Thoughtful Thursday: Emotion

October 15, 2009

Quick health/baby update before we begin Thoughtful Thursday: I am feeling better and better every day; the percentage of the day in which I feel Human has gone from 0% for several days post-birth to 80% today. The Burrito and The Tamale are developing incredibly well — so well that we’ve been discussing discharge with the NICU team. Looks like just a few days until they come home!

Thoughtful ThursdayToday’s topic follows from a question I submitted (and then subsequently answered myself) for this week’s Barren Bitches Book Brigade on It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather B. Armstrong of Since only a few people participated in the book club, I’d like to open the topic up for discussion more broadly.

On your blog, how much emotion do you express? Is that more or less emotion than you tend to express in real life?

From my BBBB post:

In real life, I am very guarded with emotional expression. On BabySmiling, I am considerably more expressive.

For years I have enjoyed Dooce’s monthly newsletters about her daughter. They combine snapshots of Leta’s growth, snarky humor, and pure love. I think that I will be comfortable expressing emotion directly to my children, but it feels strange to think of writing emotional public newsletters under my real name for friends and family (and strangers) to read. Do I save the emotion for BabySmiling, even though it goes against the mandate of the blog as an infertility blog? Do I write the letters privately? Do I remain guarded and let the emotions go undocumented? Probably not the latter, but I’m still figuring this one out.

To elaborate on what I wrote earlier this week…

I have never felt more emotion than in the past couple of weeks. Part of it is attributable to fluctuating hormones, sure. Some is attributable to having babies, the same as anyone. But a big part has to do with the realization of 7 years of infertility plus months of more-difficult-than-usual pregnancy. I am so filled with love, but there’s also a good measure of disbelief, overwhelming retrospective sorrow, hope, worry, wonder… And there you go. I am expressing emotion here on this blog. Emotions which most likely will never be expressed anywhere else, certainly not in writing.

I just don’t see myself writing gushy love letters to my babies under real name for my friends and — gah — family to see. But I am feeling that gushy love, so where do I put it? Here, where I never set out to mommyblog? Some sort of BabySmiling annex? Privately, for only my babies to see someday? I didn’t have an answer on Tuesday during BBBB, and I don’t have one today.

On your blog, how much emotion do you express? Is that more or less emotion than you tend to express in real life?

19 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Emotion”

  1. staciet Says:

    I will admit to be a fluctuating maniac when it comes to my emotions on my blog. I vent freely about my feelings, especially when it comes to the boys and trying to conceive, and I try my best not to edit myself once I start writing. My blog is the only place I really let that side of me show.

    In my real life, you’d never know that I am such a freaking nut. Right after the boys were born the social worker for the NICU described me as stoic (can’t quite decide if that was a compliment or a criticism), and I’d say that is probably how most people see me except for a very select circle of friends and Isaac.

  2. Elana Kahn Says:

    I think I express the same emotions on my blog as I do in real life. When I get really p/oed I totally show it on my blog and I’ll talk to anyone about it in real life too. My heart and mind are open books. hehe I honestly love being an emo. I wear my heart on my sleeve 24/7…although I am generally happy so there’s not usually much other emotion going on unless something happens.

  3. Quiet Dreams Says:

    I am a big globby glob of emotions in real life, and, as anyone who has spent 5 seconds on my blog can attest, I am a big globby glob of emotions on my blog. Alas. I am what I am.

  4. Julie Says:

    Lately I’ve been a little absent from blogging so hard to say – I’m not overly an openly emotional person IRL and since a lot of IRL family / friends read my blog I tend to try (hopefully) to keep a lot of my deeper thoughts and emotions off the blog. Especially with how stressed I’ve been feeling lately. IRL’ers would just flood my email with advice and crud. If I blogged from my inner monologue and completely without worry of reactions, it’d be a lot more emotional.

  5. Amy Says:

    I think IRL I express only the surface emotions with most people. With my husband and sister, I am more free in expressing my emotions, but usually once I’ve had a chance to process them. I feel that on my blog I express the raw emotion, or the emotions as I work through and process them – the things I’m still afraid to admit to myself.

  6. Photogrl Says:

    I’m just as emotional on my blog as I am in real life.

    I’ve never been real good at hiding my emotions.

    No ‘poker’ face here. 😉

  7. Carrie Says:

    As Quiet Dreams said, I am on my blog how I am in real life: SAPPY and dripping with emotion.

    I finding writing so cathartic and it helps me to organize my anxieties and worries by writing. I am lucky enough to have readers who care about it and provide support and grounding (like you, Baby Smiling).

    I have recently realized that people I do not know read my blog read it and have come up to me and said, “You need to RELAX for those babies. Just stop worrying.” It is then that I am aware that some of the worries I have are unique to the Infertile or lost baby experience and are not easily understood by many. That can be disheartening, but all my awesome bloggy friends make up for it in spades.

