Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Sigh and a Humph

There's a danger in blogging.

While it's a fun way to keep track of the happenings in a family -- post pictures and/or write a blurb about what goes on -- and becomes a diary of sorts, it doesn't offer a realistic picture of the day-to-day events, including the emotions and triumphs and defeats.

Well, not unless you write about those, too.

But if you write too much about them, your blog becomes a drag, a veritable notepad of complaints...weighing down the readers with all the "blueness" you're feeling.


It's really a balancing act, knowing which details to include and which to keep hidden in the family's wall safe (...behind the photo in the living room, combination 45-92-17... Oops! Was that my "out-loud" typing?)

So you're stuck, really.

Write about too many happy events and you almost seem too perfect, creating feelings of inadequacy in others around you. Write about too many complaints, and your readers will want to find a hemlock tree...

The power of the pen. I learned about it while studying journalism in college...and later when I worked at the newspaper.

If you say that a person "refused" to comment, while it's his right to do so, it makes the people reading/hearing the story wonder what that person is hiding. If you say he "declined" to comment, people nod and say he (the speaker) must have felt it was necessary...it's his right after all. An odd difference in two words that mean exactly the same thing, which is (drumroll, please) the guy didn't talk.

So it goes with blogging.

As the blog writers, we can include anything we want to share...or keep out anything we don't want known.

For instance, while we might have had a fun time doing "XYZ," one of the kids might have had a meltdown before we left the house and another split open his lip on his way back to the car. While the included photos show smiling cherubs and sunny weather and the text surrounding them says a "fun time was had by all," the parents might have been battling about household chores or a big bill might have come due....who knows.

Only the writer.

To the reader, the world of the blogger is just peachy, perfect all the way down to the professionally-coiffed and impeccably-dressed little ones standing in a neat row.

It's a big responsibility...and one that I take very seriously. I know that my photos and posts make it seem like our family has "fun in the sun most of the time"...but that's simply not true...not that that wouldn't be fun...in the sun...

There are tons of posting styles, and I love and appreciate and read all of them. It's the true freedom of blogging.  I try to mix up my posts, keeping in mind that occasionally I need to "be real" and say what I'm thinking and feeling at that moment, even if it's not as positive as usual.

But I'll try to never make it a "sounding off" place. I might feel so strongly about something that I have to let it out, or I'll burst...but that's all I'll do. Just let it out. It's not meant to be offensive...just my brain at that moment.

And as my brain at this moment is a bit jumbled by thoughts and emotions, I'll end with "a sigh and a humph...parenting can be so hard sometimes."

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