Thursday, April 5, 2018

Be Proud Of Your Family And Home. Keep Things Real. Share The Messy Stuff.

In the beginning of my Work at Home Dog Mom career, I was a contractor for an independently owned company that was eventually purchased by a large media company. I worked for this media company for a few years until the spring of 2012 when the company was sold back to the original owner. I was immediately hired by another large company. Amid all of this, I was introduced to the Mommy Blogosphere.

Moms of human children who started blogs. 

Some were successful. Some were not. Regardless, I read and kept up with blog after blog after blog. The content and themes and candidness of these hundreds of Mommy Bloggers were all over the charts. There was a world of Mommy Bloggers ranging from those who continuously portrayed a white picket fence life to those who had no qualms about dropping the F-Bomb and everything between.

My personal preference is the Mommy Bloggers who are beyond candid and have no shame in sharing the messy stuff.

Some of my favorites are People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Not Your Average Mom, and The Bloggess.

I read these blogs several times a week even though I'm not a Mom of human kids. These women inspire me to keep things real and to write in my own voice.

I kept all of this in mind when a friend of mine reached out with her concerns about starting a Mommy Blog.  She gave me permission to share a portion of our conversation but asked that I keep her name anonymous. For that reason, I've replaced her real name with "Ida."

Ida: I want to start a Mommy Blog, but after checking out several dozen Mommy Bloggers, I'm extremely intimated.

Me: Why?

Ida: The Mommy Bloggers I checked out give the impression of being elite. They all have husbands who make a shit-ton of money. The Moms are Stay at Home Moms. And, I know that's a full-time job in itself, but the houses they live in are at least five times the size of mine. Their kids wear Gap clothing, they drive new vehicles, and money never seems to be an issue.

Me: And...

Ida: I can't compete with that.

Me: You don't have to.

Ida: Well, my brain is sending me back to my high school years. I wasn't popular. I didn't play sports. I wasn't a cheerleader. I was always one of the last 3 picked in gym class. I never had a date for school dances. And, I wasn't invited to parties.

Me: Tell your brain to run far away from that place.

At this point, I shared an experience I had back when I was 20. I was in a relationship. Money was extremely tight. We resided in a tiny efficiency style apartment. Very. Very. Tiny. It had a living area, a bathroom, and a kitchen. That was it. We had a comfortable futon that we used as a sofa during the day and as a bed at night.

Shortly after moving in, I had painted the main room and kitchen. Made curtains. Added some decorative touches. It was nothing fancy, but it was home.

We had a mutual friend. Our mutual friend came from a wealthy family, but she lived quite the opposite life by choice. One afternoon, our mutual friend invited us over to her parent's house for lunch. She didn't want to go alone. We said yes.

When we arrived, I immediately felt out of place. The house was the size of a mansion. It had an indoor pool. An outdoor pool. They had acres upon acres of land. Exquisite horse stalls. A gigantic garage where a dozen or so shiny antique cars were parked.

For the first 2 hours, her parents gave us a tour. We rode golf carts to the horse stalls and the antique car garage. Our mutual friend kept rolling her eyes. At one point she put her arm around me and whispered, "They do this when someone new visits their estate."

We ate lunch on one of their larger than life decks. I barely said a word. I couldn't wait to leave. The longer I sat there, the more I hated our home. By the time we got back home, I was on the verge of tears. I noticed every imperfection in our home. I felt ashamed. I didn't like how that felt.

It took me a long time to shake that feeling off, but once I did, I made a promise to myself. I would never compare my home to anyone else's and allow myself to feel that shame again.

And, I haven't.

Me: The point I'm trying to make is that you can't compare your life to someone else's. If you want to start a Mommy Blog, do it. Your house doesn't have to be a certain size. Your kids don't have to be dressed in Gap clothing. Your car doesn't have to be brand new. You don't have to look like a walking advertisement for Macy's.

Ida: I know, but...

Me: But nothing. You don't think there are pet bloggers out there who are high end? Yep. They exist. Their photos are always perfect. Their kitchens are 5 times the size of ours. They've got white sofas and chairs. Blah. Blah. Blah. But you know what? I don't care about that. We have 5 furry kids. They love the home they live in. So do we. It's a small 3 bedroom home and it's perfect for us. I blog about our life as Dog Moms, DIY Dog Mom Projects, our homemade dog treat recipes, etc.

I could hear Ida laughing a bit.

Ida: I was just thinking about TV sitcoms. In a world of the Camdens and Huxtables, my husband, the kids, and I are the Conners.

At that point, I knew Ida understood exactly what I was trying to tell her. 

Me: Start your Mommy Blog. Be proud of your family and home. Write in your voice. Share your recipes and food photos. Keep things real. Be honest. Share the messy stuff. No one wants to read a white picket fence version of someone's life. Eventually, you'll have an audience and it'll get bigger and bigger.

Ida: That's what you did, huh?

Me: Yep. I've hit my fair share of obstacles, but I'm on the right path.

The conversation continued.

And yes, Ida eventually started her own Mommy Blog.

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