As Sarah mentioned in her intro to this month’s PAIL Monthly Theme, usually blogging about blogging is something I try to avoid, because it can be pretty boring and redundant. However, the question of WHY DO I BLOG? is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, so here goes nothing!
- Did you start blogging before, during, or after your journey though infertility/loss/adoption?
As a background for those of you who are newer readers, I started blogging just over four years ago on my public family blog thinking I’d document my soon-to-be pregnancy & bambino. My family members all live 1,000+ miles away from me, and I thought it’d be a great way to stay in touch as our family grew. Well, that blog sat mostly dormant for the next 2.5 years.
Almost four years ago I started this blog, and it was mostly about my love of beer, jagermeister and cheese… and how binge eating and drinking those loves was starting to affect my health. I really wanted to be pregnant, and I was worried my borderline high BMI (25.8) was the reason we weren’t conceiving. Slowly but surely over the next year or so, the blog turned into more of a fitness / Infertility blog as I worked on getting healthy (I lost 20#!) and started to search out other people who understood what I was feeling and going through.
- Why did you start blogging? What has kept you blogging?
I started blogging anonymously because I wanted a safe place to write about my feelings about my eating disorder struggles and to “get it all out there” so to speak (so why not choose the world wide web, right?). As I connected with other bloggers, I realized there was an entire world of amazing people out there who I felt connected to in a way I have rarely found IRL. The women I have met online have honestly turned into some of my closest friends. Pre-blogging, I would have thought that was crazy, but here I am — a normal person with normal IRL friends — but also with a cache of amazing URL friends (many of whom I’ve now hung out with in real life) who are there for me on Twitter at 2am or via my blog when I need reassurance or advice or anything else! I feel very blessed to have found such an amazing circle of women through blogging.
- When you became a parent did you transition your blog or start a new space? What were your reasons for doing so? How do you feel about your decision now?
- Have you ever felt pressure to blog about certain things and not others? What influences your writing, if anything?
I chose to stay at my current space when Stella was born. At the heart of it all, I write in this space for me, and I get it if you’re not in the right head space to read about my pregnancy or parenting struggles while you’re still TTC. You are always free to unfollow or click away. At the same time, I think it’s important to be honest that pregnancy and parenting aren’t all sunshine and rainbows, and that it’s okay to struggle sometimes. I’m glad I never transitioned to a new space because this is my home. Maybe I feel differently about this than others because this space was never all about IF and was started pre-IF, but I’m glad that My Cheap Version of Therapy is still exactly that for me. There are times I’ve hesitated to write certain posts for fear of offending someone, but for the most part I’ve gotten over that, because like I just mentioned, this is my space! If you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. Let’s agree to disagree. 🙂
- What did you hope to achieve by blogging? Do you feel that you have done this?
This space had nothing to do with other people and everything to do with me when I started it. Now, it’s more of a mix of both. I feel very strongly that education and self-advocacy are hugely important when it comes to one’s reproductive health, and that pregnancy and child-rearing are wholly integrated with that. If I can help educate people about the cost of TTC treatments, their choices when it comes to pre-natal testing and procedures, their choices when it comes to birth, HypnoBabies, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, sleep, baby led weaning, etc… then awesome. I’m not an expert in any of these things by any means, but I do love to research and share any knowledge I’ve gained through my own history of trial and error.
- Why is blogging important to you NOW?
Honestly, at this point, it’s about continuing to connect with the other women I’ve met through the blogging world. I love sharing the knowledge I’ve gained, and I’d like to think it helps others in some small way to read all of my long-winded research posts. At the same point, I’m struggling with where to go from here. At some point (I’m not sure when), I’d like to quit posting so much about Stella. I’ve already transitioned to writing more about her on my family blog than here, but even that will change eventually I suppose. I haven’t quite figured out where that “line in the sand” is for me, but at some point they become more of her stories to tell instead of my stories about her. I don’t know if that means I lock my blogs down to private/password only or what, but it’s definitely on my mind. I am not worried that a picture of her smiling cutely in a cowboy hat is going to somehow come back and haunt her in her job search days, but there is a modicum of concern about what is okay/appropriate to share about her.
- What value do you see in blogging the “after”?
