After my daughter was born, all I wanted was to be a stay-at-home mom. I imagined I'd spend my days pushing my daughter in a stroller through the park in the mornings, scrapbooking our family memories when I could sneak in some "me time," as she napped in the afternoon, and then I'd prepare a pictorial-worthy family meal every night.
It didn't exactly happen that way; I did eventually leave my full-time job when we decided we could make it on one income, but by then, my daughter was four and my son was one.
I was ready. Bring on the stay-at-home momminess! But what happened the next six months shocked me–I was miserable. The reality of spending most days snail hunting, waiting for a child to either fall asleep or wake up, and the stark loneliness of staying at home with two small kids wasn't what I imagined, but I didn't dare tell a soul. Are you kidding? After all the dreaming, planning and sacrifice I couldn't admit I was two "Dora The Explorers" shy of a total meltdown. Even if Elmo himself came and knocked on my door for a little heart to heart–I wasn't going to admit I was going a little crazy.
That's about when I came across this thing called a blog and decided I would start one of my own. I was a journalism major in college and always loved to write and tell stories. I had my own personal blog up and running within a week and a few weeks after that was picked up by the Orange County Register to blog before joining the team here at OC Family. At night after the kids were in bed I'd stay up late writing, making videos and connecting with other moms online. Blogging was just the spark I needed to keep me from leaping into the waiting arms of a deep depression.
I love my kids. It wasn't being a mom that was causing me to spiral, it was the lack of connection to the "pre-mom me" and to other people. I'm a social person and I needed to spend time being creative and then share that part of me. I discovered that being a mom was just like anything else, I couldn't rely on other people to flip that "happy" switch. Once I took it on myself to find what made me feel balanced and content–ta da! I was happy.
Blogging is undeniably denominated by women–mostly moms–and here's why: Our blog is all ours. Moms rightly spend most of their days pouring their energy into everyone else's needs; the kids, the boss, the husband. But a blog is our own space and we can make it look, say and be anything *we* want, and that's empowering.
I believe the internet and its cohorts–etsy, blogs, message boards, Twitter–have been revolutionary to women, especially to moms. Through online networks a stay-at-home mom in Iowa can sell her handmade scarves internationally or a working mom can take night classes online to help grow her career or a stay-at-home mom in Orange County can write on her blog late at night and become a columnist, writer and local TV host all while her kids are asleep or in school.
This month's cover story for OC Family is all about Digital Moms. I proudly wear that title. In fact, the writer, Debbie Lavdas, and I are tight friends and we met through an online OC mom's networking site years ago. If I remember right she described herself as a mom and writer in her bio. I think I replied with "I'm a mom and a writer too!" That was it. We quickly arranged an IRL (In Real Life) meeting and have worked together blogging and now on OC Family TV.
I hear the comment often that online connections are "superficial" and "unhealthy," but that’s not my experience. Try having a deeply felt conversation with your daughter's Pollie Pockets about the weather after being home with a sick kid for two days and then let's talk "superficial" and "unhealthy" relationships. Moms need to connect and the online world offers us a conduit to find customers for our products, like-minded moms in our community and healthy friendships. Embrace it!
This is from my column in May's OC Family Magazine. Here are some of my other columns from past issues: