Last June, I was at home with a newborn. She was six weeks old and spent all her time (ALL her time) either sleeping, nursing, or crying. Last June, I made 25 entries in this blog.
This June, I was a working mom with a toddler. I don't know how my daughter spends all her time, because I'm not there for most of it. Sometimes, I see her for five or ten minutes in the morning. I almost always get to see her for a couple of hours between work and bedtime. And on the weekends, of course, sometimes slotted in between Social Obligations and Travel and Chores and Grocery Shopping and Yoga Class and all the other things one has to get done on weekends. This June, I made 11 entries in this blog.
Even typing out the above two paragraphs has given me a bit of perspective as to what's happening life-wise. June 2008 was all about how Gwen spent her time, because I had *nothing* going on that wasn't centred on her. June 2009 was all about how I spent my time, because the majority of that time is spent on non-Gwen-related pursuits. Is it any wonder the blogging has ground to a halt?
I started this blog as my inner voice, when I first found out I was pregnant. I didn't tell anyone about it, not even my best friend or my husband, for a couple of months. I wanted to chronicle the pregnancy in a semi-anonymous way; I wanted those who read it to do so because they found the writings interesting or relevant to themselves (i.e., they were also pregnant or hoping to be), not because they were my friends and felt obligated to read. Eventually I spilled the secret and invited my friends to read if they wished. Shortly after Gwen was born, my parents found the blog. They showed it to other family members. Now I even export my posts to Facebook.
It's a weird paradox, this bloggy thing. I don't consciously write posts with my family and friends in mind, thinking "I'd better make a post so Grannie can see these adorable pictures!", but at the same time the fact that they do read is always in the back of my mind. Knowing that the majority of my readers are people I know, I take shortcuts. I don't work as hard as I could on my posts; don't explain background information to ensure that each story stands on its own. At its worst, this blog is little more than a substitute for a mass email. At its best ... well, I don't know. I think that's what I need to figure out. What do I want from this little space on the web I have claimed as mine, and my daughter's?
1. A chronicle of Gwen's life and times - that was always the goal, and I think I am accomplishing that fairly well.
2. A place to reach out to other parents - I think that if ever people stumbled across this blog, it would do adequately at this task. I probably need to work harder at getting people to stumble over here, though.
3. A place where I can improve my writing skills - this doesn't work if I don't write.
I tend to get kind of lethargic and unmotivated whenever I see other blogs that are highly entertaining and/or moving. I think, "I can't write like that (because of this flimsy excuse here), so I just shouldn't bother." Sometimes I feel like I've painted myself into a corner by making this so definitively a mommy blog. Many of the bloggers I most admire - Emily, Linda, Heather, Amy - were bloggers before they became mommies, and continue to write about subjects as rich and varied as life is: work, relationships, home renovation, fitness goals, personal ambitions, experiences with the medical profession, ridiculously funny critiques of what's on television these days, and, you know, the hidden life of deodorant, to name a few. I write about Gwen, and as great as that is, it's only a piece of my life - for better or worse, not even the biggest piece, these days - so when there's no Gwen-blogging, there's no blogging at all. And while I don't know exactly what I do want, I know I don't want that.
It seems clear to me that in order to improve this blog, I need to write more. And in order to write more, I need to expand my horizons and flesh this blog out a little more. How to do that, I'm not entirely sure. Hopefully it will be at least somewhat amusing for all of us as I work on figuring it out.