Sometimes I struggle to find a voice for some of the issues I come up against as a parent.
It’s hard to put your thoughts into words at the best of times. But sometimes I get stuck in a box when I sit down to write here on my blog, about parenting or otherwise. (No, not a real box — a metaphorical one. It’s not like we ordered a freezer and someone put my laptop in the leftover cardboard.)
I sit down to write and generally speaking I run into any combination of four walls.
The first wall I come up against is what I think are my readers’ expectations. Readership comes and goes in waves, mostly with the waxing and waning of phases of my life. Infertility brought in lots of readers, and once that phase was over they wandered off to another corner of the internet. They were replaced with adoption readers, who, interestingly, tend to lose interest once their own adoptions are completed. And now, as a parent — which in terms of bloggers is, like, EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET — I find I have nothing useful to say. So I don’t know, really, what to write about these days, and as I don’t have any enlightening or informative takes on parenting, I haven’t got much to appeal to an audience that doesn’t know my little family well.
When I do have things to write about, the second wall gets in the way — and that’s caused by privacy concerns. Often times, when I am writing about parenting and struggles we’re having, it means writing about something that is not just my issue but my child’s as well. And I wonder, sometimes, if it’s my place to put Stinkerbelle’s issues and challenges out there without her permission. Not that a four-year-old really knows nor cares about what I write on the internet — the point is that one day, she will. And she may not appreciate it being out there. So I am struggling with trying to respect her privacy while still expressing my own thoughts, feelings, and issues.
The third wall is around adoption. I belong to communities of other adoptive parents and read others’ blogs, and I try to keep current on various issues around adoption and multiracial families. And I find it intimidating to post with all that in mind. Because honestly? Our struggles are not the norm, in that they are really NOT about any of those things. We haven’t had issues around race or loss or cultural identity or even the usual parasite-and-fungus problems. We have none of that stuff going on. None at all. And I feel like I’m doing something wrong, failing on the adoptive parent front, because I have nothing to say on any of the hot-button issues so many adoptive parents struggle with. And those that I do have are so minor they don’t bear putting in print.
The last wall is one of parenting, and what to say in that arena. Which is… nothing, really. The internet is peopled with enough mommy blogs to last a lifetime, and I really have nothing insightful or revolutionary or informative to say. I don’t set myself up as some sort of parenting expert; I don’t have any expertise beyond just getting through the day-to-day. And even in that realm, I experience the grand parenting fails of too much TV and not enough vegetables and losing my temper way, way too much.
So I sit down to write and wonder… about what, exactly?
The good thing is that none of these things are permanent. All these states are fluid. At some point, these walls will crumble, or suddenly develop a window with a nice view, or disappear completely. And maybe throw new walls up in their wake. The trick is dealing with the ones I have now and continuing to express myself and not letting my blog die completely.
I’ve been here before, in the eight-ish years I have been blogging. Life changes and you adapt and suddenly there are more things to write about and different people come to read.
For now, the walls are a bit confining. Maybe I’ll find something in the quiet space between them.