Tuesday, April 28, 2009
So, I read a post the other day that has really kept me thinking...
Andrea, a mother of two adorable little girls, who blogs at The Train to Crazy, wrote a post she called The Myth of the Supermom. In this post, she talked about how reading people's blogs can make you feel inadequate, as if you should be doing more than you are because everyone else is. Maybe it is because I am WAY older than Andrea (go look at her pictures...seriously, I'm WAY older!), but her post made me sad inside. I've been thinking about it ever since. This is what I came up with:
1) I do tend to post positive things that happen in my life, but that is NOT to make other people feel they should be doing more. Instead, it is to help me keep focused on the positive in my life. Momstheword wrote a post a few weeks ago about how difficult it is to refrain from complaining, but how negatively our complaining affects our family members. That reminded me about a pastor of a church somewhere who'd had enough of all his congregants complaining and challenged them all to go two weeks without complaining. They all discovered it was really, really tough. Complaining had pervaded all aspects of their lives. I like to think people post positive things on their blogs because they are staying focused on the positive, even when the cat pooped on the carpet, the kids talked back, the bills are stressful, and the car broke down. Those things are all real, for all of us. I honestly don't think I've run across a bragging blogger who posts positive things to make themselves feel better than the rest of us (maybe I've been fortunate, maybe they're out there). As for me, I am so far from a Supermom that the idea is funny to me. As Andrea pointed out, no one is perfect. I'd hate to think my blog made anyone feel inadequate.
2) I also think that when people do post about difficulties they're facing, the bloggy world is full of truly caring, helpful people who are willing to lend a supportive "ear" and some time-tested advice. I've never felt judged, nor have I seen anyone judge. Look at the power of blogging as it wraps loving arms around mother's of sick babies...have you ever seen anything like it? The bloggy world is an amazing "open-air" school, where you can learn how to deal with anything from overwhelming bills to a fussy baby to how to properly put in a zipper. How cool is that?
3) Finally, life is not a competition. We all have unique journeys filled with challenges that test us in different ways. We're also at different stages of life...some with no children, some with grandchildren, some with grown children, and some with children in the middle. Some have husbands, some don't. The list could go on. There is one thing that unites us: Bloggers truly enjoy sharing information, positive and negative, that they think other's might find meaningful, helpful, or entertaining. Some are trying to monetize their blogs, some are hoping to increase sales at an Etsy shop, and some just do it for fun. When I first started blogging, I wrote a post about why I decided to blog (you can read it here) and it was all about the generosity of the bloggers and how wonderful reading blogs had made me feel. I was looking for help with a sewing dilemma and there were tons of bloggers out there who'd generously taken the time to post tutorials on their blogs. I solved my problem, but I was also hooked!
So, if you're like Andrea and you feel badly when you read what other people are doing, please don't. I can guarantee you that none of the bloggers I "know" intend to send a message of inadequacy your way. None of us are Supermoms...I don't think any of us aspire to wear that title. Andrea, if you read this, I'll bet you didn't know just how powerful your post was and I hope you don't mind me commenting publicly on how it affected me. It just seems to me that women have forgotten how to be friends and we needs to relearn that amazing thing...we have so much to offer each other.
(Now I must go back to procrastinating over vacuuming and dusting...I'm sure there is something else I need to be doing that is more important that cleaning!)