Acquiring blog readers is hard. Simple as that. At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for. However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience. When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure. I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.
I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog. Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though. During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since. I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.
Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques. Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others? Oh yes, that’s right…my mother! Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right. See what I did there with the “almost” part? I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.
It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own. I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer. Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof. Anything and everything has the potential of being funny. I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.
Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me. Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh. She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting. Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly. For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit. There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.
Everyone who aspires to one day be a parent strives to bring a healthy child into the world. No one that I’ve encountered hopes to have a child that will be born with a challenge they will face for the rest of their life. At 29 years old it’s become pretty obvious to me, especially if you log onto my Facebook and look at anyone on my news feed, that most of my friends and family in a similar age bracket are going through their childbearing years. Everyone is wishing them their congratulations and hopes of their child being healthy and happy.
What if you knew that the chances were strong that you were a carrier of a rare genetic disease that could potentially affect your child’s vision. Would you immediately rush out for genetic testing to confirm that you are or are not a carrier of the disease? Would you roll the dice and take your chances that you’re not a carrier of the disease? If you find out you are a carrier would it affect your decision to have children if you know you will either give birth to another carrier or a child that is directly affected by the disease?
Somewhere in the midst of all these questions is where I stand. My grandmother was a carrier for congenital X-linked retinoschisis. She gave birth to three talented boys who all are affected by the disease and have varying levels of blindness. The flip side of the coin is that their visual impairment has not stopped any of them from being very successful within their respective professions. When I see how all three boys have adapted and pushed forward it’s almost enough to stop questioning anything on the subject. Until I come back to reality and realize that there’s a good chance I’m carrying the disease and my decisions affect how it continues on in the family.
Now 2 of grandma’s boys each had a daughter, obviously I’m one of them, and grandma’s other son had two boys. Luckily my male cousins have won the genetic lottery as a characteristic of the inheritance is that it cannot be passed to sons. However, my female cousin and I run the high and likely risk of not being so lucky. If either or both of us possess the genetic pattern then all it takes is one altered copy of the gene in each cell to cause the condition in any male children we would produce.
Just recently I learned that I can now be genetically tested to see if I am a carrier of the disease and that’s caused me to start asking some tough questions. Since I have trouble with the topic that you can now genetically chose the sex of your child, I am facing the fact that if I am a carrier for this disease then deciding to have children will continue the cycle. What would you do if you were faced with such a serious decision?
It’s hard to believe that educational standards can change so much over time. When I was in school computers were added to the curriculum in slight ways so we would at least be familiar with what they can do. I did learn to type on a typewriter however, my cousins who went to school about 10 years behind me have expressed their heavy involvement with computers over their academic career. I always thought that besides budgetary constraints the only other area that would change educational standards would be technology. Yet I still find myself shocked to learn that cursive is being eliminated from most schools across the United States.
I’ll admit that in elementary school my cursive was atrocious and it took many years of practice at making it look a bit more legible for it to improve. However, it was character building and for the most part it can tell a lot about a person. I used to see crime dramas that brought in handwriting experts and now they show IT experts who analyze the way text messages were written. Is script becoming a distant memory of the past?
In a post on iVillage, Sally Farahat Kassab points out the reasons that many of us feel cursive writing should still be taught such as:
“the personality that shows through in one’s handwriting, like how you curl your Qs; the value of realizing that it’s worth it to take time to complete something you’ve handwritten; the discipline and fine motor control that comes with penmanship; the need to sign a check or official document; the ability to read historic documents in their original form or heck, your grandparents’ love letters.”
I was frightened enough when I once saw a letter to my grandma written as if it was a text message. She felt like she needed a decoder ring to be able to figure out what the heck it said. As someone who is technically savvy I can understand this move, but as someone who likes tradition it’s a bit hard to stomach. At least I’ll be able to read historic documentation of my family tree. Will your kids be lucky enough to do the same?
I will start by saying I am most definitely not a mother; at least not yet at this time in my life. However, I do work in the hospitality field in Orlando and therefore get to see many families that are on vacation each year. My friend John once pointed out to me a child that one would assume is much too large to ride in a stroller still and ever since then I have been noticing just how often I see this. I am aware that there is not a handbook that is distributed for stroller etiquette, as if there is I would clearly not get hit by them so often walking through the theme parks here in town, but I do wonder at what point do parents put their foot down about stroller usage. One parent in the Mothering.com community posted the following rules as to when a stroller should stop being used:
-he grows to big to fit in the seat,
-his legs grow long enough to drag the ground,
-he learns to propel the stroller on his own, or
-he decides he would prefer to walk than ride.
In my world those don’t seem like bad suggestions. It is understandable that each child is different and therefore there is no specific age set in stone to stop using a stroller. In all of these instances I am discussing children who are not facing any type of disability. With Give Kids the World right down the street I am very accustomed to seeing their sweet faces in strollers and small wheelchairs, but this is specifically aimed at children who have no limitations. Cafemom.com even did a poll to find out when most people have decided to do with their kids. Their poll results uncovered the following:
Question: What age did you stop using a stroller?
1 year old: 0%, 2 years old: 27%, 3 years old: 34%, 4 years old: 10%, 5 years old: 3%, Other age: 24%
Out of 29 voters it seems like the most common answers were between two and three years old. However, here in Orlando you can walk through any of the major theme parks on any given day of the week and see large quantities of 8, 9, even 10 year old children in strollers. They are easy to identify by their feet dragging on the ground and the way they are hunched down to even fit under the canopy for shade. Granted sometimes you can see a younger sibling in toe and therefore you can understand why the stroller was originally brought to the theme park, but usually there are no younger siblings in toe and only an older child directing his or her parents around from their royal stroller seat.
Borrowed from TooBigForStroller.com
This trend is one that I am having extreme difficulty understanding. I grew up as an only child so I’m not used to having anyone younger than me in tow on outings, but I don’t remember being in third grade and still utilizing a stroller because I just didn’t want to walk. Is this a sign that parents are giving in to their children so as to keep the complaining to a minimum on family trips? Or is this one of the many items that is contributing to childhood obesity? Taking a look at TooBigForStroller.com you’ll see many of the photos that author Laura Miller has collected that demonstrate exactly what we see daily here in the theme parks. Although many may find her points to be way off the mark, I can’t help but agree with her about how funny a sight this is. It seems as if pediatricians might be on her side while they say that it could be a disservice to growing children to use strollers well past toddlerhood, but obviously there are parents out there that disagree.
Since I know many of my friends have children (obvious by looking at my Facebook news feed about first steps, first foods, and the lack of adults in most profile photos) maybe one of them will be able to explain this to me. This isn’t the first time I have brought up this topic so it’s apparent that I am really hoping to understand this, so please feel free to let me in on your opinions and feel free to start a parental debate on the subject so those of us not yet parents can understand.