Some very thoughtful and articulate bloggers have put together some discussion questions to try and answer the who, what, where, etc of mommy blogging. Here are a few of the questions and my thoughts:
Why are we writing? What is our purpose?
I started blogging mainly to work through my conflicting feelings about becoming a stay-at-home-mom, but I continue to blog for so many reasons:
· For a creative outlet.
· To connect with people and make new friends; give and receive support, encouragement, advice; combat loneliness, boredom and isolation.
· To improve my writing skills.
· To amuse (myself and hopefully others).
· Intellectual exercise.
· Documentation of my daughter’s childhood and my experiences as a mother (I find it interesting I’ve listed this reason last—when I started blogging I would have listed this higher).
What is the context for our writing? What are we saying? What is our message?
I’m writing against the stereotypical image of Mother: perfect, patient, fulfilled solely by motherhood, pure, kind, gentle. I try to capture the profundity of my experiences as a mother while clinging to the other aspects of my self: friend, scholar, lover, artist. I want to be honest about my shortcomings as a mother to receive encouragement from others, and to let other parents know they are not alone. None of us are perfect.
How does the medium of blogging affect all of the above (that is, does, or how does, the communication of our messages through blogs, bear upon the message itself?)
I think what we want most is to be heard, and have someone else say, “yes! I know how you feel”. The ability to comment is crucial to the supportive, reciprocal community we’ve created. Having our own space allows us to express ourselves creatively and the mutual respect we have for each other’s space give us the freedom to say what we really think without much fear of negative response. The ability to preserve our anonymity if we choose is also incredibly liberating.
The format of blog posts, generally concise and focussed, is perfect for mothers. You can write a post during a nap, or even while a toddler plays independently. Sitting down to try and write a novel? More than a little daunting. Motherhood was one of the reasons Alice Munro ended up writing short stories—out of necessity. Jane Urquhart also wrote short stories and poetry when her children were young (she has one daughter and four step-children). Both women wrote during their children’s naps. Urquhart didn’t have “a room of her own” until the children were grown, and wrote on the dining room table.
What kind of citizen are you in the parent blogosphere? How and why do you comment? Link? Give awards? How important is 'off-blog' (or inter-blog) activity to the parent blogging community?
I comment to provide support and encouragement, or if I have something to contribute to the discussion. But, I often read blogs hastily, or late at night, and can’t always muster much to say. Then I just comment to let the writer know I’m reading (sometimes we just want someone to listen anyway).
Off-blog activity is very important to me. I do appreciate my ‘virtual’ friendships, but I’d much prefer to raise a glass with you or watch our kids play together.
What are some tried and true hangover remedies that you know?
Greasy foods, sleep, sex, chocolate, carbonated beverages. Commiserating with other hungover bloggers.
Wow, speaking of concise, this post was not. If you’re still here, thanks for seeing it through!