“What am I doing?”
It’s a question I mumble to myself throughout the day, after I find myself mindlessly putting the milk in the cabinet, or re-snapping the baby’s onesie without first having put on a clean diaper.
More than parenting snafus, it’s one of the many questions my husband and I ponder regularly when trying to make giant, life-altering decisions, while we both navigate and attempt to avoid the rat race we currently find ourselves in. Where should we live? What should we do? What are we doing?
More recently, it’s been a question that pounds in my head with every tap of my keyboard, as I sit and write out things for my blog. With so much on my plate, finding time to write has been hard, but more than that, I constantly question what the purpose of my writing is. What am I trying to say?
A few weeks ago, a fellow blogger went on a now super-viral tirade that said, in essence, all mommy bloggers suck, and nothing we say has any value because it’s all sunshine and rainbows and lies.
This struck a chord, and the already dull ringing of constantly questioning myself bloomed into a full on clock-tower-at-noon sort of chiming. What am I doing?
Some of you may already know this, but (thanks to my writing) I have a job. This job requires me to scour the webs, looking for content to share with the eager, kind, and interactive fans of another much bigger site. I read SO. MANY. BLOGS. Every day, I read through story after story, looking for things that tug at my heart or make me laugh, things that teach me something, or make me nod in agreement as I silently mouth the words “YAAAAASSSSS GIRL!”
Sometimes I read something that seems insincere, or something that seems falsely inflated. But most of the time what I read is pure gold, pulled word by word from the heart, and woven into a story that in the end, more often than not, spells out the same message: You are not alone.
It doesn’t matter what the topic of conversation is, from conceiving or birthing troubles, to body image and toddler drama, and everything in between, the message is almost always the same. You are not alone. We have all been there. You will get through this.
And equally as unifying are the comments. “I needed this today” and “Thanks for sharing this, I didn’t know anyone else felt this way,” show up in just about every single thread generated from these posts.
With each one of these comments, the ringing in my ears becomes a little less, as I talk myself down from quitting blogging once again, and instead try to shift my focus to answering my question.
What am I doing? What are we, as “mommy bloggers” (or just bloggers, really) doing with our words and our stories?
The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes. We are throwing a lifeline, made out of tiny little strung together words, a rope anyone can grab and use to pull themselves up. We are leaving out a string of twinkle lights to follow through the choking fog they may find themselves in. We are sending up smoke signals, and graffitiing the walls, and shouting from the rooftops, and flying those planes that write messages in the sky, just to make sure everyone gets the message: You are not alone.
You are not alone with your fussy newborn, or your frustration and confusion. You are not alone with your miscarriages, abortions, or empty womb. You are not alone with your longing, your anxiety or your depression. You are not alone in your deepest darkest sorrows, or in your unparalleled joys.
We are spreading the word. And hot damn, does it feel good.
I may not know what I am doing when I put the milk in the cabinet, or what my husband and I are doing big picture with our life choices. I may not know what I am doing as a parent, or an owner of a fancy plant that seems intent on dying. But with every post I read, and a few of the posts I’ve written myself, what I’m doing as a blogger gets a little more clear.
We are messengers and story-tellers. We are weavers. We are glue. We are builders and maintainers of a beautiful community. And there is immense value in what we do.