Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dear Readers

On Monday, in a moment of weakness, I pounded out a blog post titled "Frustration" and clicked publish.  The post was about the lack of comments recently and (in a nutshell) asked why

Almost immediately, I started receiving comments from some of my most loyal readers apologizing or explaining themselves.  These are readers that I respect and appreciate a lot; and, making anyone feel guilty or like they owed me an explanation for whether or not they commented was NOT my intention.  I took the post down 35 minutes later because I just didn't feel like it accurately reflected what I was thinking and feeling.  (All that's left now is a broken link in your reader - sorry for the teaser!)

In all honesty, I wrote the post primarily because I'm fed up with spam comments - you will see some below almost all of my previous posts advertising cigarettes or hemorrhoid cream, I'm not kidding.  I feel like I get at least one or two on almost every post lately; and, frankly, I am frustrated with them.  I've also been frustrated because little random things on my blog - including some new comment forums I had tried out etc. - seem to not be working; and, I'm at a loss as to how to fix it. Hopefully, some of you that also have blogs can relate to sometimes just being annoyed by the technology of it all. THAT was my frustration and the original intent of my post.

THAT SAID, as the comments continued to come in (most found their way to this post once the original was removed) and I read each one of them, and had some time to think about and process my feelings a little bit more, I realized a couple of things...

The truth is, I am human.  And, sometimes, I get carried away on my blog.  Last week, I was working so hard to crank out blog posts as part of my 31 series and keep up with some of the other topics, give aways, etc. I had planned to post about that I forgot - for a little bit - why I blog. I was looking at blogging as more of a JOB, and I was allowing your response and the number of comments etc. to determine the value of what I had to say. Without realizing it, I think some of my "frustrations" did come from a deeper place of insecurity and exhaustion and just... wanting approval/affirmation/whatever.

So, for that, I'm sorry.  I'm sorry if I made anyone feel like I was "accusing" them of something, or that I was "entitled" to a certain response etc.  I genuinely feel bad about that, and I'm ready to just move on and put that post behind me...

BUT, before I do that, there are a few other things I want to say in response to some of the comments you have shared in the last two days.  Many of your comments have really made me think & reflect on my life and my blog.  It has been a rather unexpected outcome of my crazy post on Monday, but a good one all the same.  Here is my response:

- First and foremost, I am SO THANKFUL for each and every one of you. You DO NOT owe it to me to come here and read what I have to say everyday, and you absolutely DO NOT owe it to me to leave comments.  But, you do it anyway.  YOU are the reason this blog has become such a safe place for me to share the realities of my life on both the good days and the bad days. You are such an encouragement to me and to each other.  I've said it before, but I can't say it too much, this little internet community is FAR beyond what I ever expected it to become.  I consider many of you my friends, and I find so much wisdom and support and laughter in what you have to say.  So, THANK YOU.

- And, to my 'Anonymous' Commenters, I actually think you gave me exactly what I asked for and you tried to be honest and real in a way that was still nice and (mostly) complimentary. I do wish that I had a name (and an email address) attached to your comments so that I could respond more personally, but I'm not mad, or even hurt, by what you said. I will not apologize for making my blog too much about motherhood, or even for the fact that it is less "fun" than it was in the beginning.  As some other commenters wrote, life changes.  My life has changed A LOT since I first started writing here, and one of the things I love most about my blog is the way it traces and records those changes. The truth is, life is harder now.  It is busier and more tiring and - sometimes - more frustrating than it was three years ago. BUT, it is also SO much more fun and rewarding and happy.  I am truly sorry if my blog has come across as discouraging or whiney.  That is NEVER what I want to represent. I KNOW that the chance to be a mother is an absolute blessing - and I never want to appear ungrateful or unhappy.  (And, honestly, I think if you read enough of what I write, that really does show through most of the time.) I write about the 'hard' things because I don't think the internet needs another "perfect" mom or "super-woman."  Quite the contrary, I want to encourage other women and other moms that they are not alone, that I 'get it,' and that being a "good" mom (or person, or whatever) isn't about how clean my house is, how well my kid talks, or how many craft projects I did last week.  I tried being that mom and it stressed.me.out.

