“You’re blogging? What does that mean? Why?”
Like many bloggers, I’ve gotten this question a lot. I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve justified it in my head (as well as to my husband) a lot.
It’s not exactly the most direct career path from teacher/academic to blogging about parenting. Whenever anyone comments on the fact that I was in a doctoral program, the most response is always, “So after that you’ll teach at a university?”
That’s what most of my classmates have done. And I could see myself doing that. Eventually. Or returning to research.
Until then, here’s why I’m blogging: (And this will be helpful for me. Whenever anyone looks at me quizzically after I answer the “What will you do next?”, I can refer them to this post.)
1. I’m a mother.
2. I’m a writer.
3. I have a lot of interests.
First, I blog because I’m a mom. It’s a crazy world of parenting out there. When my son was born and had a few health issues (reflux, allergies, breastfeeding problems), I first turned to my parenting books. They were not helpful so I went online. This was my first exposure to parenting blogs. I saw that no matter what your parenting concern or reason to need support, it’s out there. Immediately, I joined groups for babies with sleep issues, babies with reflux, allergies.
Beyond the advice and emotional support, I discovered something else that troubled me: moms can be mean, competitive, and very ill-informed. I found myself on websites having arguments and trying to give evidence-based advice to mothers who would condemn mothers for all sorts of things: sleep training their babies, stopping breastfeeding, starting solids too late. There is an endless supply of reasons to judge other parents. And I blog because I want to help parents make sense of the craziness in my own small way.
Second, I blog because I’m a writer. I’ve known that since I was in elementary school and begged my parents to let me take a creative writing and bookmaking class. (I ended up writing a knock off of the Incredible Journey, but I made a great cover.) I’ve written stories since I was young enough to write at all. Writing was my passion in high school, when I wrote a novel as part of a fiction-writing group and when I was a news editor for the newspaper. Throughout college, I was a reporter for my local paper, and I loved it.
My favorite part of teaching was watching kids learn how to make the writing process work for them. I’ve had several different “jobs” — research assistant, graduate student, teacher, curriculum coordinator, editorial assistant, reporter — but writing is the part of every job that I have loved the most.
I also blog because my interests can’t neatly conform into a certain box. I am passionate about parenting, fiction, sociology, education, friendship… It’s not an accident that I nearly had to make up my own doctoral program from scratch because I wanted to choose courses from so many different disciplines.
And blogging also encourages you to do that. I love how I’ve formed relationships with bloggers of all types, and I learn from them every single day. I am blogging “friends” with a group of scientists and journalists called the Carnival of Evidence-Based Parenting. I also belong to mommy blogger support networks of all types, and I love it. Stephanie Sprenger and I collaborate daily — and I learn so much from her — on The HerStories Project: Tales of Finding Support, Staying Sane, and Reinventing Yourself During New Motherhood. I love the diversity of experience and writing style out there.
I am so grateful to be doing something that allows me to read the latest scientific journal article and critique it, but then ten minutes later I will read a beautiful essay on female friendship and write to Stephanie Sprenger about our new motherhood and friendship project. A few minutes after that I can write about how kids learn and have great discussions with other education writers about that.
We all have different reasons to blog. What I love is that there’s space for everyone and for all of us to find a niche for ourselves (or several different niches!).
Why do you blog?
Hook up with the ladies from FTSF and tell all of us why!