I think one of the bigger things I've struggled with over the years is the notion that, perhaps, motherhood -- while challenging, rewarding and always surprising -- just isn't all that interesting to anyone other than fellow mothers. Sure, potty training, sleep issues and soccer practice has provided many a coffee klatch worth of conversation for my mom friends and me. But I can't imagine any of my childfree or empty nest pals wanting to discuss this stuff for more than a minute. I'm sure they'd rather be sharing details of big nights out or exotic trips planned, not whiling away a morning listening to me kvetch about my inability to get my middle schooler to practice his trombone.
When I scroll through my Facebook updates and Twitter feeds, I am guessing I have a lot of "friends" and "followers" who couldn't care in the slightest what place my kid came in at the spelling bee. Or at what age my youngest finally slept through the night. My life must seem obnoxiously offspring-centric to them? Or, perhaps, even worse, just plain boring?
But then I reminded myself (in the immortal words of Ke$ha) that we are who we are. Parents included. And when you have kids at home it's pretty all encompassing. And so even if everyone in my circles (real life, as well as social networks) isn't as jazzed about seeing yet another picture of my kids on vacation as I am about sharing it--that's ok. Hey, it's my status update. And for better or worse, my "status" usually involves driving carpools.
And for this reason I'm planning to proudly participate in Isthmus' online chronicle of a regular day in Madison this coming Friday. The code name for the project is MyMadisonDay --and Isthmus is encouraging all citizens (and that includes parents) to share, via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. the highlights (and lowlights, too, I suppose) of the 24 hours from 6 a.m. on Friday, September 21, to 6 a.m. on Saturday, September 22 (hashtag #MyMadisonDay). The plan is to compile all the submissions into a live blog at TheDailyPage.com that will be updated through out the whole day. And just as fun, they'll plan to lift some of the best of the blog into an essay for the Sept. 27 issue of the paper.
I encourage my fellow parents to chime in, as well. I'd love to see shots of your son's reading group at school, or your daughter's first taste of cereal, or a YouTube video of how many kids you were able to squeeze into the van on the way to the ice rink for hockey practice. Because your day is my day -- and I am interested. And I do think it will be very enlightening to compare the 6 a.m. Saturday morning of the mother of toddlers with the 6 a.m. of a firefighter. Or the bar crowd.
The goal of the project, according to Isthmus, is to, "create a very cool, fun and fascinating collection of observations from every walk of life, ordinary mixed right in with extraordinary."
And to us parents, those two things are often indistinguishable.
The ordinary really can feel quite extraordinary when it comes to your kid.