    So glad to hear about the gushy love you’ve fallen into. I was such an up and down mommy after my daughter was born for a month and then, balance just came. I know it will come to you too when things settle a bit, but it is so frustrating to know that hormones are affecting your emotions because they FEEL really strong.

    Thinking of you four often. SO glad your little ones are thriving.

  8. Kristin Says:

    I am very open with my emotions in real life and I think I am equally open with my emotions on my blog.

    I am so thrilled to hear your little ones are doing so wonderfully.

  9. luna Says:

    not really answering your question, but I began a “letter to baby” long before she was born. I update it every week, or try to. it’s totally personal and can’t see putting it up on the blog. the only way I can see doing that is starting a blog specifically for my child to read later.

  10. Shelby Says:

    I express so much more emotion on my blog that the description ‘tenfold’ wouldn’t even cover it. In fact, I am very uncomfortable showing emotion to anyone but my DH, but simultaneously comfortable sharing it on my blog (which is somewhat anonymous, but I still have some RL friends visit). Interesting…

  11. Erica Says:

    I am pretty open on my blog b/c that is my nature but I definitely keep many things to myself. My blog is not private in any way so I feel I must be guarded.

  12. While going through IVF and the following pregnancy I think the emotions expressed on my blog were pretty accurate of what I experienced in real life. However, since my baby’s birth, I hardly post on the IVF blog anymore and the other (private) blog shows less emotion than I’m actually experiencing, mainly because I want it to be a fun to read blog about my son and not a lament of a stressed and tired new mom who’s wondering if she’s doing things right… (OK, I’m not always feeling that way, but today I am).

  13. rosesdaughter Says:

    Interesting question. Sometimes, my emotions can’t quite make it into to words. But I know I express more emotions on my blog than in real life. I am “the rock” in my family, and tend to always be the strong one. It’s hard to show too mych emotion when you are supposed to be the one holding everything together.

  14. WiseGuy Says:

    Hey BabySmiling,

    Ever so often you have a TT that I find a little hard on my marbles and this has to be one of it.

    This is a tough one for me because it is a little complicated. As I mentioned in my previous TT post, I have an accurate even if incomplete account on my blogs. Also, there is anonymity that I maintain on the blogs. The anonymity gives me the freedom to say what I want to, without somebody IRL dropping on me sniffingly.

    As far as my IF blog is concerned, it has more emotions than what I express to people around me, because the posts often also mirror the thoughts churning inside my head, that are not readily apparent to the outsiders visibly.

    Also, I do not have a really strong bench to sit on IRL that understands what I am going through, and so there is no point talking Greek with Nepalis.

    But there is one blog where I express less emotion online than offline and that blog is my usual life blog. It is not intentional, but often the stories I recite are of those immediately around me and I don’t want to appear too reprimanding and scathing, and so I would always dilute the posts a bit.

    P.S. Am glad that the babies and momma are doing so good! All the very best!

  15. I’m definitely less emotional on my blog. Actually I think writing blogs helps me to get my emotions in order and figure out how I really feel about a thing if that makes any sense.

  16. Shinejil Says:

    First, so glad the talk is about discharging the little ones! Woohoo!

    My blog is specifically for my emotions, esp the ones that were hard to keep dwelling on with my man and the ones my IRL friends just didn’t get all that well. Now, I feel a bit more reserved; I want to maintain the relationships I have with my IF buddies, but I don’t want to rub my joy or struggles in their faces.

  17. birdless Says:

    So glad to hear they are doing so well! I just got caught up and saw the pictures in your recent post of little Burrito and Tamale. Wow, are they ever gorgeous!

    As for the question, in real life I am very guarded, and I think that probably translates to my blog. I show emotion with my husband, but not really with anyone else. People, in general, make me nervous.

    I know I should be free to open up more, and sometimes I do, but afterward usually I will delete that post. I wish I could be as open as some of the bloggers that I read. I think that sometimes I feel like my feelings are not very important to other people and I should just keep them to myself. Still, I’ve been much more honest about things on this blog than on my first, and less anonymous, blog. Baby steps. 🙂

  18. Kate Says:

    I think I’m much more emotionally expressive on my blog – for me it’s therapy. I do find a bit of security in it, mostly because no one that I know IRL reads my blog. No one IRL understands the situation that I’m in, so expressing those feelings via my blog (and therefore to those that read and/or follow it) is a potent treatment for the amazing frustration that is IF.

    Thanks for putting this question out there – it really made me think about why I blog. :0)

    Kate via Blogger Bingo

  19. Mel Says:

    I am probably even more emotional in the face-to-face world than I am online. And that’s because online only catches a slice of time, and it might be an emotional moment or not. But I am pretty effusive in the day-to-day world. A big crier 🙂

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