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friends

5 Things I Want My Social Media Friends to Know About My Blogging

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Hey Friends! Last week I had my first article run on Huffington Post. It was a pretty fun moment for me. And you all were so amazing. You read the article. You commented, you celebrated, you encouraged, you shared. You all are one seriously amazing community of people and I’m so deeply grateful to be a part of it.

As I was sitting in awe of your badassness over the weekend, I thought of a few things I want you to know…

1.I want you to know why I do this. I write because it keeps me sane. I write because it’s like a scrapbook for my family. I write because I love to write. And I wanted you to know that it isn’t always easy. It is still scary to put myself out there. Every time I write a post I have to build up the courage to share it all over again.

2. I want you to know that we can still be friends, even if you disagree with what I write. I don’t write to try to change your opinion. I don’t write because I think I know something better than someone else (in fact, I’m certain that I don’t). I write to share my perspective, to share what I see, to open up an opportunity for us to connect, either by how we are the same or by how we can grow from our differences. I still like you even if we see things differently. 🙂 AND…

3. I want you to know that I’m totally open to any comments and conversation, as long as we can be nice to each other. I love it when people share their opinions back, even if it’s an opposing opinion. If we are friends on social media, I trust you to be respectful if you’re commenting on my “space”. I am almost always curious about different opinions and would love to hear another side of things. If you’re also curious and open to hearing new perspectives, we could have a great conversation.

4. I want you to know that I really do try not to bombard your news feed with my stuff. Here’s the truth: I get paid for some of my work. As a stay at home mama that’s a really cool thing for me. I don’t write for the money at this point, but it is a nice perk. When I get paid, it is based on how many views my article gets. That means, the more views, the more I get paid. And it’s really hard to find the balance between over sharing and under sharing. Sometimes when I share something, a lot of people miss it. So you might see me sharing something more than once. But I promise I think very carefully about how much I share so I’m not hogging your news feed. One of the hardest parts about blogging is promoting your own work, but I’m trying to move out of my comfort zone on this because, as a writer, it’s how you build your resume. If I didn’t plug my own work, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to be published on Scary Mommy and Huff Post.

5. Maybe most importantly of all, I want you to know that it really means a lot to me when you read, like and share my work. It’s not something I take lightly at all. There is a LOT of stuff on the Internet these days, so the fact that you took the time to read something I wrote is a big deal to me. I can’t tell you how humbling it is to have people comment on something I put my heart into.  Sharing your work for other people to critique and opening yourself up to the possibility of negative feedback is hard, but you all are always so incredibly supportive and I could ramble for days about how deeply grateful I am for every single one of you but I won’t. Just know it’s true.

The Bright Side of the Dark Side

It was one of those days. It wasn’t even what you’d call a bad day–just draining in its own way.

The toddler laid down for a nap this morning but only slept for an hour so I had high hopes for at least another hour this afternoon. Nope. Not happening. She straight up refused any attempt I made. But not in a teary-eyed, I-really-need-to-sleep-but-i-won’t kind of way–more like a I’m-going-to-call-for-mommy-in-my-most-adorable-voice-until-she-comes-back kind of way.

I caved.

So back down in the play space she decided to crawl up on the couch and scoot over so she could peek at me around the edge of her plastic slide. Then she would laugh hysterically at her own game. I couldn’t help but laugh at her.

That was my mistake.

Once she made mommy laugh it was on. She kept up the peek-a-boo and added some excited scurrying which soon escalated to jumping. To be clear, she just figured out how to climb onto furniture consistently, and she doesn’t have the awareness or gross motor skills to not face plant off the couch. So I went to remove her from the couch and that added a whole new level to the game. She squealed and tried to run from me–still on the couch.

Needless to say, the game was the highlight of her afternoon. Every time I walked away from the couch, she climbed up again and repeated the whole charade.

Basically, I spent the afternoon guarding a couch.

It was fun for a little while, but soon I was aware that her persistence was breaking my spirit. At one point she dropped a Puff snack on the floor and, rather than pick it up, I though, “Eh. She will eat it later.” (I’m blaming pregnancy hormones for my weakness in this battle.)

After the husband arrived home and I disappeared to hide in the bathroom, I was texting a friend to blow off some of the days steam. Her response?

“I don’t feel sorry for you.”

“Huh?” I replied. “Not even a little sympathy?”

“It feels weird to say you feel sorry for a person who is spending the day watching her little girl learn new things, even if that includes new ways to murder herself on furniture. It does sound exhausting. But I can’t say I feel sorry for you.”

Touche.

This is why she is one of my favorite humans on Earth–because she can make me laugh and smack me awake at the same time.

Some days we need to own our exhaustion, to be honest about how hard staying home with littles can be, and vent to our friends while hiding in the bathroom eating a bowl of ice cream. Not so that we can get sympathy, but so we can let it go. So we can move past the hard stuff and get back to the gratitude.

Because the bottom line is, it is a profound privilege to be able to stay at home with my kids every day. To be able to scoop up my toddler every time she calls for mommy, even if it’s when she should be sleeping. To be able to watch her learn how to be mischievous, even if it means camping out in front of a couch all afternoon. And to spend the day listening to her magical laughter, even if it leads to me ending the day hiding in the bathroom eating ice cream.

 

Big Little Gratitude

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Parenting is full of opportunities for profound gratitude. Just being able to conceive a child is a miracle in itself. And then to grow a healthy child, have a safe delivery, and watch that child grow. Being a parent has brought deeper, bigger gratitude than anything I’ve experienced in this life so far.

It’s also brought little gratitudes that I never saw coming. One of these I experienced last week at my daughter’s 6th birthday party.

She is my oldest so she is the one that’s helping me to figure out all these new stages of growing and parenting. One of the new developments in this stage is the presence of “friend birthday parties”.

Since her birthday falls in June, and since this was our first year in school, we got invited to more classmate and friend birthday parties this year than ever before. I think we had one month in which we had a birthday party to attend every weekend for the entire month.

Like any kid her age, she loves these parties. And as a parent, I’m unbelievably grateful that she is invited to opportunities like these, even when it feels like one more thing to add to our busy schedule.

But the real gratitude came when it was time for her own party.

I got caught up in the planning: booking the venue, ordering the cookie, organizing balloons, making party favors, scheduling activities, sending invitations, managing RSVPs, etc. When party time arrived, I was fully in the “getting shit the zone”. But once the festivities had kicked off, I paused a moment to look around and take a breath.

And I realized that each one of these kids’ parents had taken the time to shop for a gift, wrap that gift, and transport their child to the party on time. Just so that they could come celebrate my child. So that she could have a special day that was in celebration of her.

It may not seem like a big thing, but it is. It’s a big, big thing. And I’m unbelievably grateful.

So to all you parents out there who showed up for my child when you didn’t have to: thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

May 4, 2015

 
I think friends who make you laugh might be the most important thing in the world. 

Because I’m starting to think that the real trick to parenting is to laugh your way through it. In fact, I think it might be the trick to life.  

April 13, 2015

 

I love this human. She makes me laugh harder than anyone on earth, she challenges me, and she makes me want to be better. Because I’m so grateful to have someone so amazing in my life that I want to do everything I can to return the favor.