Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blogging helps moms

Psychologists are now weighing in on this new craze of blogging. Some are even advising their patients to start blogging because they see the mental benefits. So the next time someone tells you to get off the computer, tell them it's part of therapy!

Here's portion of a CNN story about a mommy blogger:

Stacey Kim says blogging helps her cope with being a widow and a single mom to twins Riley, and Madeleine. Few, however, questioned why she would share her deepest thoughts and feelings with strangers online. In the age of cyber-voyeurism, the better question might be: Why wouldn't she?

Overeating, alcoholism, depression -- name the problem and you'll find someone's personal blog on the subject. Roughly 12 million Americans have blogs, according to polls by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in 2006, and many seem to use them as a form of group therapy. A 2005 survey by Digital Marketing Services for a found nearly half of the 600 people polled derived therapeutic benefits from personal blogging.

For Stacey Kim, a 36-year-old book editor who lives in the Boston suburb of Arlington, Massachusetts, emotional blogging has become a reflex. On April 11, 2007, Kim curled up next to her husband and held him as he succumbed to a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The next morning, she went online to post about the experience. "It cemented the reality that he was gone," Kim says. "I got hundreds of comments back that were all so loving and supportive. It gave me a really tangible sense of community."

She blogs about life as the widowed mother of 22-month-old twins at "Right after he died, people kept asking if I was in therapy," says Kim, "and I'd say, 'No, but I have a blog.'"

One Chicago licensed social worker and therapist in her 50s encourages patients to release bottled emotions through blogging. Leah, who asked that her last name not be used because of the nature of her profession, started to share professional insights. Soon, however, she was talking about her own feelings -- and her husband told her it seemed to lift her mood. "It's a form of group therapy," says Leah. "Not only can you express your feelings, but you can get comments, and that creates a dialogue."

I have never been a big computer person. I don't think I really knew what blogging was until a few months ago. This all started for me in January and it has been amazing. I do think it's therapeutic. I now have a journal of what is going on in my kid's lives and a great way to find the "parenting stories" that matter most to me.

Do you have a blog?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Ms. PH said...

Blogging has absolutely provided benefit to my psyche! It is generally a wonderful, supportive community and I have grown a lot since I started almost a year ago.

However, there have been instances where responses to my posts have been personally very hurtful. Early on, I was severely attacked for mentioning in one post that my son (at that time) drank formula out of a bottle. I was drawn and quartered because I wasn't breast feeding by people who know absolutely nothing about me or my life. (I don't want to start the argument again - let's just say that I cannot breast feed and not for biological or mental reasons - I would if I could but I simply can't.) The post wasn't even about breastfeeding or bottle feeding, it was about airline travel.

Like any community, there are bad apples in the blogging community. That one incident was hurtful to me (and my son, frankly) but it did not stop me from blogging. The good has far outweighed the bad!

Shannon said...

My best friend unexpectedly lost her baby at birth. She went to therapy and she started a blog, and I know she considers the blog much more beneficial. She was able to get a lot of her thoughts and feelings in writing, and "tell" people around her what was on her mind. I think it really helped those closest to her, especially as time/life went on and her heart continued to hurt.

My blog just helps me organize my thoughts/feelings, and gives me an outlet for them since I spend my day without adult interaction! LOL! said...

Ms Ph, That is a concern. The only problem with writing things down is they are forever and can't necessary portray emotion. I worry about that. I talk about controversial topics and I can't necessarily point out every possible view on an argument in one blog post. So, I sometimes have to pick and choose.
Shannon, that would be extremely hard to loose a child at birth. I can't imagine. I am thankful your friend found an outlet. It would be easy to just bottle up those emotions.

Billy Dennis said...

Blogging has kept me sane. Which is asking a lot, I know.

steven streight said...

On Twitter, there's a controversy raging about using "mommy blogger", and "soccer mom", as terms.

Some women are offended by both.

The thinking is that both terms refer to a perception that all certain mothers care about is their children, while the dad cares not at all. said...

I am sure there are terms that would offend me, but not those. At least not at this point. I hope I get to be a "soccer mom." I worry with my schedule that I won't get to take the kids to sporting events as much as I would like.

Interesting comment.. Thanks Steven!

therapydoc said...

You're doing a great job. Thanks so much for including me in your news :)
(as much as it is, yesterday's).

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