Please DO NOT Change for Simcha: 7 Quick Takes XXIV

by | Aug 9, 2013 | 7 Quick Takes, Can of Worms, Doctor Who, Things I Think, Travel | 32 comments

Simcha, Hallie, and Charlotte have opened up a can o’worms (which is great, I do love me a can o’worms) about how different types of blogs affect different people.

the header graphic from Simcha’s Blog: I Have to Sit Down

Apparently, some moms (including Simcha and Jenny) feel frustrated and inadequate (and violent) when reading the “inspirational” mom blogs, and prefer the “keepin’ it real” mom blogs. Charlotte has been accused of having an inspirational blog AT people.

I have to say, I am really surprised to find out how strongly some people feel against the pretty blogs. Especially since I have the exact opposite reaction myself. I think they’re nice.

Reading the Catholic Mom Doomsday Blogs (CMDBs for short) on the other hand, really bums me out. I get that people need to commiserate and I do love that this really is a community and we can share and whatnot but reading a “my kids are the worst, everything is out of control” post makes me want to get in my car and drive to your house and hug you and then grab you by the shoulders and shake you while shouting “YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS!” and then maybe help you make dinner.

I do not personally find those posts edifying or encouraging, I find them troubling.

And I’m willing to give even a Martha Stewart-type mom-blogger the benefit of the doubt. That’s not my goal for my family (and I think there is some level of wrong-focused-ness involved there) but I think it’s much more likely that even someone like that honestly wants to bring some order and beauty to the world rather than that she wants to make people feel badly about their own lives. That would be a crazy way to live. And if her writing is offending you, I’ll bet she’s an INTJ (more on that in take two). We can be pretty offensive (accidentally).

But Simcha doesn’t say that we all need to write a CMDB or any other type of blog in particular. She just says we should read blogs that are helpful to us. I think that’s something we can all agree upon. So please (Hayley, I’m talking to you here, you too Sheena) if you write a sunny side up blog, do not think that you have to become a downer to keep from offending the some, because the others need you just the way you are.

And because, apparently, I really should just cut and paste Jenny’s entire five favorites post and call it a day . . .

I will second her recommendation for this Meyers-Briggs personality test or this one recommended by Jen F. and just add how I simultaneously love and am totally creeped out by the Meyers-Briggs phenomenon.

Earlier this week I posted: An Introvert’s Guide to Stay at Home Mothering so I’ve kind of had personality types on the brain. As I discussed in a previous post, I am an INTJ (like Professor Snape and Mr. Darcy and Vladamir Putin yikes).

I really like that learning about temperaments and personality types has helped me understand that not everyone perceives the world in the same way I do. Just having that knowledge has made me a more understanding and sympathetic person. But it is also very odd to pull up the INTJ wikipedia entry and feel like it somehow knows EVERYTHING about you. Even the stuff you hadn’t even noticed about yourself until you read it on wikipedia.

found here

According to this chart, I have the third least common personality type in the United States (and the least common overall for women at 0.8%). But still, if there are 311 million people in the US, and 85.4 million of them are mothers, and a quarter of those mothers are Catholic (21.4 million), and 0.8% of those are INTJ then that makes 171,200 people in the United States who are exactly like me. Except for how God made me unique and all that. But otherwise, exactly like me. Weird.

It’s interesting now to look back at my teenage years with a better understanding of what my problem was. Or what my difficulties and motivations were anyway.

I spent most of high school with that do not talk to me look on my face that Posh Spice usually had:

By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I had mastered small-talk enough to meet and marry my awesome husband (more on that Sunday . . . ) and had managed to get a job that I enjoyed and thought I was good at and that also allowed me to go sit in my car by myself on my lunch break. So really, I had it all, INTJ-wise. That’s probably why I dragged my feet so much on the decision to stay home with my son. But I’m awfully glad I did. It was the right decision for this particular introvert.

But enough about being an introvert.

My younger sister (with whom we are currently staying in Iowa) is an extrovert. When we were growing up, even though she is three years younger than I am, she was the one in charge of talking to people for the both of us. She’s quite good at it. (She’s also good at navigating, and was in charge of that too, even though she was only thirteen when I got my license and she became chief navigator of our Ford Festiva.)

She read the introverted mothering post and, as a mother of two little ones, had some insights to share about extroverted mothering.

