25 Feb - 2013

by mamaschmama

I have blogged about my children for 3 years now, starting after my son’s first Easter.  We had emailed his photo with the Easter Bunny to some friends and family who then did a lot of Reply All-ing and forwarding.  Thus, having pissed everyone off, I decided to make a blog where everyone could come visit the site if they chose without having to worry about filling up people’s email accounts.

I still have this private blog for our close family and friends.  In that blog, I have found my voice for my children as their mother and somewhat as a writer.  However, I wanted to start a different blog, one that could connect me to more people.  Uh, yes.  I have friends and family.  However, I like connecting with people who share a very unique kind of enjoyment- writing on the web.

The real reason…

Well, duh.  I want to become a famous writer that earns bazillions writing about peeling stickers off the inside of the clothes dryer, all my failed Pinterest projects, and my work as a teacher of rockin’ primary kids.  We’ll all earn our bazillions doing what we love eventually, kids, but that’s probably not how my fortune will be earned.  In actuality,  I chose to start what I am now calling Mama, Schmama to join a community of writers who have done so much to help me over the past few years.  Mama, Schmama because I am most importantly a mother but also because sometimes I am other things that seem to so absurdly contradict all that “mama-ing” is supposed to be.

No, really, you helped me.

You helped me get through postpartum anxiety.  When my first child was born, I went deep into the hole of postpartum blues.  I had no idea what was going on with my head and the people around me, though wonderful and so dang ready to help, didn’t recognize it either.  I read all sorts of information on the internet about postpartum depression that just didn’t fit me.  It was only through reading women’s personal accounts of post pregnancy life that I realized that 1. I was suffering from major postpartum anxiety 2.  There were so many things I could do to help and MOST IMPORTANTLY 3. I wasn’t alone.  I wasn’t alone.  I wasn’t alone.

You were my more experienced big sister.  Raising my first child was such a daily freak out experience.  I refused to make my own baby food for my son because I worried that the vegetables could have parasites in them that I couldn’t adequately boil away.  I’m not joking.  More and more, I visited blogs of mothers who had been through everything compared to new-mom-me and they calmed me down about my son’s firsts.  They helped me figure out what to anticipate, short-cuts to make, mentalities to assume.

You gave me hope.  When my husband and I found ourselves unable to conceive our second child when we expected, I went to blogs to find out what other women were doing.  I read about how they were coping with their frustration and confusion. During that time in our life, I was so demoralized.  Being able to listen to the voices of others in the same place as myself was a comfort beyond comforts.

You inspired and motivated me.  Um, yeah, I can make my own baby food.  Wait, I can think for myself instead of relying on every sentence in the baby books.  This year, I switched schools.  For non-teachers, this might not seem like a big deal, however in essence it’s like learning to live in a different culture.  Visiting teacher blogs helped inspire my classroom and my instruction.  After December 14th, teacher and parent blogs helped me realize that the pure terror I was feeling was normal and while it was no comfort to the events, once again I knew I was not alone.

I think part of my enjoyment of reading blogs is the immediateness of the internet.  It seeps through blog writing.  Sometimes it can be as simple as seeing on 10 different blogs, people are writing about the same issues, proclaiming the exact same realizations.  Sure, if you’re going for a completely unique post you might not like it but for the rest of us it is showing we belong to a community.  Reading a woman’s ranting account about how her husband -again- did the dishes and then climbed up on his high horse thinking he was the only one doing anything around the house feels real.  Sometimes unpolished. Honest. Real.

Now that I have two children, I feel a little more seasoned and I go to blogs to find humor in a shared experience and inspiration for my life, my parenting, my marriage, and my teaching.  I love reading about the crazed joy of new parents, the wry humor of those living with teenagers, and the optimism of parents to be.  My heart aches for those who tell the tales of their journey to parenthood not yet achieved.  I get motivated reading the blogs of teachers who put their all into their craft, those who strive to find the positive everyday, people living their life without regrets, and those who tell the stories of their world travels.

So, a big sappy thank you to all the bloggers out there for so much.  If I could, I would write you all a thank you on flowery stationary for all that you’ve unknowingly done for me over the years.  Instead, I’ll just write this post, tweet my link, and hope someone out there is listening.  With my new blog, I feel like the new kid in the cafeteria, holding their lunch but not quite knowing where to sit.  I’m nervous but determined.  I am making an attempt to join in the conversation and make a meaningful contribution or just amuse you over accounts of my version of being an adult.

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