Next month marks my eleventh blogging anniversary. I have mentioned before that I originally intended this blog to be a companion to a newspaper column that I hoped would eventually be syndicated. I submitted the column proposal to one local market a few weeks after I started the blog. It was not rejected so much as completely ignored (despite the fact that I put a SASE in it for a reply) and I never got around to submitting it elsewhere. But by then, I was hooked on blogging and have remained more or less hooked every since.
Sure, I have neglected the blog for months at a time, but I have never seriously considered giving it up entirely. Though I can't always articulate why I can't or won't let it go, I have not let it go. But I have been thinking lately that it may be time to make some changes around here.
When I first started the blog Son-One, my oldest child, was not-quite seventeen and as I write this post, he is not-quite twenty-eight years old. Despite its name, this blog (and the long-abandoned column it was named for) was never intended to be purely a "mom blog" or even mostly a mom blog. Being neck-deep in mothering as I was at the time, of course, my mom identity was often the one closest to the surface, but I intended from the beginning to use the mom perspective to comment on wide-ranging issues, both locally and nationally. With all my children safely ushered now into young adulthood, I am less actively mothering, though I suppose it's true that I will never stop seeing the world through the lens of motherhood.
The anonymity, the "masked" part, was partly intended to add a mystery or curiosity factor, but more importantly, was meant to protect my kids from any backlash about opinions or thoughts I might offer that might be considered controversial or offensive in our tiny town. It did not occur to me too much at the time that the anonymity could be read as cowardly, as a shield to hide myself behind, though I have since seen it used that way often enough be others that I have begun to take that into consideration.
So, now eleven years on, with my youngest child, Daughter-Only, about to turn twenty-one and my immersion in motherhood behind me, I am beginning to give serious consideration to blogging under a new name.
The logistics of it have so far been too daunting for me to make the leap, though. Would I blog under my own name, but keep this site? And if not, what happens to eleven years worth of posts and archives? I don't want to reduce them to a link on an "About Me" page on a new blog, but if I don't move elsewhere, my blog address will still be "Masked Mom," which will be confusing and maybe even a little misleading. Becoming a new bloggy personality--or the same personality under a new banner or name--turns out to be more complicated than I would've imagined.
But more difficult than the logistics are the existential questions: Is a Masked Mom always a Masked Mom? Can she outgrow her Momhood? Her Mask? And what--who--does she become instead?
Masked Mom's One-Word Review: Undecided.
I is for Identity