Blog Fears

By , September 2, 2008 8:20 pm

CONFESSION: Sometimes I fear that my blog might make others feel inadequate.

I am NOT a Perfect Mom, far from it!!! In fact “Consistently Substandard” is my parenting philosophy (CSS=”Consistently Substandard Slacker”).

OK, forget the humor.  Honestly though, a carefully written post every few days does not really completely equal my life and me. Does that make sense?

I have read discussions over the year and a half that I have been blogging and reading blogs, about how the rosy, “perfect” Mom-blogs of others make some feel inadequate by comparison.

I constantly worry about that. The purpose of my blog is to hopefully help, inspire, and connect.

  • No we do not have TV in our house and I blog about that. By this I am not implying that I feel that this is the desired lifestyle for all. It is not. However for anyone who has inclinations in the TV-free direction, I hope to provide information, encouragement, and show that it IS possible (for some) to live happily without TV.
  • Yes I try to do a craft project with my kids once a week. Am I “crafty?” No. Am I creative? Probably. I have always enjoyed art, music etc. but so far have found little time or energy to tackle much of that with my kids. The Unplugged Project is as much for me as for others. It makes me sit down once a week and do something fun and creative with my children.
  • Much of my daily “real life” is spent following my two year-old dictator around, tidying up clutter (I have a dysfunctional love-hate relationship with stuff), and accomplishing such exciting tasks as laundry, scooping cat poop out of the litter boxes, and cleaning bathrooms. Glamorous? No. Real? Yes.
  • I don’t homeschool. Although I love the idea of it and greatly admire those who succeed at it, I am not unhappy with the school my children attend. I also am quite delighted to see my kids return to school in the fall. See? I really am a devotee of CSS!

Unplug Your Kids seems to have become more well known recently.  Apparently with “fame” comes criticism.  Perhaps I liked it better when no one had heard of UPYK.

I have recently read a few negative, spiteful references to my blog. I have also had some equally negative, spiteful comments. (By the way, can you read this nasty commenters? “D-E-L-E-T-E B-U-T-T-O-N.” I have one and I use it, so don’t waste your time and mine with a needless, unpleasant remark.)

As a well-intentioned perfectionist and a relatively (I hope) nice person, I find this upsetting. I know I must make an effort not to take it all personally, but it is hard.

Good thing I am not a celebrity. If I had to read a bunch of awful things about myself in the National Enquirer in the grocery store checkout line, I’d just fade away and die. (Although if I were really a celebrity “worthy” of the front page of the National Enquirer, then I don’t suppose I would ever be in the grocery checkout line. Wouldn’t my “handlers” be there for me?)

I spend a lot of time and mental energy on this blog and I am thankful to have had mostly very positive comments and emails. I try to put more focus on those. They really mean so much!!

But for those of you who might feel inadequate or somehow threatened by my blog, here is THE TRUTH:  I do not live in a state of blissful harmony with my offspring.  Motherhood is certainly not all there is to me as a person.   I adore my three children, but much of the time that I physically spend cooking, cleaning and following around my two year-old tyrant, I am actually mentally dreaming of flying; writing a book; having an intelligent, thought-provoking, adult conversation; traveling to Europe; making stained glass windows for my bedroom; or hanging out by the pool at a five star resort with adult friends drinking wine and tasting assorted fancy hors d’oeuvres.

This confession may disillusion some, and cause a few others to want to call Child Protective Services. Hopefully however, it will encourage most readers to see Unplug Your Kids not as a place of comparison, but a place of encouragement and companionship.

42 Responses to “Blog Fears”

  1. JamieBEE says:

    You INSPIRE ME! Do not worry about anyone else! KEEP writing for me! :) I love every project – story – adventure you go through! Thank you for sharing!!! Have no fears because you really DO INSPIRE ME!