1. Apparently, you folks crave that one-on-one interaction that is a challenge for many introverts, and you don’t necessarily like getting lost in the crowd at a mom’s group. One-on-one play dates where you really get a chance to get to know the other mom are great for you.

2. Sometimes you worry that you’re pestering your friends to hang out too much. Having standing engagements is a great way to avoid that problem. (By the way, I think this is also excellent advice for introverts, since for us, the planning of the interaction is often the most taxing part. Standing weekly or monthly get-togethers avoids that problem for both types of moms.)

3. A work-from-home business that allows you to interact (even if it’s just over the phone) with other grownups during nap time can keep you feeling connected to the world outside your house and kids.

Any thing else? Introverts, extroverts, what did we miss?

And now back to my re-cap of Jenny’s Five Favorites . . . on to childbirth! We’ll also be looking in on Bonnie’s guest post at Team Whitaker on home birth.

Jenny points out that moms (especially Catholic moms) who have epidurals often feel that they are somehow inferior to the natural childbirth mom-types.

Bonnie has done it all, childbirth-wise: non-medicated home birth, non-medicated hospital birth, and hospital birth with epidural.

Since these are my quick takes, here’s what I think about it all:

I think ALL birth decisions are motivated somewhat by fear. Some women choose a medicated hospital birth because they are scared of pain or scared that something will go wrong with the birth and some women choose home births because they are scared of hospitals and being bossed around by nurses and the fogginess and loss of control that you get with pain meds.

It’s not that one group is scared and the other is bold and fearless and natural, it’s that the two groups are scared of DIFFERENT THINGS.

I’m a natural childbirth at the hospital (at the very last minute) type myself. I’d totally be a home birth gal, but the husband isn’t comfortable with it. I agree with Bonnie that both parents need to be totally on board with the home birth thing. So our compromise is that I spend a lot of time in denial about actually being in labor, then drag my feet about leaving for the hospital, then have a huge contraction and demand that we GO NOW AND WHY DIDN’T WE GO BEFORE?! Then we make it to the hospital minutes before the baby is born.

It’s not for everyone, but it works for us! I think we all need to get a lot more confident in our own choices and realize that what other folks are doing is right for them, even if what we’re doing is right for us.

And no one is having a baby AT you.

Changing gears here . . .

The Doctor is dead, long live the Doctor. (Well, after the 50th anniversary special anyway.)

I had not heard of Peter Capaldi until he was announced this week as the twelfth Doctor.

I really, really hope he’s going with this scarf.

And the only thing I’ve ever seen him in before is the Doctor Who Pompeii episode, when he played the Dad.

I find it kind of charming that they keep re-purposing actors on Doctor Who.

Adeola became Martha Jones (became Martha Jones-Smith):

Victorian maid became Gwen Cooper (she’s from an old Cardiff family):

The Doctor’s Daughter became his wife (I guess that one doesn’t count):

Anyway, I don’t know anything about this new actor, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with the show going forward.

I have NOT seen season 7. This is pretty much exactly how I feel about it not being on Netflix:

Hitler finds out season 7 of Dr. Who is not on Netflix

But I was kind of disappointed in season 6, mostly in the whole River thing. Not. Romantic. Not cool. What’s the point of have a young doctor if there’s no romance? Anyway, I’m fine with getting back to an older, wiser doctor.

Here’s what I did to celebrate the announcement:

delete, delete, delete . . .

And now, some stuff we’ve been doing on our vacation at my sister’s house in Iowa besides installing a homemade backyard zip-line . . .

Jack and Betty have been spending their mornings at a horse camp across the street (I mean gravel road).

Feeding and grooming:

And riding:

We’ve gone bowling:

We’ve blown bubbles:

We’ve fished, and eaten s’mores, and camped-out by the pond (some of us only did the s’mores part):

And we’ve shucked a lot of corn, obviously. It is Iowa after all!

We head back to Chicago on Friday to meet up with the husband, who’s flying in that night. Then we’ll have one more week in the mid-west before we head home to LA and — AHHHHHHHHHH — start school! I’m having a baby over Thanksgiving, so we WILL be done with our first semester before then. So, start we must.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Melody

    Your Take #6 is altogether wonderful – love the cyberman nail art – Ha!!

  2. Ingrid

    I LOVE your blog! I`ve been reading it for a bit over a month and am so grateful to have found it.
    I dream of having a big family and blogs like yours is just what I need to understand how to make it work and to be inspired. It`s like a great book that unfolds a little at a time.

