Calista, 19 months, November 2009
This morning, Cali had a turn at painting, although she was more interested in tasting the paints!

Aisha, 4yo, + Brioni, 3yo, November 2009
Aisha's style of painting is to work as quickly as possible to get her picture done and move onto a new sheet. Whereas Brioni enjoys every step of the process, spending a lot of time on elaborate shapes and dots before over-painting them with another colour and pattern until her whole sheet is filled with a solid block of colour.

It was in November 2006 that I first started blogging, with my first post introducing “Brioni” as our second daughter’s name. Later I filled in some posts for earlier dates, using emails to family and the photos I had taken as a prompt for specific articles.

In 2006, blogging was a growing medium — exciting, cutting-edge and misunderstood — not nearly as pedestrian as it is now. In 2006, Technorati was tracking over 57 million blogs. Today that number has probably tripled, with last year’s statistics putting it at 133 million.

In 2006, outsiders still couldn’t see what the fuss was all about. Now, however, blogging is seen as a legitimate news source. Advertising on certain blogs makes enough money that mothers can stay at home all day and just blog, bringing their husbands home too — true! Like me, millions blog about their daily lives primarily as a way of keeping friends and family informed.

Some unexpected benefits of consistent blogging include:

A diary record of your children’s lives:

Remember baby books? They marked milestones and kept track of firsts. If you’re anything at all like me, you started out with good intentions. Your first child has a comprehensive baby book, religiously filled out (at least for the first couple years).
Your second child’s baby book started well, but somehow you never quite got around to noting when their teeth came in, first haircut, and were they 13 or 14 months when they started walking? Your third child — well, do you even own a baby book for her? And your fourth — perhaps you just give up and declare defeat to the impossibility of maintaining a true record for your fourth child.
Unless you blog. Then you’re covered.

A motivation to take regular photos:

Do you keep the camera hidden safely away and only bring it out for special occasions? When looking back at photos of my own childhood, it’s the photos of the ordinary that fascinate me most.
I peer around the poses, trying to catch glimpses of the background that was once so ordinary and unimportant, but cannot now be reclaimed. Fashions, hairstyles, beloved toys, trends in technology — it’s interesting to see these in old photos and remember what it was like. This will be the same for you and your children.
Blogging gives you a reason to take a photo when the kids are looking cute or just because. And it provides the medium in which to display the cutest pictures — only temporarily highlighted but accessible for the future.

An outlet for the creative spirit:

Writing. Playing with templates. Composing pictures. These are a relief among the washing, cooking, cleaning, bottom-wiping, swim-lessons, library trips, supermarket forays, playground supervision, etc., that otherwise define my life. Without a blog to play with, articles to write and faithful readers who encourage me with their comments, I may just shrivel up and die under the clothesline.

A connection with friends all over the world:

Reading other people’s blogs reminds you that they’re going through the same struggles you are. And when you receive comments on your posts, you realise that other people are identifying with you too.
Blogging can re-connect you to old school friends (Hi, Anne!), keep you in touch with those who live around the corner (Yo, Lorna!) and establish connections of commonality with those you’ve never met, but would love to (You, Katherine!).
The friendships are so worth it.

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If you aren’t blogging yet, start one. Aim for one post a week, and work up from there. Tell your friends and family about it. Don’t worry about boring your readers (or should I?). Remember, those who love you are interested in your adorable children too, they care when you’re sick or feeling low, and you’ll want to remember every exciting outing long after you record them.