So, you probably don’t know this, but in January my little blog had its 4th anniversary. I didn’t celebrate it and didn’t even acknowledge it. The past two years for my blog have more and more progressively been a struggle. Many days I’ve just wanted to call it quits, but didn’t want to let go either.
You see, my life is completely chaotic. Somewhat controlled most of the time, but in the past several years it seems that each time I thought I was coming up for air, something unexpected would happen to just push me back under.
Most of those occurrences have been, unfortunately, directly related to my kids.
I didn’t want to talk about it, but I also couldn’t think about anything else. Posting schedules went out the door. Good intentions to be organized and improve things made a swift exit through the window. Motivation? Down the drain.
Frustratingly though, under it all, the desire for a creative outlet wouldn’t go away.
In the meantime, wonderful blogging opportunities were still coming my way for a while, but as the reality of life with three complicated kids would once again stare me in the face I would generally have to say, over and over again, “thank you so much for thinking of me, but I just can’t do _______.” Fill in the blank- everything from cooking demos on local tv programs and at pro demo stages at expo’s to attending events.
A little bit more of that happiness of being a food blogger with a bright future ahead of me would die just that much more because the reality I was struggling to live in just really wasn’t my life. It couldn’t be for me.
It just couldn’t. I’m not generally a person to likes to whine or feel helpless to change something. I don’t think that most of us are. Especially as Moms I think we become hardwired to find a way to cope/deal/adapt/change etc. It’s just the way it is.
There came a time for me not long ago where I decided I needed to take a long, hard look at why I started blogging in the first place and where I wanted it to go. Did I start because I wanted to be a sensation or write a cookbook or run a business?
I think it all comes down to intentions. When I started this whole experience it was because I was in desperate need of a creative outlet and some contact with the outside world – or I was going to lose my mind.
I was home alone, all the time with my difficult and emotional four year old at home (who I could tell that something wasn’t ok with and would come to figure out within a couple of years has very difficult ADHD with anxiety and oppositional defiant disorder and possibly another mood disorder we haven’t yet been able to determine).
On top of that I had gone through a terrible and difficult pregnancy, only to have it abruptly turn into a life threatening experience at the end (for us both) when they had to do an emergency c-section to delivery my 3lb baby boy almost 8 weeks early to save my life and his, only to get him home after 28 days in the hospital with orders not to leave the house with him under any circumstances until early the next Summer. This was in October. I did what I had to do to take care of him, but it affected us all, including being the cause of a case of PTSD for me that still lingers and creeps up on me four years later to when I least expect it.
Then two years after that experience, just when I am finally deciding that, because of the likelihood that another pregnancy would be just as bad or worse, that I cannot have any more kids, I find out I’m already on my way to having another.
It should be mentioned here that for both boys we tried for a pregnancy for two years each. With our daughter, we were preventing and wound up with our one and only surprise pregnancy. Needless to say, she was supposed to be here.
I was thrilled and terrified… and hopeful. Perhaps this would be the time where things were *normal* and everything went *right*.
Then our daughter was born one week before my scheduled c-section, where, for once, I even went in to labor. Only to be told she was breech and we would still have to do the c-section.
I can remember clearly thinking, “and so it begins.” Little did I know.
I can remember the delivery clearly and being shown my daughter, who I could tell had been in distress and whisked off to the special care nursery. I’ve never had a different experience than my kids being whisked away and not getting to be with them. It was crushing each time, but this being the third time, I was mentally prepared for that to happen.
I was even mentally prepared for the wait for the epidural to wear off so I could finally be wheeled to where my daughter was to meet her. Again, this is our *normal* so, though it’s an awful experience, I just figured I would get through it.
While we were waiting, the pediatrician came in with the update on how our daughter was now doing. I still remember things clearly up to this point because I remember that my nurse was in the room chatting with us and the pediatrician (who by the way has become a very dear part of our life) excused her from the room.
Once the nurse had left, the doctor looked at us and explained that Kayla had an infection among other issues and that she was fairly sure that she had Down syndrome.
From that moment on, on and off over the past two years, my world has changed dramatically and is still a daily adjustment.
Interestingly enough though as I’ve thought about it more recently, it’s entirely possible to be lucid and yet still living in a complete fog.
Don’t get me wrong though, it isn’t all about Kayla’s diagnosis at all. It is the big picture of my life. I have family that like to remind me that this is what I wanted. I don’t think anyone wants or expects to have three complicated children with a gamut of unexpected and special needs.
But that’s what I have. Life is not all peaches and cream. I adore my kids and seriously wouldn’t trade them for the world… BUT.
There. I said it. But.
For their sakes, and some of our own, I wish things weren’t so hard all of the time. I am told often that Heavenly Father wouldn’t have given us more than we could handle. Most days I feel like we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one.
The bottom line is, my blog is a hobby. It is meant to be my happy place. It is meant to be a place where I can connect with a community of like minded people who inspire me, support me and need my support and where I can come to be ME.
I’ve been doing a disservice to us both here for a while because I’ve been at a complete loss for words that could convey my love for my family and my joy in my children, while still sharing the feelings that my situation brings out in me that just aren’t so pretty.
The reason decided to do NaBloPoMo this month was to put an end to the waiting for things to change and get to a perfect place for me to pick up that bright food blogger future and surge forward again.
In the meantime, things have changed. I still love to cook and bake and obsessively talk about it and my love for food, but I’m done trying to talk around the reality of my life.
While I sincerely hope you’ll stick around for the future of my blogging adventure for lots more recipes, I really hope you’ll stay around to be a part of my life.
On that note, I wanted to write, after that long, drawn out, convoluted and unedited diatribe of self therapy above, for this open letter to you, the incredible people who come here and hear my words to help give them value beyond myself. I just want you to know, thanks to you, I’m not giving up and will still have a happy place to share recipes and the things I love, but I will be able to be more open and genuine again. I hope that there is something in that that somehow helps you as well.
I’ve said many times in the past that you mean so much to me. I’ve meant it every time, but have never felt like I could really convey what I meant. I would love to throw a big party and do giveaways galore and give you all moonbeams to take home in a jar. I can’t though. All I can do is very humbly tell you that YOU are of immense value to me. Each click, each comment, each bit of support and acknowledgement that by being here you are telling me, “hey, I get it. You’re not alone.” is what helps the inner me get through the days spent at hospital appointments and trying to figure out how to navigate the emotional maze of raising my kids. I remember a time when I was more of a dreamer. I remember a time when I wanted to be a crusader. Most days all I want is to get through the day. I’m lucky in so many ways and know that I am. I hate the times when I feel like I’m whining about what is still so much more and so much better than so many have. I’m trying to adjust my expectations for myself. When I named this blog “PheMOMenon” I always intended to write about my life with my kids and especially related to food. The fact that anyone cared was and is amazing to me. I want you to know that you inspire me. I don’t often get to quote on others blogs, and frankly it’s usually because I’m just trying to keep my head above water and just don’t feel I have anything to give. I want to, but it isn’t always there. I’m working on that. I really miss when I interacted with you more, but I never want it to be for the sake of just doing it. You have too much value in my life and heart for me to dishonor that relationship with idle responses and prattle. You help me get through the day and, while I hope in some small way I do the same for you, I just know that we have a lopsided friendship here. I don’t mean to be a taker, but I’m ridiculously grateful that you sometimes let me be. There are thousands upon thousands of other blogs you could read. So, I don’t know how to convey what you mean to me other than to just wear my heart on my sleeve here and tell you, thank you!!
All my love and admiration,