This is my first official foray back into blogging, for my own personal use. As a VA, I’ve actually been writing a ton of blogs recently, but most of them are educational in function and I’ve been craving a creative outlet to share, in my own voice, on my own platform. Here I don’t have to worry about SEO or whether or not the title is click-worthy or if my thoughts are well-organized. I’m just here to share.
My return to blogging is connected to my relationship with social media, which has been confusing and difficult to describe over the years. I’ve gone round and round with how I feel about it, how much a part of my life I want it to have, how much time I feel comfortable spending on it, etc. What I keep coming back to is that I don’t feel good after being on there for very long. There are so many other things I’d rather I was spending my time doing. Since taking the apps off my phone and just checking in periodically on the computer, I’ve felt a lot better. It is a good rhythm for me right now. I can still access and share information- like with our squadron spouses group- and see/RSVP to upcoming events, but I don’t get sucked in with the scrolling and I’m not tempted to “check in” on my phone every time I have a free moment AKA every time I’m a bit bored. I’m really hard on myself when I acknowledge that I feel bored; I think it’s the mom guilt of feeling like spending time engaged with my kiddos should be all-consuming and entertaining since they are the little loves of my life. So when I’m home alone with them for hours or days on end (hey, covid. hey, husband’s TDYs) and I find myself bored, I first feel ashamed. I know in my head that this is not in line with my values; I truly believe that while kids are the greatest blessing, adults were meant for adult relationships and adult interactions! So right now I’m working through the why. If I feel bored, why? Can I do something to be more engaged or connected to my surroundings? Can I put on some music and move my body a bit? Can I find a project- like baking or organizing- that I can invite the kids into with me? Can I make a plan for later when I have free time to do something that brings me joy? Can I sit in the boredom and let creative and spontaneous thought happen? One of my favorite books on this topic is Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi. So part of my hope for returning to blog writing is that instead of spending those bored moments entertaining myself with a bit of scrolling, I can let my thoughts wander, play with my kids, bake some cookies and make a note of what comes to mind that I might like to write about later.
When I feel the difficulty of our days (and months) recently, I keep circling back to this concept of humans in previous centuries/cultures/civilizations and how moms were NEVER alone, and definitely not for this extended period of time. You were always in a family group- surrounded by cousins and aunts and grandparents and the like. You were always in a community- surrounded by friends and other family groups. You were always in a cohort- surrounded by OTHER MOMS also parenting their kiddos while simultaneously doing whatever other work was required of them: laundry, chores, cleaning, cooking, etc. You did it all together. Someone was always there to lend a helping hand. Your kids always had playmates. There were always other adults to chat with and SEE YOU in whatever you were going through. This is basically the opposite of how we live today. I live hours away from my extended family. I am anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes-by car- from the majority of my closest friends and fellow SAHMs here in Charleston. Most of my mom friends in our neighborhood work full-time, so meeting up for walks and playdates is off the table. I don’t get to DO MOTHERHOOD alongside other mothers. Maybe via group texts or blog reading or infrequent playdate catch-ups we try to “go alongside” each in our mothering, but it’s just not the same thing.
All this to say?
It makes perfect sense to be struggling/wrestling/experiencing discomfort. It makes sense to be lonely. It makes sense to crave relationships and community gatherings and help and to feel a bit lost and sad without them. Humans weren’t designed to live without these things. And YES of course covid is exacerbating all these issues. I’m constantly aware of that, and AGAIN reminding myself: it makes sense to be struggling right now. These circumstances are not normal.
So how did I get here from talking about social media? I’ve always known social media has potential for facilitating connection and the sharing of beauty- like pictures of weddings or kids and celebrating dreams being achieved and updating your extended network on exciting- or bitter- news in your life, and inviting them into that alongside you. I think there is a lot that could be good about it. But no matter what, I kept coming back to: “I don’t feel good about my usage. I would rather be doing other things.”
And so I’m trying it. I’m checking in periodically, but not via my phone (and believe me, the ‘gram was NOT designed to be used on computers so I never feel like staying on for very long). And without it on my phone, there’s no way to share a quick pic or update my stories or quickly comment on a colleague’s request for professional advice. So you know what it takes to forge these connections now? Intentionality. I intentionally log on. I intentionally attend a live webinar or group supervision session with fellow dietitians. I intentionally keep track of things I want to share and then I come here to write about it.
And who knows how it will go! I may be so inconsistent and infrequent with my blogging that it ceases to function as a useful creative outlet. I may get burnt out of typing since much of my work as a VA involves sitting at the computer. I may be so hard on myself for my irregularity in posting that it becomes a source of stress instead of productive connection. It may be that I can count all my readers on one hand! But ultimately, that’s all fine. I’m trying something. I’m experimenting. I’m being intentional. I’m exploring a new creative outlet and seeing how it feels.
And while my thoughts may be disorganized and there may be typos, I will practice sitting with imperfection, in the hopes that the pursuit of perfection will not be a stumbling block to connection and vulnerability. Maybe something I share here will speak to someone reading it. And that touching of a heart, that person feeling seen, that connection being forged will make it worth it.
I have considered how this is my professional space yet a profoundly personal blog (with plans for most of my blogs to be this way) and I’m at peace. I’m happy for potential clients to come here and see the real me. The vulnerable me. The me that is here for connection and sharing. If someone sees my vulnerability as a weakness, then it’s probably not the best fit of a working partnership. I have been inspired by fellow dietitian bloggers like Kylie at ImmaEatThat and Robyn at The Real Life RD. I’ve loved reading what they’ve shared throughout the years at the intersection of motherhood, relationships, food, health, careers, counseling and more. So that’s what I’m attempting. I’m attempting to write, mainly for my own benefit, but with the hope that it might mean something to someone else, too. I’m processing some things as I express them, or maybe sharing some things that I’ve recently spent time processing on my own or in therapy. I’m putting fingers to keyboard and forging ahead so that fears, perfectionism and worry don’t keep me from connection or trying new things.
Feel free to drop a comment or use the Contact page if you have any feedback or words you like to share in response to anything I write here. Happy Thursday, friends.