This Month at Home – July 2017

IMG_3855 IMG_3870 IMG_3900 IMG_3921 IMG_3944 IMG_4014 IMG_4114 IMG_4124 IMG_0536 IMG_4147Oh the bliss of summer! It’s hard to believe July is almost over, and yet, this is how it happens every year. Late June days roll into weeks of adventures and fun, nights camping under starry skies, listening to the strings of banjos, birthday celebrations, and evening hikes up the mountain. And as the heat waves of mid-summer settle in, we find ourselves grateful, and craving repose all at the same time.

My goal this summer has been to stay present. To soak in every moment with my little family, all our togetherness, the fun, the meltdowns, everything. Soak in the reality of this life,  disconnect from the subjective reality of media, and breathe. So far, so good.

Today for the first time ever someone stopped me in a tiny store in a tiny town outside of our hometown, and told me she recognized me from my blog. She said she loved reading and that I should keep it going. It was lovely, a fellow mama, an average everyday person just like me, someone I wouldn’t necessarily have spoken with otherwise, but there we were, connected. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from this space.

My sharing has been slow lately. Because, you know…life, and two kids. But also because I’ve been feeling unsure of what to say, what’s my message. I have changed in so many ways in the past few years. I am no longer self employed. I don’t want to sell anyone anything. I don’t feel like I necessarily have any great words of wisdom. I’m not here to tell you how you should live your life. Mostly I’m just here to somewhat document mine. And to connect. Real life connection feels like a really valuable goal right now.

So, thank you to that mama at the market today. Thank you for stopping me as I negotiated with my four year old about pouring a growler of kombucha. Thank you for reaching out and saying hi, for making what is so often an invisible connection, a real one. I’ve been feeling really shy of social media, and even this blog lately, but still I am pulled to show up. So thank you for making me feel like my voice is heard, and valued. I really would love to hear your voices too!

So I’ve got a question for ya…what kind of connection are you craving right now? How do you want to be seen, heard, witnessed? Leave a comment, even if it’s just to say hi 👋 ☺️.

Oh, and if you want to check out the little video I made about our yearly trip to the Greyfox Bluegrass Festival, here it is.

Mamas and Social Media, Rift or Raft?

be who you are

Lately I find myself perplexed by our modern relationships, or lack there of, and particularly the way we relate as mothers, through social media, and with each other.

There are many kinds of mamas, if we break ourselves down into types, of this and that. There are mamas who don’t want to be solely identified as mamas, but rather want their former identity upheld, respected, not impinged upon, as identified in this article. There are working mamas, there are home-maker mamas. There are mamas who send their kids to school, there are mamas who school their kids at home. There are do-it-yourselfer mamas, and mamas who prefer to pay someone else to do it for them. There are all kinds of mamas, when we break ourselves down into categories such as these. However, when we do this, we may be inviting the very thing that mamas need absolutely none of, judgement.

The thing I am perplexed over, is how social media seems to have created a rift, instead of a raft, from one “kind” of mama to the next. This article explains it well. There are so many images, personal stories, and opinions floating around on the internet, especially those regarding motherhood, that it makes it impossible for any of us to really feel satisfied, accomplished, or even enough, no matter what or who it is we are, or identify with. Becoming a mom is rife with anxiety and uncertainty as it is, why does it seem that social media is fueling these fires?

And yet, if it were not for social media, we would have much more limited access to perhaps the single most important relationship for a mother, and that is other mothers! On Facebook alone I see mamas sharing stories, asking for advice, planning play dates, and offering support. There are groups created for everything. Healthy living groups, babywearing groups, attachment parenting groups, local groups, mamapreneaur groups, ect, ect (those are just the ones I belong to). And yet within these groups I rarely see judgement. There are differences between us. There are opinions, personal stories, and even images of our beautiful children, in golden sunlight… dancing with unicorns and farting rainbows… no I lied, there are no unicorns. However there are opportunities for rifts to be created through the “besiegement” of these things, but what I see instead is connection.

When we take the time to actually connect, to use social media, as best as we can, as a tool for communication,  real time and space relations, instead of as a platform for perfection, jealousy, and never-enoughness, we create the opportunity for rafts, not rifts, from one mama to another.

I suppose I am super conscious of this topic, because as a writer, especially as a blogger, who posts my seemingly idyllic photos, homemade recipes, and craft projects, I don’t want to convey that my life is perfect. In fact just the opposite. I write and share only to express, only as yet another creative outlet. To inspire? sure. To connect? yes please! To besiege, cause anxiety, or judge? never.

I am just being me.

I think that is all any of us can be.

All any of us should be.

I am often tempted to leave social media. To hide away in my shell, doing the things that I love, without the potentially judgmental eyes of anyone on me. To me, that would be bliss. But the reason I stay connected… is that I believe, and see, that there is the possibility for good to come from this connection.

So I want to hear from you…

Why do you use social media? Do you find it uplifting? Do you find it overwhelming? (Both, I say both!) How do you see it being used for good?

And… I want to leave you with one simple message. Each and every one of you (of us!) is perfect, exactly as you are. So…

be who you are

 

<3 Jozie