A couple of weeks ago, I posed the following question on Facebook and Twitter:
How do my internet mommy friends make the time to Facebook, Twitter, AND blog? I feel like I can only do one consistently without losing even more sleep.
Admittedly, I didn’t get as many responses as I had hoped.
(Sometimes I get paranoid that many people I consider my internet friends are not my friends, but actually dislike me and only remain in my social media circle out of pity/laziness/contempt. And one of the reasons I have been slowly pulling myself out of these sites is because I feel left out. There, I said it.)
But those who did respond helped me realize that we all have different priorities. For instance, whenever Claire is down for a nap the first thing I do is clean, because when the house is a mess I get stressed out and my mind can’t function properly. Meanwhile, other moms may choose to go on Twitter whenever they get a spare moment and leave the dishes for later, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s all about how we — as individuals — choose to prioritize our time.
While I managed to get the answer to the question I had raised, something was still nagging at the back of my mind…and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Then, earlier this week, Jenna wrote a post titled “On Being Shiny, Happy, Hip” and I finally realized what had been bothering me.
The reason I had posted the question above, and the primary reason I had been withdrawing myself from our group of internet mommy friends, was because today’s generation of mommy bloggers make me feel like crap.
How do they all make it seem like being a mother is the MOST MARVELOUS and enjoyable experience in the whole wide world, gush about how much they LOVE their babies and how darn ADORABLE they think they are (and I have to admit, some of those babies are pretty cute), and make it seem like they spend every waking moment doing the things we, as mothers, are supposed to be doing, e.g., making organic baby food, taking the kids on playdates, and giving them the exercise and stimulation they need to be healthy and smart?
And this is on top of maintaining a beautifully decorated, meticulously clean house, having and honing über-creative hobbies, AND preparing healthy and nutritious home-cooked meals each and every day.
I love my daughter, but I hate being a mother to an infant and I CAN’T. WAIT. for her to grow up (yes, I even look forward to the teenage years). I even confess that sometimes — gasp! — I really miss my pre-baby lifestyle. I keep a clean house, yes, but our condo is full of generic furniture and is sparsely decorated. I hardly ever cook dinner anymore and I look like an extra from Night of the Living Dead most days.
According to the Salon article that Jenna talks about, the reason so many readers are attracted to these blogs — not just the Mormon ones — is because they serve as a means to escape our not-so-perfect lives. And I am sure that most of my friends who blog choose not to write about the negative stuff, or if they do, like Mandy, they put a comical twist to it so that it is easier to swallow.
Because who wants to read about all the bad stuff when our own lives are hard enough as it is?
…I do. (Raises hand.)
I wrote a long comment in response to Jenna’s post, and I admitted that sometimes I feel obligated to write about the bad stuff because everyone else seems so happy and upbeat and positive all the time.
And for this reason, I am sure that some of my readers must think I hate my baby.
But that’s not the case at all. It may seem like I do a lot of complaining on my blog, but the truth of the matter is that I am growing to love Claire more with each passing day. We have our bad days, sure, but we also have those transcendent moments that more than make up for the tough times.
Claire only JUST started reaching for toys last week.
Here she is with the adorable giraffe that Girl on the Park got for her.
I do not censor myself. Aside from the very few topics that J understandably asks me not to blog about, I write things as they are. I keep it real. And that has been the one thing that my readers thank me for every day.
Because before I got pregnant, I wish someone had warned me that round ligament pains may be more painful than labor pains (which in my case ended up being true). Before I gave birth, I wish someone had told me that it’s perfectly normal to not immediately fall in love with your baby. Before starting nursing, I wish someone had told me not to supplement with formula in those crucial first days (or at least use a supplemental nursing system) so that my daughter would not have gotten nipple confusion.
Before becoming a mother, I wish someone had told me how DIFFICULT motherhood can be, and that it’s okay to admit to this and not love every minute of it.
And now that I’ve written about it, I hope that my readers can benefit from my experience.
My blog is definitely not shiny nor happy — at least not all the time — but it’s a reflection of the Geek in Heels brand: keepin’ things real with a dose of geekery. It’s a reflection of my sarcastic, pessimistic self (my nickname in high school wasn’t Daria for no reason).
My “keepin’ it real” style is admittedly in the minority and not for everyone. But I hope that my mistakes, troubles, and small triumphs will help those who — like me — often feel like failures among today’s mommy bloggers.