Happy Second Blogiversary to Me!
No presents please, just your presence is appreciated. It is my (belated) two year blogiversary. My second anniversary of blogging here at Embrace the Chaos was in October. But I have been so busy keeping up with the news and managing chaos that I haven’t had time to reflect on the goings-on here in my tiny corner of the Internet.
But I have learned some things along the way this year including:
The increased media attention on parenting has meant that there have been too many studies, too many stories and many conflicting reports on how to be a good parent. Sometimes someone puts a voice to our inner conflict and gains fame in the form of books, or 15 minutes of fame for a feline parenting technique. My money is on The Onion’s take on the whole thing.
We are still struggling with gender stereotypes and how to handle the differences and commonalities between boys and girls.
People really, really care if my five-year-old does her homework. My most controversial post of the year drew over 350 comments, and most of the people disagreed with me. I hadn’t expected the firestorm when I wrote it and, to be honest, I still stand by my opinion that boring, rote homework for a five-year-old is inappropriate. But some of the comments (the ones that weren’t rude) did make me ask myself what I was teaching my daughter about rules and standards. And for those who wonder, my Grade 1 daughter loves to do her age-appropriate homework in multi-colours with hearts.
Tina Fey is smart and can make me cry.
We can Mom the Vote and make a difference.
As my kids get older, I am thinking less about how much sleep I get and more about how being a tween in the modern world is terrifying and full of questions that we parents don’t know yet how to answer. (Though I still think about sleep a lot too.)
In the last year, I have written posts that I am proud of, posts that I've forgotten about, and ones that I would have worded differently. I have been buoyed by the support of my readers and chastised by them too.
But what I found when I read over a year of posts (approximately 250!) is that the one thing that has really moved me this year is the community and the honesty of my readers. Time after time readers were willing to open up and talk about their own experiences as a child and as a parent.
That was especially obvious on my posts about having a favourite child. Adults wrote about the lasting pain they experienced as the “unfavoured” child, parents wrote about how they strive for equality as imperfect and hard to achieve as it is. Mostly, people were aghast that a mother could choose one child over another. And I share that sentiment.
Sometimes the comments on posts go completely off-track and I haven’t quite figured out a way to bring them back. But for future reference: "Don’t feed the trolls" means do not respond to people who are baiting you or I. They are laying in wait for a reaction.
I don’t always comment back, but I am always reading. I appreciate the people who comment everyday, and I also appreciate the lurkers who pop in once in a while or who email me or stop me at an event. This year, I learned that I have a lot to learn from all of you as well as the experts, the studies and myriad of parenting sites.
When I started off two years ago, I didn't know that I would fall in love with blogging; writing five days a week seemed like a ridiculous proposition. But after 500+ posts, I can't imagine what I did before this.
I hope you stick around for another year of chaos. Who knows what will happen next?
Did you have a favourite post? Was there one that really riled you up?
Want more chaos? Here is last year’s blogiversary post. You can see that some things change and some things stay the same.