Recently, Melissa at Dear Baby posted on why she blogs. She has a huge following that easily numbers in the thousands. Her post was partially about sponsorships and what she and her family gain from it. However, her main point was that the sponsorships don't matter, that her blog is more about remembering the journey she and her husband are on as they raise their two babies. I think she also handles the sponsorship aspect with a grace so many other bloggers lack.
Now I certainly don't have any sponsors, so this makes no money for me. I don't have a following (actually, not true, I have nine official followers -- woo hoo-- and at least a few other family members who I know check in regularly). I don't know that I even would want a larger following. I don't know how I would juggle the nasty comments that are sometimes hurled in the virtual faces of women like Melissa. I'd probably cry and then get out my thesaurus and write an excellently worded reply dripping with disdain and sarcasm; after all the pen is mightier than the sword, right?
All of this aside, her post got me thinking. Why do I do this? What does it matter?
There is no simple answer.
I like to write. It is the only creative outlet I have that I am actually good at. I draw excellent stick figures, crafting has never been my thing and I own three scrapbooks only one of which I made; the other two were gifts. College afforded me ample opportunity to write (and write and write). After reading a particularly engaging book, I still find myself composing papers in my head, crafting thesis statements, building arguments and sometimes even doing a little light internet research. (Nerd. On. Right?) This blog provides an outlet for that.
First, this was a blog born of a desire to chronicle our first time being pregnant. You only get to have that first time pregnancy experience once, all of the pain and the wonder of making a child, and every day is something new. I thought I would let it go by the wayside after Evie was born. However, I found I had family members and friends sending me emails and text messages asking when I was going to update. Then I thought, I made my pregnancy public for anyone and everyone to see, so why not our adventures in parenthood. So I do it for that. A little labor of love for my family now and hopefully something special for Evie to read anytime she begins to doubt herself or just needs a reminder of how loved and special she is. A book of thoughts her mother tried to express in every hug, kiss and smile, but just wanted to put in words so she could one day see. Most importantly though, I want to remember all of this.
I want to remember how horrible I felt battling PPD. I want to remember how hard I had to fight to get out of that and to look back at how I felt and see how far Evie and I have come. I want to remember what it felt like the first time my child smiled at me and I felt joy instead of sadness and confusion, that was the day I finally felt like I could do this whole mom thing. I want to remember the hard times in case I have to deal with it again, so I can recall what it felt like on the day I finally beat it back, the cloud passed, the sun broke through and how that single moment made it all worth it.
I want to remember the love that is so palpable during our nighttime routine, the way it feels to stand with my husband's arms wrapped tight around me, while we watch this beautiful thing we somehow created sleep. I don't want to forget how I think my heart will overflow from happiness and then I see Chris and Evie laughing at each other and instead it simply stretches and makes room for all that joy. I want to remember how Evie's face breaks into a beautiful smile every morning when I wake her up and the way my stomach got butterflies the first (and only) time she sort-of laughed. I want to remember thinking almost every day that they had it wrong in Highschool and in college, that in fact THESE are the very best days of my life, full of life and happiness, love and laughter.
We've come so far. I want to remember our journey.
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words, how wonderful life is while you're in the world.