Today is the 1 year anniversary of Raising Lemons! March 15, 2011 was an exciting day and the culmination of weeks of work and thought.
My biggest dilemma was what to name the blog. I had more than enough ideas and was just unsure which one to go with. The biggest forerunner was “Must Be Hell”. In fact, the blog was so close to being called “Must Be Hell” that I even had a header made up with that name and I own mustbehell.com and mustbeheck.com
“Must be hell” came from an experience I had with my sister, Angela. We were out driving one day and I was telling her all these thoughts and ideas I had. She turned to me and said, “It must be hell living in your brain.” And she was right; it is hell in here sometimes. I have way too many ideas and I think too much about things and I can’t shut my brain off easily (you’ll see what I mean below.)
But in the end I opted to NOT go with a swear word in my blog title. I didn’t want to disappoint my mom, I wanted to be able to say my blog name in front of my children, and I wanted to have the highest possible positive energy around my blog. So I went with what was light and bright and unique to me: Raising Lemons.
I remember when my friend, first heard the title, she thought, “Doesn’t Tiffany know that lemons are bad?” And that was exactly the reaction I expected. People think of lemons as sour or as unreliable cars, but I wanted them to see lemons differently.
That is kind of what I wanted to do with parenting. I wanted people to see parenting differently too. That you don’t have to do something just because every other parent does it. You can require more out of your children even if the neighbor doesn’t. That you can set your own boundaries and your own rules. Parenting can be sour sometimes, but there is so much more reward to it.
I also like the title because it fits how my children will turn out no matter what. Because I have no idea if how I parent is the best way for my kids, I very well could be raising lemons as in sour or unreliable. Or I could be raising lemons as in versatile and full of purpose. I guess time will tell, but either way Raising Lemons was the right blog title for me.
When I started Raising Lemons, I told myself I would blog for one year, and then I would evaluate and see if it were time to quit.
See I haven’t always know when it was time to quit.
Like when I was on the gymnastics team in the 8th grade. I was at a competition and I was attempting to do my first cartwheel on the balance beam. My coach said something like, “Whatever you do, stay on the beam.” I mounted the beam and proceeded with my routine. The time came for the dreaded cartwheel. I am not sure exactly what happened, but I didn’t land it, and I found myself under the beam holding on for dear life. Get this visual in your head: Me in my Mary Lou Retton leotard, hanging under the beam, with my arms and legs wrapped around it. I was not letting go because, as far as I was concerned, I hadn’t touched the ground yet, so major points couldn’t be deducted. I was in this hanging position for what seemed like ages and finally my coach came up to me and said, “You need to let go.” I argued with her for a minute, “But I haven’t fallen off yet. If I just work hard enough maybe I could….” She interrupted, ” Just let go.”
I didn’t want this blog to be like me under the beam– with everyone else knowing I should let go– but me. So I was determined that I would evaluate at the one year mark.
And it was not coincidental that I received some negative feedback about my blog about this same time. The negative comments got me wondering and I took a week off last week to distance myself a little from the blog and think about its future: (This is where the “must be hell” comes in…)
Is my blog hurting women more than it is helping them?
Is it worth the time I put into it or could my time be better spent?
Is this what I am supposed to be doing with my life right now?
Is my family benefiting or suffering from this blog?
What are my motives? Am I blogging for the right reasons?
Here are some of the answers I came up with.
I know that I have more ideas to share, whether they help one person or they help one hundred.
When I told my kids I was thinking about quitting they screamed in unison, “No!” They like to read my blog, and I like that I take more pictures and have a better record of their lives than I did before.
I analyzed my motives and truly believe that I want to help moms. I want to give them ideas, encourage them, do some of the work for them, help them think in another way, or let them learn from my mistakes. Some moms may be overwhelmed or discouraged by my blog, but I do know that there are a few moms that are inspired. I can not be held responsible for how a post is taken; I can only be responsible for the spirit in which the post was written.
Lastly, I know my blog is not for everyone. We all have different skills, different priorities, and different energy levels. No blog can meet every woman’s needs and not everyone is going to like every post. And that’s okay.
So I’ve decided not to quit yet. I may not make it to Anniversary #2, but for now I will continue to write posts as often or as little as I like. I may not be landing back flips on the beam, but I am not hanging on for dear life under it either. I am still metaphorically on top of the beam so I will continue.
Thanks for all of the support over the last year!