    JamieBEEs last blog post..My iPhone

  2. Nature Mama says:

    I second JamieBee’s comment! Your unplugged projects keep me on my toes and I really enjoy reading your entries :) Those nasty comments can cut (I’ve received a few to) but there’s a lot more smiling faces out here than the hurtful ones that are rooting for you! Keep it coming :)

    Nature Mamas last blog post..A Surprise Visit

  3. Kathryn says:

    Hurrah for you!!! I love reading your blog. This is the first time I have left a comment though – I just had to. Your life is so like mine – normal!!! Thanks for all the effort you put into your blog so that I, and I am sure many others, can enjoy it! Well blogged! Cheers Kathryn from Australia

  4. SweetP says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for only a short time and have been very much inspired by your ideas …. we haven’t always done the weekly themes but I know your blog is a great source of ideas and links for future use! Please don’t be put off my nasty commenters. This is YOUR blog and you should post about what ever it is YOU want. Honestly some people have nothing better to do than insult people they are jealous of…

  5. Christie says:

    I love this blog. I apparently needed the weekly them; since I’ve started reading it I’ve done a lot more projects with my girls. It saddens me that you would have to deal with unnecessary negativity from others. Most likely it is simply their own lack of confidence. Keep doing what you do. I’ve noticed there is a definite repeat group of followers and if we keep coming back you must be doing something right! :-) Thanks for all you do!

    Christies last blog post..Unplugged-Insects

  6. Juliet says:

    What a shame that a few insecure people have made you feel this way! It saddens me to think that there are narrow-minded people out there that feel it necessary to put others down. My mother always said to me “if you have nothing nice to say – then don’t say anything at all!” (Maybe they should take this advise!). I would just like to say that I have only been reading your blog over the last month or so – and all I can say is THANK YOU! As a mum to 3 boys – I have found your blog a godsend! It has inspired me to come up with new ideas and ways of keeping my active boys away from the TV where they just get pent up/angry (leading to fighting with each other and me!) and get their mind & bodies working on constructive, positive activities! So please focus on all the good you have done and as you say “delete” those messages which are destructive!
    Thanks, from a grateful Australian Mum!!

    Juliets last blog post..INSECTS – "Unplug Your Kids Project!"

  7. Nowheymama says:

    Thank you for this post, although I’m sorry you felt the need to explain yourself. It’s your blog and your life–do with them what you will!

    Nowheymamas last blog post..First Day of School

  8. Dawn says:

    Good for You! I have just started reading your blog and I find this post particularly refreshing. Blogs are only one facet of life. I think if all moms were honest we would want to spend a little time flying, or “playing” with our adult friends.

  9. Heather says:

    No you never make me feel inadequate, I can do that on my own just looking around my disaster zone of a house! I just don’t go to those “perfect people” blogs anymore because it grosses me out. Maybe mainly from jealousy but in any case I don’t need a window into their lives. I really TRY to keep our blog about things that are positive because I don’t want to dwell on the things that aren’t and I hate ranting blogs. I love that you don’t homeschool, its so not for everyone and not for us but I happen to enjoy the blogs of homeschoolers. I think its neat you get some criticism though, its nice to get that many people coming to visit your blog and for every grumpy stupid person there has to be a ton of appreciative people (they’re usually the quiet ones). I haven’t had anyone negatively comment on my blog itself except for in real life (my mom an one friend who think its bad I accept free things and write about the ones I like). Oh well. I just hope I still have the desire to blog once my 4th baby is born. Anyway, thanks for doing your blog and hopefully I’ll do an unplugged project again (not sure how I could let insect pass up by).

  10. Wishy says:

    Right on! Can I join your CSS parenting club?

    Wishys last blog post..Dontchya just love YouTube?

  11. The Mommy says:

    I’m with Jamie!!!! Also, I think naysayers are just stinkers who need something better to do with their time. Like, get outside once in awhile and away from their own TVs. Poor things. Anyway, your blog is just wonderful and I’m so glad that it’s here! I’m always excited to see a new post on my feedreader from you. Thank you for what you do here, for the time and thought you put into your posts, and for the love you have for your children and your desire to share all of that with strangers like me. Many blessings to you!

