A blog is a funny thing. It’s easy to read someone’s blog and because you are getting daily (or nearly daily) updates on this person’s life, you can therefore easily believe that you know more about this person and their life than you actually do. It’s an easy mistake to make. After all, you have no idea what details the blogger is leaving out. A person’s blog is a VERY subjective thing. There could be five major things that happen to a person that day and they could only mention one. Or none and instead choose to talk about the weather. As a reader, you are following what that blogger wants to share and are kept in the dark about what they don’t.
Such is the case with me as well. Particularly when it comes to my children.
Don’t get me wrong. I can understand the average reader wondering WHY I don’t talk about my oldest very often. Does he even exist anymore? Is she ignoring him in real life as much as she does on her blog?
And that’s the dangerous path right there. Does love = blog exposure. Certainly NOT. You can hardly judge how much value is placed on a person due to how much a person talks about them on their blog. I think of several bloggers who rarely mention their husbands because the husband has ASKED not to be mentioned. And then the readers then wonder if she really is married, does she even care about her husband? Is there DRAMA here that we can wonder about?
I hope you see how silly this line of thinking is.
I didn’t have my blog when Harry was very young. But walking through our home, 90% of the pictures on the walls include him in his various stages of life. Harry was the center of our world for MANY years. And the harder it was for us to have another child, the more we held him to us. I used to take him to get professional pictures done every month or so for the first two years of life. I would take him to storytime at the library, MOPS, the park… He made me a mother and that holds a special place in my heart. But he IS nine years old and in the third grade. He needs more privacy now. I don’t want something I write about him today to be the thing that gets him picked on at school tomorrow. I make a studious effort to recognize and respect this.
I did have the blog when Liam was young. If you notice the tag cloud in my sidebar, LIAM is the tag with the largest font. Which means he has been mentioned more than just about anything else (at least since I’ve been doing tags). Just look back at my archives for 2006-2007. During his first year of life, my posts were filled with stories and musings and photos, photos, photos. I love myself a baby, you know. And I love photographing babies, while they still lay around and LET you photograph them. I’d say about 10-20% of the photos on our walls have Liam in them. I haven’t had as many professional pictures taken of him, but I did take a few of the photos I took of him, print them out and hang them up.
The thing is, Liam is 2 1/2. He’ll be three in a few months. This is pretty much THE MOST ANNOYING AGE EVER. For any kid. He is a challenge and a struggle. This does not mean we do not love him. It means he EXHAUSTS me. I figured out that I spend the majority of my day dealing with him in one way or another. Kissing his booboos when he falls (he is the clumsiest child alive), disciplining him when he deliberately disobeys me or thwacks Evie on the head for the 15th time that day, trying to get him to eat, changing him, dealing with naps, letting him sit on my lap when he’s feeling needy… He’s a different child than Harry was. He requires a lot more energy. And often, when it comes time to write on my blog, I don’t talk about him because I NEED A BREAK. The mental break of not discussing him helps a lot. Again, this does NOT mean that we don’t love him. Quite the opposite. He charms and delights us on a daily basis.
And, let’s face it. Evie is the baby. Like I said, I love babies and I love to photograph and muse about them until the cows come home. I’ve often said that thank goodness Evie was a girl because otherwise she might not get any attention at all. She would have the blog posts, the stories, the musings and the photographs. Because I love babies. But as it is she is in TWO photographs on our walls here at home and both of those are either family portraits or taken with her brothers. She has zero representation by herself. And I haven’t done a thing with her baby book in MONTHS. And often I have to leave her to play while I deal with Liam. And yes, I do generally work more with her than the boys but again with the BABY thing as well as the NURSING thing (she will NOT take any sort of plastic nipple, no matter how hard I’ve tried). When we go out as a family on the weekend, I generally wrangle Evie while Kile wrangles Liam. It works easier that way. Which isn’t to say that if Liam needs me that I completely ignore him. Just that Kile puts him in his car seat while I put Evie in hers so that we’re not standing out there in the parking lot all day while I do both. Heh. Makes more sense that way, don’t you agree?
When anyone suggests, no matter how benignly, that perhaps I have a preference for one child over the others, that hurts me deeply. I’m sure other mothers who have more than one child can understand what I mean when I say that. I doubt it is possible to love one child more than the others. I love all of them and yes, in different ways. The way I love Liam is entirely different than the way I love Harry or Evie. This is because of their wildly different personalities. Sure I feel different, but that doesn’t mean what I feel isn’t love. And I simply cannot conceive of anyone even HINTING that a preference exists. It is a cruel thing to say. CRUEL. Not just to me but to my children.
I have been wondering what the answer is, if any. What do I do? Not talk about ANY of my children, for fear of slighting one or more and thereby inciting the naysayers? What would that mean to this blog as it is a mommy blog and I generally am here to talk about being a mommy and that sorta requires talking about children? I’m not sure what to do. How to evolve this blog while I myself am evolving as a mother. No more babies, that’s for sure, so who do I talk about? Do I “schedule” days that I talk about each child? That sounds perilously close to work. And if there’s one thing I despise, it’s feeling like blogging is WORK.
So I think the only thing I can do is to just keep on and talk about what strikes me. Whether it be Liam or Evie or even Harry. Or none of the above. It’s all I can do. But I never want to hear again that maybe I have a preference for any one child above the other. Ever.