Monday, August 13, 2007

I did something rash

I deleted my blog.

We had a rough few days around here. Margaret had a nasty virus. I tried to go to the Real Learning conference and spent the entire time with a screaming baby in the back room. We finally left before lunch after hearing part of one talk. I was feeling frustrated with my husband because he was spending a lot of time on the computer. Then I started to think the computer was taking over our lives, or that maybe we needed two computers so that we could blog simultaneously and visit afterwards.

So I pushed the big, black, "Delete This Blog" button. Then I deleted my google account and all of my google reader subscriptions. I thought that this was a well-considered, prayer-directed move. I thought I would feel peace and freedom. But I just felt a bit nauseous. This morning, over breakfast, I told my husband and he was pretty upset. I didn't expect that.

He made a good argument in favor of blogging: I like it. It's a great creative outlet for me. I love to write and a blog gives me a place to practice. I've done some of my best writing since high school on this blog. At my best, I go through my day giving more careful consideration to all my actions because I'm always wondering what I can write next. I love the blogging community and the 4Real community. The tiny taste of the conference last weekend showed me what a healthy, online community can be. Most, if not all, of the speakers are bloggers as well who give lots of encouragement and practical help to other moms. My husband thinks I actually have something worth saying. I've always said that blogging helps my vocation.

On the other hand . . . I definitely use the computer as an escape. Not a retreat--a place to go for refreshment and renewal so that I can go back to the rest of my life with energy--an escape. When the kids get on my nerves, I click over to Google Reader and look at someone else's kids for awhile. I tune out the kids and their annoying behavior gets worse. I could blog when they are in bed, of course. But that's when my husband is writing on his blog and I don't feel like further cutting into our time together to write on mine. It's not that I don't believe in hobbies but most of my other hobbies are much more inclusive of my children. I don't think my kids are going to learn much by watching me zone out in the blogosphere.

Then there's the element of pride. I want people to notice me. I want people to think I have the coolest blog ever. I want to really have something profound to say. I used to journal, but I stopped because I was too whiny and introspective. I thought blogging helped me to overcome that because I know that I have an audience. But, when I know I have an audience I feel pressure to POST SOMETHING! People are waiting! My fans adore my thoughts!

And, after all this, I think, "It's just a blog! Get over it!"

So, I have resurrected my blog--sort of. All the old posts are gone, sadly. The template is very close to what I had except that the lovely Sedes Sapientia image is distorted. I'll have to work on that. I'm going to think about this for a bit and, in the meantime, if you care to offer your thoughts on the value of blogging, balancing blogging (or other hobbies) with life, or anything else helpful, I would be most appreciative.


Anonymous said...

My dh Eric encourages me to blog. Not that I do it very often, or very well, but it helps me to put my plans and my thoughts on paper. Frankly, typing is faster than handwriting, so for me it is better than a journal. It is nice to have a record of events, too. I have thought about deleting mine, for some of the same reasons you have given. But I'm not. Instead, I'm going to quit comparing myself to everyone else, and quit comparing my kids to all the other kids, and quit using blogging and the internet in general as an escape. Thanks for this post -- I needed some soul-searching!

Red Cardigan said...

This is actually kind of timely for me. I found out over the weekend that at least one relative of mine is very critical of my blog--doesn't always like what I say, how I say it, and also thinks that it MUST take up way too much of my time.

My first impulse was to quit blogging altogether! But calmer moods (and calmer people, my DH being one of them) prevailed. I was able to refocus on the fact that I do hope to write professionally at some point and that the blog is my daily practice in disciplined and intentional writing. I also reminded myself that we all have different talents and hobbies; I'm hopeless at traditional mom-style crafts, for instance, so some of the time I spend blogging is time other moms I know would be sewing, knitting, needlepointing etc.

Sure, I waste some time on the computer (who doesn't?). But as a homeschooling mom I do think I need some "breaks" in my day, especially when we're enjoying summer vacation. To put it another way, during the school year I spend a LOT more time with my children than non-homeschooling moms do, so if I spend a bit more time in the summer clicking around to see what other people are doing I don't see any harm in that.

Moms at home have always had some "escapes" from the drudgery of housework and the whining of the children. Call me crazy, but I think blogging's a lot more healthy than soap operas or back-fence gossip as an escape.

Robyn said...

I'm glad you are back. I thought the internet was acting up when I couldn't find you. ;) Now I see it was you acting up!

I know what you mean. And I assume that I am much worse at this that you are. No, I know I am. Susan, I think that being a stay at home is hard. I find that I am a better stay at home mom when I feel like I am successful and productive at something...especially when Andrew is being a nut. I need my work and my creative stuff and my blog to add structure to my day, to keep me thinking, and to keep me sane. And all of those things are good for Andrew. When I didn't have those structures, it was much worse. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are more involved with your kids than any other mom I know. I could never do what you do.

Dude, you are downright inspiring.
and don't tell the others, but your blog is my favorite.

Lynn said...

Susan, you are delightful. This post touched me for its 'pure you' honesty and made me laugh for the same reason.

I've always told myself that the moment my blog becomes no fun because I am taking it all too seriously or am obsessing over it in any way that is when I am stopping. Pride can be a sneaky thing, especially in the blogosphere. I say a Hail Mary before reading blogs or posting on my blog. I truly think it is my answer.

I receive so much in the way of good encouragement, inspiration, and laughter from parusing the blogs that I would hate to ever have to give it up BUT I will if it ever becomes anything less than positive for me or my family.
Hugs and Prayers

Alice Gunther said...

Susan, I am very glad to be able to visit this place you have created and read a little bit of another mother's heart. Thank you for your honesty and for taking the time to give of yourself to others here.