My Blog Identity Crisis and What I’m Doing About It

My Blog Identity Crisis

 

I’ve been away too long…did you miss me?  What happened?  Where did I go?

Well, I’ve been having a blog identity crisis

I’ve been like an ostrich with her head in the sand. More like sitting on the couch with Netflix and cookies. Not too many cookies, but definitely too much Netflix.

 

When you have 245 episodes of Criminal Minds, it’s a while before you have to decide what to watch.

It’s time to get moving. Get writing again.

My Blog Identity Crisis and What I'm Doing About It

A little back story if you’re new here, like since the beginning of April.   A lot has changed.   As in nearly everything! This blog started as a way to connect with moms who were juggling kids, homeschooling and caregiving. A circus act for sure.

 

By mid-March, after 2 ½ years of doing it all I couldn’t cope. Lack of help and just too much on my plate was keeping me from doing even a “good enough” job. Nobody was happy, least of all me.

 

In The Times They Are a Changin’ I outlined what was about to happen by sending the kids back to school. At the time I had no idea how rapidly everything would change.

 

Since then, the two younger kids are happily in public school. They both stepped right in like they’ve always been there. It has been such an awesome transition that I only wish I had done it sooner. New school, new friends and learning so much.

 

My oldest was accepted at a local technical school for the fall. Tough to get into and an awesome opportunity. We can’t be more excited for him. Since it made no sense for him to return to the local public school for only 2 months when he would be transferring, he’s still home with me.

 

That has given us the opportunity to work together on the fun task of life with a teen when there is sooo much to do around the house. A.K.A. character building for both of us…sigh :/

 

I no sooner got the kids enrolled and my grandmother’s health took a serious turn for the worst. She became completely bedridden. Couldn’t feed herself or even change positions without help. I’ve mentioned before I weigh about 100 pounds. My neck is still trying to recover.

 

It was a long month for both of us. I can’t say enough about the fantastic hospice nurses. Though they really were only here about an hour each day during that last two weeks.

 

As much as I complained and struggled throughout the last few years. I am glad my grandmother got her wish to stay in her home until the end.

 

My only regret is that she was in so much pain at the end.

 

Did you know there are a few types of pain that medicine can’t help? Among them gas pain and kidney stones. I didn’t. Now I tell everyone. Now you do. You’re welcome.

 

My poor grandma was blown up like she was eight months pregnant. She had no relief no matter how many remedies we tried. You don’t ever want to know what most of those were. Trust me!

 

So since mid-April I’ve done a whole lot of nothing. I can’t say it was because I was sad or depressed. She had severe dementia and there was no joy in anything anymore. She was physically in pain. I only felt relief for both of us. The pressure of it all had caught up with me. Doing most of it alone. I was tired.

 

Now it’s time to move before I get lazy. It may have already crept in.

 

What about the blog? It’s having an identity crisis. I’m no longer a caregiver. No longer a home schooler. This has kept me from writing. Where do I go from here? I’m still someone who struggles with trying to juggle all the hats I wear so that won’t change.

So many of you have reached out to me about your caregiving roles. Do I give up that part of the blog? Continue on, even though it’s no longer part of who I am? At this point, I’m still not sure.

 

What I’m doing now that could be blog worthy:

  • Married over 20 years to my high school sweetheart

  • Parenting three kids – 2 boys, 9 and 15. 1 girl, 11

  • Blogging

  • Reviving my eBay and Amazon business from before I was caregiving

  • Taking the interior of my grandma’s house from 1956 into 2017

  • Learning to be just me after days filled with kids and seniors

  • Writing an e-book based on what I learned as a caregiver

I’m taking all these ideas and brainstorming more.   Looking at them through the lens of everything I’ve learned since I began blogging.  Deciding what I want from blogging and what value I can offer my readers.

 

I’d love to hear what you think.

 

Comment below or hit me back at laurie@pardonmemycrownslipped.com . Tell me your thoughts.

5 thoughts on “My Blog Identity Crisis and What I’m Doing About It

  1. Writing about care-giving on a blog is a great idea. It’s obvious from your post, and many other caregivers would say the same thing – that care-givers don’t have time to write about care-giving. They are all too busy and most of them are under quite a bit of stress. So there are not caregiver blogs from real people out there.
    I have neglected my own blog for longer than you did, but I have found my “niche” during that time – it is going to be “aging in place.”
    That’s why I joined some care-giver facebook groups. I recommend you join some because it would give you an insight into what problems other care-givers, in particular family caregivers, face & what you could write about.
    One problem that family caregivers have is that they are often the female children, many have often given up their careers, their time and even their relationships but receive little reward for their sacrifice once the person they cared for passes away. So encouraging them to have a life of their own, get support and think about what they will do “afterwards” might be a good “niche” because caregivers as a group are going to keep growing. So an e-book would work in well as a give-away but don’t give away too much!
    Good luck with your blog I will follow you from here . . .

    • Laurie O'Rourke says:

      You’re right about the caregiver facebook groups. I joined one when I was still caregiving as a support system and it was the best thing I ever did for myself during that time. It did give me insight that I wasn’t the only one with the same feelings so I knew my posts would resonate. Now that my grandmother is gone, I just needed that part of my life behind me so I could refocus on my marriage, kids and especially myself.
      I have thought about the afterwards, in terms of an ebook. Right now I have only done one post on caregiving . For me it could have easily done permanent damage to my other relationships. I loved my gram, but not at the cost of my marriage or self.

      I think aging in place is a wonderful niche for your blog. There is so much to learn, unfortunate but so necessary, if only to know we aren’t alone in the journey.

      Thank you so much for commenting and following.

  2. I understand your blogging dilemma. My blog was about living with my mother, now I don’t live with her. I’m still caregiving, but the uniqueness is absent. Maybe that makes it of more interest to readers who are caregiving an elderly parent in more traditional ways, but it makes writing about it less interesting. I struggle with whether or not to continue it.

    I know one thing: if I continue to blog when my mother is gone, I will change the name and the WordPress theme. That will be a signal to myself to move on and to readers that one big thing has ended and the next one begun.

    You are a good writer; I enjoy your words, your humor, your honesty. I suggest you ask yourself some questions. What are you passionate about now? (You may not know yet.) What is on your horizon that someone else might relate to? Blogging, like memoir, is not journaling. There has to be something more. An exploration of life and how it changes us, and how we facilitate that change.

    One of the things that many people (at least of my age, you may be a little ahead of your time) are dealing with and relate to is how DO we figure out what’s next? It’s the second empty nest. First the children leave home, later we “retire” (whatever the hell that means); and, for some of us, we cease caregiving our elders. There is still plenty of life left, waiting for us to walk into it. That might be exactly what would make an interesting blog.

    My two cents. Best to you. New space to fill is both blessing and curse, I hope yours is mostly blessing. Gretchen

    • Laurie O'Rourke says:

      Hi Gretchen,
      Thank you for your encouraging and thought-provoking words. Since my blog has always been about the twists and turns life takes us and how I handle them, it makes sense it should continue as such. As I evolve so too shall my blog. 🙂

      Laurie

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