Being Real

being realAs I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at being real.

Yesterday (September 2nd) marked three full months of blogging at ThisHappyMom. I went back and looked… I wrote my first post on June 2nd of this year.

That’s also the day I purchased my domain name.

I actually started as a WordPress.com site and becomes self hosted the following weekend.

Looking back at some of those older posts it kind of weird. In three months, I’ve learned a lot about formatting my content for easier reading (shorter paragraphs, using sub headings). I’ve learned how to write content that is search engine friendly. I have really changed the HOW of writing.

But beyond that, WHAT I write about has changed.  It got real.

When I started, I planned to be a how-to blog. I love photography. I planned on sharing lots of new beautiful food photos with you (instead of pulling from my archives). I intended to provide stunning photos with detailed instructions of cool boy-friendly crafts. I thought I’d be promoting my first ebook of recipes by now.

Confused yet?

For those of you who regularly read how My Kids Make Me Laugh or follow along with Five Minute Fridays, you’re probably a little confused.

On the other hand, if you’ve been reading my blog since the beginning, you probably are wondering when I’m going to finish my expose on laundry soap, explain how I finally won the laundry wars, or maybe just enlighten you on how the chores are doing.

For those handful of readers who are wondering how the Points Project ended or how the Laundry Soap thing went:

  1. I love my home made laundry soap. I’m heavily dependent on the version with tea-tree oil in the soap because it’s the only thing that keeps my laundry from turning funky in the August heat.
  2. The recipe for soap is 1 bar Dr Brommers soap (grated) 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda. Throw it in a food processor until it’s a powder. I use 3 tablespoons per load in my HE machine.
  3. I will never win the laundry wars. Ever. I’m content to keep it at a minor skirmish level.
  4. My kids still don’t do chores consistently. Then again, neither do I. I figure if I can ever keep a perfect house, I’ll have room to fuss at them for the way they keep their rooms. Until then, it’s a draw.

What happened?

One day in June, I was busily working on a draft of a 21 day boot-camp book. My theory was that in 21 days, you could turn your messy house around and get caught up on all the chores you’ve been putting off. It’s probably a good theory.

My husband took a look over my shoulder and started laughing.

I dare you to live just three days of what you just wrote.

I couldn’t.

But what I could do was spend that time with my kids making some of the very best summer memories they could ask for.

Right there, in the middle of day 1 of my “bootcamp” – I drew a big red X through the to-do list and wrote “go have a water fight.” I did, and I don’t regret it.

Since June, I struggled with what kind of blog this would be.

Writing happy “how to’s” while surrounded by clutter wasn’t exactly being real.

Confronted with my own hypocrisy, I couldn’t exactly write a household how-to manual.

So my posts on household stuff slowly dwindled. Each time I pressed “post” on a beautiful photo essay of summer salads, I cringed inside.

And the stories in my heart grew louder.

Not just the funny crazy stories about my kids, but the aching stories about how sometimes motherhood hurts, the scary stories about how sometimes I feel alone and clueless, the tender stories of how my heart grows closer to God from the lessons my children teach me.

Last week, when I launched my newsletter, it was the result of all that anguish and indecision. I decided to embrace the story teller inside me.

The one I never even knew was there.

It was scary, but I knew it was right.

It was being real.

You see, I know the search terms people use to find my website.

I scares me to know that the #1 way people find me from google is the phrase “weary worn out mom.”

I can easily imagine what drives a woman to type “weary worn out mom” into google, looking for answers. I’ve done it. I had PPD and an undiagnosed thyroid condition with two babies in diapers.

I can imagine what drives a friend to type “weary worn out mom” into a search bar, looking for ways to help a friend. I’ve done it. I’ve sat with friends as they struggle through job loss, depression, divorce, illness, addiction, and more.

I can imagine what a worried husband would be thinking if he searched “weary worn out mom” in a desire to help his wife (or at least verify she’s not alone). I asked my husband. He told me.

The truth is that at some point, all of us have been her.

All of us have been (and will be) the weary and worn out mom.

No matter how much we don’t want to feel that way, it happens.

And when it does, we need to hear “you aren’t alone” and “I understand.”

We need to hear each other’s stories.

We need desperately to be around other moms being real.

We need to be reminded how to be thankful, how to find joy in the silly things our kids say and do, how to laugh WITH our husbands instead of AT them.

We need to quit taking this motherhood thing so seriously and just cut loose.

Sometimes, we just need to remember that God is in control and to trust him.

Because when we do, we find the joy in everyday motherhood.

When I did, I became This Happy Mom.

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. Great post from a real mom. I have a questions for you. We started out and are still self-hosted but are in the process of migrating to WordPress. Why did you do the opposite? Thanks

    • WordPress.com is awesome. It’s free, and it’s pretty much fool proof. You pick a theme and place your widgets.

      But… You can’t add plugins. So no seo optimization, no editorial calendar, no comment luv. Bummer.

      You also can’t generate affiliate revenue. Shopping cart, yes. Click thru, no.

      I wanted the flexibility that comes with being self hosted. The additional work load is small in comparison to the benefits.

      So why are you moving to wp.com?

  2. Susan – I am in utter shock that you have only been blogging for 3 months! Bravo to you for identifying the need for authentic writing – you have a great blog here!
    Paula recently posted..Seven Ways to Relax on Labor DayMy Profile

    • It took two years of my friends and husband saying “you really need to blog that” for me to get up the courage. I was convinced that I had nothing to say!

  3. each and everyone of your posts touch me and make me think. You write with such wisdom and soul, I am glad you are keeping it real. You are so true, we need to feel connected to other moms and know they are just as real as we are.

    I wish I knew how to let go and trust that God will lead me in the rigth direction.
    karen recently posted..Fun with LaLa and PopPopMy Profile

    • Hmmm…. I’m flattered for you to say so.

      Letting go and trusting God to lead my blog in the right direction was big and scary. I had (and have) dreams about writing a blog that gets made fun of. I stress about showing up to a blogging conference and having people point fingers at me and laugh. I worry about a friend pulling me aside to gently suggest I quit writing. I wonder when my husband will correct my grammar again. To push the publish button is sometimes hard. Many times I do it, it’s a complete act of faith.

  4. Wonderful assessment and conclusion! Really resonated with me! Congratulations on 3 months! Can’t wait for my anniversary!!
    Roshni recently posted..Could I be a Tiger Mom?My Profile

  5. Having accomplished all these in a span of three months, you did a great job, I must say. You’ve really connected to your readers very well. Certainly, more success is coming your way.
    Hannah Hamilton recently posted..Weekend Getaways for the BoysMy Profile

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