Tuesday, February 17, 2015

We Do Hard Things: ending the whiny mommy bloggers

Greetings readers!
I have been on blog radio silence for a while. I'd love to say that it's because I'm so "terribly busy" but the truth is, it's because something has been stirring inside me that I've been wanting to write about for months, but haven't had the courage to. You see... I have a bit of a confession to make and it's a little controversial and a whole lot self incriminating. Here goes. I can't stand mommy whiner blogs.  

But Erin, you are a mommy blogger. Oh yes, I am fully aware of it. Hence the blog silence. Let me back up a minute and say that I don't dislike mommy bloggers and I do think that there are some blogs out there that are very helpful to mothers  searching for someone who feels just like them, someone who can validate their feelings. To those blogs, I bare no ill-will. No, I'm talking about a specific group of mommy blogs: the mommy whiner blogs. 

I am a believer in empowering each other, encouraging people. I am a believer in giving voice to your thoughts and feelings, I am a believer in being real about your life and in giving grace to others who are real about their lives. What I am NOT a believer in, is when you use your life's circumstances to excuse your unwillingness to move forward; to work on being a better you.

This whole thing started on facebook. I had gone through a particularly bad couple of weeks in the trenches of motherhood and as I would scroll through my newsfeed there would be blog link after blog link with titles like "Why I don't take my sensory kid to church" and "What not to say to a mom of special needs". For some reason, this really irritated me. 

Some facebook friends would post things like "This is so me guys." And then would link to this lady who was just making excuses about how hard her life was. There was no epiphany at the end, there was no challenge to work on, there wasn't even a way the writer would let you relate to them. It was all very much, a "this is why you will NEVER understand why it's so hard to be me" alienating diatribe.  I mean, I have 2 kids with special needs, I could throw down a whiner blog like nobody's business. Maybe I had done that. Had I done that? Suddenly I felt icky. Oh no, had I unknowingly become a mommy whiner?

 I thought about the whole reason why I started blogging in the first place. It wasn't to get thousands of hits, to make money,  or to go on trips. It wasn't to be featured in magazines or exalted for the most amazing and wonderful person that we all hope people think we are when we blog. I started writing because I enjoyed being authentic, and raw and real. I am terrible at talking about my feelings to people in real life. But somehow, alone  (or sometimes in a room full of kids) on a computer, I could say exactly how I felt. I could be exactly who I was. My blog gave me the freedom to say what was on my mind and to talk about the struggles I faced as a human being. Most of the time, those struggles are about being a mom because.... well that's what is important to me. There are challenges as a mother, there are obstacles. You never know if you're doing the right thing, or if you're making huge mistakes. You feel isolated, you feel doubt, you feel joy, you feel incredible love. Those are the things I like to write about. All of it.What I don't like about whiny mommy bloggers are the fact that they tell you how hard it is to do certain things and THAT'S why they don't do them.

 In my family we have a saying: We Do Hard Things. How can I look at my son who has trouble buttoning his pants, or tying his shoes and say to him "Son, I know those things are hard for you. It's so hard so just never mind. Don't do it."? I have to lead by example. I have to show him that whatever you find challenging or difficult, you still have to DO. Because the world will not just give you grace because things are hard. We do hard things. 

Fact: Taking my sensory kid to church is one of the hardest things I do all week....but I do it anyway. Fighting for my kid to get all of the therapy and medical attention he needs is hard....but I do it anyway. Sometimes getting up and getting your kids dressed is the hardest thing... but you do it anyway. Maybe going to work and kissing your babies goodbye is just the hardest...but you do it anyway. Why do you do it? Because...well because you have to. You can't just give up. It's ok to be upset about it. It's ok to want to quit. It's ok to even whine about it. But eventually, you have to put your big girl blog panties on and...do it the freak anyways.

I have a whole bunch of bright hot pink business cards. Right now they say:                     Erin Warkentin
                           freelance writer * blogger

Perhaps I need to be more specific, maybe a reprint is in order. What it should say is:           Erin Warkentin
                              freelance writer * whiner blogger

Forgive me if I've whined without giving hope, without trying to better myself, without picking myself up and continuing to just keep swimming, just keep swimming. If I've been that to you, I'm sorry. It has become one of my biggest pet peeves and I refuse to let my blog become my crutch for inactivity or lame behavior. 

Let's not settle for whineyness (is that even a word?) Let's become cheerleaders, and motivators. Does that mean that I will only ever write positive blogs from now on? Heck no. That wouldn't be real life now would it? It means I will write the good with the bad, as it comes wave on wave and that I promise not to enable my readers; my friends, to be inactive or to use their life circumstances as excuses. 

Chant with me friends:

Life is Hard...we do it anyways. 

We Do Hard Things.

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