A year ago I decided to start blogging.
I never really understood why anyone would want to blog. The reason I was motivated to start Mama Bean's World was because I started to notice that people's parents were requesting to friend me on Facebook. People I had never met-- not the parents whose kitchens I hung out in as a kid, but complete strangers. When I would ask their child "Why does your mom want to be my friend?" I found out it was because my status updates were being quoted. Their parent thought I was funny, and hence the friend request.
So I started making my updates a little longer.
Then I thought, hmmmm.... if people find me this entertaining, I might as well start a blog and see how it goes.
I started with about 20 friends who read it. By the end of the month, it had grown to 75.... now I get about 1,200-1,500 hits a month. My readers are from all over the world. Some, I know exactly how they found me, my readers in Malaysia- no idea, but hey, welcome to my world.
I found out that although I often feel alone in my thoughts or stuck in my life, I'm anything but unique. My stories ring true with many. My daily frustrations are shared. My dreams are common. My politics, well, that might be a different story, but I hope I bring a wider perspective to people who maybe think differently than me. Or, perhaps, the realization that the US isn't nearly as divided as you might think.
I'm limited on commenting on many things, due to the nature of my job. The positive impact of that has been that I've really been able to look back and see, over the past year, that I am substantially more than a job title. My position as a mother, a wife, a citizen, clearly is more important than my business card. I'm not sure if I appreciated that as much last year.
I started writing this as something fun to do. I have always wanted to be a writer. I took a writing class about 8 years ago and the instructor said the best way to improve your writing is to simply write. Every day. With free blog space, it's much easier to do. My hopes, of course, is that my blog goes viral and I can somehow turn it into something more-- but for now, it serves it purpose. I get to write funny stories about my life, share my opinions and improve my writing. It's been far more cathartic than I would have thought. I have records of the silly things that happen to me and my kids will be able to read them and laugh long after I'm gone. Maybe someday Oprah will read it and I'll have my own talk show, but honestly, life is pretty darn good as it is.
People who don't know my kids may question some of my stories. Trust me- they are as I write them. They are terrific little philosophers. They are bright little buggers. They also love to help me blog. Sometimes when they do something they tell me "Mom, you HAVE to blog about this." I love it. My interview with my son? He sat on the desk next to me, and I asked him the questions. They help me edit. So please don't worry that my new hobby is taking away precious time from my family. It's not. As I always say, I don't watch much TV, so I spend that time on Facebook playing Scrabble or blogging. My kids are fine. My daughter is snuggled next to me while she gives play by play commentary on my son playing Wii. My husband appreciates the quiet time when I write. I had two of my neighbors both comment recently about what a kick they get out of my blogs since they know the kids and often witness our antics first hand.
And my husband has also been a great advocate of my new hobby. He gives me honest feedback on my blogs- he has his favorites. I never write anything about him without having him approve it first. My comment about his Destructo Man Hands is now a common phrase in our household. He is making me a cappuccino now. I hope he doesn't break anything.
And as for me, I have loved every minute of it. One of my favorite moments in the blogosphere was when my friend Julie saw my blog posted on the wall of her friend. When she asked her friend how she knew me, she didn't. She had gotten it from a friend of a friend of a friend--- very cool. It is very strange to be quoted-- I run into people and they tell me they use some of my catch phrases. It's really fun.
I love that my cousins read my blog. We haven't done the best job
staying in touch over the years and we were all fairly close growing
up. It's nice to see them share and comment on it. Truly nice. They
are all terrific people and it's fun to see how we still have so much in
My most popular blogs are a recent one I wrote in support of gay marriage and the letter that I wrote to my children last year on Mother's Day. As much as people love the goofy ones where everything in my day falls apart, it's my more thoughtful, political ones that get more traffic. I find that interesting. I think my passion about compassion comes through in those.
My favorite blogs are usually about my husband. I loved the one where I complained about how he breaks everything I own (and to his defense, he says he also breaks everything HE owns-- he just showed me a new shirt he bought that I need to fix because he tore it- like I said I can't make this stuff up) and my all-time favorite is the story about when we signed up for E-Harmony.
I would love to go viral and have 1,000,000 readers, but honestly, I figured 10-20 friends would be all that read it to begin with. It has exceeded my expectations, but I'm competitive.
But at the end of the day, I did this to have fun, to find my voice and to have some documentation of my existence. I have achieved all of these goals.
Thank you so much to everyone for reading! I will keep on writing as long as you keep on reading!