    The Mommys last blog post..Sunday Etsy Club – Flocking

  12. nina says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it when bloggers get negative comments as you describe. Thanks for revealing your daily struggles. I have a two year old and a four year old and every day starts too early and is an endless list of chores. It’s always nice to know that I’m not alone.

    I think you are delightful. As a mom who doesn’t allow television, I find a lot of inspiration from your blog.

  13. kimalita says:

    Woo Hoo!! I am so with you! You do inspire me — I’ve missed coming here for the Unplugged Project, I hope we can get back to it!

    I’m glad we moms can stick together……..thank you for your honesty.

  14. Melissa says:

    Oh my gosh! How DARE you spend time with your children doing something fun and educational! Call the sloth police! Go plug your kids into mindless drivel immediately so they can become nameless faceless robots! Stop loving them right now!

    Haters will be haters – try not to let them get you down. And don’t stop doing what you are doing, which is sharing with the world one way to be a fantastic, loving, INTERACTIVE parent.

    Keep on keepin’ on lady, you are a great inspiration.

    Melissas last blog post..Fun with Flickr

  15. Ashley says:

    Just ignore the grumpy people!
    I think you totally share “real” life on your blog…like the cricket sticks that didn’t sound like a cricket…and that time after your trip when you couldn’t post pictures. I’ve never felt like you’re some “SuperMom” trying to show everyone up.
    And we LOVE the unplugged project. My girls have lots of fun every time and it’s such great motivation for me having some guideline to follow and people to share with.
    Don’t be discouraged.:)

  16. Miriam says:

    Wow. The Mommy Wars are in the blogosphere. I’m not sure why that surprises me, but it does.

    Even though we are a TV-watching family (the girls are watching Caillou on their potties waiting for oatmeal to cook, lol) I get a lot of inspiration from your blog. Keep up the great work!

    Miriams last blog post..I want

  17. Christin says:

    I think it stinks you even had to write this post. This is YOUR blog. YOUR domain. People enter at their own risk. You should not have to explain yourself or apologize for “appearing” one way or the other. I think it really unfair to make you feel bad because other people have convictions. That is what is boils down to, ya know? People get convicted, they don’t like the way it feels, so they have to bash others to make themselves feel better. :(
    Please, don’t let this put fear into your postings. Do what you do best. Be yourself. I admire you and I, too, have been without the tv (for one year). In fact, the only reason we have one now is because someone gave it to us. (I think they felt sorry for our kids or something.) The reason we got rid of it in the first place was because it was overused and I lacked discipline to say “no”. Today, though, even with a tv in the house (in the basement, out of main living areas), it does not get used nearly as much as it did in the past. And the only thing that is viewed are dvds or videos when it does get turned on. Ok, I don’t know why I got into all that, lol. I guess just to let you know I support you and know where you’re coming from! Love ya!

    Christins last blog post..Booking Through Thursday – Stories

  18. Marsha says:

    Sorry to hear about the nastiness you’ve been received. The delete button is indeed your friend. :)

    Thought this might interest you: the French government has just banned French channels from marketing TV shows to kids under three. Check it out:

  19. Christy says:

    You go girl!!! Let’s hear it for CSS parenting!

    Really, it’s your blog and the content should be what you want it to be. I’d much rather see fun, creative, family projects than to see photos of dust bunnies and dirty socks (which is the reality at my house). Don’t pay any attention to those negative commenters. Maybe they should spend more time crafting with their kids and less time critiquing your fabulous blog.

