Coincidence? I'm not sure. The same week I saw these two posts, Women on the Fringe and A Blogger's Examination of Conscience, I was dealing with several situations of women who had been emotionally hurt and/or mislead by popular blogs in the "moms at home, raising kids" blogosphere.
Women who thought life, as a mom at home, was supposed to be a constant "Kodak moment". Then, when it wasn't (a good part of the time), they felt like failures. Overtime of trying to be this super mom and wife, the feelings of failure took over and these women crashed. They could not meet the expectations they had set for themselves. They had become so consumed by these images of 24/7 well-kept homes, homemade meals, well-behaved children, nursing on demand, everyday craft projects, detailed lesson plans, well-dressed children, prayer routines, sewing projects, exercise routines, reading routines, home gardens, home management notebooks with pretty covers, etc,. that there was no way they could measure up to these contrived images presented on the blogs they had become "addicted to"
It was very sad. What these women failed to realize was that no one can replicate these images ... no one. These images are contrived. No mom can have all these things at one time. No mom has everything under control all the time. As moms and wives, we can strive for these things, but with a balance. If we decide to do a craft one day, something else has to give. Usually it is a cleaned, well-ordered house, depending on the ages of your kids! These pictures into the lives of moms who blog are just that - pictures. They are moments in time. They are not 24/7 constants!
So, readers of blogs have that responsibility to themselves, to recognize that. We should never try to be someone else. We are who we are. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, different temperments, different resources, different husbands and children. All of these combined, make our home situations different. What works for one mom, may not work for another. Recognizing that and just being you, is the best way you can serve God and your family.
At the same time, moms who blog have an important responsibility. We need to avoid painting unreal images about our family life and about who we are. We need to constantly review our purpose in blogging. Is it to be the center of attention? Is it to seek acknowledgement of others to boost my pride? Am I leading other women falsely? We need to recognize that "our way" is not the only way.
It's a big responsibility to be shared by writers and readers alike. It is necessary.