    I`ve also been thinking recently about different types of blogs and their effect on me. I have a lot of blogs on my reader and there`s no way I could keep track of them all. So I need to choose which posts to spend time on and which to let go unread. Yours I read almost every day. If there are no new posts, there`s always the archives. A few other blogs I also check regularly to see if there`s something new and all these have a positive outlook on life in general, on their family and home and marriage and share constructive texts from which there is something to take along with me. And pretty pictures of healthy family life. I`m a very fresh beginning Catholic so constructive posts about faith life are also very interesting.

    I also follow some blogs that are used for venting about family and home. Occasionally there are great posts there on subjects interesting to me but generally these posts are not about family or home. I tend to not open family posts from these blogs as I don`t want my mind to be used as a trash can.

    Venting in writing can be helpful to some people to start fresh after a computer break and blogs are a great way to keep in touch with a circle of friends. If the blog is meant to be read only by friends to let them know how one`s days are going, then it`s ok. But if the intended audience is wider I believe there should be some higher purpose of why and with what one spends the time of strangers, perhaps reading their blog from other end of the world.

    As someone hoping to start a big family, I find that reading how others barely make it through their days with their children and have let go of all ideals they ever had about raising children in face of daily chaos and consider it a good example for others to learn from, is not something I could or should build my efforts on.

    There are people and families that I meet and visit in real life, so I can see what homes with different numbers of children look like and know there are better times and harder times and families who have made it work for them and those who can`t seem to get a hold of their lives.

    When I come to spend time behind a computer which I try not to do too much, I hope to find inspiration, good examples and sound advice, not discouragement and calls to let it all slide for that`s life. The kinds of examples that help me see that life with a big family can really be joyful and marriage can still function with a house full of children and home can be a place I`d want to be every day, not escape while shopping and dream a magic bus to fly me away to a land without children. And that would show not just the beauty of it but also, how exactly is it done in each particular family, what are the principles that have made it so and how the principles can be applied.

    Thank you so much for being out here! 🙂

    • Ingrid

      I should add that writing about difficulties is very helpful also, only as long as life is not one big difficulty as a whole that isn`t ever going to get better. Reading about other people`s problems helps me grow if I can see how they made it through.

    • Ingrid

      And I`m INFP. I enjoy taking personality tests:)

  3. Renee

    I love personality/temperament sorters. The "official" one is Keirsey (based on Myers-Briggs):

    It's free. I also highly recommend the Keirsey book "Please Understand Me II" (the II is just to signify that it is a newer version).

    What I like about the book is that you can jump around to the sections that apply to you and they have sections on how different temperaments interact with each other in parent-child relationships, etc. I've used it to understand my family members better and it has helped me a lot!

  4. gracelovesiggy

    I'm an introvert, and with great pains I made a point to start chattering more for the babies development. I thought I was doing a good job until I was near all the therapists for the kids and ohmygosh they never stop talking. they about shattered my nerves with all the adjective peppered exclamations about everything.

  5. Sarah@Like sunshine in the home

    I love your blog too!

    I just took the test you suggested and I am apparently an INFJ. I have taken this test before but couldn't remember what it came out as. Apparently Mother Theresa was an INFJ, however, I would be terrified of putting myself out there…surely you need to be an extrovert to work amongst huge groups of people! I love to support mercy-type ministries, but would rather be in the background than at the forefront.

    As for the perfect blogger vs. the honest warts n' all type blogger, I prefer the second…to a point, there are some that just wear me out with moaning and anger. I think Ann Voskamp is a famous-blogger example of being inspirational and having a blog with incredibly beautiful pictures of her life/home/family but also acknowledging pain and failure. However, I am sure there are some who don't like her style, and are perhaps undermined by the picture she portrays of her life. I think that there is a place for many types of blogs. We are all different, what would depress one person may inspire another.

    My own blog style is the hodge-podge approach – both happy-happy days and other times I might express my pain about something.

  6. Mary @ Better Than Eden

    Ha, those were the least quick Quick Takes ever but I loved them! So, as you're writing the line about the Martha Stewart blogs, I'm thinking, "I wonder if people look at my blog like that?" and then you said the INTJ thing and you totally nailed it. That's me. I really also love the idea of the four classic temperaments. It helps me to relate to people better and know what to expect from them. I feel the same way about the CMDBs as you and Charlotte and to be honest, I'm glad I'm not alone. I really was beginning to think that something was weird with me that I left them feeling defeated and/or anxious for that mother and children.

