Monday, September 15, 2014

Weighing the Pros and Cons...

This is a very hard post to write.  Mostly because I don't know WHAT to write!  That is the problem... and lately, the story of my life.

I'll get to the point.

I'm thinking about ending Chasing Rainbows.

I was going to keep all of this to myself until I decided for sure, but I've decided to share what I'm going through for a couple reasons.  One:  it wouldn't be like me NOT to share it all.  Two:  I want to explain why my posts have been spaced further apart.

I am not sharing what I'm going through for any of THESE reasons:  advice, compliments or judgement.

This has been a really gut wrenching time for me.  That may seem silly - this is just a blog.

But that's the thing.  It's not just a blog.  At least not to me.

I've always called this an "accidental blog."  As most of you already know, it started when Gavin was hospitalized as an infant - my journal on CaringBridge was a great way to keep family and friends informed of his status.  I continued to write when he came home... and didn't stop through all of his therapies... it turned into a "Special Needs Blog" along the way... and then a place for women to relate if they had fertility issues or multiple miscarriages.  When Brian was born, I wrote about him and his development and the special relationship that formed between the two brothers.  I wrote about Darcy and her devastatingly beautiful birth on Mother's Day, 2010.  I never - in a million years - thought I would ever write about the death of another child.

But then Gavin died - with no warning.  And my world was turned upside down.  

It's very hard for me to believe that we're already a year and a half past that dreadful, heartbreaking day.

The first year I poured myself into this blog.  I needed it.  And I felt like I had so much to say... about Gavin, Brian, my pregnancy, my feelings... several fundraising ideas that turned into events that brought in close to a hundred thousand dollars in Gavin's name spread over several charities.  And, of course, I wrote about Hope.  And I also wrote about hope.

But now, I'm at a loss.

I took a break last month.  The longest break I've ever taken since I started writing on January 26, 2008.  I expected to feel the need to write much sooner than I did.  But the reality was - I loved the break.  That feeling both shocked and confused me.  It was then that I started weighing the pros and cons of walking away.

I've really been going back and forth and back and forth.

I love that I have a detailed journal for my children to read when they get older.  Not just a journal of their development and their experiences...but a book of love.  The most important parenting technique to me is ensuring that my children always feel cherished and wanted and SEEN.

I've thought, "Maybe I can make the blog 'private' and continue to keep that journal!"

But - if I'm being very honest - I don't think I would have the discipline to keep up with it.  Having an audience isn't motivating because of the attention or the comments or the 'likes'.  Having an audience is motivating because it's like a "deadline."  And it keeps me accountable.  

This blog has absolutely been a HUGE help for me as I've grieved my little boy.  The writing was my therapy... but it wasn't just that.  I easily could have holed up in my house with Brian during my very exhausting (in every way) pregnancy... and afterward.  But knowing that readers were waiting for a journal entry was often a motivator for me to keep moving.  To take Brian out and have an experience that I could then write about.  I may have WANTED to do nothing - but this blog made me do something and it was always the better choice.

But - on the "con" side - Brian is getting older and, with that, comes a legitimate expectation of privacy. 

I struggle now with what to write about.  I felt like I had a purpose - a theme - before Gavin died. Now that Brian is in school all day - and it's just me and Hope at home - I don't have a lot to say.  At least anything that's very compelling.  

I still refuse to advertise or take advantage of the many offers that come my way on a daily basis. That is not - and never will be - a motivator for me.  It's never been what this blog is about.  I don't judge anyone who chooses to advertise or do sponsored posts - it's just not for me.  I won't be fundraising anymore, either.  I had a great opportunity that first year, with so many eyes on me, and I ran with it.  I'll always be humbled (and grateful) for every dime that was sent my way. I hope you all could see that the money was put to good use.

I feel a responsibility to keep everyone informed as the hospital continues to plan and then starts to develop and then completes the "All Abilities Playground."  So I thought that I could keep the blog up and write on occasions like the kids birthdays and Gavin's anniversary and if something big or exciting happens - like the unveiling of that playground.  If I do end the blog, I would likely keep it open as resource.  It's so heartwarming when someone discovers my journal because they google something that I've written about - like the chest strap that my Mom made for Gavin or different alternative therapy techniques that I spelled out.

If I'm being very honest, part of me feels overwhelmed with the amount of readers and the number of eyes and the mounting expectations.  Some days it becomes too much.

