Since last fall, I’ve been making a point to post to my site, and let Publicize push to Facebook and Twitter. My thinking originally was “well, some longer things, I’ll use my blog for! I’ll blog more often; it’ll be fun and educational.”
That was fine. I got a few posting streaks going, which was pretty cool. But I started thinking more about my content. It was still scattered.
So I decided to post (almost) exclusively to my blog, instead of to Facebook or Twitter. So far, I’m on an 86 day streak (including today), and all of my images and content live right here.
There are a few exceptions. I will still use Twitter to reach out to companies (HelloFresh sent me phyllo dough instead of tofu this week, for example). I would also use Twitter for shorter, more irreverent comments – although I made an effort to streamline that a bit this week, by posting a brief story about my son farting to my blog instead. I used Facebook to create a secret group to plan my husband’s surprise graduation party. But for the most part, my habit isn’t to go to Facebook to post something; it’s to come to my own site and do so.
I’ve so far done pretty poorly with getting active on Instagram – I really have no desire to use a separate network to post. (Disclaimer: I absolutely use Facebook actively; comments, liking posts, participating in the multiples mamas group I’m in – but I don’t usually create a new post in Facebook.)
Many of my posts are just images, maybe a few words. These typically show up like so:
(Worth noting: on Twitter, the gif animates. Not so -yet- on FB.)
In a practical sense, this really saves me time. I post a snapshot of my life – it usually take about 5 minutes (80-90% of the time, I post from my phone). I don’t want to post it to WordPress.com, then post it to Facebook and Twitter individually. Traffic on my site seems to be pretty steady, which makes me happy. But really, I don’t mind too much if folks only check my posts via Facebook or Twitter. I use these services to stay in touch with people, so if that’s where they’re going to catch up on people in the more remote regions of their lives, well, I’m happy to meet them there.
Something else I’ve consciously done for a long time is post positive things, pretty exclusively. Raising kids is damn hard. Absolutely wonderfully rewarding, yes, but also the most punishing thing you can do. Especially figuring out two newborns at once (I firmly believe that the gulf from zero kids -> any number of kids is far bigger than the gulf between 1 kid and 2 kids; so I suspect that anyone who has to figure out “just” one newborn undoubtedly has had the same struggles as we have).
Something you hear a lot about (possibly everyone hears this, possibly just once you have kids) is mommy-wars and mommy-shaming. The idea here, is that some mothers will purposely paint themselves in this extremely flattering light, in order to be the object of envy to other mothers, to make them feel badly for not “having it all” or “doing it all.” Some parents are better at juggling chaos, I’m sure, and can actually do quite a bit every day. Some parents struggle more with it. Me? I have a housekeeper and send my kids to daycare. I happen to cook a few times a week, but that’s because of HelloFresh. We are far from perfect, but we are happy.
But here’s the thing – I don’t post about the guy that cut me off in traffic (but man was he out of line!) or when the kids struggle at daycare day after day, or when Henry had that potty training regression and I was washing loads and loads of tiny underpants. Because that stuff makes me dwell on the hard parts. I purposely try to get through the hard times, figure out what I need to learn or how we need to adapt, and then move on.
I write my blog primarily for me. I like to look back and remember that cute story or this “perfect” picture. It makes me see how lucky I am. I get to curate this ideal little garden – I am strict with comments (I approve them before they’ll post) because this is my haven in an increasingly online life. I like to share the nice things with everyone who’s interested, and I hope to never make another parent feel despair because most of my posts are tilted towards the positive (as non-intuitive as that may sound).
Kurt Vonnegut wrote in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater:
Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies -“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
And I think that about sums it up.