Updated February 27, 2016
In 2000, when my daughter was less than a week old, we landed in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit because she was lethargic and wouldn’t wake up.
To appreciate the fear I felt, it might be helpful to know that my earliest memory is the day my 8 month old brother died of SIDS. I was 3 at the time. I vividly remember that he just wouldn’t wake up, so seeing my own baby in the same situation was terrifying.
The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with our daughter. They ran all sorts of tests, X-rays and even a spinal tap to test for meningitis. In the end, thankfully, they determined she was severely dehydrated. Once we figured out the problem, she bounced back in a few days.
Me? Well, it was a rough initiation into motherhood, and it still makes me want to throw up when I think about it. It scarred me a whole lot more than it did her.
But I learned some valuable lessons.
(I promise this is related to blogging.)
My daughter was born on a Saturday morning. We were sent home from the hospital on Sunday. By Monday night, my God-given mother’s instinct (it really does exist) kicked in and I knew something was wrong.
I called the doctor. He listened to my description of her symptoms, assured me all was well and basically said “give her some formula and call me in the morning.”
So I hung up, telling myself that he’s the doctor, he sees newborns all the time, he’s the one who has training, he knows what he’s talking about. It must all be in my head.
Suddenly and unexpectedly, something very mother-bear-ish was ignited. I didn’t care what the “professional” said. I didn’t care an ounce about his training, his medical degree or his experience.
Regarding my daughter, I knew he was absolutely, completely and totally wrong.
I also knew waiting overnight was a bad idea. So, very uncharacteristically, I called him back. I don’t think I yelled but I certainly raised my voice and clenched my teeth. “I DON’T think you heard what I said. SHE IS NOT WAKING UP.”
His response? “Oh! Take her to the ER right away.”
So what does this have to do with blogging?
Sometimes the “professionals” don’t know what’s right for you and your blog. Conventional blogging wisdom isn’t always the best advice. Sure, we should learn from the experience and training of others, but we’ve also got to listen to our gut.
Sometimes YOU really do have the best idea. Not the gurus.
Burdened or free?
If there’s one thing I always make time for online, it’s reading. I read and read and read. I try to glean all I can from the gurus, the “big” bloggers, the people who have been blogging for years and are now making incomes that completely blow my mind.
But sometimes it paralyzes me. Because they must know, right? Surely my ideas are always totally lame.
Sometimes I feel burdened, constrained, overwhelmed and like I just can’t keep up with it all.
A few questions
If money was no object, what would your blog look like? How would it be structured? How often would you post? Would you do things differently than you do now?
What do you love about blogging? What do you hate? If you could cut out any part of it, what would it be?
Do you feel like you “have to,” “should,” or “ought” to do certain things? Do you feel like you have to “keep up” lest you fall behind or miss out on something? Are you breathlessly trying to stay ahead or get ahead? Are other areas of your life suffering?
But most importantly…
Do you feel free? Because if you don’t, what’s the point?
This post was originally published in February 2012.