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Parenting Will Never Be the Same After Blogging

Posted Jul 26 2014 1:48am

H/T Polly Pagenheart, LesbianDad, BlogHer '14 conference

This was a quote that I heard today, at the BlogHer conference, and that, combined with the questions I was asked in a video interview - yes, I was interviewed on camera, and it was super fun (because, hello, I talk all the time and have never met a stranger) - got me to thinking about something. 

Why do people read my blog, I was asked.

My answer? To make them feel better about their choices and how they aren't screwing up quite as terribly as I am - was my answer. And it was funny, and it was a good sound bite, but it was also true and it also make me a tiny bit uncomfortable. 

Because I am totally honest on this blog, and you guys know it. I'm honest about the truth and the toughness of parenting and how it sucks the every loving life out of me on a daily basis. How I go to bed with work undone and unfolded laundry and at any given day, at least two of my kids are upset with me and I've probably made someone uncomfortable in my daily travels 

And I try to do it all with humor and grace but sometimes I just don't have it in me. 

But. 

The cool thing about blogging? 

I don't feel alone. 

I am not alone. 

I know, thanks to my writings on this teeny tiny blog, that I am not alone. 

That most of us feel deeply flawed. That most of us are exhausted and worn out and doing the very best we can. That we love our families passionately and deeply and yet? By the end of the day, we all want nothing so much as just a few minutes of quiet time and the time to read something mindless or think about something that doesn't involve One Direction or nail polish choices for ten year olds or deciding what classes would be the best for your kid or thinking about how to write a 504 that will be actually, you know, followed and how to speak to teachers so they won't think you are the biggest asshole parent in their class and ignore every single email that you send. Sometimes, you just want to daydream that the person who should most have the interests of your child's educational plan in their sights won't actually avoid you when she sees you coming at school. Sometimes, you don't want to hear people say that they don't care that a food might kill your child, how DARE you infringe upon their constitutional rights?

Sometimes, you don't want to think. You feel deeply alone, which completely contradicts what I said a couple of paragraphs earlier. 

Writing this blog has reminded me that I am not alone.  That all of us struggle with the hows and whys of how to be a grown up when there is no manual - and I DEMAND a recount on this matter, I think all of us would really appreciate a manual - and trying to raise children who will become adults who will be a pleasure to be around and not the subject of a hate group or shown on the nightly news as an example of a really terrible person. 

Writing this blog has shown me that no one really knows how to do it. That no one does it all. That none of us does it well. Not one of us knows what we are doing, and not one of us has the answers, not even those of us who pretend that we do. 

Writing this blog has given me such freedom to be me. (Not that I really know who me is most of the days, but eh....) It's given me an area to have a voice, to hear other people say that they've done it too, that they know what I'm dealing with, that they hear me and feel me and that I'm not crazy.

Well, wait. No one has actually ever SAID I'm not crazy. Hmmmm. Maybe I should hear the lesson in that, yes?

Writing this blog has shown me that we are ALL making it up as we go along. 

I may never be invited to read my writings in public. Writing this blog may never secure a book deal for me. It may never be my ticket to fame and fortune and I may - probably, definitely - slide off into the oblivion, where all blogs go to die - 

but at least I won't be alone. I will have you fantastic people holding my hands, agreeing with me that yes, life is hard, and it's unfair, and raising children sucks the life out of you and gives you gray hair and relationships of all kinds are blow your mind out difficult and life is just scary

but that it's also beautiful. 

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