    • Kendra

      I know, I know. I really should just be honest and call mine 7 Regular-Length Blog Posts. I start every week with the intention of writing QUICK takes, but I don't think I've managed it yet. Up until Wednesday my 7th take, with all the photos from our Iowa trio was the whole 7 Quick Takes. Then Jenny posted her five favorites and I was all, "People need to know what I think about her blog post – in depth." Then there was the big Doctor Who announcement and, well, here's what you get! Someday I'll make them quick, someday.

  7. Anonymous

    I love those personality tests as well. I really need to do one again. I wonder what it says about me that I relate to all the introvert types and the extrovert types? I think I'm a pretty even mix of the two.

    I think I must have split-personality, because sometimes I like the CMD blogs and sometimes I like the uplifting, positive ones. I guess it just depends on my mood, really. I think my blog is a pretty even mix of the two (goes along with my split personality I guess LOL).

  8. LilyB

    #5 is exactly what I explain to other mother who ask how I had two babies naturally, no drugs no IV no intervention. It's not because I'm stronger or better at it, it's because my fears involve interventions while theirs might involve pain. It's a huge reason I have decided to become a doula, to encourage and support women and their partners in their birth choices. Our second time around, I happen to be like you: deny, deny, deny WHY AREN'T WE AT THE HOSPITAL?!? Hold the baby in, have baby.

    I hope that as a blogging community these blogs about other blogs open all of our eyes to what, I think, needs to be put out there more: encourage, love and rejoice in each other skills and blessing. Not in the faults and envy of others. We need people who can manage it all, happily and "better" than those of us who find week old sippy cups of milk under the couch, haven't bathed either child in nearly a week and single digit size-yeah right..we are all on the same team: Team Mama, who share glimpses of our lives and tales of motherhood and the trials of trying to do it all! Everyone has their moments of sorrow and joy, be there for all of them regardless of if you are a DIY mama or a cleverly hide everything dirty in one room until play date is over mama (don't look in our master bedroom..ever).

  9. Ashley Sue

    I have never taken the Meyers Briggs test! How is that possible? Well, I am an INTJ. Interesting.

    I love that there is a discussion of blog types. I personally pick and choose from all kinds. Sometimes I don't read every post someone does. I do gravitate towards the more positive blogs. I like your blog because of the sass and hint of sarcasm that matches my own sense of humor.

    I find reading the gritty blogs makes me feel anxious for that person; it also makes me want to email that person with a how to be happier plan ( however I realize that they are venting and may need the space to do so). I battle with getting stuck in a mindset of my way is best, so I like reading a variety to show myself that other succeed with different ideas.

  10. Kathryn

    Loved the quick takes – and Bonnie's post, especially. You nailed it – we all fear something. We just have to decide what we can and can't live with. In the end, we're all moms. I'm an ESFJ so definitely love the whole pretty blog thing – they inspire me to take pride in all the things I do. The ones who lament (all the time) about how hard motherhood is are hard for me to read. I do love honesty, but I don't think life is always messy.

  11. Sheena Tobin

    🙂 Thanks for that Kendra! I love how you called this whole "blog perception" thing going around a can 'o worms…it most certainly has become one. So funny because I read so many kinds of blogs and never thought about how they affect me. I just like reading and if I'm not into what someone's writing, I don't read it. Anyway, I don't haven't sunk into a deep depression of raising children (yet) but you can come shake me only if you cook us dinner too anytime…cooking is what I call a waste of time. 🙂

  12. Christine

    I really like your idea about a "standing play date." While I'm shy, I am an extrovert, and crave interaction with friends – especially in small groups where I can get to know people better. But I often feel like the only one ever trying to make get-togethers happen (I must know a lot of introverts?). Maybe this could be a good solution for everyone.

