Monday, February 25, 2013

Why Write? Personal Thoughts

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I write this blog. In the beginning I did it to improve my writing skills. I was told to find something I was passionate about and start blogging about it regularly so I could get lots of writing practice, so I did. It's funny to me now that it was so hard to find something to say at first. I would sit at the computer and rack my brain about what I could possibly write about. Now I sit down and have to go through a mental list of all I want to record, knowing I don't have time to put down everything I want to write. How did I get to this point? And what is the point anyway?

The truth is, I don't even know who reads this darn thing. In fact, I often wonder if anyone does, except that the stats tell me people do. There is hardly ever a comment, which I understand because many people simply subscribe to blogs on a reader and it takes more work to comment. I guess what I'm getting at is that, although I have this hope deep inside that my words and my experiences as a mother, whether good or bad (because there's both), will somehow inspire someone out there or help them through a difficult stage or discouraging day, I really just write what is in my heart and I record our lives because I want my children to know some day that being their mother was the most important thing to me.

I promised myself when I started writing that I wasn't going to write a bunch of fluff (although sometimes I probably fail at this), that I was going to be real about things. I think that is so important. For one thing, motherhood is downright hard. And I can't see it benefitting my girls someday to read only the good stuff and think that I breezed right through it all and wonder what is wrong with them when they are struggling with the newborn stage or potty training, or whatever it might be. For another thing, I'm hoping to see growth in myself through this journey, and if I don't shoot straight through it all, it's going to be pretty hard to see the change, and that is so important to me.

Sometimes I have born my soul a bit (kind of like today), wondering if I should share such personal feelings through an avenue such as this, but then I realized that if my desire was to be "real," I had to trust my readers, whoever they may be, enough to share some of my deepest fears and inadequacies and failures as a woman and a mother, knowing they are all part of the process of becoming. I've had plenty of moments and days when I've felt like I was doing it all wrong, when I've felt uninspired and under-qualified and absolutely overwhelmed. I've thrown plenty of fits, slammed plenty of doors and gone on plenty of drives to calm my nerves when I haven't known what else to do. I've thrown my hands up in the air, cussed and even stomped my feet a few times in complete and utter frustration. Yes, I have felt the angst, the discouragement, and the helplessness that motherhood entails at times.

But that is not what I want to focus on either. I don't want to sit down at my computer and vent about everything that is going wrong because, let's face it, who wants to read that? I certainly don't. And the truth is, although there aren't any perfect days happening around here, life is pretty darn good, and I do prefer to focus on the good. My kids do fight and tattle and nitpick at each other, but they also laugh together and compliment each other and help each other out. And we go to bed happy each night. To me, that's a pretty good life, and so I want to record it.

Hallee tried helping Nate with his tie one Sunday and this is how it turned out. We laughed and laughed.

So simple but a regular picture in our home. Berkley has brought so much love.

I want to record how much I love them. I have  such deep feelings about my children and I want to write them down because I just don't know if I will remember the specifics of them one day, especially at certain moments. I want to record some of our daily living, not because it's anything monumental but because I think it will mean a lot to them some day. And I want to record some of the mothering methods I try--not because I think I am so amazing that I feel the world needs to benefit from my brilliant ideas--but because I have learned so much from other women who have shared ideas with me, and so I hope someone might glean something from an idea or something I share.

Good day at our house. Got in the shower and found this note on the wall.

Not so good day. Went to the grocery store looking like this and the poor girl fell asleep in the cart.  I did not look like a great mother this day.

I think as women we have so much we can learn from each other. I am constantly amazed by the strengths of women all around me and those I meet! Seriously. But I think it can be overwhelming if we don't know who we are and remember our own individual strengths. It's easy to get caught up in the "compare snare" and compare ourselves with others, which of course never works because we see others at their best and compare ourselves at our worst. The truth is we are all amazing in our own way. We are all beautiful. We all have strengths the world needs, especially our own families. Your children need YOU and they want YOU--not the neighbor lady, no matter how skinny she is or how clean her house is or how beautiful her nails are.  Kids don't even care about stuff like that.

I actually stopped reading blogs for the most part a couple of years ago--mostly because I felt it was taking too much of my time, but also because sometimes I found myself thinking less of myself after reading about some amazing thing another woman did. So silly, right? I had to get a hold of myself right then and there. I now only read a couple of blogs I find worth my time to read (and they are written by some down-to-earth, yet amazing, ordinary women) and just allow myself to enjoy them and learn from them, rather than get discouraged by them.

I hope that's what my blog can do for whoever reads it. I hope it makes you laugh at times. I hope it makes you cry. I hope it makes you realize you are not alone in your motherhood journey, whatever stage you are in. I hope it makes you want to read more. And I hope through reading, you come to know that I am just an ordinary woman who aspires to become an extraordinary mother some day. Not because I hope to be famous or anything, but because I have been blessed with five children that I love from the deepest corners of my heart and I just feel that one of my main purposes here in this life is to lead them and guide them and help them become the best that is within them, and it's going to take extraordinary effort to do so. But they are worth it.

Biggest banana split ever! Happy memory.

And so I write this blog. And it has actually come to mean so much to me, which I guess is why I keep writing. Sometimes I take a minute and read a post from way back and I just smile, remembering the moment, and I realize how precious it is that I recorded it in just that way. In my journal I share intimate thoughts and other details of life, but here I share what makes motherhood memorable. . . and it seems to be about everything. Plus, I love that I can share pictures and use slang language, like "for goodness sake" and "I tell you," and start a lot of sentences with the word "and." So ironically, my writing is only getting worse instead of better.

But I think I at least know what I write this blog.

It's for my children.

Of course! They are are the reason for so many things (including the grey hair I'm starting to get, but I won't go into that).

Good thing I love them so darn much.