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the mommyhood memos: this is why i write

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

this is why i write



About a year ago I started a blog for my son called “Letters for Levi”. That day was one of the absolute best days of my life – the day we found out he had been conceived. (Actually, it was first called “The Miracle Has Begun” but I changed it after we had decided on a name for him.)

Writing to Levi was a way for me to record some of the journey and things that I thought he might be interested in knowing later on down the track. It was—and is—as much for me as it is for him. I needed a place to record my thoughts and feelings and begin giving expression to this most beautiful love that was multiplying within me – that of a parent. And also, no doubt, I would need to record as I went, because with time feelings and milestones inevitably fade and memories become blurry.

I wrote every few weeks, posted photos of him growing in my belly, and shared about his birth.

Now that he’s on the “outside” I continue to write monthly letters to him including his developmental milestones and a few photos of how he’s growing and changing. It’s really just a “baby book” that happens to be online (where I don’t have to worry about losing it... and I don’t have to try and write in neat hand-writing).

I never wrote it for anyone other than my son and my husband and I to read. There’s no secrets revealed there – it’s not “private” in that sense. (I do realize this is the world wide web we’re talking about.) But like I said, it was only ever intended for my precious son.

That being said, you can imagine that I was surprised when a few people found it, began following it, and even left comments. To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to do with that. I purposely haven’t shown the followers, and I still haven’t moderated those comments waiting to be published... Because in reality I’m just not sure that I want strangers (as absolutely lovely as they are) to comment on letters that I’ve written to my boy.

But it did get me thinking... I love to write, I’m entering a whole new phase of life, and I wouldn’t mind sharing that with others. In fact, I thought it could be really good for me on a lot of levels.

Hence, the Mommyhood Memos was born.

The Mommyhood Memos is my place to be public. This is my place to share about the funny things and the touching things that happen in my own life as a mommy, as well as to share practically about what I’m learning.

I began writing posts for this blog a few months ago after my son was born, but I wanted to build it up with a few posts before I went “public” with the url on Mothers Day. So in reality, I’ve been a mommy-blogger for about a month now.

I guess I’ve been taken-aback with how it’s going so far. In less than three weeks I had over 1,100 visits and over 2,500 page views – something I still think is crazy. (I’m glad—and flattered—but also confounded by this.) I don’t share these numbers to boast in any way, I’m sharing this to say that I’ve been side-swiped with the response to this blog in such a short period of time.

It’s encouraging and I’m having a great time.

But you must know that I literally started this blog because I love to write and I needed a creative outlet as I shifted into my new role as a stay at home (mostly) mom. I never intended to pursue blogging as a business or anything more than a hobby to have some fun and as a way to get me into the discipline of writing. (Since writing is something I intend to pursue more seriously in the future.)

I’ve been surprised to already have a few offers to do give-aways and reviews, but haven’t done any of them yet because, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure what that really meant and where that would make me headed. Not that I’m against it... I’ve just been unsure of the implications that it would bring to this blog and I’m still thinking it through. (And to be honest I've also thought, "Ok, what's the catch here?")

My husband thinks I’m over-thinking and should just go for it (the give-away thing). I probably will... because my most recent offer to host a give-away is actually for a product that I really do love (and that’s important to me). I don’t just want to endorse something for the sake of it. I will only promote something if I honestly think it worth-while and would be a win-win-win situation for me, the company, and my readers. So yeah, I guess that means I’m going to be selective. I don’t want this blog to morph into something it was never meant for. First and foremost, it's a place for me to write.

Why am I telling you this, dear mommy-friends?

Honestly, I don’t expect many people to read this post. And that’s totally fine. But I’m writing this post while the Mommyhood Memos is still in its infancy (yes, stupid pun intended) and while my original intent remains fresh in my mind. It's my little declaration and reminder to myself for later on down the track.

