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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mom Blogger Spotlight: Robin, Pink Dryer Lint



I began blogging last June. With my newborn baby – our third daughter – cradled in my arms, I paced the family room floor, hushing and rocking, back-patting and spit-up wiping, and ultimately, coming to an unlikely middle-of-the-night conclusion that it was time to launch a blog.

As I look back, it’s clear that this was one of my better impetuous decisions. After all, considering that I was sleep deprived and hormonally unstable, I could have opted to do something equally rash but much less productive, like getting a drastic haircut or eating regrettably large quantities of chocolate.

So in the haze of nighttime nursing sessions, Pink Dryer Lint was born.

Like a new parent with great intentions and little experience, I questioned my competence and purpose when blogging. Was I doing it correctly? I remember conducting a quick Google search on “mom blogs” and feeling deflated when it yielded over one hundred million hits. What could I possibly add that hasn’t already been said about motherhood?

But herein lies the beauty of writing about motherhood: it doesn’t need to be novel to be meaningful. It simply needs to be relatable. Perhaps the best compliment I’ve received is when other women say that they see themselves – their lives – in my writing, even though their immediate circumstances may be vastly different from my own.

Given this, I’ve used Pink Dryer Lint to write about everyday moments that occur in a household with children. I’ve written about tantrums, discipline, potty training, sleep deprivation, loneliness, fullness, and my inability to string coherent thoughts together. I’ve documented notable moments like the first morning that my oldest daughter climbed onto the school bus and was whisked off to kindergarten, and the last evening that I settled into the rocking chair to nurse my youngest. I’ve written about my intense aversion to yogurt and how my children, ironically, are drawn to it like moths to a flame. I’ve shared about my relationship with God. I’ve devoted an entire blog post to snot.

Really, not too much is off limits.

I’ve discovered that if I navigate each day with an observant eye, there will always be something to write about. Kids are ripe with good material.

Plus, I’ve often been able to make better sense of life through the process of writing. Motherhood, much like life, is messy. You’re faced with hard decisions, stretches of repetitive minutia, and occasional identity crises. (I still have sporadic moments of disbelief when I contemplate the fact that I have three children. I’m the adult? When did that happen?)

Blogging has been cathartic. It’s provided an opportunity to sort out what I’m thinking, to pinpoint what I’m feeling, and to capture moments that I otherwise would have forgotten, like the day when my oldest daughter jumped off a trampoline in an attempt to reach a tree branch that was over fifteen feet away. (She’s not yet skilled at judging distance.) Or the afternoon that the two older girls asked – pleaded, actually – to blow bubbles, which in their vernacular meant that they wanted me to blow bubbles until I was lightheaded from oxygen deprivation while they ran through them in the yard. Or, the day when I began to fill the bathtub, got sidetracked, and well, I’ll let you imagine the rest.

Just like any mother would acknowledge, life is busy. During the mornings I teach college speech and writing classes, during the afternoons and evenings I stay home with the girls, and once the children are asleep I grade essays, prepare lessons, and answer email late into the night. I often feel pulled in multiple directions.

Blogging, amazingly, has helped to ground me. It reminds me on a regular basis to focus on what’s most important. It prompts me to reflect on the ordinariness of it all – the good, the raw, the mind-numbing, the eye-opening, and the breathtaking moments that constitute parenthood. It encourages me to appreciate these moments as they are right now, before I blink and these little girls have managed to get all grown up on me.

That, of course, will need a whole additional blog post.

So, the next time that you’re removing pink or blue fuzz from your dryer lint trap, remember that it’s just one of the many ordinary pleasures that comes with this season in life. And, stop by Pink Dryer Lint if you have the chance. I’d be honored for you to join me.

Robin

Pink Dryer Lint Facebook Page

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