Updated: Aug 31
Hello! And thank you for joining me on this new and exciting journey of the insMOMnia blog and store. When I first starting collecting a few blog posts for my launch I had decided that my first post was going to jump right into my idea of addressing a harsh reality of parenting and offering some creative solutions to said problem. But then I realized that I wanted to start by telling you (and honestly affirming to myself) why I am even doing this blog in the first place.
Harsh Reality: There are a lot of parenting blogs out there...
My Reasons to GO FOR IT Anyways:
1) Parenting is really really freaking hard
Having said that, in many ways parenting is actually not that hard...at least on paper. The ultimate goal of parenting is to keep someone alive, safe, and loved. That can't be that challenging, right? But where parenting is "easy" on paper, in reality, it is one of the hardest things that anyone will go through.
Raising a tiny person who robs you of the time to
sleep, eat, shower, socialize, exercise,
and do anything remotely relating to self-care is
REALLY REALLY FREAKING HARD!
When I first became a parent I held onto who I was before my child. I wanted to maintain that person and make sure I didn't "lose myself" in motherhood. But the truth is, the person I was before motherhood left my body the day I gave birth. And a completely new person was created that very same day...a mother. It wasn't until I accepted the fact that I was new, my baby was new, and my life was new, that I was able to face the harsh realities of parenting head-on and combat them with creative solutions. And I want to share those creative solutions with you. Not because I feel like I'm particularly qualified to advise on parenting AT ALL. I certainly don't feel like I do parenting even close to perfect. But if we don't share our ideas with fellow parents and create a community of support then we all feel alone in the hardest job in the world. And I for one don't want to feel alone, like I did that first year, ever again.
2) No one was honest with me about the harsh realities of parenting before I became one...so I want to be honest with you
We've all heard people say it...in fact, I JUST SAID IT!
"Parenting is the hardest job in the world!"
But so few are actually honest about what truly makes it hard
with parents to be.
Maybe people don't talk about it because they are embarrassed by how hard it was for them, or they don't want to scare you off from having a family of your own, or maybe it's been so long since they had a young family themselves that they have honestly forgotten what made it is so hard in the first place. Whatever the reason, this makes it so that the real nitty-gritty challenges of parenting are extremely shocking to most new parents. I had no idea that even some of the most basic parenting jobs, like feeding my child and making sure he gained healthy weight, would be so intensely hard. Every new parent is naive, because we haven't lived it yet, but also because no one really likes to talk about the fact that you might not be able to hold your pee (or worse) after birth, or that your marriage might suffer due to lack of time or desire for intimacy, or that lack of sleep might turn you into the worse version of yourself. I found parenting to be pretty shocking, to say the least, and so did most of my friends. We didn't all experience the same struggles, but we ALL struggled and we STILL DO. So instead of holding my tongue about these harsh realities of parenting, I want to be honest about them and face them head-on with creative solutions.
3) I survived my first few years of parenting because I had a community of mothers to lean on
It took me quite a while to find my place in the world after having my son. It wasn't until I joined a "Baby and Me" group at the hospital where I gave birth that I started to feel whole again. Why was this so helpful? Because it was a safe place to come with my baby and share my darkest hours of parenting. It was like I had suddenly joined a secrete club where all the parenting struggles that no one talked about were freely being shared by everyone around me.
And instead of getting the oh-so-common brush over
comments that completely deflate you as a new parent like,
"Before you know it he will be all grown up and gone",
I got real support from women who were going through the exact same thing I was and they were able to offer
experienced solutions and support to my struggles.
My goal with this blog is to offer a similar environment online where harsh realities of parenting are NOT washed over with brush-off comments but faced head-on with creative solutions.
4) My pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience was traumatizing
It feels odd to think of the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me - my son coming into this world - as a trauma. But it was a trauma and it will always be something that shapes who I am as a person and a mother. From 9 months of morning sickness, to a concerning pregnancy condition resulting in an early induction, to going from 4 cm dilated to baby out in 8 minutes without an epidural, to a labor injury that took a year to heal, to low supply resulting in pumping 7 times a day and supplementing, to postpartum depression and anxiety, and lack of sleep that turned me into the worst version of myself. It was all really traumatizing...and I had it pretty easy compared to some.
After going through trauma it is incredibly hard to pull yourself
up on your own two feet and face life head-on.
Some of the problems we faced as new parents took months to solve because we were simply too exhausted emotionally and physically to get creative with our problems. After I dug myself out of that hole I was finally able to make small things in my life a little bit easier. And slowly those small things started to add up and made parenting a little bit easier. I wish I had a resource back then to tell me that the challenges I was facing were in fact super hard, that it wasn't just me, and that it was okay to feel totally and completely defeated as a mother. But also that there were great solutions out there for these problems whenever I was ready to face them. That's what I want this blog to be. A place where you feel like you are not alone in the harsh realities of parenting and a place that offers you creative solutions to the problems you face whenever you feel ready to tackle them.
5) I am currently a mother of an only child
When I started thinking about this blog initially I thought that maybe I needed to hide the fact that I am currently a mother of an only child.
I told myself negative things like,
"I am not qualified to write advice on a parenting blog,
because I'm not brave enough to have another child yet."
This negative talk in my head hurt my confidence and became an excuse for me to not go after what I wanted. Honestly, it wasn't until recently that I realized that I am just as much of a mom as a mom of four. We are just different types of mothers. And there is absolutely no reason why different types of mothers can't offer support to each other in different ways. Having said that, this blog could very well not be the right fit for some parents for a lot of reasons. Having multiple children could be one of them. I am currently a mother of an only child which means I only have one child to wrap my world around right now. I can guarantee you that I am naively unaware of some of the harsh realities of parenting multiple children! But one lovely perk to my current choice of being one-and-done is that I do have some squeezed in time to write this blog and to share my creative solutions with whoever finds them helpful.
6) I want to be a positive affirming voice in the parenting community
So much of parenting feels like a contest. From first steps, to developmental milestones, to eating habits and potty training, to sleep and temper. It all seems to be a competition in the parenting world. If your kid walks early, then you must be winning as a parent, right? WRONG! I just don't think parenting should feel like you are in an ever-loosing competition.
We are all really different people which means we all parent really differently. And as parents, we all brought tiny little people into our worlds who are also very different than us (and frighteningly similar) and very different from the kids around them. So how on earth can we all compete in the same parenting race when we are
literally not even all at the same start line.
It is just silly. But I think we fall into this trap when we get online and try to find advice to help us wade through the trenches of parenting and instead we find parents that seem to have it all under control and we wonder why we are failing so much when everyone seems to be soaring. My goal for this blog is to affirm that parenting can simply just suck sometimes. And that is OKAY. It doesn't mean we are failing or that we don't love our children dearly. We are all trying our best at the hardest job in the world and if I have some creative solutions that might help make those harsh realities of parenting a little easier to get through, then I will share them with you humbly in hopes that they help! But mostly I just want you to know that you are not alone in the struggle.
So, here it goes...my parenting blog insMOMnia! I hope you will join me on this journey.