This is what is going on... how I've been feeling... and I'm still back and forth every day.  Ed has patiently listened to me weigh the pros and cons for over a month now. He's on the fence, too, and it's not even his blog!  But he is supportive of anything I choose - as always.

So, as I continue to try to come to a decision that feels right for me and for our family... I will keep writing.  It won't be every day - or even every other some weeks!  I will write about my final decision - even if it's to stay and continue the blog as-is.  Maybe I will find a way to re-invent this space that feels good.  Who knows...

As I said - I'm really undecided.  I appreciate, as always, your interest...and your love for our little family.  And I thank you so much for your support.




20 comments:

  1. We'd miss you, but totally understand! You could just keep the facebook page open for playground updates, cute pics of your kids, etc. As a special needs mama, I blogged a TON my daughter's first years. But now, we've settled into our normal, and that "I feel compelled to write. I need to write" feeling doesn't come as often. So, I blog infrequently, and I think that's okay. At this point, it is more of a chronicle for me and for our family, and if people read, that's a bonus. I understand, I really do. And just know that whatever decision you make doesn't have to be forever. No one ever said to have a blog you HAVE to post with any regular frequency. I've gone 3 months without posting, and then posted 3 times in a week!

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  2. I'm very much like Momttorney, we have a lot of crud that goes on and I'll write and write and write, but then I got months without uttering a peep. Most times, I just too busy living life to stop and write about it. I'll be honest, the pictures of Brian and Hope make my day!! I've gotten to "know" your family because of Gavin, and reading about how you're dealing with life encourages me to get through mine. But if you "disappeared" from the net, how would I feel? Would it be like losing a friend? We've never even met. Or would it be like when my favorite show went off the air (when Friends ended, I was devastated lol)? I don't know. But I *do* know that it isn't about me, or any of your readers. It is about YOU, it is about YOUR FAMILY ... and that, in the end, is ALL that matters. What I will say is this ... next time you come down to Disney World, let me know, I'll try and help make the day extra special ;)

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  3. Blogging should always be because you want to do it. If you want to stop, then stop. If you're not comfortable making it so final, just say it will be a "whenever" blog--as in whenever you feel like you have something to say. There's no rules here, Kate. Personally, I would leave it public, though, as people might find there way to the Playground donation or Gavin's Trust Project. If you don't blog regularly, will your readship fall off? Probably. But if that's not what it's about for you, then so what? Maybe it is time for your energy to find a new direction. You'll figure it out. And I, for one, will support whatever you decide. Because this blog has never been about me or your other readers--it has been, and always will be, a tribute to your family, your love, and your children. And what a power testament it has been. I've been honored to be along for the journey.

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  4. I love your blogs, but I do understand. I hope you will decide to continue to blog when you have something to share, every day, every other day, once a week, once a month. Thanks for all you have shared. I have shared your story with friends that have suffered loss and you have touched many. We will support you whatever you decide.

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  5. I too, have been honoured to be a tiny part of your journey. I can't remember how I found your blog, it seems so long ago now. The only thing I do know is that I've been humbled by the strength and love within your family. Unfortunately my family is different, and I have so enjoyed seeing Brian and Hope grow and develop Perhaps I have been living vicariously through you. Whatever you decide you have your readers' support. I would ask though that you, still post some pics. every now and then. I would love to see Brian and Hope as they grow and learn. Thank you for your blog. Your strength and Faith have helped me through some difficult times Blessings

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  6. Just wanted to let you know as the others above I enjoy every post. It is comforting to see them and read what another mother has gone through. So you have served the purpose you intended. If you feel the need to stop I too would understand but I would be so sad not to see their cute little faces and hear about their days no matter how small the event. In a way you have become an extended part of our little family. Prayers that you make a decision that settles your heart.

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  7. It is a big decision for you and your family. One that no matter what you choose your supporters will be behind you. When you started this blog is had a very definite purpose for you. Now that your family is changing and getting older lofe needs to change with that. In whatever way that looks and feels for you. Thank you for letting us be a small part of the journey, if it continues I will follow and if not I wish nothing but the best for you and your family always.

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  8. I totally get where you are coming from. I first started to blog so that I could vent about my 5, yes 5, chronic autoimmune diseases/conditions that there are no cures for. My family and friends get tired of being my venting bags so I now only vent occasionally to them and on my blog. I now use my blog for favorite recipes and for recipes I come up with, like my Crazy Dip recipe with a picture that shows what I came up with or the Shrimp Alfredo, with a picture, that my daughter, Catie, came up with.

    As I said before it's your decision, but I will miss reading about your days with your family and memories of Gavin and Darcy.