So, 'Anonymous,' it's ok if that style doesn't speak to your life right now.  You really don't have to stick around - I'll be sad to see you go, but I understand. Maybe one day you will find yourself in a similar place, and you'll know where to come. :)

- And, last, some of you really did inspire some changes around here.  Here's what I'm going to DO about all this:

1. I'm going to try REALLY hard to respond to more of your comments.  I know how much it means to me when other bloggers send an email back in response to something I've said about one of their posts; and, that sometimes I get annoyed when people don't respond at all.  This is something I have NOT been good at - I admit - so I'm really going to work to improve that.  (P.S. Make sure you connect your email address to your blogger account, so I can do this!) 
and
2. I'm going to cut myself a break.  I like the "Lessons Learned in Motherhood" series, I'm just not crazy about the 31 days part.  (Let's face it - I'm not The Nester.) So, I'm going to finish it (because I don't want to just quit... I have the cute button and everything), but I'm going to take my time and sprinkle in a good bit of other stuff too - one.post.at.a.time.  We'll aim for December 31st, k?

Just because it makes me smile, and it perfectly captures my crazy, messy, wonderful life. :)
Ok, if you read all this, you really are loyal.  Thank you.  Love you!

P.S. If you happen to be new here, there isn't usually this much drama and sap.  Promise!

30 comments:

  1. GOOD FOR YOU FOR BEING REAL AND SHOWING YOUR FRUSTRATION. I think it's too often we are predictable in the blogger world and that can be quite boring. You are right...just as much as we grow, so do our blogs and our blogs should be a representative of that and our demographics will change as well. I believe one of the biggest reasons people don't continue to check back on blogs is because they have so many blogs in their reader to look at. It might not be a matter of being worthy enough, but more about the time we women have in our day to check out every blog that we friend through GFC. I still love you and your blog!
    Again, GOOD FOR YOU FOR PUTTING IT OUT THERE. WE ALL DESERVE OUR MOMENTS.

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  2. I've been reading your blog for a while but never commented. I love your blog because of your honesty about life and motherhood. You're right, we don't need another "my life is perfect and my house is spotless and I am the perfect mother" blog. As a teacher and a first time mom to a 6 month old baby boy, I can really relate to A LOT of what you post! Please keep it up!

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  3. When ever I get the feeling of being sad that it has been a long time since I got a comment on my blog, I have to always remind myself why I do blog. Instead I'll find the joy in the fact that people took the time to stop and read a post. But I do try and be intentional in trying to throw some love on a post because I know how much I love to receive it :) I guess I might even feel loved if I got a spam comment, feeling special enough, lol.

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  4. I've read your blog for a long time but don't comment too often. It's YOUR blog and if people don't like what you're writing about, they can hit unsubscribe! Definitely cut yourself a break, I know it's hard not to let the comments get to you though.

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  5. You know, I don't blame you for writing that post. I read it but didn't comment. But I can relate to it. I used to get 20-30 comments every time I wrote something. But lately, I'm getting far less. Sometimes not even one! I think it has to do with my 31 series and the fact that I'm writing more than once a day! I think it is confusing people more than anything, lol.

    But my stats have dropped and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't bothersome. I love it when my readers interact. I also love it when I comment on someone's blog and they are nice enough to visit mine! Bonus! But I'm seeing far less of that reciprocation lately. It's sometimes hurtful because whyyyyy :) Why not take a minute to leave me a comment if you're reading it anyway.

    Things do change. I find that when I write about my boys I get the same views but not as many comments. Maybe people just don't care what we did last weekend. But it's still frustrating.

    All this to say, I feel ya. I can relate. Keep on blogging for you! That's what I try to do.

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  6. I was the first "Anonymous" to comment on the previous post.

