Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Transparency and Truth in Blogging

I've had conversations with different groups of people over the past few weeks about keeping it real online.    I know both sides of this.  When we started homeschooling, it was easy to read about everyone else's lives and feel completely overwhelmed and utterly defeated.  Of course, I read these sites because they're inspiring and have great ideas, but it's a slippery slope to feeling like you'll never measure up to their perfect days so what's the point in trying?  It's an internal battle I just don't need some days.  So . . . when I started this here blog, I wanted to do a couple of things:
 1.  I wanted to pay it forward.  I wanted a space where I could share resources and ideas, in the hopes that maybe someone will be helped by something I've found, created, or learned, in much the same way that I have been helped by so many others this past year.   
2.  I wanted to give an honest account of our first year.  I wanted to document the highs and the lows and hopefully have a truthful representation of how the good outweighs the bad, even in that tumultuous first year.
Number one is easy.  Number two . . . I'm not so sure now about number two.  I did share some of our struggles, and I'm not under any delusion that I come off looking like some perfect mother (HA!); however, I'm not sure how truthful or transparent I've been.

Then again, do you really want complete transparency?  I usually talk about problems we have once I have some sort of plan or solution, because I don't want to come here day after day to whine or vent about the same things.  I could.  But would anyone want to read that?  I certainly don't want to write that, although I'm pretty sure I've done a good bit of that here already.

As a gesture of full disclosure, let me tell you that we had a rough start to our summer.  Actually, rough doesn't begin to describe the past two weeks.  My oldest has been looking for a fight every single day.  It starts before breakfast is finished and continues until bed time.  There was sick and medication weariness.  We have virtually no summer rhythm, despite the snazzy printout I made.  There was the dog at death's door (he's still battling advanced arthritis and needs lots of help and attention).  I overreached in my goals for the summer (that's clear even though it's only June).  Clearing out the clutter is sucking the life out of me, even though I know it's going to feel great when I'm done.  I've been called names, had things thrown at my head, and been screamed at in my already aching ears.  There MIGHT have even been an event with a mouse who was determined to use the lint from my laundry room to nest in my walls no matter how many peppermint-soaked cotton balls I stuffed in that pipe hole behind the toilet.

So, you see, the next time you feel inadequate reading someone else's blog post about how they made homemade granola and line dried their clothes and sang songs with their children and had a fantastic day, just remember that the day before could have just as easily been filled with angry, shrieking kids, a dying dog, clutter busting, and a nest-obsessed mouse.
For real.


  1. Thank you for your transparency. I am only beginning the journey and feel overwhelmed at times that I am not ready. Then I remember that this was a calling for me to do. It helps me to put things in perspective and re-examine what I am doing. I am childless for one week and am trying to remove all the distractions for the preparation process I am in. You and I are not alone. Thank you.

  2. Well, you probably know how I feel on this one. ;) My first blog was very honest, although I strove to be respectful of my kids and there were some things I just wouldn't share. I do think many people connected to that blog. But when my kids went out into the larger world, I decided that blog had to go. I tried for a half & half voice but it never worked for me, really. So now my blog boundaries are clear, and that's what feels right to me, so that's what I do. Neither of my blogs has "family life" as a topic, so I assume readers know they're not getting the whole story--and that's because it's not that kind of blog.

    On the other hand, I'm not going to read blogs that make me feel inadequate. Also, I have a pretty good bs detector, and even though I "know" you outside of this blog, I never thought you were glossing things over here, either. Everybody is allowed to draw their line where they see fit, and readers really should assume they're not getting the entire story.

  3. What? You mean your kids don't have early admission to Harvard and speak 4 languages and conjugate Latin whilst they comb each other's hair quietly? I don't know what you are doing wrong over there.


    I hear you, Michelle.

    We got seriously derailed from school back in APRIL, and I have had a real struggle getting back into the groove. I resigned myself to doing schoolwork over the summer, but I just DON'T WANNA. Not to mention that it has occurred to me that I need to find another way to get my children to listen besides shrieking like a fishwife, because I am starting to not like myself very much. The not listening, it makes me crazy. I don't want a summer of math and shrieking. I want a summer of cuddles and good memories.

    Dadgum it. Well, tomorrow is another day.

  4. Yes. You are right. :)
    We post the "pretty" days because those are what we WANT to remember.

    The others, well, could stand to be fewer and further between.

  5. Well put, Mama Fry! Good luck in your journey this year!

    Amy, you will always be my favorite bs detector! :) I agree, if there is a blog with a specific niche or purpose, I don't let that ever make me feel inadequate because they certainly are only showing a small portion of themselves.

  6. *snort* HA! The joke is that my kids don't know what a comb is. I'd have an easier time with the Latin that brushing their hair.

    Deb, you and I must be having the same past few months. My oldest and I had a talk yesterday about how we've been wasting almost half of our summer-o-fun, and she was shocked. She made a list of fun stuff she wants to do and we started on those things today. Hooray!

  7. Thanks, April! I forgot to put that up as one of my purposes, but I really did want to use this as a space to document (for our own benefit) all the good we do. The pretty. I like that. :)


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