Monday, June 16, 2008

Why a Mommy Blog?

Before I started this blog, I didn’t fancy myself a writer. I mean, I knew I could write—I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of literary analysis in graduate school—but I thought of myself as an academic writer. A literary critic, perhaps. But since I decided not to get my PhD or become a professor, I basically figured that I was done with writing.

I started this blog a year and a half ago after my friend Jenny kept telling me that I should. I was always telling her stories about my boys’ shenanigans, and she thought I should write them down. Maybe she thought they were good, or maybe she just wanted me to stop talking so much so she could get a word in edgewise. I didn’t really take her seriously, but I did have one little problem: Jenny is a night person and I am a morning person. And so one morning at, oh, about 4:45 a.m. when I got up for the day with Henry (after waking to nurse him 11 times) when I really wanted to tell some stories about my horrible children, I started the blog.

I’m glad now to have a record of my kids’ lives. Especially because I am not much of a photographer. But what I have found remarkable is the amazing way in which writing these stories has helped me to see my children more clearly. As I write, I analyze their actions and turn our every day life together into narrative.

And what is really interesting to me is how telling these stories has actually changed my perception of my life with Luke and Henry. When we are having a horrible day—or when it isn’t even so bad but I’m sick and tired of watching their puppet shows and cutting crusts off of sandwiches and reading books—I begin to make meaning of it all. I see the moments of humor, the hilarity in the absurd, the way Luke hitting his brother fits into the theme of the day or the way that Henry’s confusing story demonstrates his interesting use of language.

When I’m on the lookout for stories, everything becomes more interesting. I can see our life through the eyes of someone else.

You know the way that time softens the edges of experience? The way that once our babies are walking we can’t quite remember how tiring it was to lug them around all day? Writing about my children and my husband and myself helps me to see us all through this softened lens a little sooner.


Jenny said...


Your blog looks great. I love the banner. And this post, oh Ser, too funny--"I needed a place to write about my horrible children," Ha! Your blog (and your friendship) softens the rough edges of my life, too. Thank you.

so yung said...

Great new look. Love the picture of Luke and am assuming that Henry decided to get completely covered and is tickling Luke undercover of snow which accounts for the great grin.

Sounds like storytelling is a gift - not only to share but for yourself as well. I'll have to keep it in mind if I experience Motherhood.

I'm glad you blog, and thank you Jenny for encouraging her to do so!

alaskapeter said...

... AND, it's a great way for your far-flung family and friends (did you catch that alliteration?) to keep abreast of the crazy goings-on of you and my crazy nephews. I loved your last post about Henry, and love the new banner. I can't wait to see you guys next month!!

Swistle said...

Totally agree! One of my friends said she wouldn't blog, because then she'd be "writing about life rather than living it." And I thought, "?" For me, writing about it makes me live it better and notice it more. I'm MORE "in the moment," not less.

Beck said...

The beautiful thing I find about writing every day about my experiences as a mother is I begin to see the narrative in it, the story line that actually is running through our lives.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your words. They brought greater meaning to my day.