    I have to say that I truly love your response here. Thank you for taking my words to heart and not lashing out in response. I was trying to give the honest feedback that you asked for and I apologize if any of it came across too harsh (criticism can be a fine line, I think we both agree on that).

    I will definitely continue reading! My only advice would be to perhaps take a deep breath or really stew over a topic before posting all the negative thoughts. I can tell that's the approach you took here and this post is clearly so thoughtful and straight-from-the-heart.

    P.S. I actually love your writing on motherhood, so please continue!

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  7. hey! i'm new here, and i don't think it's all dramatic or sappy. (just wanted to chime in and represent the new readers:)

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  8. Love your response and love your blog! Keep it up, good or bad!

    kzbee.blogspot.com

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  9. I've been slacking on commenting, simply because I have roughly 20 minutes a day to read the blog/comment!! Hopefully my internet at home will start working asap!

    I love your blog and appreciate your honesty (and humor) about motherhood!

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  10. I read your blog because you are so honest and real. Keep it up, girl! You are an awesome mother, blogger and person! Keep being REAL!

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  11. Love your blog... love your honesty and candor. Please do not change a thing. As a mother of a 11 month old and a working mom (I am a middle school math teacher) I am really enjoying your 31 lessons. I find them inspiring and thoughtful and mostly make me feel like..."I am not alone." Sorry I have never commented before. But I wanted you to know that I follow you.
    Thanks so much for making me smile!

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  12. Yeah, people, comment...that way I look like less of a comment freak. I really appreciate your blog and found myself commenting all the time. Then I thought maybe I seemed like a crazy and I cut back. I know what you mean about being disappointed by lack of comments. Keep doing what you are doing. I look forward to your posts!!

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  13. I love your blog and commend you for going for the 31 days! I love your recent posts - I feel like I could have written them myself. Being a mom is hard in so many ways, and anyone who says it isn't is lying. There are days when everything falls into place and you think "I've gt this" and then there are days where I wonder how my kids have lasted so long, ha ha. I always look forward to your posts, keep up the good work!!

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  14. First of all I would like to say that if people don't enjoy reading your blog they don't have to! It's their decision to keep coming back...no one made them. Leaving those harsh negative comments does nothing but hurt feelings.
    Second, I have been reading your blog since the beginning and LOVE your honesty!! I am encouraged and inspired by your blog on a regular basis! Keep it up girl!! ;)

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  15. I read that post but it was removed by the time I was able to click through and comment - and I was going to say I hear ya, Friend! I actually think it seems like commenting is down all over the blogosphere, so it's not just your blog. I think this might have something to do with smartphones being on the rise - it's so much harder to comment on your phone . . . at least that's what I'm attributing it to.

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  16. Cabinets are always more fun to play in than playing with actual toys! Also, thank you for this post and saying what you are going to do to change things. I'm also going to start commenting back to people when they comment on a post. I never had because, well I just didn't. I have now gone back and replied to people. :)
    Have a good day!

    -Katherine.

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  17. No one comments in my blog. Ever. Unless I'm doing a giveaway. Makes me feel kind of "used." On the other hand, I've never blogged before, nor do I have any previous experience even reading blogs. So maybe my blog just isn't any good ;) I post 3-5 times a week and everytime I push publish I wonder who, if anyone, is actually going to read it. I think I have a nice blog, but what do I know?! How do you get traffic to your blog

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  18. I don't believe I have ever commented in the past. I started following your blog from Erika's (Something Beautiful) Blog. I really started getting into your posts when you were pregnant--some of that might be because I was pregnant at the same time with my little boy. I to like comments but rarely have any--that is okay.

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  19. Just to let you know I rarely comment...read on the go, but I DO enjoy your blog!!

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  20. I absolutly love your bog. I am also a new mom of a 10 month old and never comment simply bc I feel like I don't have time. I am usually reading while I'm feeding or laying in bed. I love your blog bc you are REAL! You make me feel like I'm not the only one going through these hard times as a new mom and I love how you don't have it all together bc sure dont. Let's face it some blogs have to be making this stuff up parenting is not easy.

