The Blogging Casualties
A funny thing happened on my way home from the grocery store. As I was approaching my house I lifted my gaze to the window, expecting for a whole second to actually see my dog. Then I remembered she wasn’t going to be there. Can’t be there. It’s been well over a year now, but I suppose home and its derivative, comfort-ness, will forever be connected with the presence of a beloved pet.
I don’t often see the ‘empty window’ of blogging or perhaps I just choose to look away. And then sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can’t look away. Like when Four Year Old spreads his wonderful little fingers all over your cheek and then directs your face toward the TV set so you don’t miss out on a bonding opportunity with him over Rescue Bots. Or when a friend walks away from blogging.
Blogging – same as kids, mind you – doesn’t come with an instruction manual or a even a contract. Unless you have blogging friends who like to talk about blogging with IRL people (?), you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. You don’t realize your creative outlet/cry for support-attention-validation comes with such an overpowering commentshare bureaucracy.
This is where I get apologetic, yet defend the use of the term “bureaucracy”. Yes, using “bureaucracy” in relation to commentshare feels awkward at best, maybe even a little wrong. After all, bureaucracy paints your thoughts in grey and brings about a sense of monotony, boredom and emotional detachment which is the very opposite of creativity, human connection and everything I found blogging to be about, but I’ll still use this term loosely in reference to the abundance of tasks outside the creative realm that come hand in hand with our hobby of choice.
So how come we’re all about work-life balance when it comes to work, but immerse ourselves so deeply and readily into a “hobby” which often deprives us of (more) sleep, reading, exercising, IRL socializing and sometimes EVEN our favourite Netflix shows? Wouldn’t we be bitter and resentful if our job did that? Why do we do this to ourselves? Especially those of us who already have sleep taken away from them and feel as though they spend significant amounts of time putting the needs of others first?
Maybe it’s precisely that. How often do you get a cheerleading squad when you manage to put out the sibling rivalry fire while simultaneously wiping milk off the floor and literally convincing someone to not cry over it? How often do you get that immediate fix of support? I know. This is what your real life friends are for, but there is something very powerful about the immediacy, succinctness and the sheer numbers of reactions you get on a given post. I won’t argue that this is not addictive.
But who are the real blogging casualties? Is it us bloggers, particularly the mommy blogger group, who chose the support and the gratification of rediscovering yourself behind the words as a way of reconnecting with self, or is it our families?
I thought of a terrible paraphrase to a famous sentence:
Behind every aspiring blogger stands a resentful husband and kids who don’t always get your full undivided attention.
Told you it was awful. But then I thought about it longer and harder. Would it be better if I bottled up this desire to write and interact? Certainly not. You know the cliché, let’s say it together: ain’t mama happy, ain’t nobody happy. Should we still aspire to do better by our husbands and kids? Absolutely. Don’t pick up that cell phone the next time you’re with your kids and it beeps with the promise of a new comment. A new fix. You know that I’m full on autosuggesting here, right? Indulge me. Choose a mantra to recite to yourself over and over, something like “the comment will stay there, but I won’t get this moment back”.
A funny thing happened on my way to write this post. I thought I was going to lament blogosphere and real life loss but instead the post turned sappy on me.
Has blogging affected your family life and are you considering introducing some changes?