Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Probably Opening A Can Of Worms Here....

However in the past I have many conversations with fellow bloggers who have often wondered why some of the big name bloggers get so much attention when they're stories are just a few of many out there who have gone through the same thing.

In fact many have gone through much worse.

I can think of 10 people off the top of my head who deserve so much recognition for the trials that they or their families have gone through. Yet they are out there not to exploit their children or make money off of them, but to raise awareness.

These people don't have ads all over their sites. It's all just a part of a united front of moms who have children with either special needs or whom have medical challenges.

While reading through the bloggy world today, I came across this paragraph written by a fellow blogger, and thought that I would share it here, as I completely agree with what she has said.

I just want to say that there is an element of fame that comes in when someone has a blog with a huge readership. I'm sure it is very hard to stay down-to-earth when you have people literally worshipping the ground you walk on. It's always seemed off to me. I think these are real women who get get sucked in to what everyone is saying about them. Their egos are affected, just like a movie star who is suddenly thrust into the limelight.

I would ask everyone to step back and take it all with a grain of salt. These are REAL women. They have their faults and shortcomings like the rest of us. No amount of great writing (accompanied by beautiful photographs) is going to change that. They do not necessarily know more than you do, about life and raising children. They are not better wives and mothers than you are. There is no reason for you to look UP to them. I think it is dangerous when they are placed on a pedestal and constantly told, "You're so funny, you're so smart, you're so great!" They put their nursing bras on one strap at a time, like the rest of us.

The internet creates an environment that is very, very unique. You can pick and choose what you want to show people. You pick the pictures going out there. You edit them, you make everything look the best it possibly can. It's NOT totally genuine. I do the same thing. If I have a pile of laundry on my sofa and my kids' dirty socks and shoes on the floor, do I include all that in a picture of my new coffee table? No! It gets cropped.

Please take into consideration that most bloggers are "cropping" their lives for you. They're taking out some of the bad, and then adjusting the lighting and color and putting a nice rosy glow on everything. I know so many women who feel inferior and feel that they just aren't good enough, because they compare themselves to bloggers.

Please, please, please stop looking at the big bloggers as if they are leaders. They're not! They're just regular old people like you and I. They yell at their kids sometimes. They skip showers. They argue with their husbands. They forget homework assignments and bills and playdates. They're HUMAN like we are! Their creative talent is what sets them apart. That is only one aspect of a full life.

I thought this was so true, and I know so many other mom's out there who have amazing creative talent, even more so than these big name bloggers.

But what sets us little folks apart is that we are out there to raise awareness. It's not about how many hits we have or how many followers. It's not a show about who has the most perfect life.

It's about life in itself.

My life is not perfect, and I hope I have never portrayed that, as sometimes I myself have sat there and thought, should I sugar coat this so that I don't sound like a desperate fool?

But in all reality this blog is for us. It's so that we can look back at our past and see how far we have come. If we make a few friends along the way, all the better.

I know for me, my life has seemed to me to be in shambles the last few months. I feel like my relationship with Andy has gone to the pits becuase he is never home. My heart hurts because I am begining to resent the fact that he can come and go as he pleases, and just the fact that he knows where nothing in our house is makes me feel like I am failing as a wife.

I have gone to some of the big blog sites and read about how perfect their lives are with their husbands, and how they fix organic meals for their kids every night, and I look at my kids eating Ramen Noodles for the 4th night in a row because it's all we can afford. It makes me wonder what I have done wrong.

After reading the above paragraph though it made me feel so much better.

I am normal. I am human. I blog because I love to, and it helps me sort things out.
It's not about attention, money, or portraying an "I am better than you" type of lifestyle.

It's a history, and it sure saves me from getting some serious cramps in my hand from writing in a journal.

Granted I am sure that I will eventually end up with carpral tunnel.

Murphy's law ya know.

Am I guilty of cropping out a messy living room or bedroom?

Oh yeah.

Am I guilty of photoshoping myself so that I look presentable to my online friends?

Of course! That big pimple on my nose....buh bye!!

But when it comes down to it, my writing is honest. I don't care who thinks what of me.

I sincerley hope that I didn't offend anyone. It's not about trashing people. Far from that. It's just that that paragraph touched me, and I felt like I needed to share it.


Lacey said...

Who are the big bloggers that people worship?

Larky Lady said...

Yep, everyone is human and nobody is problem-free. I would like to NOT know the "blogged worshiped", I'm sure that's best left unsaid. I would think that a healthy dose of reality is best for everyone here!
To be admired and loved by those you are close to, is what I desire. Everything else is watered down, filtered, and not really real.
But of course, that won't stop me from saying nice things to mommy bloggers. :)

ABandCsMom said...

Thank you for wording this so well. It's been weighing heavy on my mind for some time.

datri said...

I have hundreds of blogs in my reader, big and small. I actually prefer the smaller blogs so my comments don't get lots amongst dozens! Plus I know these bloggers aren't trying to keep an audience, they are just blogging about their lives.

Amy said...

