Well, it appears that I have been being a bad mommy for a while now, so I guess I should just deal and move on. As Dooce writes to her daughter,
"But I guess there are some people who are very uncomfortable with the fact that I and many other women are writing about our children on our websites. How dare we violate your privacy like this, how dare we endanger you like this...Will you resent me for this website? Absolutely. And I have spent hours and days and months of my life considering this, weighing your resentment against the good that can come from being open and honest about what it's like to be your mother, the good for you, the good for me, and the good for other women who read what I write here and walk away feeling less alone. And I have every reason to believe that one day you will look at the thousands of pages I have written about my love for you, the thousands of pages other women have written about their own children, and you're going to be so proud that we were brave enough to do this. We are an army of educated mothers who have finally stood up and said pay attention, this is important work, this is hard, frustrating work and we're not going to sit around on our hands waiting for permission to do so. We have declared that our voices matter...Finally, I've seen it suggested in my inbox and by various critics online that what we do on our websites is egotistical and exploitative. Some even refer to it as child abuse. I know I am not alone when I say that when I sit down to update my website I do it to connect with other people, I do it to reflect on the absurdity of everyday life with the hope that the people who read it will find similarities in their own routine. I did not know that wanting to be a part of a community qualified as egotism."
Seriously? Seriously. I'm with her and with the authors of many of the other mommy blogs I read, almost all of which are written by hyperverbal, thoughtful women trying to do the best they can as (new) mothers and "talk" about it with other adults as they do so. I'm sure we all have different reasons for blogging about our children, some of which Dooce points out. Some of my reasons include updating family and keeping in touch with far-flung friends but perhaps my main reason is one that lies unstated in her post: to stay sane.
One of my local mother friends said recently you can only play (My Little) Ponies for so long before you go insane. And the same goes for Peek-a-Boo or The Wheels on the Bus or changing diapers or making bottles or doing anything else we do more or less alone for the whole day, cute little bundles of joy notwithstanding. You have to do something else, anything else, and if that something happens to exercise your brain the process, so much the better. My drug of choice used to be television, exclusively. But I actually think blogging is healthier for me and baby (if a tad more narcissistic, I'll admit). I feel, as Dooce points out, connected to the world around me, I'm doing something productive and not passive with my time, and I'm chronicling, in much more detail than any diary would ever get from me, the vicissitudes of Jacob's early life (and my mid-life). Will some of this embarrass him in the future? Most definitely. Will I be proud to have provided the raw material for that embarrassment? You better believe it! Child abuse? I think not. Dedication to child and self at the same time? More accurate, certainly.