I don’t like to brag, but I had a pretty rockin’ Xanga page back in my college days. High five to those of you who remember what that is. For those who don’t, it was basically an easy blog platform to share your stories, opinions, rants, poor grammar, and TMI with the www universe in the pre-Facebook, early millenial world. Times were good.
Then we all moved on to the new-fangled MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, InstaSnap… or whatever is happening these days… Suddenly the world was ready to shower your hastily published words with a million likes and shares or an onslaught of colorful comments that may leave you in therapy for the next decade. And (perhaps surprisingly) with that explosion came a burst of new voices willing to brave the keyboard bullies to impart their wisdom, opinions, and personal stories with the world at large.
Of course there are blogs of all types, but as one of the primary consumers of social media, mom blogs seem to lead the pack (at least on my newsfeed; thanks, FB analytics). So when I transitioned from working full-time to being a self-employed, mostly at-home mom, my husband’s suggestion that I start blogging probably wasn’t as ridiculous as my emphatic laugh and “um, no thanks” would have implied. I mean, I like to write. It’s one of those things I would have pursued in another life. I’m a mom. I have ideas. I know things (and would like to not forget all the things I know while my current conversations typically revolve around bodily functions, sounds animals make, and what was most recently spilled on the floor). But something about mom blogging struck me as borderline insulting.
And I think it comes down to this…
While I’ve purposefully chosen to set aside other pursuits during this season, I hope to find that I still know a “me” outside of the diaper-changing, dish-washing, boo-boo-kissing, super-mom that I’ll be spending these years striving to become. Motherhood is certainly an all-consuming part of my identity, especially in these days of little people with big needs, and I’m incredibly thankful for the time I have to embrace the joys and challenges of raising these (crazy) tiny humans, but being a mom isn’t the only thing that defines me. And even if this intense, in-the-trenches, “when was the last time I slept or bathed” parenting adventure is only for a season, it is so easy to lose oneself within the identity of “mom” …and writing a mom blog all about sharing your momming skillz with other moms sounded like a pretty easy way to do it.
But at the same time, these days of hands-on mothering are full of lessons and challenges, stories and journeys that deserve a voice. Our society doesn’t honor parenting in the quantifiable way it does employment or public service or being a raunchy reality TV star, nor does the community of close personal relationships exist in the way it once did, walking alongside mothers as they encounter these experiences for the first (or fiftieth) time. In many ways, the community of social media has provided a much-needed resource for moms (and many others) to impart the recognition, support, advice, and guidance that a close-knit community once offered.
When I look at mom blogs, what do I see?
I see ideas for addressing common, practical issues like discipline, health, and personal development… I see great tips from crafty and clever moms that make my life easier/happier/more affordable/better decorated (jk, I don’t decorate, but more power to those of you who do)… I see funny stories about ridiculous experiences to which we can all relate that show us that, yes, EVERYONE’S life is a crazy circus some days… I see voices of empowerment, reminding us that we are facing similar battles, that we CAN tackle these challenges, and that we are not alone in the struggle.
We don’t always agree as moms, but the true beauty is that despite having amazingly unique, individual little souls to raise, and doing it in so many different ways with varying family and community support, diverse worldviews, and differing approaches to balancing work, home, and other aspects of life, we still find ourselves facing very similar situations.
Throughout our mothering journey, we are all building a unique (and often underappreciated) set of skills and employing our gifts and resources to do the very best job we can to make a positive impact on these young hearts (and also survive with some measure of sanity still in tact). However despite all of our modern conveniences, nothing is quite as meaningful as having someone come along beside you to say you can do it, here’s a great idea to help, I’ve been there, keeping moving forward… even if it’s only through the words of their blog post.
I think I can speak for my fellow NWAMB contributors when I say that we at Northwest Arkansas Moms Blog hope this resource provides a forum for building community and offering support to the moms of Northwest Arkansas. I, for one, look forward to sharing what little inspiration I have to give along the way… and also constructing sentences with more than three words… while embracing this season of motherhood and all the other parts of my life that make up me.