This blog has been so many things to me over the last 5+ years.
It has been a place to share our struggles, our triumphs, our challenges and our family’s silly stories. It has been a way to find and connect with people in the same place in their lives so that we could share our experiences and learn from each other. It has been a very important and valuable pillar of “my village” to help navigate this crazy roller coaster of parenting.
It has been fun. It has been frustrating. It has been informative and cathartic and inspiring.
It’s quite obvious that the last few months have been a slow decline to a different type of blogging and likely the beginning of a spiral that ends with not blogging at all. “Ending” the blog as been a decision I have put off many times, because there is a big part of me that loves to write, loves to read this type of writing from others and gets a lot of value out of the process of sharing and engaging with readers.
But in the end, I know in my heart that the right answer is that all good things have to come to an end, and now is the time for this good thing. It all boils down to three main reasons:
- The stories I want to tell don’t really feel like MY stories to tell anymore. When trying to get pregnant and throughout my pregnancies, the stories I told were mine. All mine. In the infant stages for both boys they were still 99% mine, as they were about how parenting had changed ME and the things that I thought about and how I dealt with them. But now that Owen is getting older, the stories are less about me and more about him, and little by little it doesn’t feel right to be sharing things with such a wide audience that he might not want shared one day.
In addition, as we enter the murky waters of deciphering if any of Owen’s behaviors are rooted in a more serious disorder (something I so wish I could write more about so I can work through my own thoughts and feelings and also get help from others who have gone through the same process), I am paralyzed by the fear of what those shrouded by the anonymity of the internet will say. And how someday, in some way, it could likely come back to Owen in his real life in a way I’m not comfortable with. As much as I wish I could go through this next phase of my parenting journey “learning out loud” and sharing my experiences, I don’t owe it to anyone to be the guinea pig or the spokeswoman for these issues, and I can clearly see how that could do harm to Owen down the road. And who knows what Emmett’s story will hold. Whereas I could take the criticism in the past of my own actions in the past, I’m not willing to put my children in the same position to read hurtful and inaccurate comments about themselves at some point in the future.
Speaking of hurtful and inaccurate comments…
- While I have always recognized that “putting myself out there” was opening myself up to criticism, I honestly hadn’t realized until recently just how crazy and ugly and obsessive and false that criticism could be. Sure, I watch E! news and see filthy stories about celebs displayed all over the media, but I never considered that someone would single me out as a focus for their rage. I’m just a person with a normal, busy life who posts pictures and some journal-y blog posts on the internet to connect with people. Though I know I’ve touched on some hot-button parenting issues and never expected everyone to agree with me all the time, I also certainly never expected to be on the receiving end of hate-filled rants, personal tirades and completely inaccurate claims about my marriage and my relationship with my children.
Clearly I was too naive.
I have been struggling with allowing these ridiculous comments to be part of my decision to stop blogging, because it kills me to let mean words from complete strangers “win”. But when it comes down to it, I’m writing this blog for me and my family. And when it doesn’t make me and my family feel good anymore? It’s not worth doing. And, frankly, those horrible claims and nasty words say far more about the writers than they do about me. I have a real life brimming with love, two amazing kids who I adore, a satisfying and growing career and a strong relationship with my best friend and parenting partner. It doesn’t get much better than that.I’m certain I got the better deal here, despite what you may read on the internet about me.
- Time. Time is short, my friends. My kids are changing before my eyes. Our weeks are already impacted by the hours that Benjamin and I are at work, and as work ramps up for me with no signs up stopping, having one less thing that I feel like I need to do in front of the computer can make a huge difference. As much as I value this space; this isn’t real life. I’m anxious to spend more time writing snail mail and having drinks with friends and making phone calls to people I haven’t talked to in a while than sitting in front of a computer screen writing to nobody, really. Cliche but true.
So as Emmett turns 1 today it feels like a perfect time to say “Goodbye” to you, and “Hello” to our next chapter as a family of two walking, talking, climbing, squealing, hilarious boys who are busy creating stories of their own that aren’t mine to tell.
I’ll still write them letters as they grow, and maybe even continue to keep a journal of our happy, beach-filled summer days and silly stories. But it will be just for us.
Thank you to those who have read, commented, emailed, tweeted and otherwise supported me and our family throughout the last 5 1/2 years, both virtually and beyond. You have been a very important part of our lives.