Friday, April 1, 2011

This Is What I'll Tell Them About Why I Started This Blog

I have always been a couple of years behind my friends when it comes to transitioning into the next stages of life.  I guess this started in college.  I probably really wasn't ready to be on my own at 18, but that's a story for another day.  Long story short, I didn't graduate college until 24.  I didn't become interested in settling down and becoming more responsible until about 27, and I didn't get married until I was 30.  On a global scale, I probably am among the average.  In comparison to my friends and family, I'm a little behind.  I am perfectly okay with this.

With that said, I am not completely ready to have children.  I will celebrate my first wedding anniversary next weekend and I am really enjoying my life as a newlywed.  I feel like we have a very limited time to enjoy each other as husband and wife in a way that is much more simple now before kids are brought into the picture.    Currently, I want to focus on building a strong marital foundation and continue learning about my husband in ways that were impossible before we were married and living together.

Although I am not ready to actually have a baby yet, I am interested in parenthood in ways I've never been before.  For some time now, I have been devising plans and ideas of what kind of mother I want to be and what kind of people I want my kids to grow up to be.  I think it's pretty natural.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that most parents have all done the same.  I've always enjoyed writing, but I've never really had anything to write about other than my own life and let's face it, this blog is much more interesting than my personal blog.  At least, that's what my blog statistics are telling me.  I figured that people might take some of things I write personally.  I wrote about this on My About page.  Another thing my blog stats tell me, that people haven't read it, which further justifies the reason for this post.

My whole intent here is to write a blog that interests and amuses people and creates conversation around a topic that I am obviously very interested in.  I want to remember all the things I say now.  What I write are genuine thoughts and opinions and in 10 years, I will be curious about what I thought and felt about these things now.  Hopefully, in the future, it will help me keep perspective when I encounter non-parental types like me who have all these fabulous ideas and notions about a life experience they haven't had yet.

As I've watched my friends and family members enter into parenthood one by one, I've observed a very natural occurrence:  parenthood is like its own fraternity. I've watched my own friends become closer and bond with each other over their children.  Honestly, parenthood can be socially divisive in some ways. Children are a natural and frequent topic of conversation.  Parent-only friends get together for play dates.   And let's be honest with ourselves, no one likes to be left out of anything, well, at least not me.   So, this blog for me, even though I am on the periphery with my parent friends, allows me to engage in some of the dialog about parenthood in ways that I otherwise wouldn't be included in.  Even though I don't have kids, I am interested in them.  

I know I've started something on a very touchy subject.  People take parenting very personally.  I imagine that you should. I don't need kids to know that being a parent is a really hard job.  I also realize that most parents are doing the best that they can.  Some of my thoughts or opinions may seem critical and judgmental, but I don't see anything wrong with that.  This is why:  criticism and judgment have their place in our society.   I think they are essential tools in helping us observe what's going on around us, categorize how we feel about certain things, and thus, allow us to develop and strengthen our own personal value systems.  So yes, I sometimes cannot decide what I will or won't do without observing what some parents are doing and figuring out where it aligns with my ideals and priorities for raising a kid.  But please make no mistake, if you do something that I write against, I do not think less of you as a person (unless you are letting your kids run wild through a restaurant.)  Rather, I am merely putting an idea out there and offering it up for rebuttal.  I learned a lot from my post about kid leashes.  Some of my readers gave me perspectives I had never even considered.  I welcome that dialog and conversation.  It allows my opinions to evolve and gives me a better understanding on parental behavior and perhaps, the world at large.

My aim in my writing about these topics is mostly to entertain. I thought it would be amusing for myself and others, if I documented these thoughts.  I am well aware that, well I'll let Robert Burns take it from here:

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Still you are blest, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

I know I am taking a big risk with this blog.  I am offering myself up for what could be future humiliation and certainly, the same criticisms and judgements that I've unleashed on my readership.  What has surprised me most about this blog is the sense I get from people, that they can't wait for some kind of revenge that will naturally occur once I do have kids, just because I've journaled my opinions and ideas about parenthood without actually being a parent.  I reserve the right to change my mind about anything I write here and for some reason, I imagine that if I do change my mind, there will be readers out there who will think they've clinched some some of victory at my own admission of erroneous thought and will boast "I knew it! or I told you so!"  And that is fine if they do.  I will take all of that then the way I hope my readers take what I write now, with a grain of salt.

If you do not agree with what I write, I welcome you to offer up a counter argument and help me understand your point of view.  I regard myself as an open-minded person and I am happy to consider other ways of thinking.  My theory on this blog is that if you take anything I write personally, then you are taking me too seriously.

I hope you all will stay with me on this journey, not so that you can rub my face in my wrong words in the future, but so that you can find amusement in some of my naivety, and hopefully offer your own opinions and experiences to help shape and mold my ideas, and witness first hand (one day) the evolution of a woman to a mother.

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