When I first started blogging, I was enamored of some of the heavy hitters. And I was chasing the numbers in terms of followers. But as I'm approaching a year of blogging, what I really have come to value is not something as lifeless as numbers, but the exchange of ideas, the conversation that happens between me and the people who read my blogs and the people whose blogs I follow.

DirtyThirty said...

Nice. So true, I wonder how some do it sometimes, then i think, oh yeah. photoshop. That and their husbands make a butt load of money so they hire housekeepers and nannys!!!

I'm with ya though, so guilty of cropping! Keep it real.

PS - no mail yet ... is it lost? wahhhh

Ann said...

For me its about relationships. I'd take one genuinely interested reader who cares about me and my family over 1000 people saying nice things.

The Simmons Family said...

I don't know any of the "heavy hitters" personally, but I don't think they start their blogs with the intention of getting a bazillion readers. Do they?? If you look back on their blogs to the beginning, they blogged for years with only a few comments if any. I think they become more popular to a majority of readers because they ARE human and we see our faults in them. That is one of the main reasons I fell in love with Rhett's Journey. I recognized myself in what you were saying.. especially the medical stuff.

I don't understand the readers that become "stalkers".. is what i call them. Ones that refresh a bunch of times a day and leave multiple comments. It's a bit freaky! No thanks.

I enjoy all the comments I receive, but they aren't as enjoyable if I have NO IDEA who the person leaving it is.

We blog to journal our lives. We blog to preserve memories. Our kids are only going to be little once! :)


Shari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shari said...

I agree with all you have posted from the other blogger and what you have said. I know who the big bloggers are and no, most of them haven't been blogging for years. I used to feel guilty about how I fed my kids after reading these blogs who only feed their kids organic and whatever, but I have stopped that guilt. I buy in our budget range and do the best I can. I don't buy $15 a lb laundry soap to save the earth and yada yada. I have been called a 'sheeple' because I follow regular medicine and not the naturopath, crunchy, granola, take-millions-of-supplements way. I just don't care anymore. I do what I can and I don't care if my blog gets tons of readers. I cherish the friends I have made and hope someday I can be a blessing to my blog friends like they have been to me! And oh yeah, I have never cropped a picture because I don't know how.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

This is a great post! And I TOTALLY crop pictures. And yell at my kids. LOL It was the reason I wrote this post. I am definitely not a mega blogger, and there are times when I've found myself a little envious of them, but then overall, I've decided I'm glad I'm not one, because like some others have said, I love the friendships I've formed through my blog and even though I get behind, I love visiting everyone who visits me. I KNOW the mega bloggers can't/don't do that. I definitely blog for awareness, but most importantly I blog for my kids. They love it and read it every day... I know when they get older it will be something neat for them to look back on. It's also a great tool for when Frank is deployed as well. In my heart of hearts though, I don't think most of the mega bloggers intend to exploit their children. I've been accused of that and it about tore my heart out :(. I just can't imagine any mama setting out to do that. :( Anyway, great post with some great thoughts! I may link to you if you don't mind!

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog and prayed for Rhett and your family.
You moms of sick kids have a full time tough job. The bitterness and anger I detect is understandable under your circumstances. However this article hurts a lot of moms already hurting. Choose your web sites and don't click on those that aggrivate you. I follow your blog because I fell in love with little Rhett! (what is a have over 100 followers?) sincerely, Just a follower.

stephanie said...

The thing that drew me to your blog was your honesty, and the fact that I could picture myself having coffee with you.Infact that's kind of how I determine if a blogger is "compatible" or not, if it's all too June Cleaver somethings not right.I don't think I know any of the biggies, I love my blogfriends and actually do have coffee with you every morning.

Lund7 said...

I love your honesty and totally agree with you about the big bloggers. I sometimes envy them when they post about random nothing-ness and get hundreds of comments. I am lucky to get 10 comments max on any given post but that's ok with me! I know the people that comment on my blog are truly sincere and enjoy reading about our life!

Keep doing what you are doing! Your family is great and I enjoy reading your blog!

amanda said...

i love this post. i saw that comment yesterday, or the day before, whenever it was as well. and i said. that's right. we're all just people and human. way to keep it real!!

my word veri is sumart. you are suuuuuuuuuuumart. :0) lol.

Lacey said...

hey, do you still have the infinity pump for Rhett? I still have those bags and will bring them on Saturday if you can use them. Let me know.

brinkworth bunch said...

I have been stalking your blog for months and love it. Your kids are beautiful, your family a refreshing step up from "perfection" and you are so honest with all of us. Thank you for making me see the wonderful in my crazy critter filled life.

Now as for those ramen noodles add an egg with that flavor packet and serve up egg drop soup, I think we will have that for lunch. Remember that you are a great mother and a wonderful wife and your children most likely will never remeber eating the pesky things. But they will remember the love they felt from a honest loving mother that has shown them how to live and love by example.

Anonymous said...

