July 5, 2012 by themommahen
Once again, I’ve been absent from this space. I was on a roll for a while, and my last post had the potential to set me on a tear of other heartfelt posts, but instead, I found myself wondering:
Who am I writing for? Why am I writing at all? Or more to the point, why am I sharing so much? And conversely, as there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes around here that would make really good content, why am I not sharing more? Which leads me to question why am I not writing more?
Rinse, repeat. It’s a circular thought process with questions I don’t really have an answer to.
As a society we share so much with people we don’t see. With people, in some cases, that we don’t even know. In the name of art, or an outlet, or boredom. And about two weeks ago, in the world of Instagram, I saw a self-portrait of a young teen that looked vaguely and innocently suggestive, with hundreds of thousands of likes. And I began to wonder – who are the people “liking” this photo and “following” this kid? I’m sure some are legitimate friends. I’m sure most aren’t. Do his parents know he’s posting shirtless pictures of himself to a quarter of a million people? If so, what do they tell him to help keep him safe? If not, well, yikes.
Around the same time, one of my Facebook friends asked the often debated question of whether we use social media to be more social or more narcissistic. There’s been much talk about whether it should actually be called anti-social media, with the easy out it offers us from actually physically interacting with one another. For sure, all social networks are enormously helpful at keeping us connected with people we otherwise wouldn’t be. And as a SAHM, I get and sometimes personify the notion that networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram are one of the few connections to the outside world. But there are times I really should use the phone to actually call and talk to my friends – and not just text.
So as I was writing my blog posts and then tweeting, Facebooking, YouTubing and cross-posting the links to other sites like BlogHer, I realized I’m not sure why. I started this blog to document our life as we did a 180-degree-turn. For me, as an outlet and to keep my writing skills sharp. For the Hatchlings, to look back on someday as heir own virtual scrapbook. But somewhere I started getting interested in page views, likes, shares and retweets. And every post, while usually pretty quick to write, became time-consuming, and time isn’t a luxury I really have right now with three kids age six and under.
Some people have asked me why I don’t either get a sitter or ask my mom to stay with the Hatchlings for a couple hours a week to allow me time to write. And maybe I should, but if I can share (ironically) one additional observation about living with your parents at this stage, it’s this:
When you’re under their roof 24/7, it’s not as easy to ask them to sit with your kids while you go do whatever it is you want to do.
If we lived next door, I’d be more comfortable asking about dropping the kids off for a couple hours. But right now, we’re all constantly together. They help us out as we go, stepping in to change a diaper, entertain one of the Hatchlings, refill drinks, make a meal. And the list goes on.
Our toys litter their living room. And den. And kitchen. And the list goes on.
As for a regular sitter, well, that seems a bit like a luxury we shouldn’t indulge in while we’re trying to save money, pay off debt, sell our condo, travel for family weddings, plan a vacation. And the list goes on.
Over the past year and change I’ve had this blog, I’ve watched other deserving bloggers – some I know “in real life” and some only through their online presence – rise to the top and flex their impressive writing muscles to great success, whether that be awards, new employment, or just a sense of well-earned accomplishment. I’m beyond thrilled for all of them. And, not having a dead ego, I often wonder what, if anything I’m going to accomplish with this blog and when. But now may not be my time – it may never be. And blogging may not be my thing to share with the greater world. And that’s okay.
Right now H#3 is napping, H#1 is on one sofa watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates and H#2 is cuddled up by my side resting his head on my shoulder. I have about 12 minutes to wrap up my point before they demand some Mommy time. As they should.
Someday I’ll have more time to write regularly. Someday I may even get paid to write again – maybe not this blog, but something. Someday we won’t be living with Granny and Gramps and we’ll all look forward to the Hatchlings having some alone-time with just them. Someday I may get a regular sitter to give me a couple hours a week. Someday everything could be different and we have no way of knowing what the future holds. And the list goes on.
So for now, I’ll take what I can get. Though the very act of writing this post is in itself narcissistic, I’ll try not to get too caught up in the narcissism and anti-social trappings of social media. In the midst of the frustrations I’ll remind myself to be grateful for all I’ve been given. I’ll remember why I started doing this. I’ll remind myself how lucky we are to still have my parents, and the upside to the Hatchlings getting so much time with them. I’ll remember that these years go by so quickly; fleeting moments of today that melt into memories of tomorrow.
And the list goes on.