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  21. Sorry I wouldn't let me type anymore. However please keep doing what you're doing. Your fabulous and such a great mom. And Sam is super cute!!!

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  22. These posts are the best kind- the ones where I see a picture of your beautiful heart. Thanks for being real and honest and all E! (ps-I've tried commenting more than a handful of times but your little comment box wouldn't let me see my text, where to type or any of the buttons. I have been reading and attempting to comment! :)

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  23. I have been following your blog and like a few others, I've never commented. I discovered your blog shortly after my daughter was born. At that time you were pregnant. I appreciated your honesty and humor from the start. Once you had Sam and began writing about balancing teaching with motherhood I felt I had finally found a blogging mom I could relate to! Keep it up! You are a super mom and writer!

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  24. I actually love your blog - even though I am not yet a mom. You are so REAL about problems that I've wondered about (for when I have a small person of my own)...it's really so unhelpful when people make it seem like juggling motherhood and work is easy-peasy and there are no problems. How can I prepare myself if everyone pretends there are no problems and difficulties???

    And your recent "frustrated" posts - don't apologise. It's YOUR blog. If you're frustrated then you're frustrated. (Plus I totally sympathise!!)

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  25. GIRL. The volume of spam comments lately are OUT OF CONTROL. I am also getting at least 10-20 per day and it's SO annoying. I really don't want to put the word verification thing back on, but...holy crap. The only thing I've found to help with it (although it's just a band-aid) is I notice that it's usually a few (old) posts that seem to garner most of the spam comments. So I go back and close commenting on those posts (since at this point, it's unlikely anyone legit would ever comment on a 2 year old post anyway). That helps a bit, but...they work their way back around eventually. Anyway. Love you, friend. :)

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  26. I LOVE your blog girl! You make me so excited about motherhood and the reality and beauty of it all! Please, keep on blogging just the way you have been---I LOVE IT!!
    ~Fannie fwterrell.blogspot.com

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  27. For as many people who don't want to read about what you write there are plenty more who do! I just stumbled upon you blog in August and I love it. I am also a teacher and mom to a little one (our girl is 6 months old) so I can completely relate to all of your struggles. It really helps me to know I am not the only one living this life! I haven't commented before, I usually read blogs while nursing and the mouse is about all I can handle with one hand (let's be real... I'm also trying to eat breakfast and watch the news). Life is awesome and life is messy don't edit it!

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  28. hey girl! this is Liz R. I read your blog all the time. I hardly ever leave comments because I don't understand the "comment as" button. I don't think I have any of the other options apart from "anonymous"... or maybe I do and i just don't realize it- very real possibility. Anyways, I love your blog and you. Don't change friend.

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  29. I was going to comment on the other post that came down and let you know that my comments disappears too... i had a giveaway last week and I had ONE comment... ONE... really? I'm not sure what the issue is, or maybe people are just busy? I don't know. But oh well. Hang in there. I love your blog, comment rarely, but it's because I have nothing profound to say!

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  30. I didn't get to read your "Frustration" post, but I have been reading your blog since Sam was only a few months old (my son is only a few weeks younger than yours). I LOVE reading about the trials, frustrations, and REAL parts of being a new mom, especially trying to balance work and home. In truth, I don't think I comment as much as I could (or sometimes want to) because the few times I have commented, I haven't received a response or acknowledgement of my comment. I don't want you to think I feel like I am entitled to a response or anything, but not having a blog of my own, I don't have any other way to connect, does that make sense? I read someone else made a similar comment in the post you referenced above. Anyway, I see in this post you want to try to respond more often, so I can only encourage you not to forget about the readers who may not have their own blogs, but are still active readers of yours, and thus would love to connect with you too! PS: I think that picture of Sam in the cabinet is perfect, those moments perfectly capture what I think being a great mom is-allowing yourself to be in the moment with your child, rather than worried about the mess.

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Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!


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