April 25, 2012
A few weeks ago I gave a little "blogging 101" presentation to a group of business women. It was a lot of fun and they were really nice.
When I asked how many of them had ever started up a blog, it surprised me that only one of them had and she admitted to never updating it.
Near the end I was asked how many readers I had. I admitted that according to my RSS feeds, there are well over four hundred people who subscribe to my blog. Although I tried to tell them that this was nothing in the bloggy world, especially since probably only half of those people actually READ my blog, they still managed to appear impressed, probably so they wouldn't hurt my feelings.
My friend who invited me to do this presentation said, "Wow! Can you imagine having four hundred people read everything about your life?"
Weirdly, that kind of stuck with me. That's what's so funny about blogging. It seems to give the appearance of knowing all about someones life and I think that's where all the silly 'comparing ourselves to others' comes in.
But really, we see what they want us to see, just like I tell you mere snippets of my day. A funny moment here, a crazy story there, a cute picture to send warm fuzzies and sparkly sprinkles your way.
I don't always write about the kid who wet the bed at 1am and I had to clean it up all alone because Hubby was out of town. Or when a child and I go twenty rounds because I was on the phone while they were trying to ask me a question about t-shirts, and I told them to wait a moment and they didn't want to, so they cry and wail at the top of their lungs. Or when I feel so frustrated I am barely holding it together so I run off to the laundry room to hide among the dirty clothes for a moment of peace. Or when the neighbor calls to ask if she can look at something in our basement and I calmly say sure, only to throw the phone down and fly around the house like a crazy person stuffing things here and hiding things there to give the fragile appearance of a decently clean house. Or that I dread dinner time because I don't feel like cooking since I am knee deep in craft projects. Or when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night screaming as though she were having a night terror and it takes me an hour to get her calmed down enough to fall back asleep. And so on and so forth.
So before you look at this picture and think, "Wow! I sure wish our bedtimes were that nice! She is so put together, I wish I was like that!" Let me assure, it was a mere drop in a sea of bad bedtime experiences.
Yes, it was fun and cute and heart warming and all that stuff, but it's certainly not always like that. Sometimes it's growling and crying and over reacting.
In a mom group I'm a member of on Facebook, a cute little mom admitted that she was horribly embarrassed when a new friend stopped by and caught her yelling at one of her kids. Fifteen comments later, all the other moms assured her that she was completely normal, that we all do it and have bad days, that they appreciated her making them feel normal, and how we need to get past this idea of giving off a false public perception.
I loved that.
Sure we don't run around telling people all about the inner struggles of our family, or air all our "dirty laundry" so to speak for all the world to see, as it should be. Some family and martial struggles are meant to stay private and within the walls of your own home. But it would also be a mistake to assume that what others show us is exactly how they are all the time.
So beware the curse of the blog and the often false public perception if gives. What you see is not always what you get. So don't feel bad that you didn't hand paint and distress all your own furniture, or invent the perfect family night.
Hey, I didn't either! We'll start a club.
Just keep plugging away, one day at a time.
NOTE: This blog was written for me. Because I found myself comparing me and what I do to what others were showing about themselves on their blogs.
I needed a mental slap to remind myself not to do that.