How many blog posts have I began by apologizing for not blogging? I’ve lost track. I do this with my paper journal too — “Sorry for not writing!” — as though there’s someone on the other end of that notebook, reading my circular thinking, keeping score during my bouts of silence.
I started this blog with a lot of ideal hopes: I’d write candidly about motherhood, but also would record “tips” that would surely help other moms somewhere. I’d write out her sleep schedule! Maybe one day I’d take pictures of cute lunches! And family Halloween costumes! And and and!
Anyway, I sort of did it for a while, but after a bit, I fell into a pattern of writing the same things over and over, waxing nostalgic about memories as I was living them, conjuring up a dozen variations of a singular thought. Sometimes I write long posts on Instagram about motherhood, thinking that I’m being open and honest, when really I’m just finding yet another way of articulating the same old fear of What if I’m not doing this part right? What if I look back and feel sad? What if I’m not appreciating it enough? What if I have regrets? In all of these posts, I’m looking everywhere — forward, back, ahead, behind — but never at right now.
In part, it’s why I stopped writing in here. I felt like I had nothing new to say, nothing additional to add to the internet discourse surrounding motherhood. It’s hard. It’s scary. It’s rewarding. It’s lonely. It’s beautiful. It’s contradictions — I’ve said all of this before. I started to bore myself, so I stopped writing about it.
Of course, I’ve been writing. My job is to write. But the funny thing is: the more I write online for work, the less I write about my life. And who knows, maybe that’s for the best, maybe that’s healthiest, maybe we shouldn’t be sharing every piece of our personal lives on the internet; maybe all this over-sharing convinces us that if we’re not posting about it, we’re not living it.
At the same time, I’ve always liked documenting things that happen to me. I like being able to say: I was here, I did this, I felt this way, at this moment in time. It’s why I wrote in a journal nearly every day since middle school; why I religiously updated my Livejournal in college as though it was homework. But the thing about trying to document motherhood is that your life narrows so much; it becomes so full of love but in such a focused and tiny way. There’s too much to say about it, and at the same time, there’s no combination of words that fit just right. I knew I could always document our daily activities, talk about going to Target or the library or the playground, but that’s probably not interesting to anyone. Instead, I tried writing about my feelings, but those emotions are on a loop, it’s the same waves of love and sadness and nostalgia and anxiety and that’s not interesting either.
But I do miss writing in this unfiltered way, even if no one reads it except 3-5 friends and family members who will read anything I share with them. I miss the lack of pressure, the ease with which I could churn out 1000 words and spin it into a memory, something tangible to re-read when I’m missing those moments later. I realize I could just put this all in my journal, but part of why I’ve always loved blogging is connecting with other people. As with any sort of writing, if you can make one person feel less alone — or feel seen — you’re doing something right.
I don’t want to promise to start blogging again because I’ll feel disappointed in myself if I don’t. This is one entry. It could be silent again for another six months, I don’t know. But, I’m going to try. I’m going to try to set aside time for cathartic writing, for documenting this chapter of my life, for being open and honest and pushing my thoughts out of circles and into lines that lead somewhere. I think, at the very least, I can promise myself that.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.