Friday, June 17, 2011

Long Overdue

So my dilemma is two-fold.  No, three.  My dilemma is three-fold.

First: the audience.  I'm a mommy blogger.  I've understood this, from random snark and other disparaging comments and articles I've read, to be a bad thing.  Apparently there are too many of us, and we all say the same things over and over, and our kids aren't really all that cute, and nobody cares, so how dare we take up band-width? 


This criticism has nothing to do with my dilemma. My motives in writing this blog over the past five years have been primarily journal keeping, and a convenient way of keeping far-flung family updated and involved in my kids' lives.  I suspect 90% of the other so called mommy bloggers out there have similar motives (the other 10% wishing nothing more than to brag, the uppity bitches). So again I say, whatever. If you don't care, simply move on.

I honestly thought most of you had moved on; a conclusion I came to based on the lack of feedback. 

Please understand, I'm not here to pander for compliments and comments.  I just assumed that "No comment" meant "Meh, enough with all the chattiness.  We'd rather just look at the pictures on Facebook." When you half suspect no one's listening, you have to start to wonder if it's worth all the effort. It's not the only reason I stopped writing, but admittedly, sulkily, it was part of it.

It's been six months since my last post, and in that time, especially this last month or so, I've had several people say to me, "What gives?  I keep checking, but you never post anything new."  I'd be totally lying if I didn't say my ego isn't hugely flattered to discover that there are people out there (who aren't my mother) who enjoy, and miss my writing.  Guess what people!  I enjoy and miss my writing too.  And I'd like to get back to it.

Which leads me to dilemma the Second: the subject matter. My kids (my primary subjects) are growing up. Their personalities, their idiosyncracies, their foibles, all of their daily victories and defeats...Sure it all makes for some pretty great writing, but is it really fair of me to turn everything they say and do into some amusing little anecdote?  It's the one part of the 'mommy blogger' criticism I tend to agree with.  At a certain point, it crosses a line.  I'm just not sure where that line is. 

I like the idea of journaling their childhood, of collecting our family's stories in one place.  I find myself revisiting my own archives often, glad everytime, that I took the time to write it all down.  I'm pretty sure they will be too one day. But at 11, 9 and 7, they're just now moving into the most awkward, socially/physically/psycologically fraught stage of their life.  How mean of me to make a joke of it all.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  So do the writing, do the journaling, just don't post it.  Save it. Treasure it.  And someday your kids will treasure it too.  This is a good and noble idea.  I should totally do that.  But here's the thing, see dilemma the first, I like the audience.  I've always thought straight-up journaling was kind of stupid because what's the point if no one is going to read what you wrote, and let you know that they've heard and understood you?

Apart from the kids, the only other thing I have to talk about is this little project I've got going that I like to call The Complete Re-education of Mother.  Honestly, I'm not sure how much anyone else cares.  Physics and calculus are not nearly as amusing as, say Boy's recent attempts to wield Jedi mind control in order to trick me into buying him more Lego, or Missy's current obsession with HUGE boobs, which  (See, right there? The boob thing is probably over the line, right?  Nobody's business. But seriously, people. She smacks her lips and rubs her hands together like she's about to take a bite out of some rare juicy fruit.  Of course, I'm loath to label any such proclivities as deviant, but, I mean...Ladies, lock your doors before showering...that's all I'm sayin')

Finally, dilemma the Third: time.  I am no casual, spit it out, stream-of-consciousness kind of writer.  Believe me, I wish I were.  It takes time for me to come up with something I'm willing to post, to let other people look at.  And since I started my little re-education project, I have significantly less spare time for the tortured selection of perfect adjectives than I used to.  So even if I do get back to writing about family, about school, about rain, there's going to be significantly less of it than there used to be.

In the meantime--indulge me in a little uppity bragging.  Not about the kids though, about my mighty husband.
The handsome man (alas, someone else's mighty husband) with his finger on that button there is Norway's Prime minister Jens Stoltenberg. The button he's about to push is the button that will start production of a series of gas ferries (see picture hanging in back ground) that will operate in the north of Norway.  Those are my mighty husband's boats.  He designed them anyway.  The other man in the picture is, apparently, Poland's Prime Minister (the boats are being built in Poland).  There.  Two Prime Ministers in attendence.  It's just that. big. a. deal.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you've decided to come back!
I've really enjoyed your writing. When your cat died, I bawled my eyes out, both for you and the cat (and mine).(yet I can't seem to find that post again?).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I missed you too. Another anonymous who kept thinking - life is STILL being a beach - what in the hell has happened over there in Bergen? And not knowing you AT ALL, I didn't like to ask.

Michele said...

Hi Jeda. I'm glad you're back to writing, too, as you've got a real talent (IMHO) and are pretty good for a laugh or two when I need one. So, thanks for that! :-) Sorry I haven't been such a frequent commenter; will fix that ASAP.

I understand your dilemmas and sympathize. It's not an easy thing, putting your life out here in a way that's meaningful to you as a writer and also respectful of your family's privacy. The fact that you're sensitive to all of that bodes well for my hope that you'll figure out a way to walk the line and keep your blog going.

It's not bad to be a mommy blogger. It's not like anyone is forcing anybody to read a blog about someone's life as a mother/person. If certain people don't want to use their time to read such a blog, they should just find something else to read. Why the negativity? Don't listen to any of it.

Your blog rocks. If you find you have to take it in a slightly new direction, with a different tone about your kids, so be it. It will still rock! Lykke til!

Caroline said...

Yeah you rock!! You do have a talent. Find something else to write about if you don't want to write about the kids anymore.

jenaconti said...

Really delighted to see that you have some new posts! I don't know if this addresses any of your worries about being a mommy blogger, but I enjoy reading your blogs because you state things just as they are, because you are funny, and because I so often resonate with your feelings and comments on various things. You are the mom who is not afraid to be honest about life! And the ins and outs of daily life are less trivial than you think. It's ultimately how we make sense of ourselves and our worlds. Thanks for continuing to blog!

JEDA said...

Thank you all so much for your compliments and support. I'll do my best not to disappear again. It really does help to keep me motivated knowing that there are others out there who think that life and motherhood are just as absurd as I do.

Jon said...

There you are!

jillybaby said...

Well its about bloody time! Reading your blog gives me faith that not all bloggers are as lazy assed as me!

About the sharing the kids stuff - isn't your blog kinda anonymous anyway, like you can't find it on google? So it doesn't really matter anyway. Did you ever giver Mister the URL???

Glad you're back babes xx

Queen LaTeacha said...

I don't even have to tell you how happy I am that you're blogging again. But then, I'm your mother, so the world understands my enthusiasm. Aside from that, you do have a way of telling a story, making a point, or describing a moment that is unique and worth reading.

Also,I hope you'll try to find time to blog because I think it satisfies something inside of you that has nothing to do with its effect on others. You just need to write. So, WRITE already!

Tammy - Our Amazing Norway said...

We have listed your blog in our interesting blog section of our new magazine Our Amazing Norway. Please contact me I would love to send you a copy!