  13. Rosie

    I will say this – I think that complainy doomsday blogs (a category that I think mine probably falls in) do have their place for a lot of moms, in no small part because staying at home with many small children is a VERY isolating circumstance, and I think a lot of moms take comfort in the fact that we're not the only ones struggling. Honestly, I haven't read any blog in which the author spends most of their time complaining or venting, but obviously I read things differently than others! I like the positive pretty blogs, I like the gritty honest blogs, I like the blogs that combine it all, and I think that we all just need to be aware of what helps us and what hurts us and what we need to cut out of our lives! Sometimes I need to think out loud and get things off my chest or I'll stay up all night thinking about how the babies pooped on the floor 3 times that day or whatever… But I don't publish anything that I wouldn't be comfortable with my kids reading, although maybe it would make you uncomfortable!

    Also, you're welcome to shake me and troubleshoot the crazy that is my life right now 😛 If it weren't for the twin thing, I think I'd have it under control!

    • Kendra

      Rosie, as cute as you look every Sunday, I'm pretty sure we're all convinced you've got it sorted.

      My concern was that as soon as Simcha wrote her post a bunch of normally very positive bloggers started posting photos of their dirty houses to keep from offending people. I just want all the types of blogs to stay represented.

      As the hip seventies hymn says, "all are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place."

  14. Juliana

    INTJ right here. So I guess we are the 16%? Or something?? Going to read your introvert SAHM post now! Thanks!!

  15. E

    ENFP, love your sister's ideas for extroverts. 😉

  16. Erica Saint

    1. Yes! I agree with you. I love pretty, happy blogs. I don't want them to change.
    2. I need to take the real test. I took the HP test that you linked to before, and I got Albus Dumbledore. I was a little surprised by that result.
    6. I am excited for the new Doctor, too!
    7. Your vacation looks like tons of fun!

  17. Nella @McDonald's In Heaven

    "I think ALL birth decisions are motivated somewhat by fear."

    YES YES YES! I'd also add that all birth decisions are motivated somewhat by a desire to be in control of things we can't really control. I've had 6 births that have ranged from hospital with epidural to homebirth in a kiddie pool. The only thing I've learned from each one is that giving birth is scary and that's ok and we're not in control and that's ok.

  18. Justine/ Sew Country Chick

    I stay away from a 'poor me' mom blogs because I feel uncomfortable reading about the inner workings, fears, complainings etc of a person. I feel too much like a voyeur when I read those. But I am guilty of writing venting posts sometimes. Then I realize I'm venting to my whole blog audience and feel a little embarrassed. There is a level of propriety and privacy that should be maintained in the very public sphere of blogging.However, if the writer has a sense of humor during all their bellyaching than that's a different story. Write away. Blogs that take themselves too seriously are just too tiresome to deal with just as people in real life who take themselves too seriously are.

  19. Justine/ Sew Country Chick

    I'm just came back from the article you referenced on NCR and that woman interviewed is like me! I started my blog as a way to add more beauty and to focus on creating beauty in my family life. But I have had people tell me things like "I wish I had time to do that stuff you do on your blog" now I wonder if my blog bums some people out and feel bad about themselves instead of inspiring them…….

  20. Nichole @ Yackity Shmackity

    Kendra, I love reading your stuff, mostly because I usually agree with you and you're not afraid to (for lack of a better way of saying it) piss people off. I'm an INFJ, which is a lot like an INTJ, but less ballsy and more of a peacemaker. Honestly, sometimes your blog makes me a little uncomfortable because I starting feeling like, "OMg she's gonna piss some people off." But I still like it because I think there is objective right and wrong and people gotta hear it even of it makes them mad.
    Anyway, I think have a little something to say about this mom blog can of worms you brought to my attention. I like blogs of all kinds, happy, yappy, ranty, whatever. But the main turn-off for me is when I feel like a blog isn't authentic, like the author is writing for more followers and saying what they want to hear instead of what actually inspires them. Some sun-shiny happy blogs give off that vibe, and some doomsday blog also feel inauthentic. Just my two cents. Your blog-definitely authentic.

    • Kendra

      Thanks Nicole. I think you're right on all counts. Can you imagine what I'd write if I didn't have my husband editing for me?! It could be so much worse . . .

  21. Tacy

    I don't think blog-venting for entertainment is healthy. I think honesty is still represented in the life is good blogs… just in a different form.

  22. Jenny

    I'm afraid happy and pretty moms/blog are now going to post a disclaimer before each post detailing the mess behind the pretty picture, or telling us what didn't get accomplished before showing us a finished project. And the doomsday bloggers are keep on being downers, now with "I told you she couldn't be that ___ or have that___ or make that___" attitude.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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