Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about blogs and bloggers, Twitter and tweeters, about those who take them seriously and about those who write them off as wasted time by narcissistic people. I've been meaning to poll my Twitter Friends on this very topic, especially when it comes to their husbands. Do your husbands tweet? If no, then what do they think about the amount of time you spend on that website or sending in updates from your phone throughout the course of a day? Because you know it's a lot of time. Especially for those of us who are stay at home moms.
Tim, for one, has been very supportive of my blog reading and twittering about, I think mostly because he sees what a support system I've tapped into in the world of Mommy Blogs. I don't think this was his intention when he originally urged me to "check out some blogs." Back then (and still) he was reading a series of Catholic blogs (many of which are linked to on the right side of my page), finance blogs, news blogs. These are the things that hold his interest, the things that encourage him to keep reading. Keep learning. Educate himself. So I hopped onto the computer and started looking for information on what I was interested in at the time: pregnancy. You see, I was in my seventh month of carrying Christopher, plagued with pregnancy insomnia and just looking around for others who were enduring the same joyful, yet challenging stage of life.
Not surprisingly, I found exactly what I was looking for...and what I didn't even realize I was craving.
First, I found Emily. Actually, Emily popped up when my darling ex-roommate, Shelby, sent me a link to one post in particular which I ended up reading out loud to Tim with tears streaming down both of our faces as we HOWLED through the whole thing. (I started to look for a link to it but let's be honest, I'm just too lazy.) A little more reading revealed that she was pregnant too, and due to deliver only a few weeks after me. Next came Maggie. Also pregnant, also with her first, and Hey Look At That! She's Catholic too. Then Rachel. Then Kate.
The more I read, the more connected I felt. The more I realized that, even though I didn't know these women, they were experiencing the same things that I was in pregnancy or child-rearing or marriage or just LIFE. These blogs that I started reading regularly (and commenting on faithfully) quickly became more than leisure reading material. Over the past three years, some of these women have become my own bloggy friends. I've never joined a mommy group here in our little town, but the Mommy Blogosphere has become a support group of its own. And this, my friends, is what I was not expecting.
From there came Twitter...much more convenient for uncommitted bloggers like myself who are still trying to figure out When To Find The Time. And out of the Sacramento Group I've gotten the opportunity to know Manda, and Lizzie, and Sheila. And, to put it lightly, it's been lovely. Example? Well, sure...
The last couple of nights have been particularly challenging around here. Tim, only two weeks into his new job (two weeks including two separate trips to LA, which have taken a toll on him AND on us) has been sick. Nothing we can't handle, nothing we haven't dealt with before, but worrisome. This is a huge challenge for him, of course. It's awful being sick. But it's also a huge challenge for me. Being Mommy. Being Nurse. Being Worried Wife. Or, as Manda reminded me on Twitter last night, being The One Who Everyone Needs. It's such an insecure feeling, worry. Isn't it? And, honestly, such a waste of time. But we'll deal with that in another post. Anyway, I digress. When Tim is sick the best thing for him is to rest. To sleep. To Get Better. And I know this. But having two babies who have no interest in sleeping OR DOING ANYTHING ELSE ASIDE FROM CLIMBING ALL OVER MOM when Dad is home but just out of commission? It's those times that it's Just. Hard.
So after I finally got everyone to bed last night, I came downstairs and left a brief Woe Is Me on Twitter. Do you know what? The outpouring of support was amazing to me. One lovely Twittersation with Manda, some comments from others, and a handful of private messages later my world was suddenly SO MUCH SMALLER. Instead of sitting downstairs in the dark, spending my evening in worry, I had a support group of dear friends encouraging me, making me laugh, and lifting our family up in prayer. It was exactly what I needed - but what I never expected.
You know, no one knows about this little blog. No one in my family, anyway. (It's nice to just have your own private little outlet, you know?) Beyond that, though, very few people in my real world know about the blogs that I read. Certainly no one knows about how much time I spend on Twitter each day, and while I don't think I'll change that, I feel more confident now. Last night confirmed for me what I've known for some time now - that these blogs offer community. Support. Friendship. A helping hand and a hearty laugh from people who are in the same boat. It's not narcissistic, it's realistic. It's smart. It's brave. It's humbling to put yourself out there and invite everyone in, knowing that you're quite possibly inviting as much criticism as support. And yet, it's gratifying and encouraging because, through it, you see that you're not alone.