Beyond mummy duties
AFTER my daughter was born, all I wanted was to be a stayat-home mum. I imagined I’d spend my days pushing my daughter in a stroller, scrapbooking our family memories as she napped in the afternoon, and then I’d prepare a pictorialworthy family meal every night.
It didn’t exactly happen that way.
I did eventually leave my fulltime job when my daughter was four and my son was one. I was ready.
But what happened the next six months shocked me - I was miserable. The reality of spending most days waiting for a child to fall asleep or wake up, and the stark loneliness of staying 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 acknowledge I was two “Dora the Explorers” shy of a total breakdown. That’s about the time I came across this thing called a blog and decided I would start one of my own. I had been a journalism major in college and always loved to write and tell stories. I had my own blog, and a local newspaper asked me to blog for them.
After the kids went to 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 mum 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 dominated by women – mostly moms – and here’s why: Our blog is all ours. Mums 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 Etsy, blogs, message boards and Twitter have been revolutionary for women, especially mums. Through online networks, a stayat-home mum can sell her handmade scarves internationally, or a working mum can take night classes online to help her career.
Or, as in my case, she can write on her blog and become a columnist, writer and local TV host, all while her kids are asleep or in school.
For some mums, it might be volunteering at a women’s shelter or selling Avon. Whatever the spark is, I encourage mums to stay connected and keep pursuing their passion. It helps keep you sane and secure. When I started blogging, I didn’t know I would eventually become a single mum. Now I have turned my passion into a full-time career. I just kept moving toward what I loved to do, working hard and taking every opportunity that came my way.
That’s a good recipe for success, either in a career or as a mum. -The Orange County Register/ McClatchy Tribune Information Services.