The struggles we will face in life don’t end just because we got that elusive baby in our arms, and that is a huge part of why I kept blogging (and in this same space) post-TTC. Lately I have felt myself pulling back from blogging and social media as a whole – maybe because of time constraints, maybe because I’m healing and moving on, maybe because of both…I don’t know. I do know that this blog has been integral in keeping me sane during the past 3 years, and for that reason I am eternally grateful to have turned to my computer one lonely day and started typing.
Great post! I totally get the hesitation to post for fear of offending others, but I, for one, have disagreed with you in rare occurrences, but have never once felt offended by the way you write or what you wrote about. How are we supposed to learn anything if we only associate (online OR in real life) with people who are just like us? Although, in a lot of ways, it does seem like we are very similar haha. Anyway, I’m glad you blog and am honored to be able to hear your stories.
I wonder the same thing – when do Matthew’s stories become his to tell?
I love your perspective and research, and appreciate your sharing them, even when I don’t see things the same way. I like how your blog has evolved!
I have also pulled back from sharing my daughter’s stories. I’m even password protecting her pictures after a few days, to try to give her some privacy later in life. I actually find it’s pretty easy for me to move away from writing about her as my blog has always been more about me. I’m self-obsessed in that way. 😉
I think I am most interested in hearing how people started their blogs. The reasons people keep writing are generally pretty similar but the reasons they started are all so unique. And since I almost always start reading a good deal AFTER they started writing, a lot of times I’ve missed out on why they started in the first place. I’m really excited to read all about why every started–and continue–to blog. A great theme for this month!
I have always appreciated your candor here on your blog and your ability to write about things in a way that is mostly informative and rarely judgey. That’s something unique, I think. Perhaps it comes down to you claiming this space as your own and feeling free to be yourself when in your own house. I hope you stick around this place for a while yet.
There’s a big recurring theme I’m seeing in these sort of posts (and I’m including older posts I’ve seen on the topic, not just the current PAIL Monthly Theme Posts) where women who blogged intensely about TTC, infertility, and pregnancy jumped right in blogging hard about early parenting, and then, even if they managed to keep up the pace, started to flounder a bit in blog identity when it came to their toddlers. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that around the same time toddlers start to express themselves, assert themselves, whatever you want to call it when they are suddenly not “babies” but “small people”, that we go “oh… hmm… how much of this person do I want to put here, in my public space that used to be only about MY feelings and emotions and experiences?” Sometimes it’s a privacy issue on behalf of the kid, sometimes it’s a “who am I besides a mom?” issue, sometimes it’s both, but it seems to happen to a lot of us. Just interesting to me, and something I’ve had on my mind a lot lately 🙂
This comment gave me a lot to think about too!:)
yes yes yes – I’ve struggled since getting pregnant with how much of my little fox’s stories are okay to share with the internetz – its one thing for me to put myself out there, but it felt strange to share his most personal details without it being his choice. Our lives are so intermeshed that it was hard to figure out what part of the story was mine and what parts were his- and in all honesty, much of the story belongs to us both.
btw -I’ve always loved the title of your blog – I spent inordinate amounts of money on a therapist who kept me functioning during the darkest parts of our infertility journey, but it was writing that really helped me find the support I needed – and it was WAY cheaper!
You were one of the first blogs I ever read, and I believe the first I ever officially followed (after months of actually following before figuring it all out) and you were the first person to follow mine and give me a chance. I fell inlove with your blog for your honesty and ability to talk about whatever you felt and what you believed in. I have loved getting to know you through this space over the past couple of years and hope you stick around for a long long time to come!!
I didn’t realize/remember that I was the 1st person to follow you! Kinda cool. 🙂
[…] My Cheap Version of Therapy tells us that “Things change over the years, but my goal is that my space will continue to evolve with me and continue to be “my cheap version of […]
One of the things I have always appreciated about your blog (and you, obviously) is that it has always been about a variety of things. Moreover, I have always admired your “this is what I think, and I’d like to hear what you think too – let’s talk” attitude. When I first started reading your blog, I never dreamed we would have the relationship we have today. Never emailed somebody so much in my life! Thank you for being someone I can look up to, someone I can lean on, someone I can send pictures of myself drinking in the bathroom to. I shall always be in your debt.
[…] proud of all of the information I included in that post – check it out! I also touched on why I continue to blog — the reasons have definitely changed over […]