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I’m now in my fourth month doing this blog.

This week over at Sunday Social the questions are all about blogging, which gives me a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my experiences to date.

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So here goes:

1.  What is the name of your blog?

Baby Gates Down.  It works on a few levels for me.

First, I’d hit the point that I wanted to start blogging again and was mulling over a name when – you guessed it – our baby gate broke.  At this stage, our youngest was about 10 months old.

My youngest at the precipice following the demise of our baby gate.  We watched her.  And she survived, gate-free.

My youngest at the precipice following the demise of our baby gate. We watched her. And she survived, gate-free.

Panic!  Baby gate down!  Baby gate down!

Or not.

We live in a bungalow, so the only problem area is the stairs to the basement off the kitchen.  I of course think baby gates are an important safety feature when kids start getting mobile.  However, ours had been mobile for a while by this stage and pretty cautious near the stairs already.  So instead of rushing out to buy a new one, we just watched her more closely.  We stopped her a few times from going down, and then she figured out she shouldn’t and would just stop at the top of the stairs and wait to be taken down.  Now – at 14 months – she can get down them herself on her bum.

Second, the name is also about how overwhelming parenting can be sometimes.  There are moments when everything feels out of control and you just want to let them do whatever.  So it’s an homage to those moments when you consider just giving up.

And third, we are leaving the baby years.  Our youngest is now firmly a toddler.  So it’s time to pack up the bouncy swing, the exersaucer and the baby gate and enter the next stage.

2. What do you love most about blogging?

I like talking about my kids and parenting issues more than my friends care to hear about it.  So instead of subjecting them to it, I can get it out of my system here.  Related to that, I also like the shared experience of blogging: of finding “my tribe” and connecting with those who share similar interests or who are at a similar stage of life.  Then, I also like that I can just stumble across someone who is blogging about living a completely different experience than me – and have the opportunity to see into their life and perspectives.

Finally, of course, there is the fame and prestige involved with owning a small, haphazardly kept up, personal blog.

Just kidding.

But, I have to admit, it’s a wonderful feeling when you write a post that gets comments, or someone tweets your post, or you log in to find an incredibly thoughtful comment in reply to something you wrote from someone who just happened by your blog and liked what they saw.

And then I also like how WordPress encourages you to keep going in various ways.  For instance, they mark milestones by giving you these swank little buttons.  Here was the most recent one they sent me at the end of August when my blog hit 100 Likes:

You like me!  You really like me!

You like me! You really like me!

Silly, I know.  But it’s funny how things like that boost you up a bit.  I suspect, if I get two more follows (hint, hint), they might send me another one to mark that milestone.

3. Why did you start blogging?

I like writing, so it’s a good hobby.

I also had a goal during my last maternity leave to figure out social media.  Aside from Facebook, I’d been pretty much ignoring the rest of it.  So I got a Pinterest account, and figured that out (it basically taught me how to cook).  Then I reactivated my Twitter account, and figured out the point of that (win free stuff; keep up to date on news and issues of interest).  Blogging was the next logical step.  Next on the list is figuring out the point of Google Plus …

4. What is something you’d want to tell someone just starting out in the blog world?

Figure out your goal before starting.  Then set reasonable expectations and stay focussed on making your blog what you want it to be rather than what you think it’s suppose to be, or what you think others think it should be.  It’s tempting to jump on every blogging bandwagon.  But this is your space.  So make it your space.  With your voice.

5. Biggest blogging learning experience you’ve had?

So far, I’d say it is to know your goal and set realistic expectations.

6. What are three blogs you love?

Three I consistently enjoy reading are:

Suzie81’s Blog: She’s a teacher from the UK.  I enjoy her writing, photos and perspective.  It’s a great, personal blog.

Finding Ninee: To use her words, she blogs to find humor and support for her son with delays of “The Middle World.”  Her posts are thoughtful, sometimes humorous, sometimes make me think, and sometimes almost make me cry.  A wonderful writer.

PhD in Parenting: She blogs about parenting, feminism and social issues.  She generally gives me something to think about.

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