Thanks you for saying what the rest of us have been feeling for along time....and for your courage.


x said...

hey - came here from "AR is Fake" blog after reading & appreciating your post there. your Rhett is a doll! he looks so sweet on the SS couch - hope you can find a replacement mini-sofa.
(i couldn't agree more about the "famous bloggers". i could NEVER go public, TV interviews etc comfortably, as i could never so give up my privacy. just the fact that some do makes them suspect to me - interesting but seeking something i'd never want or accept).
you do put a face to the tragedy of the April Rose scam. she is seriously manipulative, mean & sick. i hope she is rewarded as our Lord sees fit.
i had never heard of trisomy & you'd think i would have. so in that way, i am glad i was sucked in. i can only imagine how you feel wasting your time on a fake mom. however, you prayed in earnest & gave of yourself sincerely. guess we have all learned not to be as gullible but it is difficult when one has a big heart, isn't it? i was so praising God that the baby AR was carried to term so His will would be done. ha ha! yeah, right.
anyway, just a statement of encouragement to you for all you have gone through with your family, all you have lost and all you have gained by falling hard. the Lord knows your fears & i'm sure you know, as i learned the hard way, a big fall in worldly goods and even relationships being confused will eventually lead to a life based on better priorities and a more valuable existence.
it is however, a very difficult and long road. i will be praying for you now, Pam.
ps -"disappeared" my blog a few weeks ago for various reasons. not originally registered as "x"!

Anonymous said...

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

While you are assuming the motivation of a blogger whether big or small, it just makes you look jealous to your readers whether that was your motivation or not.

Anonymous said...

I accidentally left my comment to this on Rhett's love of preschool
entry. Lynn B.

Aimee said...

I've never really been sucked in by the big bloggers but came across a blog the other night that talked about an organic dinner etc. I really kinda thought to myself. What normal family does this every single night? Well, I can't think of one that I know.

What's funny is that most kids are more happy with something simple like a hot dog or ramen's. It doesn't matter what I cook, Ava would rather have hotdog!

Anonymous said...

"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Hmmm...very interesting, what you just said was very judgemental and rude, in my opinion. It sounds like you are a little jealous of the "big bloggers"? Why not take advantage of a situation and make money doing something you love(writing, while creating a scrapbook of your children). If you could make money advertising on your blog why wouldn't you??

Pam said...

Guys, seriously. Come on. Please don't hide behind "anonymous". It's just proving my point.

I don't care if it makes me "look jealous."

I haven't thrown any names around or made anyone looke bad. It was just a statement that was made that I agreed with.

As far as the money thing goes? Lord knows my readers know that we need it more than anyone. In fact I have had people offer to pay me for advertising on my blog. Heck I could use the monetize button on blogger. I could use adsense, google, whatever.

But nah. It takes away from my family and the beauty of this blog.

I'm not saying thats right for everyone. Just the way I feel. I want this to be about our family, not about who gets the most clicks and constantly throwing myself at the media for those extra readers.

I was just asked a question and I am giving an honest answer. Now if I could make money without exploiting my children, and where it was on a blog that didn't involve my family....maybe.

But it's not nice to toy with people who are praying and following you because you have a sick child.

My whole point in this post was that
A. I agreed with the statement.
B. I have talked with many of my blog friends who have said so many times, oh I wish I could be like so and so.
C. I wanted to point out that in a world where there are many things to falsely worship, some bloggers are becoming just that. Worshiped.

Nobody has the right way to parenting, and we shouldn't think that we need to jump on a band wagon just because so and so does it this or that way.

That's all. Not being judgemental. Just trying to keep things in perspective and letting my fellow "little bloggers" know that we are all in this together, and it's okay not to be perfect and have perfect lives.

BTW, It was asked what a "big blogger" is? It's someone who gets over 10k hits a day. It's not all of them that I see as trying to make money by toying with emotions, just some.

I will not name them becuase I am not out on a witch hunt, nor do I want to have the hounds unleashed on me.

It's just the way I feel, and I am human therefore entitled to my opinion.

My Three Sons said...

Well written! I follow your blog and have for a long time because like you, I have challenges and feel like it is a support group for us. I love reading about your children and like you, there are times I'm struggling and I can still find humor in day to day life.

You are a wonderful and strong mother who has to watch your wallet and aren't afraid to talk about your messy house. That is a lot like me.

Thanks for sharing your loving family with us.

I love my blogging and have about 15-20 loyal readers who comment and I love following their lives as well. Because I'm not a huge blog, I can have more meaningful relationships with the ones that follow me and the ones that I follow.

Like you for instance, it is nice that you send me private e-mails and have even called and checked on us. That to me is much more meaningful than someone who has such a large number of followers that they don't really know our families.

Thanks for our blogging friendship. I look forward to many more years....

Sarah said...

I just get excited when I get a comment a week LOL

Totally was drawn to your blog...for my love of little boys with cannula's LOL

I think one of the greatest things out of the crapload of fun that came with the cannula...and everthing attached to I have been able to know people who deal with things I've never dreamed off. Puts life in perspective.

Mrs Wibbs said...

Pam... I am SOOOOO glad you wrote this!! I also have felt deeply inadequate at times, after reading some of the 'more popular' blogs out there... So SMALL! But you have redressed the balance, and I love you all the more for it
Thank you honey

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