    Christys last blog post..Thrifty Thursday Friday

  20. Anna says:

    Ignore them. I am constantly inspired by your site. Honestly. And as a fellow blogger I have no illusions that your life is perfect. No offense. It’s humorous that people can think that a post about something that happened for maybe 10 minutes of your whole day could define how the rest of your day went. I mean why would you post about your child getting glue in their hair and the hour that it took to get it out or them having a tantrum at the store? No one wants to read that. So, to the negative bozos out there I say if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. And to you I say keep up the good work. I may not be organized enough to participate in your unplugged projects on time but I look forward to your posts and often they inspires future projects with my kids.

    Annas last blog post..Yet Another Ferris Wheel

  21. Jenny says:

    Ugh- I’m sorry to hear that you’ve started getting negative comments. I can’t imagine about what- I always thought you seemed pretty darn normal! I wouldn’t like to read negative things about myself either, so I really don’t blame you for being wistful about the days when the blog was less “popular”. Keep using that delete button and doing the great job you do. The rest of them can lump it!

    Jennys last blog post..It’s Raining!

  22. Melissa W says:

    I think people insecure about their own parenting abilities and efforts often feel threatened by people who appear to be doing things a different way, as though the ‘good’ parent is doing it on purpose to spite them. Unfortunately the internet has allowed people to spew forth awful hateful things without any filter and in anonymity too so they’ve no fear of a payback. All you can do is acknowledge someone has read you blog, felt strongly about its content and felt moved enough to write about it. I too have had some truly dreadful things said on my blog but I deleted them as I found I simply couldn’t let the hurt go with them still sitting there reminding me.
    I hope this doesn’t discourage you as I enjoy your blog immensely and have often been inspired to do things with my kids. I never get around to documenting things so I’m yet to contribute here but I’m enjoying your efforts all the same.

    Melissa Ws last blog post..Pass the tissues

  23. carmen says:

    Your post made me feel better–your days sound just like mind, along with the daydreaming! Keep up the blog, I read yours for inspiration

  24. Elizabeth says:

    Wow, I just found you, like yesterday. I’ve bookmarked you and can’t wait to go through your blog for ideas and inspiration (when I get a moment free from my own 2 year old!). It’s your blog, and you have to the right to put whatever you want on here…too bad others made you feel the need to explain yourself, but I understand your feelings…criticism can be hard. Thanks for providing such a great site, I can’t wait to read more!

    Elizabeths last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  25. Alex says:

    Oh…I’m sorry you are getting negative comments on your blog. I find it is just great and I like to come and visit when I have the chance :)

    Alexs last blog post..Fist day back to a routine…somewhat!

  26. Michelle says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your negative comments. That’s such a shame. I had a similar thing happen awhile back and I admit it kept me from blogging much for a long time. I wouldn’t make a good celebrity either, I take to much to heart.

    I enjoy your blog immensely and hope you don’t let the negativity get to you!

    Michelles last blog post..That’s one cute baby

  27. Expat Yelli says:

    Don’t let anyone “harsh your mellow.” :)

    I feel such a sense of community here and it is amazing that we are all brought together by your website.

    I like that a common theme brings us together-no matter how we interpret it!

    Expat Yellis last blog post..What is love?

  28. Andrea says:

    It’s amazing that people can and are so mean. I don’t know you other than who you present on your blog. But I enjoy reading here. I certainly don’t have a tv free lifestyle (my 2 yr old is watching it right now!) Do I admire your resolve to have a tv free life? Yes. Will I ever do it? No. But that’s what makes reading this blog so fun – I get to learn about someone who mothers different than I do. And that is a wonderful thing. We can all learn from each other and support each other no matter how we parent.
    I am very thankful to have found your blog. My 6 yr old actually looked forward to doing your weekly project all summer! And he’s not the craft oriented type.
    So thanks. Keep blogging and don’t let a few negative people put down the good thing you have going.

  29. KateinNJ says:

    I am a bit shocked that someone would find something
    to complain about here..I enjoy your blog
    and love the unplugged projects.
    Keep on blogging and hit delete on the grumps.
    By the way, I was stopping in today to pass on some more “boggy love “your way.

