Hello, It’s Me
Social media has changed so much since I started blogging 7 years ago. In the beginning, I told stories because sometimes parenting feels like operating in a vacuum. We had just moved to New York City and I was desperate for a community, someone and something to connect with. I built a network of mothers and friends both virtually and locally, often connected through the blog that I began operating from a public, free domain. Little accomplishments like taking the subway with two babies by myself for the first time felt like I had peaked Everest; It made me want to pound my chest and holler as loud as I could in celebration. So I wrote about it instead, a little story with even a few photos to accompany with the hope that it would sit like a fossil nested in my corner of the internet, a place that wouldn’t fade over time or turn into a mirage of our past.
I don’t have many childhood photos and I hold even fewer memories-most of which sit in a rotating wheel of slides, projecting memories into my daily experiences but often feeling like the voyeur rather than the subject. I’ve taken to documenting everything about life with my children so that I won’t forget the tiniest details, the silliest stories, the hard times, the lovely times, the otherwise perfectly forgettable times. The storytelling part of blogging has evolved for me, for lots of people I think. Instagram changed a lot about how I share these little snippets of our life, it perfectly frames a moment and allows a key-hole view into my life, a glimpse that doesn’t require translation or explanation, a perfect way for my kids to look back and allow their own experiences to fill in the blanks.
Jack and Zoe are 9 and 7 now, and there’s very little about their lives that I feel comfortable sharing on social media any more. They’re developing opinions and experiencing things socially that are shaping them into actual people. I’ve taken to opening up with dear friends and family about their individual challenges, as the internet is not the place for me to choose to share those things about them any more. Beau is 4 and heading into Pre-Kindergarten next year, and Evvie is 21 months going on 15. They are constantly keeping our family vessel rocking and sometimes busting cracks in our sturdy wooden frame.
Three years seems like a long time, but it was September 2013 when our family captured international attention with Beau and Theo’s nap time rituals plastering the timelines of everyone’s Facebook pages and media sources. Our lives changed. The community that congregated around my little city stories online suddenly included more people than I could manage. Only now do I feel like I’ve begun to get to know all of you a little better. For this entire time, I’ve felt guarded and extremely careful about what I share on the internet-watching your baby’s face plastered all over the world is the scariest thing, and needed to figure out the best way of managing something so unpredictable. My audience ballooned and for the first time ever, I worried about what I would share and how I would share it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Imposter Syndrome had set in and it’s taken until now for me to almost totally shake it.
What was once a completely free online journal-both to operate and to enjoy- became something so much bigger. I have a team that helps me with legal issues, brand partnerships, site designers and developers, and a virtual assistant that I never knew I needed so badly in my life. I found myself with a ton of opportunities and also quite a bit of overhead. It’s pretty easy to write about a service or a product that we use in our lives, and the one part that I was struggling with-what to write about in the first place-was already pre-conceived and planned out during the creative brainstorming I do with the brands.
Aside from personal issues sidelining us consistently over the past 6 months, I have struggled to find clarity about what I want to share, and understanding who I’m speaking to has been a big factor in that. I have found some direction, motivation and inspiration from doing a whole lot of soul searching as it relates to this piece of my life, and I want to channel this into something bigger than just my family. Being good people and doing good things for those who cannot help themselves is paramount on my life priority list, and it should be reflected in this public platform, too.
I am grateful to you for being here with me, as I work through how I want to show our cards- our personal projector slides-to the world. I promise it’ll be worth it.