What to do, what to do

I have been thinking about this blog lately and trying to figure out what, if anything, I want to do with it.  I haven’t posted in months and it seems to be collecting spam comments which is unpleasant.

I started this blog because I was in grad school and feeling tired, frustrated, unsupported, and in need of an outlet for my feelings.  I got that, plus I became part of an online community of women scientists.  It turns out that there are quite a few “disgruntled female grad student blogs” out there and this blog fit right in with them.  I enjoyed being a part of that community and it really and truly saved my sanity on more than one occasion.

However, I am no longer a disgruntled grad student (thank God) and so I’ve been thinking about closing up shop here.  The funny thing is, because this blog was so important to me for so long, I find myself quite emotionally attached to it.  I really don’t know how to let it go.  And yet, I really strongly feel that anything I might write here, now, just doesn’t fit in with what this blog has been about.  Thus my dilemma.

I am well aware that this is my blog and I can write anything I damn well please on it, no matter what the original intention of the blog.  But–and I really can’t explain why I feel this way–it seems wrong to suddenly turn it into a mommy blog and, for better or worse, being a mom is pretty much the focus of my life right now.  This isn’t to say I don’t do anything but be a mom 24/7 (I still have other interests and hobbies and friendships with people who are not moms).  It is simply that, for me, blogging is an opportunity to express my feelings about whatever I find challenging in my life and I have to say that being a mom is pretty challenging.  So, that is what I would write about if I were to start blogging again.

For quite some time now I have been considering starting a new blog, one that is more attuned to my current stage in life.  I haven’t done so because 1) I haven’t come up with a catchy name yet (don’t laugh; a good name is important and the inability to come up with a name for the blog reflects my inability to figure out what the focus would be) and 2) I’m trying to decide if I would like to be pseudonymous or blog under my own name.

At first, I thought I had no need/didn’t want to be pseudonymous.  After all, what would be the negative consequences of mommy blogging that could be ameliorated by being pseudonymous?  And, frankly, maintaining a pseudonym can get tiring if you are really trying to guard your identity.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I thought I might like to keep my pseudonym.  First, because I would like to be able to redirect anyone who still reads this blog and is wondering what the hell happened to me to the new blog.  Second, because I’m finding that parenting is way more controversial than being a disgruntled grad student.  Being a mom has somehow turned into a competitive sport.  And not a friendly one, like ultimate frisbee, either.  It’s more like rugby or World Cup soccer.  For instance, I know people who have had perfect strangers in the grocery store tell them that they are bad mothers, that they don’t love their children, that they are scarring their children for life.  Now, I know lots of grad students who have been told the scientific equivalent, but only when they were participating in the scientific process (in lab, at a conference, at a seminar, in a committee meeting, etc.) not when they were picking out produce.  As a grad student, you could be reasonably certain that you were safe from scientific attack if you were, say, at your knitting group or having dinner with your in-laws (unless they were scientists, I suppose), or just walking down the street minding your own business.  As a mom, you don’t have that luxury.  You can be, and often are, judged everywhere you go with your child in every venue by absolutely anyone you see.

Actually, now that I’ve written this post, I see that I would likely be happiest starting a new blog under my current pseudonym.  What, exactly, I would do with this blog is undecided.  I would like to leave it up in case my experiences would be useful to anyone else.  But, the spam commenting is bothersome.  I suppose I will either turn off comments or enable moderation for all comments.

It’s funny, I started this post wondering if I even wanted to keep blogging at all, given I have very little free time these days.  But, as I come to the end of this post, I find I am remembering how useful it is to get my thoughts down on “paper” and how the way forward can become clear if I write about the things that are troubling me.

Once I get the new blog set up, I will provide a link here to redirect anyone who is looking for me.

3 thoughts on “What to do, what to do

  1. Please do not close this blog down. one of your blog post written ages before, was an inspiration to me. Do maintain it and provide a link to your new a/c.
    All the best.

  2. I stumbled on your blog while I was procrastinating-I mean “taking a break” from writing my dissertation in 2009. You articulated so beautifully the feelings of doubt, defeat and insecurity that plague so many of us during grad school! It was SWEET RELIEF to hear those words come from someone else and alleviated some of that isolation that comes with untangling all the emotion, logic, fact and myth that you believe about yourself and your research during this tortuous time!! I wished that I had found your blog sooner in my nth-year career as a grad student!! Now, I still check in on your blog and am glad you’ve decided to continue blogging…it doesn’t have to be a “mommy blog”-it’s just you-wherever you’re at, whatever hat you’re wearing that day. I’m a mom, too-I had my daughter (unexpectedly) in grad school (Oi Vay, not easy but somehow we all survived), so I know I’ll continue to enjoy our camaraderie in silico ;) God Bless!

  3. Oh wow, I love your blog, dont stop, even if you have a mom focus, your past experience as grad student and sharing it with others is still vital. Im a grad student just finished masters in Math, starting first year Phd(Math) and have 4 kiddos already, lots to juggle. Lots self doubt about being good at being a grad student and a mom at the same time

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