Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Blog Interrupted

Its been a little over four months since I began this blog, in the hopes it would spark some creativity and help me hone my writing. I have to say, that for the most part, it has been more stifling to my creativity than nurturing. I find myself not saying what I want to say, because I might not get the all-important traffic, and that bothers me. I also find it keeps me from getting to the easel as often, and that is a really bad thing, in my opinion, as I don't need any extra reasons to procrastinate.

I look around the blogosphere and see a vast range of quality in the blogs I have come across. It isn't for me to criticize what makes someone else happy or fufilled, but I wonder sometimes at the wisdom of offering up one's life to such an inconsistent yardstick for measurement. According to the blog-ruler, I don't measure up at all, which actually is somewhat comforting, but the question remains: To blog or not to blog. To get caught up in the artificial popularity contest that appears to be the impetus to having a sucessful blog, or to simply step away from it and get back to real life.

I've read blog after blog wherein the writers confess to us that they cannot control their children, cannot relate to their husband, cannot feel in synch with their life, and it occurs to me that there is a giant elephant in the blogosphere no one wants to address, and that is the addictive potential of computers and the internet. Of course no one in blogland is going to go unplugged, and their kids are going to be plugged in as well (I believe that's called enablement), and if anyone dares to raise the questions of "how soon should a child be plugged in", or "how much is too much" they're going to receive a raft of ugly verbage. It does seem to me that a disproportionate number of bloggers have kids with ADHD or autistic-related issues, and rarely do I read about these parents considering the benefit of making lifestyle changes, like unplugging those kids from TV and computers, or giving up junk food, or setting a bedtime and sticking with it; all of which could reap just as much benefit as slapping them on a drug, just so Mom can get back to her virtual world.

Ugly words? Only if you're in denial. What is ugly about wanting parents to grow up and take on the job they said they wanted? Parenting is a full-time job, so if you're only doing it part-time, who's picking up the slack for you? If what you're doing isn't working, shouldn't you WANT to try something new? Does anyone really appreciate a martyr who isn't ever pro-active about making change/making things happen?

These are some of the questions that come to my mind, as I surf the blogosphere, and ask myself, "why am I here?" If I am here to speak my mind, and not pander to some sorority for acceptance, then I have to say what I think; not what I think you might want to hear.


Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Well, that's about as honest and straightforward as you can get, and you make alot of good points as well as ask some difficult questions. Blogging (or any type of online activity) shouldn't get in the way of living life. I struggle with that balance myself (and have in the past, as you well know). I hope you don't stop blogging completely, but I understand your frustration. You know I think you're faboo, and I've got your back either way! Carpe whatever-the-heck-makes-your creative-juices-flow.

FairiesNest said...

You go girl...rant away! I love your blogging but perhaps you should cut back some if it's not fun. I feel really accomplished if I write more then one entry a week in mine! "Carpe whatever-the-heck-makes-your creative-juices-flow." I love that!!

flutter said...

I have to chew on this, but I am a huge fan of using your space to say what you need to say, popularity be damned.

liv said...

Well...first, I am taking a break from my self imposed blogging break to read your post.

1) I think people are asking these questions and confessing their feelings of inadequacy because they may feel at a place where we voices in the dark, so to speak, are a last resort.

2) My son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder before I knew what a blog was. Quite frankly, his improvement in the past 18 months since I started blogging is staggering. (I can see no correlation between the two)

3) Just because we parents ask questions or make confessions doesn't mean that we're guilty of bad parenting and that is not denial: that is truth. We are none of us great all the time. Most of us are not terrible all of the time, either.

4) In my absence from posting, I will say that I have accomplished quite a bit of yardwork, home improvement type work, cleaning and crafting. It has been liberating to not kill an hour composing a post that will be read in 30 seconds.

And, I'm also glad that I'm not currently sitting around boring you all with my life and times.

jennifer h said...

I hope you will speak your mind (this was a good start!). I, for one, look forward to every word.

Maggie said...

I agree we can get too caught up in the pseudo world, not just on computers but with TV, too. Maybe we convince ourselves that blogging and constantly reading other peoples' blogs is different because we're interacting with real people, I don't know.

That said, I think blogging is really therapeutic, especially when I'm brave. I would encourage you to be brave as much as you possibly can without hurting others. It's a tricky balance but I honestly think I'm a happier person since starting my blog. But if I'm starting to let cyberthings impact my real life, it's time to unplug.

Autumn LeBeau said...

I don't really find it too fair to say that parents are slapping the kids with meds to get back to their virtual worlds. Personally, I blog when my oldest two are in school. And I blog because there is very little support from family and friends when it comes to our son. It gets me away from it for a time, and I get some perspective from writing, and reading.
My son is medicated- and was only medicated after two preschools, several doctors, a developmental evaluation, a trip to Children's, and a psychiatric evaluation. All of those things happened because I refused to medicate him, and refused to believe it would make a difference. It has.
I don't parent halfway, and I do want my children- who do not use the internet, do not sit in front of a TV and don't have unlimited access to anything.
You're entitled to your opinion, but lumping all moms of special needs kids together is pretty unfair. There are a few that probably do dope up the kid- I'm not one of them. I don't want him doped, I want him functioning. For us, strict schedules, meds and therapy is the only way that happens. So, don't lump all of us together.