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Challenge: Finding Your Voice as a Parent

To all "Mommy Blogger" haters, here's something you should know...

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I'm not whining.

I promise.

Honestly, it's just self-preservation.

You think I'm complaining.

You comment that I'm ungrateful.

My Instagram feed, Facebook selfies, and all photos of my kids and I make you want to vomit.

You wish you could look me face-to-face and scream at me to "shut the *&$# up!"

Or, maybe you know me in real life and think, mumble under your breath or remark to your friend something similar whenever you see me.

I'm a "Mommy Blogger," and you would like nothing more than to throw some slime, glitter, wine or iced coffee at me and yell at me to "get over myself."

But, let me let you in on a little secret...

My over-disclosures, my rants, my ramblings, my confessions, they are how I "get over myself."

They are what allow me to introspect my life, my choices, and my actions and then examine them -- alongside you -- while deciphering where I can and should improve, as wife, mother, woman and human being.

You think I'm complaining because, occasionally, well, I am.

Yes, I know that complaining doesn't make anything better, but it does allow me to recognize, define and address what's bothering me so that I can implement the proper attitude adjustment.

You think I sound ungrateful because, occasionally (and embarrassingly), I am.

It's something I wholeheartedly want to change about myself, but when your blessings are exhausting you, calling your name every five seconds, following you to the bathroom, writing all over your planner, getting permanent marker on your walls and spilling milk on your computer, it's hard always to remain thankful.

So, when I find the time to write, and then later reread my confessional and even peruse the supportive or harsh commentary of others on my articles, I am reminded to be filled with gratitude for all of the problems I don't have. It is through my disclosure process and reexamining process by which I am frequently enlightened to the fact that my "hardships," though they seem like such in the present moment, are far from serious troubles.

Am I being challenged daily? Yes.

Do I experience some sadness, anxiety, overwhelm and guilt? You betcha.

But is it all work-through-able? Also yes.

You've also stated that you are tired of seeing my face and those of my offspring because you think my picture oversharing means that I am self and family-absorbed.

Well, no and yes.

I am entirely obsessed with my family, and I will never apologize for that. And though you may see more of my big nose, small, yellowish teeth, and faded microblade eyebrows than you would like, I use photos from my real life as opposed to stock images because I believe in the importance of every person feeling comfortable (and being allowed) to be their perfectly flawed, authentic selves. I don't share just the hugs, kisses and smiles, but also the tears and tantrums -- and not just the kids', but mine as well.

It's freeing to put yourself out there digitally or in your actual physical community and say to all that cross your path, "This is me, my family, my life and my journey and I'm owning every part of it."

Then, there's you, who wants for me to quiet down my voice, but here's the thing --

I can't and I won't.

If I want to raise kids who know the importance of finding and using theirs to support and promote the values they long to uphold, then I must be an example of such.

Most mommy bloggers don't claim to have all the answers or if they are like me, claim to have any. But, what we do contend that we know is how to do 1) is love our little people, 2) make mistakes, 3) feel all the feelings and do one, two and three continuously day after day.

And, oh yeah, we're pretty good at being brave.

"Brave how?" you ask.

Well, it's pretty damn courageous to unabashedly communicate your story full knowing that your words can and will be misconstrued and that you will undoubtedly be judged.

It's freakin' ballsy as heck to sideline that nonsense because you are also aware that the stories you are telling of the real-life, blessed-as-heck-but it's-still-a-shiitake-show you are living is helping others, making them feel supported, encouraged, related to, or for some, even motivated or inspired.

Listen, for the most part, I write for me.

I'd be lying if I contended otherwise.

I write because I enjoy it.

I write because it's therapeutic.

I write because I have this hope that one day, my children will read all of my articles, and truly comprehend just how tough, yet ridiculously growth-provoking parenthood can be and how hard Mommy worked at being a someone worth emulating.

And, maybe, if and when any of my offspring decide to start a family of their own, they will reflect on my ramblings and lessons and make fewer mistakes than I did.

Then again, they will surely make their own mistakes, and I hope, by then, the precedent I have set will only push them to keep truckin' forward in spite of any setbacks and maybe even share their journey with the possibility it could benefit another.

As I said, I'm not whining.

When I'm "mommy blogging," it's just my form of self-preservation.

I need to write.

I need to use my words and share them.

My kids need me.

My kids need me to use my words and share them because nine times out of ten, doing so prompts my improvement as a mom.

I'm safeguarding my sanity and my heart, by putting my thoughts down on paper and neither you or your dislike for me and or any of my "messages" is going to stop me from continuing to do so.

Self-preservation mode has been activated, and you've got a front-row seat to motherhood maintenance LIVE.

How does it feel to mom in front of a live audience, as well as a digital one?

A bit scary, but far more exhilarating.

Don't hate the mommy blogger or the game.

Because I'll let you in on a little secret --

you're not my opponent, I am.

And, when you are your own competition, one of you will always win, and I suspect it'll be the one manifesting her transformation.

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