I’m only a short distance into my blogging adventure and I’m realizing something very quickly… I don’t fit in here. Parenting blogs exist to show you how to succeed. They’re shiny, pretty, organized… they are filled with mothers just like us…doing their best. They deal with messy kids, hungry families, work, relationships, moves, all that stuff, and yet, somehow they manage to succeed. Mommy blogs exist on the hopes that we can learn from the masters and bring some of that stability into our lives.
And you know what? Sometimes it works! Jeez, you never know unless you try, and there’s a really good chance that your veggie hating kid will love that cauliflower mac and cheese.
That said, my parenting life is a bit different. The house is always chaos (yeah, I know, even the best mommy bloggers have their bad days), but there are some days I can’t even get myself out of bed. I live with bipolar disorder (and thus, bipolar depression), so on my bad days, the weight is physical. This means I can’t get out of bed to eat, shower, brush my teeth, let alone play with my kids.
When I look at most parenting blogs and I’m instantly hit with panic. There’s a realization that it doesn’t matter if my son would love that mac and cheese, I’ll never have the energy to make it.
So it begs the question:
Where Do I Fit in “Mommy Blog Land”?
I told some friends I was thinking about starting a parenting, or mommy, blog and they laughed. Admittedly, I don’t seem like the type. Anyone who knows me knows that it took me years (not weeks, not months, but YEARS) to even come close to loving my daughter. I have struggled my whole life with creating meaningful connections with people and parenting is no different. In the world of parenting experts, I’m probably one of the least qualified.
And yet, after the laughter subsided, every single one of them told me to go for it.
After all, there aren’t a lot of us about.
And no, the “us” I’m talking about isn’t the depressed or struggling or “failing” parent. There are tons of those. We all struggle in our own ways with the joy of parenting. Almost every new parent has to learn to live with a sink full of dishes, no makeup, and spit up on almost everything. They do it with little sleep, no sleep, alone, with absent partners, or even with a family full of help. Frankly, it doesn’t matter how well off you are in terms of money or support, parenting is hard work and we all suffer.
No, the “us” I was talking about is the mommy blogger living in a world of chronic mental illness. Because, believe it or not, we’re there. And there’s a special layer of guilt that goes with seeing all those wonderful pins for homemade play dough, and knowing you don’t even have the energy to pull out the store bought neon colored crap out of the drawer. Yeah, it’s not that hard, but if you pull it out, it’ll be everywhere and then you’ll have to clean it up….or let the dog clean it up….or just walk on those nasty dry crumbles for weeks. Long story short: you’re not getting the play dough, kids. Go find a different toy.
I’m left to ask myself again:
Where do we fit in mommy blog land?
And the only answer I can come up with is….well, right here, I suppose. After all, we’re parents, too. Even if it looks a little (or a lot) different, we’re all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. Right now, for me, that’s writing upstairs in my room while the kids entertain themselves. If I find the strength for it, I’ll pull out my computer and play a video game for my daughter. If I’m really lucky, I’ll be able to come downstairs for dinner with everyone else, but that always depends. Some nights I won’t see either of them until they come upstairs to give me a hug and a kiss before bed.
Like I said, it’s different. We’re all parenting together here and we’re all doing our best, but sometimes what works for others won’t work for the rest. I’m here, and I’m going to stick around. Because maybe what I have to share will help you.
Maybe not. Maybe you’re looking for the mac and cheese.