    Much love and hugs from Illinois.

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  9. I know I've gotten to know your family through your blog, especially from the special needs side. But your in a different place now where you need this less than before. If your ready to stop, then by all means do just that. If you want to keep it open to updates here and there when you have something to say, then do just that. Do what feels right for you and your family. Thanks for sharing along the way. I have a child with delays and unexplained issues that no typical genetic test has found problems. I remember reading on one post where you mentioned staying up at night to read about different syndromes, scouring the internet for answers to get a diagnosis for Gavin. That was one moment where I realized I wasn't alone in the same search! So in that moment, you helped me a ton to feel less alone!! So if anything, leave your blog for other parents to see. You never known how your story can keep helping others. Prayers for you to decide on what to do that keeps your heart happy.

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  10. i understand completely and i haven't raised a child with special needs or lost a child. for me, my blogging was therapeutic when my mom passed away unexpected..... i now blog for my children to read some day and to keep relatives who live far away informed... but the same thoughts as you cross my mind daily...
    whatever you chose will be right. and we will still think of you!!!

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  11. I was the same way with my blog. It was an outlet at first, but then I honestly ran out of things to say and just stopped writing. I miss it sometimes, but then again, I feel like I've grown so much from those early years of grieving my son. I look back on some of my posts and don't even recognize the woman that wrote them. You do what's best for you. Like you said - this blog is for you.

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  12. It doesn't necessarily have to be all or nothing. It could be sporadically, "as needed." Blogging may fade out, part of a natural cycle, or have "seasons." I do understand the thought of liberating yourself fully from any commitment. But many bloggers announce that they are indefinitely on hold. Subscribers will be there as an instant circle of support should the need arise!

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  13. Regardless of what you choose, thank you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, heatbreaking at times, story. You and your family are so awesome, and whatever you decide, know that those two words really sum it up: thank you.

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  14. Kate: speaking for myself I will miss the blog. But I totally understand, respect and support whatever decision you make. At the end of the day the only people who have a say in this decision are you and your family. Do what's best for you and for them......just as you have all along.

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  15. Kate- I think you should do what is in your heart. I discovered your blog about a month before Gavin's death. I have laughed, cried, and learned so much from you. We might live on opposite sides of the United States but I have taken a lot of ideas from your parenting like celebrating half birthdays and having dance parties with my son. It's about the small things and milestones. You are a wonderful mother and I aspire to be more like you. If you decide to end your blog I would completely understand but I would definitely miss it. You can always keep it open and just write whenever the mood strikes you. It definitely doesn't have to be everyday or even every week or month. Whatever you decide we will all support you. Thank you for sharing your family with us and, most of all, introducing us to Gavin.
    April Tyson

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  16. I have a blog, not popular and I love that it is not popular. It is my scrapbook for my kids. You need to decide what is right for you but maybe there is not a cut and dry answer to this. Maybe you could update when you feel the need, special milestones. Maybe it is time to create a different blog. Maybe you turn off commenting.

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  17. I love reading what you write, even though I don't always comment. But that being said, I can understand why you want to keep your privacy and that of the family. Yes, maybe you could just update once in a while. I really would miss seeing your little ones grow.

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  18. No advice, no judgment. I just want you to know that no matter which way you choose remember that we love you, your kids and your honesty. Whether you continue or not I just want to say thank you for sharing your lovely children with us! As always love, light and prayers for your whole family!

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  19. Honestly, I love getting your little updates on Hope or Brian. I will miss them if you decide not to continue. But this is your life - you aren't living it for me, or any of your other readers, and you have to do what is best for you and your family, whatever FEELS right. Whatever you decide, there is no judgment or expectation. I loved getting to know you and your family through your blog, and that connection that you created with your readers will remain.

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  20. Awwww, I'm sad to think of you not posting here anymore. I have recommended your blog to several friends who have lost children/loved ones and have heard so many positive comments from them about how helpful it is to read your journey! I guess I think of you as a sort of "big sister" for others to see how the grief journey and LIFE combine & as inspiration to those further behind in their process. It is so beneficial for others to see where you are & know that there is a reason to keep getting out of bed each morning. And this format gives Gavin a voice, and puts his influence on the world in all kinds of POSITIVE ways you might not even know! He is still right here with us because you help share him with the interwebs! It would be sad for the rest of us to miss out on your journey.

    That being said, you must listen to your heart & do what's right for you.

    Either way, thank you for the beautiful gift you've shared with all of us.

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