say that something that's been on my mind and then by the time I get around to typing it out (often in bits and pieces throughout a day, if at all) I can't get it back.  Gone.  That's probably good sometimes.  I probably would get myself in more trouble than it's worth.  It also makes me wonder about the bestseller I could write if Apple came up with a waterproof Macbook.

Anyway, lately I've felt the need to explain some things.  So here goes.  I am, however, not currently in the shower so cut me some slack.

I've heard it said multiple times now from other mothers how when reading some blogs they end up feeling inadequate or that they've failed.  And it's said, sometimes snidely, sometimes wistfully, how these blog moms always seem to have it all together and that their lives must be perfect and the reading mom must be doing so much wrong to not feel like their life is so smoothly running.  After all they have a BLOG!  They get all that from a few paragraphs written every few days of a moment or thought that the blogger wanted to capture.

I get it, I really do.  But it's ridiculous.

Here's the thing:  there are a whole number of reasons that people choose to start a blog.  Sometimes, they feel they have something to share with the public.  Sometimes, it's to earn money.  Sometimes, it's because others have asked them to share their ideas.  Sometimes, it's a forum for recording memories.  Sometimes, it's a way to connect with family or colleagues or friends who are far away.  Sometimes, it's a way to make a name for oneself and seek fame.  Sometimes, it's an effort to chronicle thoughts.  Sometimes, it's a way to evangelize or teach.  Sometimes, it's just because it's actually pretty fun.  

I would venture to say that most of the time, it's a combination of some of these and more.

But to take a snippet of someone's life that they have chosen to allow others to see and create a whole imaginary scenario in which the blogger is always happy or always funny or always peaceful or always whatever, is ridiculous.  It is.  We all have issues.  We all have struggles.  But no one should expect others to publish them to the world simply because they don't like to see all the good and it makes the reader feel bad.  

A blog is the creation of its author.  If they want to share good, joyful, wonderful things, that is awesome.  And no one should criticize them for doing so and for leaving out the things they don't feel are worth sharing.  It's theirs.  Who knows?  Maybe it's the only good, joyful, wonderful thing that is happening to them that day.  It's like going to someone's house and then telling them it needs to be messier because it makes other people feel bad to be in a clean home.   Simply because it's clean when you arrive and the hostess is welcoming doesn't mean it's never messy or that they don't lose their temper or that they are perfectly put together in every way.  No.  It just means they cleaned up a bit because they had company coming.  In the same way, a blogger can choose how they will write and what they will write based on their personality, their motivation for blogging, their sense of privacy and respect, and more.  It is not putting on a persona of perfection to self edit.  It is simply using personal discretion.

 Sometimes I think we want to see other people's messiness.  Not because we really desire their good or because we know it will help them sort through something or to support them.  But because it makes us feel less bad.  See?  She doesn't have it all together.  Phew.  While I totally get that there is something beautiful about sharing in our struggles and finding strength and support in that, it makes my skin a bit itchy to think that sometimes it really does cross the line into desiring another person's failures.  That if we see someone doing something well or having the nerve to remark on it or record some joy in her life, we take it as a personal condemnation.  It is a sad and miserable place to be when we cannot find a way to simply be happy for others.

I love reading blogs from mothers who are doing things the way I would like.  They challenge me.  I love hearing them rejoice in their children and praise their husband and share the beauty in their homes.  Oh, sometimes it stings a bit when I know it is something I need to work on.  But you know what?
It means that it is possible.   And rather than begrudge them that, I will rejoice for them.
And I will allow it to give me HOPE.
Rather than look for the imperfections that are not shown,
I will choose to look to them for advice in finding that beauty in my own home.
How BLESSED we are to have others who have gone before us that can teach us a thing or two!  What a GIFT to be able to learn from others who have different gifts!

When it comes to my own little blog, my motivations are now many.

First and foremost, this blog is about the family He has given me and the life with which I have been blessed.  I have a horribly poor memory.  Having this blog and knowing that there are people reading it keeps me accountable for recording the memories that previously evaporated leaving me sad and frustrated.  It's about giving my children their story, our story.  I am ridiculously bad at keeping the baby book updated and when I saw that you could pay to have your blog printed as a book, I was thrilled.  Not only could it hold dates and events but it would hold pictures and thoughts and snapshots of our little daily life from the big moments to the mundane little ramblings.

Because of this primary reason, when it comes to choosing what to post, I've made a conscious effort to not post things about my children that I would not want posted about myself.  They deserve that respect.  It's my responsibility to protect them and that to me means protecting their dignity and privacy and reputation (yes, even when they're little) by only posting things that respect that.  If I wouldn't want it posted (or Facebooked) about me, I won't do it to them.

I also blog to make me better.  I don't want to be that person who is constantly complaining and bemoaning my many sufferings.  Oh, I could choose to.  There are things I've been through I wouldn't wish on anyone and it is certainly my temperament to dwell on those hurts and struggles and pain.  But when I do that, I ignore the blessings.  That is not who I want to be.  This blog, without a doubt, has helped me to live gratefully and deepen my appreciation for living this life that I do not deserve.  It has been an intentional foray into gratitude and joy and healing.  I pray that those reading will not resent that.

There are more reasons I blog, some of them I didn't even realize until I began to do it and saw the fruits.  Perhaps I'll write more on that another day.  Suffice it to say that it has been very very good for me to be here.

  None of this is meant to be critical of people who are struggling.  Not by any means.  This is to give you HOPE.  Real hope.  Oh man, we all struggle sometimes.  Sometimes those periods of life last a long time.  And, hopefully, there are a few times when we feel we have it together, too.  I just want those who are struggling to know that it's okay.  If you feel inadequate when you are reading something or see someone else we have a choice.  We can resent them and become bitter.  We can allow our own insecurities to paralyze us.  We can beat ourselves up.  


We can address it.  If it is valid, we can work to fix it.  If they have something good that would also be good for us, we can learn from them.  We can ask for help.  We can even just simply be happy in another's joy.  And if all else fails, we can simply choose not to read it.  And that's okay, too.

There are so many ways to write and to share and to have a blog.  Certainly there is room for that and I love reading from a variety of styles.  But that blog that gives a window into beauty and joy and looks like she has it all together?

My guess is that you could write one just like it.

Because even the weeds can be beautiful.


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