I've been tagged by Louisa...
So I had to think about this for a bit. I still don't really know why I blog, so I'll just ramble along on the subject.
I guess I've always been fascinated with the idea of a journal, and I have tried a few times to start one without ever getting past the first couple of entries (literal - 2-3 days). I never really knew what to write in a journal, anyway. The idea of just keeping writing appealed to me, but the secrecy really didn't. Having this sort of open journal that my friends and family can read and sometimes enjoy is a sort of positive reinforcement for my efforts. At the same time, it gives these people insight into who I am and what our family is. When we interact with other people, it is almost never in a vaccuum. There is the background and the nuance, and in a way the blog informs that. Teaching friends to speak my language (and I've learned a lot about them, in turn, from their own blogs) enriches those interactions.
Corollary to that: I there are bits of me that just don't come out while I'm in the mother-role or the student-role, and all of my friends see me in one or the other of those virtually 100% of the time. For a while my blog was very vent-heavy, a sort of backlash from that supressed and angry part of me that got stuffed down under "mom." It was never a very big part of my personality, as those who know me well understand - I'm easygoing simply by nature. But "mom" can't really scream "MOTHERFUCKING BASTARD" at her 5 year old when he wacks her with a stick (by accident), or crush the 2yo, and for a while the built-up energy hit the blog full force.
So yeah, it is also a venting space, and not just for anger. It spares my children the force of my irritation on at least a weekly basis. I can get the feeling (usually frustration) out just by writing it down: I can do it and feel that it has been utterly spent. I rarely hold on to it after I've hit that "publish" button. For some reason, this is a very different feeling than journalling it privately would be. I know that this is something that not everyone who blogs/journals/whatevers holds in common with me, but it is the reason blogging can be a very healthy therapeutic release in my case.
Sometimes my blog simply chronicles our adventures, like the series I did from our trip to Hawaii in July 2006. There are a LOT of these. It is nice to be able to go back and see the pictures along with their stories, and I'm going to have to take care to keep them for the future. When Fran's grandpa died, he left behind many carefully-kept photo albums. They're wonderful and all, but nobody knows who is in those photos, or what was going on. The photos I've placed on the blog are often some of my most favorite, and they all have some level of backstory and context and who-is-who written into the text and labelling surrounding them. I have no grand plan for my blog, I don't intend to live beyond my years through it or anything. But it lays life out in neat little packages, and I like that.
I have an easy time rambling around in my writings and could probably do this all day. But I think that's the core of it, so I'll leave it here.
I'm tagging Lory (if you've done it before, link it) and in an effort to get her to write a little more (because she is an excellent writer with a lot of good things to say), Aimee.