In a study exploring the benefits of mommy blogging, psychology student Brandon T. McDaniel found that moms who blog feel more connected to their family and friends.
The study of 157 internet-savvy moms showed that participating in other social networking sites such as Facebook did not provide the same feelings of connectedness or well-being. The trusting environment of a personal blog fosters open discussions about the challenges of being a mom, which helps ease the transition into parenthood.
I’m not at all surprised by these findings. I’ve been blogging for years through various ages and stages of parenting. I’ve made a lot of friends through blogging and bloggers are my go-to community when I’m home bound, sleep-deprived, bored, or lonely.
However, I’ve heard a some anti-blogging buzz lately: No one reads them any more. No one writes authentically anymore. Blogs are just ads now. Which makes me wonder, Has mommy blogging jumped the shark?
I started Every Day I Write the Book in 2004 and it saved me, in a way. I was not unhappy or depressed, but I had forgotten about writing and reading and listening to real music and talking to friends and having private jokes and being funny. I started having kids and switched into mom mode. This is great! It got me 100% tuned into my kids and what they needed. There’s a big learning curve when you start having kids. You have to jump in with both feet. I did. You should.
You can maintain all those good, smart, funny parts of you from before kids and add to them wisdom, selflessness, life experience and a giant, swollen, sore, joyful, ever-growing and breaking heart that makes you awesome.
But at some point you come up for air and revisit the person you once were. Don’t get too sentimental here— that person is long gone. Say goodbye! Kids are a game changer. But you can maintain all those good, smart, funny, parts of you from before kids and add to them wisdom, selflessness, life experience and a giant, swollen, sore, joyful, ever-growing and breaking heart that makes you AWESOME.
Enter blogging. It lets you use your grown up words (or not) and talk to supportive people (or not). At any rate, it can be an outlet that gets you writing, thinking, and interested in things again. It’s a good thing.
Unless you fall in with some meanies who criticize and lecture you. Hey, it happens.
Unless staring at perfect, glossy homes and hearing stories of perfectly happy families makes you feel depressed or like a loser, by comparison. Hey, it happens.
Unless you don’t like writing and blogging. For a while there everyone had a blog and everyone was writing about how they were sorry the hadn’t blogged for so long. They had been busy, and promised “to get caught up.” Bleh! Who wants to get caught up on anything?! (Except TV.) We have enough things we “should be” doing. If blogging just hangs over your head like jogging and making nutritious freezer meals, let it go.
Mommy blogging can be a benefit to your emotional health. You can use your latent talents and hook up with a community that is, for the most part, pretty great. It is free and easy to do. Your blog can be private or public. You can try to sell ads or get free stuff. I hope you make a million dollars with it if you want to. I’m happy for any mom or dad who succeeds in trying to make a buck from home with a baby on their lap.
I still think of blogging as an exciting new frontier. Your blog can be anything you want it to be. People tell me they feel better and have more clarity when they exercise or meditate. I feel better and have more clarity when I blog, even when I make typos and people make fun of me on Facebook. Hey, it happens.
What can I say? I’m a simple girl. You might say a cockeyed optimist who got mixed up in the high stakes game of world diplomacy and international intrigue and blogging and Facebook. It’s so worth it.