But I guess I also just want it “out there” that the Mommyhood Memos is my hobby; it’s not my business. Writing is fun for me. It’s personal in that I get to have a creative outlet and get to practice the discipline of writing. But it’s not a competition and it’s certainly not a money-making endeavor. (Though my hubs again would say, “Why not?!” *smile* And maybe that will change someday... if I've got good enough reasons.)

Sure, I want to get readers (any art form needs to be expressed before an audience for it to be validated – all artists know that), but I’m not going to pursue getting readers at all costs. I have a life that happens outside of the internet! (And you can appreciate that... because you do too.)

So, this is my “Declaration of Purpose” (if you want to call it that) about the Mommyhood Memos. This is why I’m writing, and why I’m not.

Maybe you don’t really care to know—and that’s great—but I care to tell. Firstly, because I like to be understood (don’t we all?). But also secondly, because I’m seeing how fast this is already growing (to my surprise and delight) and I want to be accountable to why this all started in the first place.

All that to say, thanks for following and reading the Mommyhood Memos. Thanks for being a part of my journey, even here at the very beginning. Thanks for your encouragement. Thanks for your insight and your advice. I really do believe mommyhood is more fun—and somehow easier—in community and with friends (near and far) that can be reinforcements to our immediate personal support systems.

I hope that by being a part of this, and by reading and sharing, that you will just feel a little more connected, little more encouraged, and a little more relieved that you’re not alone... that we’re not alone... and that mommyhood is both incredibly fun and fulfilling but also wrought with challenges and difficulties. (And more often than not, it's also ridiculously funny.)

In the midst of that, if I can help to brighten someone’s day or help to give another mommy a giggle and some temporary stress-relief, then I’m happy.

And I hope you are too.








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4 Comments:

At June 6, 2010 at 9:40 AM , Anonymous Tamara Hutchison said...

Hey Adriel,

Did you know that you can actually get your blog printed into a nice little book (like those photo books that are all the rage)? It lays it out the same as you have done your articles and photos and stays very blog like looking (which is kind of neat I think). Thought you might like to know for way down the track if you wanted to print any of it out and give it to Levi or have a coffee table copy or something.

 
At June 9, 2010 at 1:49 AM , Blogger Jhen.Stark said...

This caught my eye when you said you had started a blog to write to Levi. I didn't start a blog, but I started a book of Letters to Josselyn that I've put down in a journal type book (mostly because I love the way my handwriting looks ;0).

I am thankful for your writing. I have very few friends (all are mostly via internet) and the friends I do have are not mommies, so I often feel lost and alone in this adventure (although My husband makes up for a lot of the slack). So as long as you are writing your adventures with the purpose to share, I'll be at the other end reading!

 
At February 23, 2011 at 5:08 PM , Anonymous Milly said...

Hello Adriel,

Just wanted to say, your blogs have been an encouragement, a comfort and an inspiration to me during my unplanned, but not unwanted pregnancy and early motherhood. I am sure your writing is a blessing to many other people too, who have discovered it one way or another, even though it was not initially intended for public eyes haha :p and that is fully understandable to want it as just that too!
Your photos are absolutely gorgeous too, so precious! As I'm sure you know hehe :-)

You probably wouldn't remember me, but you actually came to my house in New Zealand with the YWAM group in Geraldine.

Oh and congratulations on your 2nd pregnancy!! I can't wait to have another one also, although as you said I can't imagine loving another child as much as my first little bundle of joy.. but I'm sure they will be just as loved when the time comes :)

 
At April 15, 2011 at 12:01 AM , Anonymous Jill@JunkyVagabond said...

Adriel, This post really spoke to me. I love that you are declaring your purpose for your blog. I was unsure of whether to follow you based on what I thought was the subject matter (new mommyhood) as my 'baby' is 25 years old.

Although I'm forever Mom, mommyhood is not uppermost in my mind anymore. BUT...I started reading more of your posts, specifically the tips for new bloggers, and love your style of writing. You make a reader feel like a friend and that's a great accomplishment.

I'll be watching for more of your posts, both mommy-related and bloggy-related.

Thanks again for writing a personal and informative blog!

 

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