What Would My Blog Self Do?

I have been thinking about my VBI lately. You know, my Visual Business Identity. Okay, so technically, I’m not a business. But this little blogging thing I do has become a job of sorts, and I find myself at the point of wondering if this whole thing is going anywhere. And if it is, where? And why? And how? And am I a “mommy blog“? A humor blog? A write-whatever-random-thoughts-come-into-my-head-blog?  An anti-Chuck E. Cheese blog? A blog where every post would be about The Monkees if I didn’t think it would drive away 98.4% of my readers blog?

I guess you could say my blog is a bit of all of those things, but the pervading common denominator seems to be my role as a mother. Which means I am writing about my kids…a lot. On the interwebs. For anyone to see. Including them.

Some mommy and daddy bloggers worry that writing about their children will embarrass them, so they are cautious in their postings. Others freely and unabashedly complain and vent about their kids and parenthood. Some even reveal truths that only the bravest dare to make public. Again, maybe my blog is a bit of all of these things. But I can say I have thought about what it means to put my children in this spotlight, and what it will continue to mean as they grow older.

Why do I write about my kids anyway? Part of me does it because they provide me with a lot of material, and really great material at that. Write what you know. I know my kids. Part of me does it so that other moms and dads can see themselves and their children in my family, because we all like to know that sometimes “[f]or every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” (Did ya see that? That’s a little Walt Whitman I whipped out there. Check the box for “pretentiously-quoting-Transcendental-poets-to-prove-I’m-all-learned-and-qualified-to-pontificate blog.” I’m going to have one kick ass VBI.)

But mostly, I write about my kids for myself. Not only can I chronicle some of our life together (because that scrapbook in the basement has been hanging out at day three of my daughter’s life for, oh, eight years now), but writing about certain aspects of my life with my kids helps me to step outside of the moment. To evaluate what happened. To see where I went wrong. To see how I can do better. Or to remind myself that I AM doing better, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I think writing about my kids has helped me become a better mother to them. Many of the hilarious scenarios that made for great blog posts were not that funny when they actually happened. But when those moments are over, and I sit down at my computer for a little finger-therapy, they become funny. Not just to you, but to me, …which makes whatever happened okay in the long run. And despite how I felt at the time an incident was ocurring, the way my words recreate the images of my children in those moments makes me love them deeply, faults and all. I am also able to recall the way I handled the situations and evaluate my own strengths and shortcomings. More importantly, it gives me pause when new challenging situations arise. In real life, I wish I could have the clarity of mind of my blog self.  What would my blog self do? 

I actually asked myself that very question as I sat down to write this post. What would my blog self do? Dinner was over. The dishes were finished. My husband was starting on Michael’s bath. Grace was somewhere being quiet. I had just settled into my sweet spot.

“Mom, will you play pass with me?”

Seriously? I had spent all day running both kids to camps, going grocery shopping, getting volleyball knee pads for Grace, taking my stupid cell phone to the stupid cell phone store to find out what stupid problem was making it do stupid things, playing psychologist to the dramatic outburst over the latest pre-preteen problem, and cleaning out the refrigerator. I just wanted to write.  I just wanted to tell Grace that this was my time now and that she needed to go read a book or something. But as I looked at my glowing computer screen I thought, what would my blog self do? My blog self would make some sarcastic quip about how my kids call the game of catch “pass,” which is probably more apropos since the ball usually passes by their outstretched arms, and instead slams into whatever door/wall/glass of water/computer screen/head they happen to be standing in front of. But then my blog self would make the revelation that this destructive game is only destructive to the things that don’t really matter, for it is always a time of harmony between whomever is playing it. Giggling ensues. Competition fades. Whining is completely absent.

So guess what I did? I did what my blog self would do, and I played pass with my daughter for fifteen minutes before writing this post. And we had a great little conversation. And she smiled. And I was a better mother. I was my blog self. And my blog self is amazing. I should steal her VBI.

Our real life selves aren’t always as cute as our blog selves.

Still, I am left with a nagging question. Blogging may make me a better mother, but how do my kids feel about me putting their lives out there for anyone to see just so I can work through my parenting demons? Am I invading their privacy? Am I embarrassing them? Neither are my intention, and I would never blog about anything deeply personal to either of them. But this is my hope for when my kids one day read about their blog selves: instead of getting angry that I told everyone what a Miss Sassafras my daughter was, or wonder why I would portray my son as a little terror able to turn shopping trips into nightmares, they will see those stories not as chances to embarrass them in order to get some laughs, but as love letters to them. They will see that even when they were at their worst, I still loved them as much as when they were at their best…and that they really weren’t that bad at all. In the blog, or out of it.

So yes, I think I will continue writing about my kids; and I think it will continue to be just fine. And even when it’s not fine, I know my blog self will make sure I get a great blog post out of it, because I am pretty sure that’s what her VBI is all about.

14 Responses

  1. Your kiddoes, one fine day, are going to be honored that you took the time to write about them, and that they featured such an important role in your life that you wanted to put it down in writing for everyone to see. You could be one of those moms who bullies them into being a cheerleader or soccer star. But you’re not; you’re the mom who writes the awesome stuff about them. They’ll get it. :-)
    Nice blog, enjoying and looking forward to future posts.

    • Thank you so much. I hope that is how they see it. My daughter was already a little miffed about the Miss Sassafras post when she saw part of it over my shoulder as I was typing. Whoops. I was just over checking out your blog as well! The pap smear post pretty much has me hooked!

      • Oh dear, well that one is kind of a classic that I wrote last year, my first week blogging, like when I knew 3 people? Ok, I lied. I didn’t even know what the heck I was doing, at all. I only knew that Ioved writing. Some nice lady came along a few months ago and found that post (it’s a YEAR old, how in the heck?) and gave me a lot of advice, rescued me from blogging cluelessness, and I am forever grateful. Happy ending. :O)

  2. I have thought about this a lot too. I have also written a very similar blog post. It is a fine balance, but ultimately, I hope they see it as a tribute to them, but my view of their lives as I raise them. :)

  3. I would totally follow you if you only wrote about The Monkees.
    I could almost write word for word the same thing you said about blogging. I started doing it because I was afraid my grandkids wouldn’t have the memories that I have if something happened to me. I think your kids are gonna love reading your blog some day when they are older but be prepared maybe they might take you to court too. You never know…………

    • Yikes! So maybe I will just start writing about The Monkees……….

      I love that your grandkids will always have your memories and anecdotes of them. The relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild is SO special. I have been lucky to have such close relationships with all four of my grandparents, and I always knew/know how much they loved me. But what a wonderful gift it would have been to have actually seen how they felt about me in their own words.

      • Hoe my sisters and me loved the Monkees. I could tell you some dreams that I am sure were not fit for an eleven year old.
        That is why I do write these things down. I hope long after I am gone they have comfort that they were my world and a few laughs too.

      • hehehe…you might have to email me some of those dreams :) I’m sure I have had some similar ones.

  4. kathy sack

    Keep writing about what you know, you do it so well. I love your stories about your kids and your hubby. It makes me feel closer to all of you, even though we are 1/2 a continent away. I laugh and I remember my boys at their ages and then I get a bit misty eyed. Thanks for your stories, and I am sure that someday Grace and Michael and their kids will thank you also.

  5. Aw, thanks Kathy! I always love your comments…and I love that we have so many ways to stay in touch. I wish we all lived closer!

  6. Mary Beth Sales

    <3

  7. […] was mostly a cathartic way for me to deal with a real sadness I was feeling. I often find tiny jewels of perspective on my parenting when I blog, and I needed to write that one…for myself. And I will be totally and completely […]

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