Thursday, May 28, 2009

Celebrating One Year of Midwest Moms

These days, it seems like everyone is starting a Mommy blog -- that strange hybrid of family scrapbook, confessional, parenting manual, and late-night comedy routine.

We're a hundred thousand Erma Bombecks.

Who knows why we do it? I can answer only for myself.

I started Midwest Moms one year ago because I was the only one in my family raising children far from home. The transition from single life to married motherhood was one of the toughest life-altering transformations I have ever experienced. Through the highs and lows, after the tremendous the changes I underwent on the outside and the inside, I became stronger and tougher and more loving and patient than I ever thought I could be. Motherhood was like a trial by fire; it transformed me, not because I wanted it to... just because that's what becoming a Mom does to a woman. And once it did, once I was a Mom, I was surprised to find I had gained entry into an amazing sisterhood of strong women who had all undergone the same metamorphosis.

But motherhood is isolating work. It makes a grown woman spend the entire day speaking in two-word sentences, just to be understood. It turns a woman with a master's degree into a trained parrot, teaching her son or daughter to speak by repeating every phrase twice. It forces former professionals to resort to discussing the consistency of their little ones' diapers, the price of bananas, and how to get our whites whiter instead of using our time together to talk about the real challenges of mothering -- balancing love and discipline, raising responsible resilient children, fostering communication in the home, battling our need for appreciation with the reality that true appreciation most often comes only from our sisters in the trenches.

We don't talk about those things in the produce aisle. Or at PTA meetings.

We blog about them instead.

We blog to give a voice to our family journey, to document the challenges and the victories, if for no one but ourselves. In the process, we find friends we never knew we had -- women who live in other places, but who understand the people we are and were and hope to be. For me, blogging is a way to reach through the isolating work I do, to move past the everyday even as I write about it.

In the process of writing Midwest Moms, I have found a voice I didn't know I had, an outlet for my weird sense of humor, a way to convey my experience of the world. I find it hard to believe I've only been at it for a year -- it has become so much a part of who I am.

So, thank you for coming by Midwest Moms and sharing this strangely, surprisingly meaningful journey with me. I never could have imagined the past year of writing would be so, well, important. But it is. It continues to be.

Many thanks for a wonderful year.

- Midwest Mom

15 comments:

  1. Congrats on one year blogging!

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  2. I love reading your blog even tho those mommy days are long ago history for me - your writing "voice" is wonderful. I read one other mommy blog, Manic Mother, who just discovered her baby has cancer - lots of blogs, and pictures. Beth is obviously going thru some VERY rough stuff - I know you have a heart of gold - can you help in any way? I'm going to put it (her) on my blog too. Seems our "community" should rally?

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  3. Liz - Thanks so much. :)

    Suzen - I'm already on it. I tweeted about Beth this morning and I'm going to see if I can organize something for her through Twittermoms. Most of all, I'm keeping her and her family and Ezra's doctors in my prayers. (Thanks for your comments always. You are such a supportive reader, and I value you.)

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  4. Congrats, how exciting. I love your writing :)

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  5. Happy one year of blogging! I would like to hear more about that story of your son's teacher saying that she liked your blog.

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  6. I should have known you'd be on it - bless you!

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  7. Happy Blogoversary!
    I think in a world more fractured by schedules (work, activities, cars instead of walking, strip malls instead of neighborhood grocers) the blogosphere provides for moms what sewing circles and neighborhood card clubs used to.

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  8. Congratulations on your first year of blogging (I think I just past mine a couple of months ago, myself)! I really enjoyed your post. So true.

    :0)

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  9. Congrats. Motherhood really is isolating and community building all at the same time.

    Here's hoping you're around for another 100 years.

    -Abby

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  10. we blog to give a voice to our family journey - I loved that! It is totally why I blog!

    Congrats on one year ~ I plan to come back often and catch up on some of your archives!!

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  11. Firefly - Thanks! You are terrific.

    Laurie @Playground Observer - It was one of the first things she said back when school started. She said she'd been reading all summer long, then she said, "It's just like John & Kate Plus 8!" And I thought, "dear God in heaven, what have I done?!?" I frantically searched back through the blog and found nothing my son would be embarrassed about. Phew!

    Theresa - Thank you. It's great to see you back again.

    Green Girl - You know, you're right. There is part of me that feels so attached to the great women I've met through this blog. I feel like we should have a big barbecue or something.

    Mommy Project - Thanks, and happy belated blogaversary to you!

    Abby @sweetbaboo - You are a darling woman. But I'm afraid if I'm around in 100 years and still doing this, we'll have to rename the blog. Midwest Great Great Grandmas? Would that work?

    ~kris~ - Thanks for coming by. I love to hear from new readers. You are welcome here anytime.

    Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

    - Julia

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  12. Congratulations and even though I may not have children, I have often recommended your wonderful blog to so many of my readers and to friends that I have come across... I think your articles and writing skills are amazing and most helpful!!

    Here's to another successful year with your blog.

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  13. Good lord thank god it wasn't this year the teacher compared you to Jon and Kate.. that is a quite hysterical though,. anyway I've enjoyed reading this past year! It's been bookmarked to my favorites on both my work laptop and home computer :-)

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  14. I just read your article from BlogCatalog. I wanted to stop by and congratulate you on your blogging success. You are very motivating. I wish you lots more years of blogging fun!

    xoxo.steph

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