Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog ... that IS the question!

I am a classic youngest child.  I am a "peacekeeper".  By this I mean that while I have opinions on lots of subjects, I don't really feel the need to have everyone agree with me.  Many people who are very close to me think they know how I feel about certain topics and some of them are dead wrong.  If someone is on a political or religious rant I tend to either tune them out or try to see their point of view.  If their opinion is different from mine, I usually do not express mine at the time.  It is just my peacekeeper personality.

I started this blog late last year as a spot to vent about the boys.  I love my boys like crazy but they also irritate me at times -- what kid doesn't?  They are also a continual source of laughter and that was my initial goal -- to entertain the masses with their antics and if I found some other moms or dads with younger kids, maybe I could offer them some help, advice or experience.  I never wanted to deal with controversial topics.

I guess I should have considered my audience.

I read a lot of other special needs "mom" blogs and love them.  Even those that have very different parenting styles from my own still have a great love for their children and a funny point of view that I enjoy.  Sometimes I look at these blogs and think "thank
goodness Alan isn't still finger-painting in his poop" or "thank goodness I like the kids' schools and their teachers seem on the same page as we are" or even "thank goodness for DH, because he is a huge help!" and it helps keep me thankful for my lot in life.

On the other hand if I only looked at my Facebook feed (which is mostly moms of typical kids that I know from other walks of life) I might be having a daily pity party because everyone I know seems to have high school seniors and all I am hearing about are college plans and majors and I'm just hoping that Joe can get a job.

So I try to do a balance. I read about the struggles of other moms of special needs kids and compare my life to theirs and I'm in the middle of the pack.  Some have more "issues" and some have less but at least I don't feel like a freak.  Then I check my real life friends and can be genuinely happy for them.

But writing the blog is a different story.  I have recently wondered if I want to bother with the actual writing because people can be so mean.  For some reason people feel like it is fine to tell you anything they want (including how wrong you are) on your own blog.  A blog is by definition personal, so why do people have to be so hateful?

A mere two weeks ago before her life imploded, Kate from Chasing Rainbows wrote about the same thing.  I hope and pray that no one said anything horrible to her during her recent tragedy but I haven't had the time to go through all the multitude of comments to see.  I have seen an incredible amount of support and that has been very uplifting to me personally.

But during this same time frame I watched a much bigger blog (Single Guy Laughing) go though something similar.  To me, Dan is one of those guys with an interesting enough life (it isn't an endless downer, but it isn't all rainbows and unicorns either) and a fabulous talent for telling it like it is.  But wow, people just feel inclined to say ANYTHING to him just because he is a blogger.

After reading these two very different people have the exact same thing happen to them I got to wondering why I am "putting myself out there" as Kate said.  I am not making money on my blog.  It was supposed to be therapeutic.  So can't the same thing be accomplished by just reading other blogs and maybe commenting on their Facebook pages?  Is it therapeutic to be told you are wrong?

Then I considered my audience.  I was thinking that it would be mostly parents reading, but autistics do a fair amount of reading and writing of blogs as well.  Let's be honest, how flexible is the average autistic person?  Yeah.  I am pretty sure I have never won an argument with Joe in 18 years.

Unfortunately many of the more vociferous autistic bloggers do not like or agree with many autism parents.  Whether it is awareness vs. acceptance, Autism Speaks, a puzzle piece for the symbol of autism (really, is this worth debating?), the need to use "trigger" words, calling someone an "autistic" instead of a "person with autism" and whether or not it is OK to "hate" the disorder there are just a few too many divisions between autistic adults and autism parents for this peacekeeper.

I had pretty much talked myself into letting the blog die and then I got 3 new followers.  Huh.  To blog or not???


  1. Blog, blog, blog. My day is brighter reading your thoughts! Even though our children are different, I feel a connection every time I read. I am like, YES this is what I was thinking/feeling/trying to say/wondering/fearing you name it.

    But I totally get your not wanting to be attacked. I am of the mind if you have nothing nice to say shut the heck up. I fear "putting myself out there". That is why it took almost a year to come out to my real-life people.

    whatever you decide, it should be best for your well being. Just make sure you e-mail me and let me know how you are doing!

    1. Thanks, Kerri! That made my day!

    2. I should have added...don't leave where else can I learn about mutant trees?

  2. I read and enjoy your blog very much even though I just started reading it not that long ago. I think you add a lot of truth and realism as how it truly is to live with two children, in different areas, on the spectrum. I do the same thing as you others blogs to know I am not going thru situations alone, to learn from others who have walked the walk before I get there and gain perspective when we are having a particularly hard day. I blog to try to do the same for others. To put myself out there, knowing that I might be attacked, but, that I might encourage many more or even one other person. I have been down and discourage before to only sit down at my computer, read someone else's blog post for the day and walk away feeling encouraged and ready to go back in for round two. Do what you wish...but I will miss you. God bless, susan

    1. Thanks, Susan! I appreciate the feedback!

  3. Do what you need to do to help yourself process, recoup and continue being a awesome mom.

    People are going to have opinions and maybe, they have no one to confide in or be able to express their fears or deal with truths.

    One of the best boards I have seen around is called autismsucksblog because... it does suck sometimes...that's the truth!

    We love our children, but we are also people in ourselves and need some venting time.

    I never think of anyone with a spectrum disorder as a victim, but some people and parents want to stay in that rut.

    Don't bottle that shit up..pardon the language.

    Because you are the one who is on a lifelong journey with your sons and regardless of others opinions about how you process your feelings you still have to deal with YOU at the end of the day.

    When we have things running though our minds into the night and we are alone in bed crying into our pillow about our children, we are alone... and need to find strength so we can continue being a "AWESOME MOM"

    **much hugs and love**

    1. lol Jane! Thanks. I did have a hard time sleeping last night because I just kept running arguments for and against in my head. I guess I was just trying to figure out if anyone that mattered was reading and I discovered that several of you are! :-)

  4. Hi Julie,

    Thank you so much for posting this! I like your blog so don't go away. You're one of many voices for mothers in the blogosphere. I'm new to the blog world and am considered a mom blogger. I am learning so much from reading blogs like yours. So, please stay as I love your insight too.

    The Wondering Brain

  5. Thanks everyone. I will stay although it might be a week or so until my next post -- mama's getting out of town!! :-)

  6. Keep bloggin - I do not have autistic children, but reading your stories helps educate me!

    As far as comments - screw people with crap to say! Moderate you comments so you have to approve it before it posts.

  7. I agree with Audra, you can always moderate comments, but it also depends on how you blog and how you publicise your blog - I'm fairly careful about it, I don't mind if only a small number of people read a post, so long as they get something out of it. Keep on blogging and just see how it goes, you can always change direction as time goes by if you need to x