Why am I doing this again??

Every 5 or 6 weeks I wonder, "Why the fuck am I blogging??"

I mean, it's a ridiculously self-serving thing. I'm writing all about me, my life, my thoughts, my anxieties, my whatever.

And who am I?? Some chick in Austin, TX who doesn't get out enough.

Whose real-life friends are all but ghosts, visiting her on occasional late nights when schedules allow, and, she thinks, maybe it's because she sucks?

Whose husband would probably rather she NOT write as much and as honestly as she does, but who recognizes it as a good, solid hobby for her to have anyway.

Whose neuroses are, surely, pretty damn boring to read day in and day out and probably also have the unwanted effect of causing readers to think, "Oh my GAWD, there she goes complaining AGAIN!"

A woman who is embarrassingly insecure, but steadfast in her belief she'll not be some day.

A woman who pours her heart out and then somehow manages to limp along in the following days, hoping someone responds, and cringes all the while at her neediness.

A woman who delights in her baby and who is becoming desperate for another one, but she'll never tell you that for fear of jinxing the whole damned thing.

A woman whose heart is in San Francisco and only wants the rest of her there.

Whose self-depreciation knows know bounds and, she believes, this makes her a little uncouth in good company.

And then I ask, "What do I want this blog to be??" Ideally, it'd be a place where other moms, and friends, could see the wizard behind my curtain. Maybe I seem put together and confident. Maybe I seem to know it all and have it under control. I'd like for this to be a place for honesty and support, for me and for others.

I also want it to be a source of information for new moms. I scoured the internet for information when Hollis was born and I got a lot of crap, but I also found a lot of great stuff, and I've tried to showcase it here in an organized and readable way. I'm not a money-making site, so I'm not trying to be super slick, but I do want it to have rhythm and rhyme, so to speak.

I'd like to become more vocal about my beliefs, but often find myself intimidated by the fierce debates I read elsewhere. I absolutely believe that women need about a thousand times more support breastfeeding. I don't believe formula is "just as good as breastmilk." I don't believe in hitting children. I don't believe in the "cry it out" method. I believe whole-heartedly in attachment parenting, and child-led weaning. I believe the feminists forgot to say that "women's work" is equal to "men's work."

I want to be like Annie of PhD in Parenting. Or a little more like Noble Savage, or Mom-101. Women and parents who write with grace, intelligence and who seem to be fearless in their momentum; their research is flawless. I feel my writings are so little sometimes, so not worthwhile.

And then... (because of course a post like this has an "and then" moment) something miraculous happens because of this blog.

Even though I complain and am confused and often write ridiculous things like about how my son ate his umbilical stump or how my husband gave me tulips once, or I'll be a real downer and write about my dad or losing Levi, people I've never met still read and they comment and they reach out and touch me.

Like Loukia of Loulou's Views who comments on all my posts and emails me when I've been incommunicado. Or Noelle of Baby in Broad who was the very first person to add me to her blogroll, and that little thing somehow made my freakin' day that a total stranger, someone trying to do virtually the same thing as me, thought my site was worth a nod. Or when Noble Savage, a blogger I really admire, tagged me in a meme - again, something so little and insignificant, but still made me think that maybe my blogging attempts really aren't going into a blackhole after all.

And, lastly, of course my real life friends, the ones who are ghosts by virtue of their locale, not their schedules, email me and call me and chat excitedly about my writings. They are so grateful to be able to see into my life and they think I'm so funny and insightful and Thank You for posting about the vaccination thing because I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but now I'm thinking about it in a whole new way!

They see likeness in my stories and theirs and they see solace in our shared experiences. As my friend just told me, "I feel like even though our situations aren't identical, we are still all going through the same things," and it makes her feel less alone in her own experience.

It's exhilarating and wonderful to hear and I feel pride in what I'm doing. Maybe I'll keep blogging after all... reaching even one friend, real or ethereal, is well worth the effort to continue stretching myself publicly. I'm an extrovert, I know this. I won't keep apologizing for this particular decadence. I'll just need to let it feed my soul. Because you can't overfeed your soul. Not even a little bit.


  1. Please keep blogging - you have to! You have a gift for writing, Jessica. I love reading your blog very, very much. I feel connected to you even though we've never met. I have a feeling if we were to meet in real life - we'd be friends instantly!
    I sometimes ask myself why I blog too... but I continue doing it. I just need to write things down. And if people like reading, then that makes me happy. Comemnts make me happy. It makes me feel not so alone, you know? Most of my friends don't have children yet, so it's hard to talk to them about the daily struggles or the wonderful stuff that comes with being a mom.

  2. You write some excellent posts - I found your blog when Noble Savage published an bit from one of them on breastfeeding. I think a nice approach is Blogging Without Obligation - some bloggers have a BWO badge on their sites to say that they blog when they want, about what they want. If you want to take a rbeak for a month, that's fine. It's not a job. Do it when you enjoy it, don't let it get in the way of real life (says she with baby moaning with boredom beside her).

  3. Yes, Jessica -- This. Is. Worthwhile.

    I think it is so vitally important to be known. And even though it goes out to strangers, friends, and family alike, your blog is a way of leaving a mark that you were here living a real life and that you matter.

    And frankly, I wouldn't give the "self-serving" thing another thought. If you didn't take down all the seemingly mundane moments of your everyday life with Hollis and Anthony, you would only have your memory to rely on to revisit those moments. And let's face it, despite being the "meat" of life, the mundane almost never makes the highlight reel.

    And as one of your friends w/o kids, I still like reading about all of the things you do and have to consider, even when they're impossible. I sometimes think that feminism/society pits us (women with and without kids) against each other -- I mean, you even struggle with this choice you've made as though the feminists are going to come take your membership card back. I guess the armchair feminists might, but the feminist ethnographer in me says, "Blog on! Every woman's story needs to be told!"

    One last thing: I like Cave Mother's BWO idea. I think we get ourselves into trouble when we try to adhere to being "one thing." Ultimately, the best, most compelling writing is that in which the author is present and complex.

    And that's my five bucks worth.

  4. Look at the title of your blog. That's all that needs saying.

  5. 1. Love your fish. Kind of hooked on that little widget.

    2. I know what you mean about 'why blog'. I wonder that myself a lot. Especially when I write a post that I'm not particularly happy about. I can spend the day obsessing about whether or not to take it down. I don't know why I do it either, a lot of times it's therapeutic. But a lot of the time it isn't.

    I just keep doing it.

  6. Keep blogging. If for nothing else, for yourself. It doesn't matter what your numbers, who reads, who doesn't. It matters that you put it out there.
    Great blog.
    Thanks for visiting mine today on my SITS day.