Every now and then I read a post on some site like Huffington Post or a friend of a friend’s blog about how overexposed kids are these days with the internet. One girl posted how upset our kiddos will be when they’re older and see what ridiculous pictures of them were posted online when they were little. “Naked bath pictures! Ugh! Struggles with relationships?! Don’t you know your kids will read this some day?”
It always makes me stop in my tracks.
Well… hell… I am the guiltiest of the guilty when it comes to super-imposing bug’s picture on the internet, Instagram, Facebook. You name a site and I’ll find a way to show off my kid. Those that proclaim “they would never” or look down their nose at those of us that over-share… I want to tell you that I choose to do this very deliberately. I choose to share Landon and our story because I want everyone to know how proud I am to be her mother. I share our story because I want other struggling mothers to see her, read our story, and say “hey, we’re going to be great.” I share everything to show very earnestly and honestly the evolution of a family. The good and the bad. With or without special needs, raising a family is HARD. Being a wife is HARD. I felt sincerely that not enough of us were being honest about those two facts. We women like to pretend it’s all rosy in our gardens. As if admitting otherwise would make others judge us instead of embrace us.
At the start of Landon’s life, I was a struggling mess. Blogging helped keep me sane and the influx of love kept me going. It probably was selfish back then. After two years there has been a shift. I endeavor to reach those that need to hear that their rough starts to parenthood will work themselves out and that they can do very hard things.
I have thought long and hard about what it truly will be like if she reads this blog some day. Will she be upset? Will she be frustrated and hurt that I was SO open about our lives, her little life, our marriage, raising her and our triumphs and low points? I deeply considered stopping blogging all together as my guilt ridden brain cannot fathom if these people are right.
I received emails from other mothers. Mothers of children with Treacher Collins, Down Syndrome, hearing loss, women with post partum, mothers of children born missing a limb or with malformed hands. I received emails from grown adults with TCS or kids in college. They say that my writing changed something for them. There was a healing element to the honesty they read. They reassured me that they themselves share my fears and it’s nice to have someone be so open. Some have been so bold as to tell me my writing will help Landon always remember the support and love that surrounds her. God I hope so.
I have made this choice to share her and our lives with all of you, believing that our story has a purpose to help others. To connect us all as we fumble through parenthood and adulthood. After reading the wonderful response to my last post, I’m now more confident this little place online has this purpose.
From here on out, when I doubt, I will shout it outloud. This imperfect mamma is here doing her best. Showing up in motherhood, as a wife and hopefully a guide to connect other mothers on their own unique journeys. Reminding y’all to choose happy.