Monday, June 30, 2014

We're Baaaaaaack

The house is eerily silent as all three children are snoring peacefully in their beds after a morning of play. Much like I imagine the silence of a bombed out village might be after the explosions finally cease.
 In this moment of silence I find myself back here again- opening my blogger tab for the first time in a month (okay…well...minus one day). My computer remembers this site well, directing me here after only a couple of keystrokes. I stare at the blank page and feel like I've come back to my journal for the first time in February after vowing January 1st to Diary Dearest all of life's happenings.
(oh you know..just hanging out on all the unfolded laundry…)
I took a month off, and it felt good. I needed the space- needed the separation- needed a chance to find myself apart from this blog. But there were many times this month when it took all my will power not to race here and spill the day's happenings- either seeking assurance or needing an ear for my dramatic spin on a boring day- because of course a dramatic spin on a boring day is the delicious spicy rub on a dull pork chop for the grill (I actually tried a beautify spicy rub for grilled pork chips this month and the children gobbled it down- WIN). But the "seeking assurance" part  held me back. I don't need the Internet to tell me that I'm a good mother. I don't need comments on a blog post to convince me that my choices are valid. I don't need a blog's portrayal of an incident to color it in my own mind. So I held my words inside and sorted them for myself.
(my sanity might have taken a slight hit with this)
I held my words inside when Addison escaped from the house and took a hike in the busy road next to our house. I held my words inside when Addison escaped from church nursery and went wandering up into the sermon hour like a lost puppy adorably looking for Daddy (Mommy was not mentioned by her sweet mouth after the incident) I held my words inside when Addison and Carter both started talking like crazy. I held my words inside when Eli started crawling- then went from a crawl to a sit- then turned seven months- then whipped out a guitar and serenaded me in Eb Major (okay one of those is not true). I held my words inside when Aaron would work 6am to 10pm days on end and I wouldn't have any outside contact because I didn't realize how much I had come to rely on social media to fill the silence for me.
 I reasoned out- why do I need to blog? What is it doing for me? Life has exploded into a chaotic mess, and is it worth it to me to do one more thing?
But as my fingers type back in this familiar place- I confess that I find myself drawn back to this site. Not so much as a platform to share pet peeves, entertaining stories, or hilarious quips, but for a spot for me to me- to share my life- to share my loves- just the way we are.
(You reap what you sow…unless you have toddlers who dig up the seeds two hours later)
Everyone says that in blogging you need to find your niche and get really good at that niche- an expert. As someone who has been blogging for four years- I finally confess to you that I am an expert in……dirty diapers. Oh wait that's not true (newly mobile child plus solid foods- you do the math). I really am not an expert in anything. I tell my truth. I parent. I do all of this imperfectly.
This space has always been my Everything and Nothing- and it will remain so. Although as my readership has grown, I have felt this pressure to pretend to be be this perfect parenting model. As my parents' generation has gotten online more and more I have felt acutely aware that they are reading every word. This isn't just me with my girlfriends over a cup of coffee. This has caused me to censor myself a lot this past year- wondering how people are perceiving me- judging me- quietly observing with a tight lip and ideas how I could be doing all of this better.

(yes, that is a booger under Addison's nose. YOU try keeping three wiggling noses clean every second of every day)
But during my break I realize- I need this space to just be me. If you feel the need to judge, scold, or tell me how it should really be done; if you expect me to be a perfect parent- this might not be the right blog for you to be reading. If you need a space of honest parenting- special needs, three young kids, organization struggles, and a sense of humor that can be downright twisted sometimes- this is for you. But mostly for me. Because I missed it here.

(Test #1….is your first thought "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE FEEDS HER BABY SWEET TEA????!!!" or "Cutie. Bet there is an awesomely snarky story behind this picture."
And while we're being honest, can I ask you a favor?

If you read- could you occasionally leave me a comment? A "Hey- I promise you're not throwing words into an empty Internet hole. I hear you!" type of thing. Each comment means so much to me, and I vow to become so much better at replying back to them so you know that you have been heard as well. As a stay-at-home person with a husband in a crazy busy season- I NEED WORDS that aren't highly emotional screams, followed by a tantrum/ possible discipline scenario/ or distraction technique to hide greater toddler evil. Please.
(Okay fine- I need two favors)

If you read and really enjoy a particular post- could you share it (or even just like on Facebook)? In all my spare minutes (okay seconds) I have been working diligently on a bigger writing project on having a child with special needs that I hope to share with you all soon. In order for my teeny tiny little voice to be loud enough for this project to get out- I need your help. I feel selfish to ask you to share my work, but I truly feel that writing about special needs and some of the issues that my project covers is bigger than just me. So I beg you for your help.

(My idea of a photography success: in which her head is now turned and you can no longer see the booger)
(Test #2- Are you immediately drawn to the mismatched socks with the thought that I am a mother who can't keep up with laundry….or a progressive thinking mother who likes to switch things up and keep sock matches away from BORING.)
Long story short- I am back. I will be resuming my posting here, Facebook, and Instagram (Twitter and I have a very complicated on and off again relationship). Thank you for understanding how much I needed that break. Thank you for reading. Thank you for helping make this space the haven that it has become.

Now if you will excuse me…I hear little a little voice calling for Mommy. Break time is over.

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Thanks for reading about my Everything and Nothing. I would love to hear from you!