I have to admit it – I’m feeling self-conscious.
I feel like it’s all sunshine and cotton candy over here. I mean, maybe I’m a little nuts; I did recently write two rather serious, dark posts about my grandparents vis a vis aging and elder care issues. Those weren’t especially uplifting. But I can’t shake this feeling that you, dear readers, are all out there rolling your eyes, gnashing your teeth, and thinking, We know you’re working less and the boys are both in school and you have time to breathe and your kids are calm, happy and organized , and hell – even when they have fits because they don’t want to play soccer they end up flying around the soccer field on the top of the world in the end. How endlessly fascinating!
And who could blame you?
Now, to your credit, none of you have actually said this out loud or been anything but pleasant and supportive, which is really super nice of you, but I wouldn’t blame you if you had.
At the same time, I’m also aware that I may have simply and erroneously internalized the message I heard a couple years ago when I was a contributor to a large-group-of-mothers-blog that shall remain nameless. The message was, in a nutshell: People don’t want to read about your great vacation or how well your kid is doing – readers want something they can relate to. So give them your bad day, your deteriorating relationships, your failed parenting moments. That’s what brings in the numbers, ladies! Further, we were informed that we Midwestern mothers were the worst culprits when it came to blogging about the niceties of life and thereby tossing our own popularity and success as bloggers into the crapper. I promptly quit that blog, crying BULLSHIT! on my way out, not because that message is implausible if you are focused on your “numbers”, but because nobody tells me I have to write about how crappy my life is when things are, for a little while anyway, going great. Nobody puts Baby in a fake shit storm.
But despite my rejection of it, that theory – fact? – is never far from my mind, especially when things are going well like they are right now and I write a few posts in a row that literally shower my kind readers with too many unicorns jumping over rainbows.
However. I force myself to assume that my little cadre of readers comes back to hear my honest voice, which I value enormously in the blogs I read. If what’s going on is fabulous, that’s exactly what I’ll be sharing; the rest of the time, I’ll give you the exhausting days, the parenting mistakes, and the fact that I’m out of wine at a very bad moment. I would expect the same from everyone else. Do we have an agreement?
If you have a blog, do you think about this? I’d love your insights.