  30. Jonah Lisa says:

    You’ve “arrived,” my dear! I’m still waiting for my first nasty comment. But seriously, if you have enough readers to generate a negative comment or two, you’re definitely doing something right! Keep it up and continue not to feed the trolls.

    Jonah Lisas last blog post..Seriously Good Toy Idea!

  31. val says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to create a truly inspirational blog. Don’t let a few nasty people get you down.

  32. Baba says:

    Yea, just delete those nasty remarkers out of the comments and your mind! You are doing great!

    Babas last blog post..I was Featured!

  33. Claudia says:

    I’m so sorry about those unpleasant comments. I don’t post comments very often but I love your blog. I’ve tried homeschooling last year and, although I think it is the better solution for kids, I was far too tired to continue. So we are back to school this year. I try not to feel guilty and to make a craft project every wednesday (no school day here in France) with my little ones. Thank you for inspiring us. You are great!

    Claudias last blog post..Summer memories

  34. Laura says:

    I LOVE your blog!! I don’t post comments really, but I love checking out your blog and your unplugged projects. I have 13 month old twins and they are not ready/able to do these kinds of projects yet. I can’t wait until they are because we will jump right in and be crafty and unplugged with you! Thanks for all of the ideas!!

    Lauras last blog post..Seattle Visit

  35. Kate says:

    I just recently found your blog and really enjoy it. In a way it reminds me of my childhood. My mother was a stay at home mom and was always doing some creative thing with my siblings and myself. Although we had tv it was very limited – in fact we would chose not to watch it! I do not have any kids but enjoy your blog just the same. Keep doing what you are doing….you are a great inspiration!

  36. Arwen says:

    That is pretty sad that people have to do that. I think your blog is a fun sort of game that anyone can participate in. Why would anyone have a problem with that? (That was rhetorical. Don’t nswer it. I want to stay naive.)

    Arwens last blog post..Big, Bigger, Biggest

  37. kari says:

    Thanks. I have read several authors lately relating how they feel inadequate to some other bloggers, I think an essential part of human character is being forgotten. I know when I look back on mine I wonder if it sounds like we’re always happy and playing. One reason for that though is that I refuse to disrespect my husband or bash my kiddos behaviors on line (I try not to off line as well) but the blog just isn’t the place (for me) to vent. One thing to wonder a little aimlessly, another to smear loved ones and reveal privacy.
    As another blogger I understand how the tone can easily be misinterpreted because of necessary editing. And so, I know there is always more to the story…we’re all humans, we all screw up, we all have pride and fear…whether or not it is stated on the blogs.
    thanks for a nice reminder.

    karis last blog in the moment

  38. Dana says:

    I love your blog and enjoy the challenges. It really helps challenge me to be creative every week.

    Thanks for sharing about your blog fears. I have only once gotten a negative comment on my blog, and it sure didn’t feel good! But, I was happy to delete it. :-)

    Thanks for helping us to stay creative with our kids!

  39. Melitsa says:

    It really boggles the mind that people think they can send the types of messages you mentioned. I don’t know why people who don’t like what they read don’t go somewhere else or think a bit more before hitting that send button.

    I really enjoy reading your blog. Your thoughts keep me thinking, tuned in and mindful of the precious time we have with our kids.

    Hope you can remember these positive comments when that yuky one comes through.

    Melitsas last blog post..Yummy veg garden + announcement

  40. Oh yes! I am a card-carrying member of the CSS mom’s club. Most of what I write about it ways to keep my son entertained while I take it easy. And it seems so obvious that based on a few blog posts one should never make assumptions about “how perfect” someone else’s life is. Duh.

    I hope to do an uplugged project soon! I miss them, but just haven’t been up to posting so much since my… development….

    Mom and Kiddos last blog post..Reading Reading Reading

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