To give you a little backstory on why I decided to write a blog like this and share it with all of you, I want to take you back to last April. I went on a quick trip to Birmingham with two of my mom friends to support another friend of ours. It was a rare occasion, a trip without our Littles. These days, plane rides for me consist of baggies full of treats to prevent meltdowns, activities to keep the Littles occupied and very rarely do I have a second to sit still. My friends and I were unable to sit together and for the first time in what seems like forever, I actually had a 30 minute uninterrupted conversation with the complete stranger sitting next to me. I still can’t even believe it happened! After our chat came to an end, the gentleman went back to reading his book and I just sat there…in my seat… staring at the chair in front of me. What do I do with all this “free time”? I started to get bored, go figure, and instead of picking up my phone like I usually do, I decided to read the airline magazine in the seat pocket in front of me. I started flipping through and glancing at the articles and beverage options. Should I splurge and order a glass of airplane wine or really let loose and get a Vodka tonic? About halfway through I came across an article entitled, “Unfiltered” by Sarah Menkedick. In it, Menkedick talks about her struggle with social media after having children and how she eventually uses it as a way to,
“… bring motherhood into the (filtered, very carefully curated) light, to acknowledge it as a subject worthy of attention. It is a way to say to the world I am a writer and I am also a mother and here is how I struggle and fuse the two in the everyday.”
As I read her words, I think I stopped breathing for a good 20 seconds. I was amazed by her honesty and how she depicted exactly how I felt and what I too wanted to accomplish with a blog someday. At the time, I was struggling to find the balance between being the 30-something mom I wanted to be to my girls and the 20-year-old me, before children, who had dreams for the future and creativity in my bones. I too have a strong love/hate relationship with social media. As I mindlessly scroll through the perfectly perfect pictures of friends and utter strangers it began to become difficult for me not to think that my life was boring or inadequate in some way compared to those I saw on screen. I had always wanted to start a blog as an outlet for my creativity but in the back of my mind I talked myself out of it by thinking, “who would want to see pictures of me wiping cheerios off the high chair or taking my Littles on a walk.” As I delved deeper into the article, my amazement continued. Menkedick said,
“So much of a parent’s work is minutiae, easily dismissed as thoughtless chores or ignored as boring, but framing it for social media, I realized, gave it power… It said, This life is worth admiring.”
The words jumped off the page as if she had written them just for me at that very moment! It’s true, most days I wear Athleisure outfits with no makeup and no intention of ever stepping foot into a gym. My idea of a crazy night out is staying out in public, anywhere really, later than 9 pm. And, much of my time IS filled with sweeping Cheerios off of the floor. What I can say, is that there are so many wonderful little moments happening in my life every day that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Like witnessing my daughter’s pride as she reads a chapter book for the first time or the snuggles I get from my Littles at the end of a long day. These are the moments I want to remember and social media is a platform to help me do that. Parents everywhere are living this exact same life and although to many it seems simple, mundane or dull, to us it is EVERYTHING.
We landed in Birmingham soon after and I took that magazine article with me off the plane that day. It’s been stuffed away in the mess that is my closet for the off chance that maybe, just maybe, I actually would follow through and start my own blog.
I pulled the article out over the holiday break this past December. It was just the reminder I needed to seriously think about fusing the two aspects of my life that I had hoped to do for so long. An opportunity for me to explore the unfiltered joys and challenges of the everyday parent while giving me an outlet to creatively be who I wanted to be as an individual. It’s magic! Our lives are worth admiring too!
To the writer who knew just what to say at the moment I needed it most, thank you! Sarah Menkidick, unbeknownst to you, you have “gifted me a clear vision of my own significance”.
To read the article in full, click here and flip to pages 86-89.
This is My Life After Littles